THE HOLY KAABA, MAKKAHABOUT:
The Kaaba (Arabic: الكعبة al-Kaʿbah IPA: [ælˈkæʕbɐ], "The Cube"), also known as the Sacred House (بيت الحرام Baytu l-Ḥarām) and the Ancient House (بيت العتيق Baytu l-'Atīq), is a cuboid building in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the most sacred sites in Islam.
Al-Masjid al-Haram, the most sacred mosque in Islam, is built around the Kaaba.Muslims are expected to face the Kaaba during prayers, no matter where they are. From any given point in the world, the direction facing the Kaaba is called the Qibla.
One of the Five Pillars of Islam requires every Muslim to perform the Hajj pilgrimage at least once in his or her lifetime if able to do so. Multiple parts of the Hajj require pilgrims to make Tawaf, the circumambulation seven times around the Kaaba in a counter-clockwise direction. This circumambulation is also performed by pilgrims during the Umrah (lesser pilgrimage).However, the most dramatic times are during the Hajj, when millions of pilgrims gather to circle the building on the same day.In 2013, the number of pilgrims coming from outside the kingdom of Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj was officially reported as 1,100,544.
Each numbered item in the following list corresponds to features called out in the diagram image, on right.
Al-Ħajaru l-Aswad, "the Black Stone", is located in the Kaaba's eastern corner. Its northern corner is known as the Ruknu l-ˤĪrāqī, "the Iraqi corner", its western as the Ruknu sh-Shāmī, "the Levantine corner", and its southern as Ruknu l-Yamanī "the Yemeni corner".The four corners of the Kaaba roughly point toward the four cardinal directions of the compass.Its major (long) axis is aligned with the rising of the star Canopus toward which its southern wall is directed, while its minor axis (its east-west facades) roughly align with the sunrise of summer solstice and the sunset of winter solstice.
The entrance is a door set 2.13 m (7 ft) above the ground on the north-eastern wall of the Kaaba, which acts as the façade. In 1979 the 300 kg gold doors made by chief artist Ahmad bin Ibrahim Badr, replaced the old silver doors made by his father, Ibrahim Badr in 1942.There is a wooden staircase on wheels, usually stored in the mosque between the arch-shaped gate of Banū Shaybah and the Zamzam Well.
Meezab-i Rahmat, rainwater spout made of gold. Added in the rebuilding of 1627 after the previous year's rain caused three of the four walls to collapse.
Gutter, added in 1627 to protect the foundation from groundwater.
Hatim, a low wall originally part of the Kaaba. It is a semi-circular wall opposite, but not connected to, the north-west wall of the Kaaba known as the hatīm. This is 90 cm (35 in) in height and 1.5 m (4.9 ft) in width, and is composed of white marble. At one time the space lying between the hatīm and the Kaaba belonged to the Kaaba itself, and for this reason it is not entered during the tawaf. Some believe that the graves of Ismail and his mother Hagar are located in this space.
Al-Multazam, the part of the wall between the Black Stone and the entry door.
The Station of Abraham, a glass and metal enclosure with what is said to be an imprint of Abraham's foot. Abraham is said to have stood on this stone during the construction of the upper parts of the Kaaba, raising Ismail on his shoulders for the uppermost parts.
Corner of the Black Stone (East).
Corner of Yemen (South-West). Pilgrims traditionally acknowledge a large vertical stone that forms this corner.
Corner of Syria (North-West).
Corner of Iraq (North-East). This inside corner, behind a curtain, contains the Babut Taubah, Door of Repentance, which leads to a staircase to the roof.
Kiswa, the embroidered covering. Kiswa is a black silk and gold curtain which is replaced annually during the Hajj pilgrimage.Two-thirds of the way up is a band of gold-embroidered Quranic text, including the Shahada, the Islamic declaration of faith.
Marble stripe marking the beginning and end of each circumperambulation.
The station of Gabriel.