AT THE CENTER
RELATED RESOURCES ON PILGRIMAGE
The Kaaba, a cube-shaped stone monument in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, is the holiest site in Islam. The exterior is covered by a curtain of black silk and gold called the kiswah. Access to the interior of the Kaaba, which contains Qur’anic inscriptions, is extremely rare. The Kaaba’s eastern cornerstone is known as the Black Stone, a relic traditionally dated to the life of Adam and Eve. Islamic tradition holds that Adam built the first structure on earth in the spot the Kaaba now occupies. The prophet Ibrahim (the biblical Abraham) and his son Ishmael rebuilt the Kaaba on the foundations left by Adam. The Kaaba served as the site of a major pilgrimage for pagan Arab tribes until 631 CE, when the prophet Muhammad rededicated it to Islam and made it a central component of the obligatory hajj pilgrimage. The Kaaba is now housed within the Masjid al-Haram, also known as the Sacred Mosque, the largest and holiest mosque in the world.