The Kaaba, also spelled Ka'bah or Kabah, sometimes referred to as al-Kaʿbah al-Musharrafah, is a building at the center of Islam's most important mosque, the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is the most sacred site in Islam. It is considered by Muslims to be the Bayt Allah and is the qibla for Muslims around the world when performing salah.
Muslims used to, in the early days of Islam, face in the general direction of Jerusalem in their prayers before Kabah. After the Al-Qibla verse revelation to Muhammad, the direction was changed to face the Kaaba.
The Kaaba is believed by Muslims to have been rebuilt several times throughout history, most famously by Ibrahim and his son Ismail, when he returned to the valley of Mecca several years after leaving his wife Hajar and Ismail there upon Allah's command. Circling the Kaaba seven times counterclockwise, known as Tawaf, is an obligatory rite for the completion of the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages. The area around the Kaaba on which pilgrims circumambulate is called the Mataaf.
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