By Wesley Muhammad, PhD
“The gods, repeat the texts, are made up of a ba, a cult image (=ka), and a body or cadaver (=khat), which correspond to the tripartition of sky, earth, and the netherworld. The constituent elements are no different from those of a human being, and in this sense, there is no ontological difference between deities and humans.” Françoise Dunand and Christiane Zivie-Coche, Gods and Men in Egypt: 3000 BCE to 395 CE (2004).
“The divine statue was provided as a physical form (ka) in which the ba could reside so that human beings could communicate with it…Once filled with and enlivened by the ba of the god, the cult statue became the ka, or physical form of the god.” Emily Teeter, Religion and Ritual in Ancient Egypt (2011).
“The statue is not the image of the body, but the body itself (emphasis original).” Jan Assmann. The Search for God in Ancient Egypt (2001)
The ka-statue of the god Asar (Osiris)
“it is known that the Ancient Near Eastern and Indian sacred temple reflected the bod(ies) of the god to whom it is dedicated and that the throne-room was a miniature temple itself. The temple was considered an architectonic icon: an image in stone of the god… In Egypt, the temple functioned specifically as the ka-body of the God, and thus ‘the iconological functions of the temple are analogous to those of the statue.’ The temple architecture symbolically reflects the anthropomorphic body of the god and ‘houses’ the story of how this divine body emerged out of the primordial waters.” Wesley Muhammad, Egyptian Sacred Science and Islam: A Reappraisal (2012).
The Prasada Temple of Hindu India
“the temple is, in fact, like a box … The temple is the cultic image … It is the sacred icon of the creator; not merely a beautiful portrait but a living cultic body… The temple is not only the place where the creator appears and in which he lives, but also the form of the living god...the living, material body of the creator. … Ragnhild Bjerre Finnestad, Image of the World and Symbol of the Creator (1985).
The Luxor Temple of Kemet
The box-like structure is “the model of the earth and the material world…In these cube statues, there is the powerful sense of the subject emerging from the prison of the cube. Its symbolic significance is that the spiritual principle is emerging from the material world.” Moustafa Gadalla, Egyptian Cosmology: The Animated Universe (2001).
“Islam’s most sacred ‘house of God,’ Bayt Allah, and also its central religious symbol (i.e. the Black Stone or Al-Hajar Al-Aswad) housed therein are both called Ka’ba… The Black Stone in pre-Islamic Arabia served the same purpose as the cult statue did in Kemet… Like the ka-statue of the Kemetic deities a baetyl or bayt illah (Arabic “house of god”) was regarded as ‘the container of the god’… this characteristically Arabian/Semitic tradition of the cultic stone finds its great expression today in the Ka’ba of Mecca.” Wesley Muhammad, Egyptian Sacred Science and Islam: A Reappraisal (2012).
“In Sufi terms, the Ka’ba’s cube-like form is a crystallization of the cube of man. It is an embodiment of the human as well as cosmic spatial structure and a visible manifestation of the three-dimensional cross. Its four arkan (i.e. four elements – earth, fire, air, water) correspond to the human nature, its six-faces to the human figure, and its three-dimensions of length, breadth and depth to the human body.” Samer Akkach, Cosmology and Architecture in Premodern Islam (2005).
Bayt Allah ('House of God') or the Ka'ba in Mecca
“the Black Stone (=Ka’ba)…was thought to be…a part of the body of a great god…(I)n the form of a black meteorite a piece of the deity’s astral body was visible to the congregation at all times…” Hildegard Lewy, “Origin And Significance of the Magen Dawid: A Comparative Study in the Ancient Religions of Jerusalem and Mecca,” (1950).
The Black Stone or Ka'ba in Mecca
“It is remarkable that many Arabic religious terms can be obtained by a simple combination of the three Egyptian ontological notions, Ba, Ra, Ka. As examples we can cite:
KABAR (a) = The action of raising the arms in prayer
RAKA = The action of placing the forehead on the ground
KAABA = The holy place of Mecca”
Cheik Anta Diop, The Cultural Unity of Black Africa (1963/1989).
For more discussion on and demonstration of this subject see