From: Mary on

When Islam is against idol worship
why do the Muslims bow down to ward the Ka'abah in Their Prayer

Kabah is the cubical structure in the city of Mecca, which Muslims
face at the time of their prayers.

Ka'abah is the Qiblah i.e. the direction Muslims face during their
prayers. It is important to note that though Muslims face the Ka'abah
during prayers, they do not worship the Ka'abah. Muslims worship and
bow to none but Allah.

It is mentioned in Surah Baqarah: "We see the turning of thy face (for
guidance) to the heavens: now shall We turn thee to a Qiblah that
shall please thee. Turn then thy face in the direction of the Sacred
Mosque: wherever ye are, turn your faces in that direction." [Al-
Qur'ân 2:144]

1. Islam believes in fostering unity

For instance, if Muslims want to offer Salaah (Prayer), it is possible
that some may wish to face north, while some may wish to face south.
In order to unite Muslims in their worship of the One True God,
Muslims, wherever they may be, are asked to face in only one direction
i.e. towards the Ka'abah. If some Muslims live towards the west of the
Ka'abah they face the east. Similarly if they live towards the east of
the Ka'abah they face the west.

2. Ka'abah is at the Center of the World Map

The Muslims were the first people to draw the map of the world. They
drew the map with the south facing upwards and north downwards. The
Kaaba was at the center. Later, western cartographers drew the map
upside down with the north facing upwards and south downwards. Yet,
Alhamdullilah the Ka'abah is at the center of the world map.

3. Tawaf around Ka'abah for indicating one God

When the Muslims go to Masjid-e-Haram in Makkah, they perform tawaf or
circumambulation round the Ka'abah. This act symbolizes the belief and
worship of One God, since, just as every circle has one centre, so
also there is only one Allah (swt) worthy of worship.

4. Hadith of Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him)

Regarding the black stone, hajr-e-aswad, there is a Hadeeth
(tradition), attributed to the illustrious companion of the Prophet
Muhammed (pbuh), Umar (may Allah be pleased with him).

According to Sahih Bukhari, Volume 2, book of Hajj, chapter 56, H.No.
675. Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "I know that you are a
stone and can neither benefit nor harm. Had I not seen the Prophet
(pbuh) touching (and kissing) you, I would never have touched (and
kissed) you".

5. People stood on Ka'abah and gave the adhaan

At the time of the Prophet, people even stood on the Ka'abah and gave
the ‘adhaan’ or the call to prayer. One may ask those who allege that
Muslims worship the Ka'abah; which idol worshipper stands on the idol
he worships?

6. Which direction is Kabah?

Muslims try to find out which direction the Kabah is, in order to face
while performing their prayers. Yet if they were not sure which
direction is it then they should pray to the direction where they
would suppose to be the correct one. Had they been worshipping Kabah
itself, it would be unrealistic that they would be allowed to do their
prayers any way even though they are not facing the correct direction
of Kabah. But because they worship God and not the Kabah, they are
allowed to worship even if they did not know to which direction to
turn, because there will always be…God;

"It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces towards East or West;
but it is righteousness- to believe in God and the Last Day, and…" The
Holy Quran (2.177)