The triviality of these rites is ill concealed by the legends of the sa'y of Hagar and of the tawaf being first performed by Adam in imitation of the circuit of the angels about the throne of God; the meaning of their ceremonies seems to have been almost a blank to the Arabs before Islam, whose religion had become a mere formal tradition.
We do not even know to what deity the worship expressed in the tawaf was properly addressed.
Though ignorant of the legal ritual and prayers, they performed the tawaf with enthusiasm, throwing themselves against the Ka`ba and clinging to its curtains as a child clings to its mother.
Go to Mecca and perform the tawaf and sa'y (`omrat al-ifada), returning thereafter to Mina.
The Prophet destroyed the idols, but he left the characteristic form of worship - the tawdf, or sevenfold circuit of the sanctuary, the worshipper kissing or touching the objects of his veneration - and besides the black stone 1e recognized the so-called "southern" stone, the same presumably as that which is still touched in the tawaf at the Yemen corner (Muh.
The ceremony of the tawaf and the worship of stone fetishes was common to Mecca with other ancient Arabian sanctuaries.'
Thus the space of ten spans between the black stone and the door, which is on the east side, between the black and Irak corners, and a man's height from the ground, is called the Multazam, and here prayer should be offered after the tawaf with outstretched arms and breast pressed against the house.
The space within is paved with mosaic, and is called the I;Iijr. It is included in the tawaf, and two slabs of verde antico within it are called the graves of Ishmael and Hagar, and are places of acceptable prayer.
His devotion is expressed in shouts of "Labbeyka" (a word of obscure origin and meaning; he enters the great mosque, performs the tawaf and the sa'y 1 and then has his head shaved and resumes his common dress.