Thursday, 11 November 2010

Ka’ba the House of Allah

Remember the story of Ka’ba, and our beloved prophets who build and cleaned it.
Yes its Hajj time.
Are You Going? May Allah swt accept your Hajj?
Say your prayers for peace and for those who can't make it to Hajj this year.
InshaAllah! Allah swt will get you to Makkah one hajj (AMEEN)
I pray Allah accept all Hajjis’ Hajj.
For Hajj read my old post here:-The Hajj must be performed during a specific period of time in the Islamic calendar,

                           Sunday, 15 November 2009          
                                          Ka’ba the House of Allah

Ka’ba The House of Allah (I could make it a 2 liner for:- ka'ba children’s story).Joking.

In the province of Hejaz in the western part of Arabia, not far from the Red Sea, there lies the town of Makkah. In the centre of this town there is a small square building made of stones, . Since time immemorial this town and this stone built house has been known to world travelers. This is Baitullah, the House of Allah. Its sanctity and antiquity is older than history itself.

Tradition goes that the Ka’ba was ordained by Allah to be built in the shape of the House in Heaven called Baitul Ma’amoor. Allah in his infinite Mercy ordained a similar place on earth and Prophet Adam was the first to build this place. The Bible, in the Chapter of Genesis describes its building when God ordained Abraham to erect a Shrine for worship when Abraham A.S. was ordered to go to the Southern desert with his wife Hajar and infant son Ishmael. The Old Testament describes this building as the Shrine of God at several places, but the one built at Ma’amoor is very much similar to the one at Makkah. There is no doubt that it was referring to the stone built house at Makkah.

Qur’an brought this story into the full light of history. In Sura 3 Verse 90 Qur’an says “Allah has spoken the Truth, therefore follow the creed of Ibrahim, a man of pure faith and no idolater”. The first house established for the people was at Makkah, a Holy place and guidance to all beings. Qur’an firmly establishes the fact that Ibrahim A.S. was the real founder of the Holy Shrine.

When Prophet Ibrahim A.S. built the Holy Shrine in Makkah, his prayers were that this place should remain a centre of worship for all good and pious people; that Allah should keep his family the custodians of the Holy place. Ever since, Ishmael the son of Ibrahim who helped his father to build this place and his descendants remained the custodians of the Holy Shrine. History tells us that centuries passed and the guardianship of the Ka’ba remained in the family of Ishmael until the name of Abd Manaf came into the limelight. He inherited this service and made it much more prominent. His son Hashim took this leadership and extended it to many other towns of Hejaz so much so that many pilgrims flocked annually to this place and enjoyed Hashims’s hospitality. A feast was given in honour of the pilgrims, food and water was served to all guests by the family of Hashim. This prominence created jealousies and his brother Abdushams’ adopted son Umaya tried to create trouble. There was a dispute in which Umaya failed and left Makkah to settle down in the Northern provinces of Sham currently known as Syria. After Hashim his brother Muttalib and after him Hashims’s son Sheyba who became known as Abdul Muttalib assumed the leadership of the family. He organized feasts and supplies of water to the pilgrims during the annual festival of Pilgrimage to the Holy Shrine.

Prophet Ibrahim A.S. built this House for devout worship to one God. But within his lifetime people disobeyed his orders and began to put idols inside the Ka’ba Ibrahim had to clean the House of these idols and of idle worshippers. He told the people that this was a symbolic house of God. God does not live there for He is everywhere. People did not understand this logic and no sooner had Ibrahim A.S. died the people, out of reverence, filled the place with idols again. They thronged to this place annually and worshipped their personal gods, It was over Four Thousand years later that the last of the line of prophet (SA), Muhammad Ibn Abdullah entered Makkah triumphantly, went inside the Ka’ba and, with the help of Sahabas destroyed all the idols of Ka’ba with their own hands. At one stage of this destruction of idols, the tallest of the idol Hubbal was brought down. The Prophet of Islam was reciting the Verse from the Qur’an

    “Truth hath come and falsehood hath vanished.”

This was done in the 8th year of Hijra, January 630 AD after the bloodless victory at Makkah by the Prophet of Islam.

