The Kaaba (2000 BC)
The Sacred House of Allah
There is no place on Earth as venerated, as central or as holy to as many people as Mecca. By any objective standard, this valley in the Hijaz region of Saudi Arabia is the most celebrated place on Earth. Millions of homes are adorned with pictures of it, and over a billion Muslims turn in its direction in prayer five times a day. Twenty four hours a day, thousands of people circle the Kaaba, the most sacred point within the most sacred mosque in the Muslim religion – Al-Masjid al-Haram (English: The Sacred Mosque). It is stated in the Qur’an that the Kaaba was the first house built for humanity to worship Allah. One of the Five Pillars of Islam requires every Muslim to perform the Hajj pilgrimage to the Kaaba. It is a mandatory religious duty for Muslims, which must be carried out at least once in the lifetime of every adult Muslim who is physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey, with the caveat that they can support their family during their absence. However, the Kaaba is not merely a foundation stone of Muslim cultural heritage; it is a real and present symbol that connects all Muslims across the globe and one that is unique in its power to emote and to unite persons irrespective of their geographical or financial situation.