Why Do Muslims Pray to a Square Structure?
Name of Questioner: Raid
Date: 14-5-2019 02:51:29 AM
Consultant: ِAsk About Islam Editorial Team
If Islam opposes idol worship, why do Muslims pray to a square structure?
Thank you for your question.
The simple cube-shaped stone building located in Makkah is called the Kabah or the Sacred House. It is the point toward which Muslims face when they pray.
Although Muslims face the direction of Kabah during prayer, they do not worship it. Muslims worship and pray only to God.
The Kabah was built by the prophet Abraham and his son Ishmael in response to God's command over 4,000 years ago.
Abraham consecrated the House for the worship of the one true God and invited all of humanity to visit it for that purpose. Even today Muslims who are physically and financially able are required to make a pilgrimage to it once in a lifetime.
The Kabah has remained at the center of a continuous tradition of worship and devotion up to the present day, symbolic of permanence, constancy and renewal.
There were periods in human history during which mankind deviated from the monotheism taught by God's prophets.
Before the advent of Muhammad, religion among the Arabs had degenerated into polytheism and paganism, and Makkah was completely submerged in idolatry; some 360 idols had been placed in and around the Kabah to be worshipped there along with God.
Prophet Muhammad was sent to restore to mankind the pure monotheism taught by all the messengers of God and reinstate the worship of Him alone. This he accomplished, and the Kabah was finally cleared of all manmade deities.
Among the ancient religious rites particular to the Kabah is walking around it. This suggests the integrating and unifying power of monotheism in human life and how a Muslim's existence should revolve around a pure devotion to God.
The Kabah symbolizes the unity of all true religion, the brotherhood of all the prophets, and the essential consistency of their message.
When Muslims pray facing toward this single central point, they are reminded of their common purpose and long-term goal. Even when standing directly before the Kabah in prayer, one is not to look at it but rather at the ground before him. The spiritual focus is on God alone and never upon any created object.
We hope this answers your questions.
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Source: This answer is based on the book of Clear Your Doubts about Islam by Sahih International.