Historically when Ibrahim was ordered by Allah to build the Shrine for worship over a small he uncovered the original foundations of the Ka’ba built by Adam. Ibrahim with the help of his son Ishmael erected the new shrine on the same foundations. Originally it contained only four walls without a roof. Centuries later during the time of Kusayi who was the leader of the Tribe of Quraish in Makkah a taller building was completed with a roof and a quadrangle wall around it to give it the shape of a sanctuary and doors all around the sanctuary walls. People entered through these doors to come to the Ka’ba for worship. It is now about 60 feet high, 60 feet wide from east to west and 60 feet from north to south. A door is fixed about 7 feet above ground level facing North East. A Black stone (Hajar al Aswad) was fixed into its eastern corner. In front of the building was Maqaam Ibrahim, the arch shape gate known as that of Banu Sheba and the Zamzam Well. Just outside are the Hills called Safa and Marwah and the distance between the hills is about 500 yards. These days both of the hills are enclosed into the sanctuary walls with a roof over it.

The whole building is built of the layers of grey blue stone from the hills surrounding Makkah. The four corners roughly face the four points of the compass. At the East is the Black stone (Rukn el Aswad), at the North is el Rukn el Iraqi, at the west al Rukne el Shami and at the south al Rukne el Yamane. The four walls are covered with a curtain (Kiswa). The Kiswa is usually of black brocade with the Shahadah outlined in the weave of the fabric. About 2/3rd’s of the way up runs a gold embroidered band covered with Quranic text.

In the Eastern corner about 5 feet above ground the Hajar el Aswad (the black stone) is fixed into the wall. Its real nature is difficult to determine, its visible shape is worn smooth by hand touching and kissing. Its diameter is around 12 inches. Opposite the North West wall but not connected with it, is a semi circular wall of white marble. It is 3 feet high and about 5 feet thick. This semi circular space enjoys an especial consideration and pilgrims wait in queue to find a place to pray there. The graves of Ishmael and his mother Hajar are within this semi circular wall. Between the archway and the facade (N.E.) is a little building with a small dome, the Maqaam Ibrahim? Inside it is kept a stone bearing the prints of two human feet. Prophet Ibrahim is said to have stood on this stone when building the Ka’ba and marks of his feet are miraculously preserved.

On the outskirts of the building to the North East is the ‘Zamzam Well’ (this is now put under ground).

Building the Ka’ba.

Qur’an in Sura Baqarah Verses 121 to 127 described it clearly that Allah had ordained his servant Ibrahim to build the Shrine there for worship of One God

Literally, Ka’ba in Arabic means a high place with respect and prestige. The word Ka’ba may also be a derivative of a word meaning cube. Some of these other names include: Bait ul Ateeq which means, according to one meaning, the earliest and ancient. According to the second meaning, it means independent and liberating. Both meanings could be taken.
Scholars and historians say that the Ka’ba has been reconstructed between five to 12 times. The very first construction of the Ka’ba was done by Prophet Adam. Allah [swt, glory be to Him] says in the Quran that this was the first house that was built for humanity to worship Allah. After this, Prophet Ibrahim and Isma’il rebuilt the Ka’ba. The measurements of the Ka’ba Ibrahim foundation are as follows:

In terms of Islamic religion, the Ka’ba, the "House of Allah," is the central shrine of Islam. Simply an ancient stone building in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, it is considered number one holiest place in Islam. It is measured to be 45 feet high, 33 feet wide and 50 feet long. It is covered with a gold-covered cover that is replaced every single year. The Ka’ba is housed within the Masjid, under whose roof can hold a total of 1,000,000 worshippers. The current Ka’ba is actually a rebuilt version of the original one. However, even this rebuilt version is incredibly old. The original one was torn down or even decayed. The materials used in the construction were salvaged from a ship which traveled all around the Red Sea, taking material to many places en route. Some of the other materials were used to build a church in Ethiopia. It was already the most important sanctuary in pre-Muslim times in Arabia. It is constructed of Meccan granite, and appears as a cube-like building. It has a single door facing the NE direction, and no windows. On the infrequent occasions when the Ka’ba is opened, mobile stairs give access interior. Its interior includes gold and silver lamps suspended from the ceiling. There are three wooden pillars supporting him ceiling, which have been recently replaced.

