The Kaaba in Mecca

The Kabba (Arabic: ٱلْـكَـعْـبَـة “The Cube”) is a building at the center of Islam’s most important mosque: the Al-Masjid Al-Ḥarām in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. This is the most sacred site in Islam. Muslims consider it the “House of God,” and it has a similar role to the Tabernacle and Holy of Holies in Judaism. Wherever they are in the world, Muslims are expected to face the Kaaba when performing prayer.

One of the Five Pillars of Islam requires every Muslim to perform the Hajj. Parts of the Hajj require pilgrims to make Tawaf circumambulation seven times around the Kaaba in a counter-clockwise direction. Pilgrims also perform Tawaf during the ‘Umrah (or Lesser Pilgrimage). However, the most significant times are during the Hajj, when millions of pilgrims gather to circle the building within a five-day period.

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View or download this model from Sketchfab.

Two years ago, I was unhappy with the available quality of 3D digital models of this important building for Muslim culture. I could find no models that were detailed enough or accurate enough to reality. So, I created this accurate-to-the-inch model based on architects’ drawings and photos, with guidance from my professor of Islamic art and architecture at Oxford University. The background audio is the call to prayer, as recorded in Istanbul, Turkey.

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