The stone's significance is also pre-Islamic ~ the daughter of Allah, Manat or al-Manat was worshipped as a black stone.
Manat: The ancient Arabian goddess of fate and destiny, and the personification of the evening star. Manat ("fate") is one of the daughters of the pre-Islamic Allah. Her cult was situated between Medina and Mecca, where she was worshipped in the form of a black stone.
The Queen of Sheba also worshipped at a black stone. Obliviously these objects are only representations of Gods or Goddesses ~ though Muhammad, as it is claimed, had gotten rid of all the idols ~ clearly the Kaaba and its stone are the idols which he kept ~ and form the center of focus for the Muslims when they worship. Knowingly or not they are bowing before a pre-Islamic idol of worship.
There is no similar stone of worship in the Jewish or Christian heritage. If you look up the word Quraysh [and its many spelling variations], they were Muhammad's family and the Arab tribe who controlled the kaaba in Mecca for 700 years before Islam. That's a long time to not notice that you are not connected to the Judaism religion.
Of course Muhammad's first wife was said to be a Jew ~ here he would have observed her religious practise, and it is only a theory, that he thought that the Arabs should have some of this. Both the Christians and the Jews were worshipping one God ~ perhaps he thought his people were backwards ~ and this was his way to bring them in line with the rest of the region. Though his beliefs were so strong in the kaaba religion that he mixed the two ~ to what extent in his lifetime can only be speculated upon. Because it was in Syria ~ whose scholars would have been familiar with Biblical text ~ where the Koran was finally compiled. The 5 pillars, Islamic architecture, and more were all developed under the Syrian Caliphate ~ after the conquest of Spain. The Syrians were mentioned in the bible ~ though never as Arabs.
Sometimes when you look at the beginnings of Islam story ~ it is like you are looking at only half of it ~ a cleansed version. It is good to see that people are starting to investigate the story ~ behind the curtain of Islam ~ so that we could see what really happened. The Salman Rushdie satire hit on one of these sore points ~ ~ where Muhammad calls out to Allah's daughter ~ the Trinity Goddesses [Koran 53:19] ~ and then realizing he was wrong ~ although not right away ~ and because Rushdie teased Muhammad's change of mind and departure from his sworn beliefs ~ so important it is to the fabric of the religion ~ that they still want to kill him.
It was a big thing for Muhammad to attack Mecca at the time ~ because although the tribes used to war, and people used to lay and wait for passing caravans ~ Mecca was a violence free zone ~ but to take Mecca, Muhammad had to break the cardinal rule ~ of committing acts of violence in the holy spot. On pre-Islamic hajj anyone could bring their Gods to worship at the Kaaba. The way the pilgrims dress, today, is very pre-Islamic. According to one Indian account going around the Kaaba ~ is an old Hindu practise. [They expressed amazement that Arabia is the only country on earth that has effectively erased its history.]
Perhaps because Islam was spread with such ferocity and such violence ~ it never settled or really matured ~ it is still, it seems trying to say I'm more Christian than the Christian and more Judaism than the Judaism. But something Jesus actually said, not sure of the Koran's account ~ but it is ~ those who exalt themselves shall be humbled ~ and it is the humble that shall be exalted. There is no sword that can cut this humble truth down.
Allat: An ancient mother and fertility goddess of the pre-Islamic Arabs. Her name means "the Goddess". This mythic figure of great antiquity is one (she represented the earth and its fruits) of the trinity of desert goddesses named in the Qur'an; Al-Uzza (goddess of the morning star) and Menat (goddess of fate and time) being the others.
al-Uzza: The youngest of the three daughters of the pre-Islamic Allah and the patron goddess of Mecca. She is identified with Venus as the morning star and her name means "the mighty one". She resides in a tree similar to the acacia.
Allah: The exclusive monotheistic deity in Islam. The name is derived from 'al-ilah', which literally means "the god". The Prophet Muhammad declared Allah the one and only god (of the Islam) in the 7th century CE.
In pre-Islamic times, Allah was the supreme creator-god of the Arabs. The goddesses Allat, Manat, and al-Uzza were considered to be his daughters.
The annual hajj pilgrimage, one of the five pillars of Islam, predates the faith by centuries, tracing its roots to the biblical patriarch Abraham - revered by Muslims as a prophet and the first preacher of their religion.
And as some 2.5 million people gather in this western Saudi city for the hajj, a must for every capable Muslim at least once in a lifetime, they begin rituals said to follow millennium-old instructions by Abraham, or Ibrahim, as he is known in the Muslim holy book, the Koran.
Muslims believe that a "sacred house" was built in Mecca by Adam, the father of the human race, in the same spot where Ibrahim and his son Ishmael are said to have rebuilt it and where the Kaaba, a massive cubic structure, lies.
The Koranic version of the story is that Ibrahim travelled with Hagar, the mother of their infant son Ishmael,
Hagar's desperate runs between the two hills of Safa and Marwa in search of sustenance have been imitated by pilgrims ever since the prophet of Islam, Mohammed, ordered his followers to perform the hajj to Mecca.
Islamic tradition says Allah answered Ibrahim's prayer to look after his family by sending the angel Gabriel, who scratched the dry soil under the infant, triggering a sudden and continuous gush of water.
The resulting Zamzam Well is believed to have brought life into the area, bringing nomad Arabs to settle around it. Ishmael learned Arabic and married into Arab tribes. For Muslims, Mohammed is an offspring of Ishmael.
Ibrahim is said to have reconstructed the house of worship with Ishmael on returning to the area years later. The Koran speaks of Ibrahim as building the structure as the first house for worship on earth.
But the Kaaba was demolished and rebuilt several times, the last believed to be after floods in 1630.
As an indication of worshipping activities at the "sacred house," the Koran cites Allah's order to Ibrahim to rid the house of idols and purify it for pilgrims. He was also ordered to call people to hajj.
Mohammed did the same in 630 AD when he conquered Mecca with his followers as he entered the Kaaba and destroyed all idols placed there by Arabs to represent their pagan gods.
Islamic tradition says the meaning of Ibrahim's hajj was distorted over time, with the belief in one God that he preached losing ground to polytheism, and Arabs worshipping idols as proxies to God and filling the Kaaba with them.
It also says that, over the centuries before Islam, it turned into something resembling a fun-fair and lost its spirituality, with some pilgrims replacing prayers with clapping and whistling, and others even circling the Kaaba naked.
And just as Muslim pilgrims stand on Mount Arafat at the peak of every hajj, pre-Islamic pilgrims used to spend a day in the barren plain outside Mecca and return to the city circumambulating the Kaaba.
Arab tribes of Mecca, notably Mohammed's Quraysh, used the hajj to bring prosperity to their town, and the hajj became an occasion for several festivities, including poetry competitions. The Kaaba walls for a long time were used as notice boards for the most famous pre-Islamic Arab poems.
Pre-Islamic Arabs also used to perform the ritual of slaughtering animals as a sacrifice to God. That tradition is carried on by Muslims on their most important feast, the Eid al-Adha or feast of sacrifice, the day after pilgrims descend from Mount Arafat.
It is in honour of Ibrahim's obedience to God in preparing to sacrifice Ishmael, which God forestalled by providing the patriarch at the last minute with a lamb to kill instead. That contradicts the Old Testament's story of Abraham, which says he was about to slay his other son, Isaac.
But Islam stopped the Arab practice of splattering the blood of the sacrificed animals on the walls of the Kaaba.
Mohammed ordered his followers to perform the hajj on the ninth year of the Islamic calendar, the first year after he conquered Mecca.