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.


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

kaaba 4

kaaba 3

This is a top-down map of it.


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.

k key

k key2

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.)

Interfaith/non faith Christmas dinner prayer

This is useful if you have a family gathering where not everybody is on the same faith-page. I used this at Christmas at my in-law’s house. The words aren’t original, but the assembly is. I put the references at the bottom. Please let me know if you use this prayer at your gathering and how it was received.

Oh, Thou, the sustainer of our Bodies, Hearts and Souls –

We pause this day, joining with others across the world

who, like us, yearn for peace and harmony and understanding.

We pause to celebrate the joy of people coming together;

serving one another with common goals and concerns.

We pause to ask Your blessing on this, our time together,

on gatherings like ours, across our land and across the world.

May we be thankful for the food we are about to receive.

May it be blessed to our use,

and may we be dedicated to the service of that great family of all souls.

When there is peace in the heart, there will be gentleness in the person.

When there is gentleness in the person, there will be fairness in the nation.

When there is fairness in the nation, there will be peace in the world.

May we be centers of peace and help speed the day where we all may be one.



I assembled this from prayers from the book “For Praying out Loud” by L. Annie Foerster,

specifically “We Pause to Give Thanks” by Laurel Hallman, at a UN peace gathering,

and “When There is Peace in the Heart” by Richard Gilbert, Center of Peace Invocation.

I used a Sufi prayer for the address to the Divine in the first line