The Koran confirms the traditional belief that it was built by Abraham and Ishmael, from whom the Muslim peoples trace their heritage. Its historical heritage is not known for sure, but it undoubtedly existed for centuries before event the birth of Mohammed at 570 CE. Historically, the Ka’ba has involved multiple groups of peoples. It was used by Arab pagans until the Muslim forces took control of Mecca and cleansed it of all its false idols. At that point the Muslim people claimed historical identity.
- the eastern wall was 48 feet and 6 inches - the Hateem side wall was 33 feet - the side between the black stone and the Yemeni corner was 30 feet - the Western side was 46.5 feet

The small, cubed building known as the Ka’ba it may not rival skyscrapers in height or mansions in width, but its impact on history and human beings is unmatched.
Certain buildings inspire in us a whole range of feelings and emotions. It might be a religious building - a towering spire reaching to the heavens or an immaculate marble mosque - or it could be a very old building, a reminder of times lo
The Ka’ba is the building towards which Muslims face five times a day, everyday, in prayer. This has been the case since the time of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) over 1400 years ago.

Following this, there were several constructions before Prophet Muhammad's time.

Prophet Muhammad participated in one of its reconstructions before he became a Prophet. After a flash flood, the Ka’ba was damaged and its walls cracked. It needed rebuilding. This responsibility was divided among the Quraish’s four tribes. Prophet Muhammad helped with this reconstruction. Once the walls were erected, it was time to place the Black Stone, (the Hajar ul Aswad) on the eastern wall of the Ka’ba.
Prophet Muhammad proposed a solution that all agreed to putting the Black Stone on a cloak, the elders of each of the clans held on to one edge of the cloak and carried the stone to its place. The Prophet then picked up the stone and placed it on the wall of the Ka’ba.

Since the tribe of Quraish did not have sufficient funds, this reconstruction did not include the entire foundation of the Ka’ba as built by Prophet Ibrahim. This is the first time the Ka’ba acquired the cubical shape it has now unlike the rectangle shape which it had earlier. The portion of the Ka’ba left out is called Hateem now.

Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr

The Syrian army destroyed [damaged] the Ka’ba in Muharram 64 (Hijri date, 683 C.E.) and before the next Hajj Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr, may Allah be pleased with him, reconstructed the Ka’ba from the ground up.

Ibn az-Zubayr wanted to make the Ka’ba how the Prophet Muhammad (saw) wanted it, on the foundation of the Prophet Ibrahim A.S... Ibn az-Zubayr said, "I heard Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) say, 'The Prophet said: "If your people had not quite recently abandoned the Ignorance (Unbelief), and if I had sufficient provisions to rebuild it [the Ka’ba], I would have added five cubits to it from the Hijri. Also, I would make two doors: one for people to enter therein and the other to exit." Sahih Bukhari
Ibn az-Zubayr said, "Today, I can afford to do it and I do not fear the people."

Ibn az-Zubayr built the Kabba on Prophet Ibrahim foundation. He put the roof on three pillars with the wood of oud (a perfumed wood with aroma which is traditionally burned to get a good smell out of it in Arabia). In his construction he put two doors, one facing the east the other facing the west, as the Prophet wanted but did not do in his lifetime. He rebuilt the Kabba on the Prophet Ibrahim (A.S.) foundation, which meant that the Hateem area was included. The Hateem is the area adjacent to the Kabba enclosed by a low semi-circular wall. Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr also made the following additions and modifications:

- put a small window close to the roof of the Ka’ba to allow for light. - moved the door of the Ka’ba to ground level and added a second door to the Ka’ba. - Added nine cubits to the height of the Ka’ba, making it twenty cubits high. - Its walls were two cubits wide. - reduced the pillars inside the House to three instead of six as were earlier built by Quraish.

For reconstruction, ibn az-Zubayr put up four pillars around Ka’ba and hung cloth over them until the building was completed. People began to do Tawaaf around these pillars at all times, so Tawaaf of the Ka’ba was never abandoned, even during reconstruction.

During Abdul Malik bin Marwan's time

In 74 Hijra (or 693 according to the Gregorian calendar), Al-Hajjaj bin Yusuf al-Thaqafi, the known tyrant of that time, with the approval of Umayyad Khalifa Abdul Malik bin Marwan, demolished what Ibn az-Zubayr had added to it from the older foundation of Prophet Ibrahim, restored its old structure as the Quraish had had it.

