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UNDERSTANDING ISLAM BLOG will provide you reading materials sourced from the internet written by varied authors but whose names will be properly credited with their respective articles. The mission of this blog is to link Muslim (Sunni) net users to quality articles for a better understanding of Islam as a religion and as a way of life.--Princess Maleiha

Monday, January 26, 2009

THE HOLY KAABA




by Usman Abdul Rehman

1. Many people attack Islam by questioning why Muslims worship the Holy Kaaba if in fact Islam is against idol worship. Why is it that Muslims bow down before the Kaaba during prayer?

Answer:

The Holy Kaaba is the "Qibla", meaning, the direction Muslims must face during their prayers. It is not the Kaaba Muslims worship but the location of "Qibla" where the Holy Kaaba is situated. Muslims worship and bow to none but Allah.

It is mentioned in Surah Baqarah:
"We see the turning of thy face (for guidance) to the heavens: now shall We turn thee to a Qiblah that shall please thee. Turn then thy face in the direction of the Sacred Mosque: wherever ye are, turn your faces in that direction." [Al-Qur’an 2:144]

2. What is the importance of "Qibla" in Islam?

It is important for it fosters unity. Islam believes in fostering unity. All Muslims all over the world face only one "qibla" when they want to offer Salaah (prayer), and this unites all Muslims in their worship to one True God.

Without the "qibla" it is possible that some may wish to face north, while some may wish to face south, hence it is important for all Muslims, wherever they may be, are asked to face in only one direction i.e. towards the Kaaba in order to unite them in their worship of the One True God. .

If some Muslims live towards the west of the Kaaba, they face the east. Similarly if they live towards the east of the Kaaba, they face the west.


2. Where is the Holy Kaaba located in the world map?

It is at the Center of the World Map. The Muslims were the first people to draw the map of the world. They drew the map starting from the south facing upwards and north downwards making the Kaaba stand at the center.

As time progressed, western cartographers drew the map upside down with the north facing upwards and south downwards. The miracle part is, the Holy Kaaba, remains at the center of the world map no matter who draws the map.


3. What is "Tawaaf" during pilgrimage to Mecca?

Tawaaf performed around the Kaaba indicates only one God. When the Muslims go to Masjid-e-Haram in Makkah, they perform tawaaf or circling the entire Kaaba. This act symbolizes the belief and worship of One God, since, just as every circle has one centre, so also there is only one Allah (swt) worthy of worship.


4. The Black Stone?

The kissing of the black stone in the Holy Kaaba is best explained by the Hadith of Umar (May Allah be pleased with him).

The other name for the black stone is hajr-e-aswad. The kissing of the black stone was explained in Sahih Bukhari, Volume 2, book of Hajj, chapter 56, H.No. 675 which quoted the illustrious companion of the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh), Umar (may Allah be pleased with him).

According to Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) said, "I know that you are a stone and can neither benefit nor harm. Had I not seen the Prophet (pbuh) touching (and kissing) you, I would never have touched (and kissed) you".


5. Additional information on the Holy Kaaba:

At the time of the Prophet, the call to prayer or "adhaan" was done above the Kaaba. People stood on Kaaba and gave the adhaan.

Hence, let it be concluded that Muslims do not worship the Holy Kaaba but only the Almighty Allah. However, the center of worship for Muslims is the Holy Kaaba for it is where the "Qibla" is located.

It is important for all Muslims to face the "qibla" during prayers.


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