Circumambulation around the Ka’aba was originally a pagan ritual (albeit they did it naked), as was the running through the valley between Safa and Marwa.The Ka’aba was originally a pagan shrine, housing 360 stones and statues. And pagans performed a hajj even before the advent of Islam.
The Islamic scripture says the stone was “put there by Prophet Ibrahim and Isma’il (peace be upon them both) by the order of Almighty Allah, and the purpose of it was to indicate the beginning of tawaf (circumabulation of the Ka`bah).”
However, there is no scientific, historical, or archaeological evidence that places Abraham and Ishmael at the Ka’aba. And there is no evidence that circumambulation of any building or stone was initiated by Abraham and Ishmael.
During its history, the black stone has been struck and smashed by a stone fired from a catapult, it has been smeared with excrement,stolen and ransomed by the Qarmatians, and smashed into several fragments. And for 22 years, it went missing. When they finally found it, it was smashed into pieces and left in a toilet well.
No scientist was ever allowed to examine the black stones, as the Islamic authorities will never allow that. But based on observation, it is evident that there is nothing mystical about these rocks. It is nothing other than meteorite rocks. You can buy your sets and start your own Mecca. If it feels odd praying towards some rocks from space, imagine how everyone else thinks of us praying towards it five times a day.
Take a moment and imagine Mecca without a Kaaba at all, no house for Allah, and your argument would easily be “because He is everywhere” – suddenly no rocks no problem, right?