Some of the changes he made were the following:

- he rebuilt it in the smaller shape which is found today - took out the Hateem - walled up the western door (whose signs are still visible today) and left the rest as It was - pulled down the wall in the Hateem area. - removed the wooden ladder Ibn az-Zubayr had put inside the Ka’ba. - reduced the door's height by five cubits.

When Abdul Malik bin Marwan came for Umra and heard the Hadith that it was wish of Prophet for the Ka’ba to be constructed the way Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr had built it, he regretted his actions.

Imam Malik's R.A. advice
Imam Malik's advice to the Khalifa Haroon al Rashid

Abbasid Khalifa Haroon al Rashid wanted to rebuild the Ka’ba the way the Prophet Muhammad (saw) wanted and the way Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr built it. But when he consulted Imam Malik, the Imam asked the Khalifa to change his mind because constant demolition and rebuilding is not respectful and would become a toy in the hands of kings. Each one would want to demolish and rebuild the Ka’ba. Based on this advice, Haroon al Rashid did not reconstruct the Ka’ba. The structure remained in the same construction for 966 years, with minor repairs here and there.

Reconstruction during Sultan Murad Khan's time

In the year 1039 Hijra, because of heavy rain, flood and hail, two of the Kaba’s walls fell down. The flood during which this occurred took place on the 19th of Sha`ban 1039 Hijra [April 2, 1630] which continued constantly, so the water in the Ka’ba became almost close to half of its walls, about 10 feet from the ground level. On Thursday the 20th of Sha`ban 1039 Hijra, the eastern and western walls fell down. When flood receded on Friday the 21st of Sha`ban, the cleanup started. Again, a curtain, the way Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr established on 4 pillars, was put up, and the reconstruction started on the 26th of Ramadan [May 9, 1630]. The rest of the walls except for the one near the Black Stone, were demolished.

By the 2nd of Zul-Hijjah, 1040 [July 2, 1631], the construction was taking place under the guidance of Sultan Murad Khan, the Ottoman Khalif. From the point of the Black Stone and below, the current construction is the same as that done by Abdullah ibn Az-Zubair. The construction which was done under the auspices of Murad Khan was exactly the one done at the time of Abdul Malik ibn Marwan which is the way the Quraish had built it before Prophet Hood.

On Rajab 28 1377 [Feb. 17, 1958], One historian counted the total stones of the Ka’ba and they were 1,614. These stones are of different shapes. But the stones which are inside the outer wall which is visible are not counted in there.

Reconstruction of the Ka’ba in 1996

A major reconstruction of the Ka’ba took place between May 1996 and October 1996. This was after a period of about 400 years (since Sultan Murad Khan's time). During this reconstruction the only original thing left from the Ka’ba are the stones. All other material has been replaced including the ceiling and the roof and its wood.
Did you know:-
Every year the key (Kiswa) is replaced with a new one on the day of Arafat Standing, (Following their departure from Mecca, millions of pilgrims have started to make their way to Mount Arafat. Coinciding with this unchanged ritual is the tradition of changing of the Ka'ba’s ‘Kiswa’, the cloth that adorns the Ka’ba made of black silk and embroidered with gold calligraphy.)

The House of God is given a new Kiswa (covering) on the 9th of Dhul Hijjah when pilgrims proceed to Arafat for the main event of the Hajj.

The washing ritual of the Ka’ba begins with the performance of two rakah’s inside the cubical structure. The interior walls will then be cleaned with rose, oud and musk perfumes using white cloth. Zamzam water mixed with rose perfume will then be splashed on the floor and then wiped with bare hands and palm leaves.

Before entering Ka’ba to do the washing, circumambulated the Ka’ba seven times (Tawaaf) during which one will touch the Black Stone. He will then receive the key to the Ka’ba presented in a bag made of green velvet from its custodian (Salih bin Zainul Abideen Al-Sheibi,). On entering the House of God, the prince will perform two rakah’s on a marble sheet, the spot where it is believed that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) prayed.

The washing ceremony began after the guests have exited. The marble floor and the walls were washed with Zamzam water mixed with rose perfume.

After the cleaning, the floor and the walls were dried again with white cloth and tissues. The walls are then perfumed using large quantities of oud and rose perfume. The Ka'ba will then be incensed.

  May Allah make our efforts sincere and keep us all on the straight path……..
P.S.: "Have fun praying    don’t forget to make dua for me."

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1 comment:

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