The Qaba is an ancient stone structure that was built and re-built by Holy Prophets as a house of monotheistic worship. It is located inside the Grand Mosque in Makka, Saudi Arabia.
The building has a mosque built around it, the Masjid al-Haram. Muslims are expected to face the Qaba during prayers, no matter where they are. From any given point in the world, the direction facing the Qaba is called the Qibla.
Since Allah Almighty ordered Ibrahim the father of Ishmael and Isaac peace be upon them to build the Qaba, people called it the House of Almighty Allah, and it became the direction for us to bow down to Almighty Allah in worship:
During the early days of Islam, the Muslims were commanded to bow down to Allah Almighty in the direction of the Farthest Mosque (Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa) in Jerusalem, because it was the Holiest Mosque to worship Allah Almighty in back since it was not defiled with idols.
Allah Almighty then commanded Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to order the Muslims to prostrate to Allah Almighty in the direction of the Qaba in Makka, because it was the House of Allah which was built by Prophet Ibrahim peace be upon him (mentioned also in the Bible), and because after the Muslims liberated Makka in a 10,000 men army (this event was prophesied in the Bible), they cleaned the Qaba from all idols.
To help the Jewish and Christian reader understand the Islamic way of Worship better, I’d like to first present the following from the Bible
16 When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it.”
17 He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.”
18 Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it.
18 The Israelites went up to Bethel (the House of GOD in Hebrew) and inquired of God. They said, “Who of us shall go first to fight against the Benjamites?” The LORD replied, “Judah shall go first.”
1 Chronicles 6:47-49
47 the son of Mahli, the son of Mushi, the son of Merari, the son of Levi.
48 Their fellow Levites were assigned to all the other duties of the tabernacle, the house of God.
49 But Aaron and his descendants were the ones who presented offerings on the altar of burnt offering and on the altar of incense in connection with all that was done in the Most Holy Place, making atonement for Israel, in accordance with all that Moses the servant of God had commanded.
“Behold! We gave the site, To Ibrahim, of the (Sacred) House (i.e., the Qaba), (Saying): ‘Associate not anything (In worship) with Me; And sanctify My House For those who compass it round, Or stand up, Or bow, or prostrate themselves (Therein in prayer). And proclaim the Pilgrimage among men: they will come to thee on foot and (mounted) on every kind of camel, lean on account of journeys through deep and distant mountain highways; (The Holy Quran, 22:26-27)”
As we also clearly see, the House of Allah was mentioned in the Bible first. The Qaba or Kaaba (the black cube building in Saudi Arabia) is basically the symbolic point on earth (His House) that Allah Chose to have all of His True Believers meet Him through bowing down their faces in humility down to the ground before Him.
They are no more holier than the bricks and cement that we see on regular basis now.
While it is true that many ignorant and illiterate Muslims might incline toward idol worship and do consider the actual Qaba as a very sacred thing to a point where they would go as far as rubbing their bodies against it to get “blessings”, but these people are not representing the True picture of Islam. If a person worships the Kaaba itself, then he/she becomes an idol worshiper:
“*Say: ‘O People of the Book (i.e., Jews and Christians)! Come to common terms as between us and you: That we worship none but Allah; that we associate no partners with Him; that we erect not, from among ourselves, Lords and patrons other than Allah.’ If then they turn back, say ye: ‘Bear witness that we (at least) are Muslims (bowing to Allah’s Will*).’ (The Holy Quran, 3:64)”
“*God forgiveth not that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgiveth anything else, to whom He pleaseth; to set up partners with Allah is to devise a sin Most heinous indeed*. (The Holy Quran, 4:48)”
“Who can be better in religion than one who submits his whole self to Allah, does good, and follows the way of Ibrahim the true in Faith? For Allah did take Ibrahim for a friend. (The Holy Quran, 4:125)”
The Qaba is only the House of ALLAH Almighty and is the meeting place for us to meet the Almighty Allah by bowing down our faces in humility down to the ground before Him in that direction.
ALLAH Almighty Chose that spot on earth to be the meeting place with Him, because It is His Grand Temple.
We Worship Allah Almighty in His House. We never worship the Temple itself.