The Kaʿba is nothing other than our essence, the essence of curtains of reverential fear.
The True God is not contained by heaven or earth or any word...
'Mecca: From Before Genesis Until Now'
In this, one of his last works, Martin Lings discusses the significance of the pilgrimage to Mecca, made annually by several million Muslims, in the light of the tradition of Abraham. Drawing upon his own experience of performing the pilgrimage first in 1946 and then in 1978, as well referring to the traditional sources, he considers the timeless spiritual meaning of the Hajj, which was proclaimed and established by Abraham and Ishmael and renewed by the Prophet Muhammad, in the context of its long history and comes to some surprising conclusions.
Martin Lings (born 1909) studied at Oxford and was a pupil and then friend of C S Lewis. He went to Egypt and taught Shakespeare at Cairo University. He then joined the British Museum and was Keeper of Oriental Manuscripts from 1970-74. He has written many books and contributed to the Encyclopedia Britannica and the New Encyclopedia of Islam.