(Kaabeh; Kaba[h]; Caaba; Arab. cube). Ancient Arab. shrine in the form of an irregular cube in the heart of Mecca. Muhammad* retained it as chief sanctuary of Islam,* prescribed pilgrimages to it, and appointed it as qibla(h) (kibla[h]), the point toward which Muslim* turn to pray. Set in masonry in its SE corner, at a height convenient for kissing, is the sacred Black Stone, main object of veneration in the Kaaba. Every devout Muslim is supposed to visit the shrine at least once.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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