Crowds gather at the kaaba./Photo by Muhammad Ghouri/flickr-CC
Crowds gather at the kaaba in Mecca./Photo by Muhammad Ghouri/flickr-CC

Pronounced “KAH-bah.” A black, cube-shaped building, about 40 feet tall, in Mecca. Islam’s most important mosque was built around the kaaba. Muslims believe that Abraham built the kaaba hundreds of years before the time of Muhammad, whose family belonged to the tribe that cared for the building. The stone kaaba has been rebuilt several times. The “black stone,” a relic installed in the kaaba’s eastern corner, is said to be from heaven and to date back to the time of Adam and Eve. The kaaba symbolizes the truth, and Muslims set their compass to the truth no matter where they are. This is why they face the kaaba to pray. There are normally people praying around the kaaba at all times. Pilgrims on hajj pray while circling it seven times. Also spelled Ka’bah.



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