Inside the Kaaba

Muslims face the Kaaba five times a day in prayer, no matter where they are in the world. Hundreds of thousands of people turn towards this immense cube (which is what “Kaaba” means).

Did you know that it isn’t solid? It has a place to worship inside. The Kaaba is a mosque, a holy house. It is said to have been originally built by Adam and Eve, then restored by Abraham and Ishmael, as the very first place to worship the One God, who Muslims call Allah.

The interior is 13 m (43 feet) high, and the sides are about 10.15 m (33.3 ft) by 8.24 m (27 ft). There are no windows but there are lanterns.

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These are screenshots from a 3D animation of the interior.

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This is a top-down map of it.

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These are cutaway illustrations.

Kaaba inside

What is inside the Kaaba

What is inside the Kaaba

The Kaaba used to be opened twice a week for anyone to pray inside. But now it is opened just twice a year, and then for only dignitaries and exclusive guests, who enter to ceremonially clean it. The door is 2.13 m (7 feet) above ground. There is a wooden staircase on wheels that is used to reach the door.

The key is kept by one tribe. Here are pictures of the key.

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This is all very interesting, but I think this is the most interesting part– if you are inside the Kaaba, what direction do you pray? You are in the center of the center of worship.

The 12th century Sufi mystic and friend of the poet Rumi, Shams of Tabriz said – “The Kaaba is in the middle of the world. All faces turn toward it. See! Each is worshipping the soul of each.”

Now try this. Visualize that you are inside the Kaaba every time you pray, no matter where you are, no matter what faith tradition you practice. You are in the epicenter. You are in the eye of the storm. You are in the heart of the Creator. You are in the first holy place ever made by human hands. Hold that feeling in your heart.  You don’t have to face any direction.  Your prayers go directly to God, right where you are.

 

(Pictures and information are from Wikipedia and other online sources. All copyright belongs to the original owner. Used for educational uses only.)

Every day is the Sabbath.

We are told to keep the Sabbath holy, but which day is that? Is it Sunday, as most Christians observe, or is it Saturday, as Jews and Seventh-Day Adventists observe, or is it Friday, as Muslims observe?

The early Christians decided to set aside Sunday to worship because that is the day that Jesus rose from the tomb, and they were getting a lot of flack from the Jews. They were convinced that Jesus was the Christ, so in their minds they were simply Jews who had found the Messiah. The Jews didn’t agree that Jesus was the fulfillment of the prophecies, so they chased them out of their synagogues. So the Sabbath got shifted a day. The Seventh-Day Adventists are Christian but follow the original Jewish Sabbath observance. Then we have Muslims, who pray every day but choose Friday as a special day of observance. It isn’t seen as a special day of rest so much as an obligatory day of prayer.

But then we have Psalm 118:24 “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Holman Christian Standard translation)

I tell you that every day is the Sabbath. Every day is a day to remember that God made you and everyone else and everything. Every day is a day to give thanks for all the many blessings of this life. Every moment of every day is a time to be filled with the knowledge and love of God. It is good to live your life full of thankfulness and awareness of God.

Why wait for only one day a week to praise God? Why wait for only one day a week to uplift your soul? Every moment can be a time of communion with God, even in the middle of a routine transaction at work. God is constantly seeking us, constantly desiring for us to be in communion with him. You don’t have to quit your job and join a monastery or a non-profit to focus your heart and mind on God. It can be done right now, right where you are.