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The Ka'ba Orientations – Readings in Islam's Ancient House - Edinburgh Scholarship Online
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The Ka'ba Orientations: Readings in Islam's Ancient House

Simon O'Meara


This book is about the most sacred site of Islam, the cuboid, black-robed Kaʿba of Mecca, a building the Qur’an calls the ‘ancient house.’ It explains how the building has been used, conceptualised and represented by Muslims from the earliest period of Islam onwards, and reveals the strata in the Kaʿba’s many meaning and the profundity of its importance for the Islamic world. It does this by investigating six of the building’s spatial effects: as the qibla (the direction faced in prayer); as the axis and matrix mundi of the Islamic world; as an architectural principle in the bedrock of this wo ... More

Keywords: Kaʿba (Kaaba), Mecca, Islam, Qibla, Pilgrimage, Circumambulation, Axis mundi, Orientation, Islamic world, Space

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2020 Print ISBN-13: 9780748699308
Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2021 DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748699308.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Simon O'Meara, author
SOAS, University of London