The Ka`bah is the first and the most ancient house of worship ever built for all of humankind and dedicated to the worship of One God. So by facing toward the Ka`bah in our Prayers, we are stressing the unity of humankind under the Lordship of the One and Only God. Allah says in the Qur’an, “The first sanctuary ever built for mankind was that at Bakkah (Makkah), a blessed place, a guidance to the peoples.” (Al `Imran: 96). Thus, by ordering us to face towards the Ka`bah, we are taken back to our Adamic roots.
Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states: “Muslims worship the One and Only God, besides Whom there is no other god. We don’t worship idols or statues or images of any kind; nor do we take anyone as intermediary or propitiate anyone, whether a human being or idol or statue or anything whatsoever for that matter.
How could anyone equate turning in the direction of Ka`bah as idolatory? Idolatory is to consider anything other than Allah as an object of worship to seek favors or blessings or entreat. No Muslim ever worships the Ka`bah; nor does he seek favors or address petitions or entreaties to it. We address all our prayers and entreaties only to Allah and Allah alone, and we also place our ultimate trust in Him alone.
We turn towards the Ka`bah not for reasons of worship or reverence. We do so only for the reasons that the Qur’an has stated: it is the first house of worship built for mankind. Since Islam is a universal message intended to unite all of humanity into a single fraternity transcending all barriers of race, ethnicity, and language, we are ordered to face towards the Ka`bah, the most ancient house, in our Prayers. We are also told that the Ka`bah was first built by Adam, the father of humankind. So by turning towards the Ka`bah, we are going back to our Adamic roots.
While turning towards the Ka`bah in our Prayers, we firmly believe that the Ka`bah possesses no divine powers. It has no power either to benefit or harm anyone, as such powers, according to the categorical and unequivocal teachings of the Qur’an, rest with Allah and Allah alone, Who alone is the Creator, Sustainer and Lord of all beings.”