The Kaba is the holiest site in Islam, and it is the qibla, the direction Muslims face when praying.  It is called the Kaba because of its shape; cube in the Arabic language is ka’b.  Sometimes the Kaba is called Al Bait Al Atiq, or the emancipated house, Prophet Muhammad said that this name was used due to the fact that God has protected the Kaba from coming under the control of tyrants.

Verses from the Quran are written on tablets inset in the marble and the upper part of the interior wall is clad with green cloth decorated with gold embroided verses.  Lamps hang from a cross beam; there is also a small table for incense burners.  Caretakers perfume the marble cladding with scented oil, the same oil used to anoint the Black Stone outside.

The Black Stone, an ancient sacred stone, is embedded in the eastern corner of the Kaba, one and a half meters above the ground.  Prophet Muhammad said , “The black stone came down from paradise and it was whiter than milk, but the sins of the sons of Adam turned it black”

The scholars of Islam have differed on who built the Kaba. Some say that it was built by the angels.  Others say the father of humankind, Adam built the Kaba but over many centuries it fell into disrepair and was lost in the mists of time, to be rebuilt  by Prophet Abraham and his son Ishmael.  All agree that the Kaba was either built or rebuilt by Prophet Abraham.

“And (remember) when Abraham and (his son) Ishmael were raising the foundations of the House (the Kaba at Mecca), (saying), ‘Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us. Verily, You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knower’” (Quran 2:127)