Crash Course in Islam — Kaaba
>>STEVE ST. GEORGE: Hello. I'm Steve St. George. And this is your crash course in Islam. Today we discuss the Kaaba. There are some outside Islam who think the Kaaba in Mecca is a pagan temple. It is an idea deeply offensive to Muslims. They believe the Kaaba was built by Abraham and his son Ishmael, considered the father of Islam. The building is believed to mark the Gate of Heaven where communication with Allah is easiest. But there was a period of time when the Kaaba was a sacred place for nomadic traditions in the Middle East. Muslims believe Mohammed conquered and reclaimed the temple destroying the poly theistic idols housed there and returning the one true God to the Kaaba. But most Muslims pray toward the building every day they will likely see it only once in their lives and they go on Hajj to Mecca. The Haj is a pilgrimage and is one of five pillars of Islam. Muslims required to make it at least once in their lives. While there they circled the Kaaba seven times and kiss the eastern cornerstone each time they go around. In Islam visiting Mecca and the Kaaba is considered the pinnacle of a Muslim's life.