The Mysterious Black Stone of Kaaba - Worship of a Meteorite?
Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca, is one of the greatest religious observances in Islam. This year, Hajj is expected to fall between November 4-9.
People often associate Hajj with the familiar image of devout Muslims making the journey to the Kabaa, and seven-times circling the ancient stone building towards which they pray. The gathering in the plain of Arafat symbolises the climax of the hajj pilgrimage, and in 2010 two million Muslims were at the site together on a single day
What is less commonly known is the presence of a holy relic - literally a cornerstone - that is part of the worship. The origins of the dark stone remains a mystery to not only Muslims but geologists, scientists and historians alike.
Does the black stone reveal pagan goddess-worshiping roots of Islam?