If Islam strives against idolatry, can you explain why when Muhammad returned to Mecca and destroyed the false idols, he intentionally left the Ka'bah which is now centric to Islam. I think I understand that the Ka'bah seems like more of a connection to Allah though Abraham, but praying in the direction of the Ka'bah, isn't that somewhat hypocritical?

  • 2
    Ibrahim pbuh built the Kaaba as a focal point for the uma to pray towards for the worship of the only real God. It is just a focal point. How is it hypocritical? May 30, 2018 at 4:58
  • I'm trying to understand your inquiry: Destroying idols once one finally had access to the Ka'abah is certainly not hypocritical, but consistent. Leaving the Ka'abah to do so has two effects leaving what is considered the house of God -to do this- and showing the former idol worshiping people the end of their idols... What have I missed? Please elaborate!
    – Medi1Saif
    May 30, 2018 at 7:30
  • Please see my comment below on the accepted answer. Thank you both for your time and replies!
    – Atomiklan
    May 31, 2018 at 5:08

1 Answer 1


The Kaabah is a building and not an image or representation of Allah, not a false deity, and not the intended object of worship, hence it is not an idol.

It does mark the qiblah: the direction faced when worshiping Allah on earth. And this has been ordained by Allah before the conquest of Makkah and even before the advent of the arabs:

وعهدنا إلى إبراهيم وإسماعيل أن طهرا بيتي للطائفين والعاكفين والركع السجود

And We charged Abraham and Ishmael, [saying], "Purify My House for those who perform Tawaf and those who are staying [there] for worship and those who bow and prostrate [in prayer].

Quran 2:125 ; also see Quran 3:96

ومن حيث خرجت فول وجهك شطر المسجد الحرام وحيث ما كنتم فولوا وجوهكم شطره

And from wherever you set out, turn your face in the direction of the Sacred Mosque (Al-Masjid-ul-Harām), and (O Muslims), wherever you are, turn your faces in its direction

Quran 2:150

The other major aniconic religion, Judaism, also has a qiblah which was the Tabernacle and then the Baitul Maqdas.

And Joshua rent his clothing and fell to the earth upon his face before the Ark of the Lord until the evening

Joshua 7:6

I shall prostrate myself toward Your Holy Temple

Psalms 138:2

That Your eyes may be open toward this house night and day, toward the place which You said, 'My Name will be there;' to listen to the prayer that Your servant will pray toward this place.

1 Kings 8:29

and spread forth his hands toward this house.

1 Kings 8:38

And Daniel, when he knew that a writ had been inscribed, came to his house, where there were open windows in his upper chamber, opposite Jerusalem, and three times a day he kneeled on his knees and prayed and offered thanks before his God just as he had done prior to this.

Daniel 6:10

So praying in the direction of Allah's House is not idolatory.

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    Makes a little more sense now. Thank you. I am just getting started studying Islam and just trying to make sense of new concepts. I guess the Kaabah just felt (to an outsider) like an object that was being worshiped (praying in the direction of, encircling during the Hajj, etc.). I do not deny my honest conceptual misunderstanding which is precisely why I reached out here for proper context from a Muslim who actually understands the importance and significance. Thank you.
    – Atomiklan
    May 31, 2018 at 5:07

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