The Architecture

The Kaabah is built of cuboid bricks. It has steps made of aluminium and crystal, a door, three pillars of yellowish red wood, and white marble flooring. The walls are made of coloured marble and decorated with beautiful carvings. Between the three major pillars a rafter is mounted that runs from north to south to hang a chandelier, lamps and other precious items made of gold and silver. The ceiling of the Kaabah is covered with rose red silk decorated with writing in white: "Subhanallahi wa bihamdihi, subhanallahil azim" which means "Glory to God, praise be to Him, Glory to Allah the Almighty." The roof is made of concrete. The external structure is covered with a cloth known as the Kiswah, made of 658 kilograms of woven raw silk. The woven material size is 658 square meters. The Kaabah has four corners: the corner of the Black Stone, of Yemen, Syria and Iraq. Included in the construction of the Kaabah is Hijr Ismail or Hatim. In addition, there is a golden channel that doubles as a water route from the roof of the Kaabah into Hijr Ismail, known as Mizab. Between the Black Stone and the door of the Kaabah is the Multazam. Here lies the well of Zamzam. Then, there is a building made of gilded copper, known as Maqam Ibrahim, wherein Abraham’s two footprints lie – it was where he stood while building the Kaabah.

 

The Origin of Basic Islamic Geometric Patterns

The Kaabah has its foundation patterned in geometry – point, straight line and circle. The point refers to its function as the Qibla for Muslims; the straight line depicts the angle of the structure and its form; the circle symbolises the community, circumambulating the Kaabah during tawaf while performing the Hajj and Umrah. These basic geometric patterns have a large impact – it makes it seem as if mosques around the world are intentionally built around the Kaabah. It forms a repeating, loop-architecture of mosques around the world. The Kaabah or the point (Qibla) is always surrounded by Muslims from all over the world that come to Mecca to perform the Hajj and Umrah – each person will tawaf or circumambulate around the Kaabah seven times; and the call to prayer five times a day around the world. And the circle, this is filled with the presence of Muslims in the saf or rows, for prayers, five times a day. This indirectly reflects the unity of Muslims worldwide. Repetition is the key element that will not only give a touch of beauty, but also has a deeper meaning in geometric patterns. The repetition in Islamic geometric patterns rhymes to form a distinctive pattern. Geometry in Islamic art is also used to produce other shapes such as stars, flowers, leaves and Bayung tendrils. These patterns are painted, sculpted and shaped in a variety of mediums such as tile, wood, paper, metal forging and woven textile. Geometric patterns in Islamic art is a manifestation of creativity and visual aesthetics of mathematics used in the construction of buildings such as mosques and Islamic civilization, the seat of governments and residences of Muslims. Geometric patterns symbolize the stability and confidence in the spread of Islam, especially the pattern of infinity which is unique and of a variety of colors.