Kaaba throughout history
Table of contents
The Kaaba is located in Hijaz, Mecca, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Kaaba is associated with Muslims and the pillars of Islam, as it is attended by Muslims to perform Hajj and circumambulation around it.
The Kaaba was given this name because of its cubicness, “squareness”, but in other narrations, it was named that because of its height from the ground, or because it was separated from the building, and according to Ibn Al-Atheer, “everything that is elevated and raised is a cube,” thus it was named Kaaba.
History of building the Kaaba through the ages:
- Historians have disagreed about who built the Kaaba, but based on (Islamic religious references) it was built before Adam, peace be upon him, by the angels under the throne after Al Baitul Ma’amur, but it is said that it was only a foundation stage. While views about the full build-out differed as according to several sources, but it was not confirmed conclusively, the Kaaba was built twelve times by: (the angels- Adam, peace be upon him,- Sheth Ibn Adam, peace be upon him, – Abraham and Ishmael, peace be upon them,- Giants- Jurhum- Qusayy- Abd al-Muttalib- Quraysh- Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr – the pilgrims – Sultan Murad Khan the Ottoman). In other narrations, after the Kaaba was built by the angels before Adam, peace be upon him, it was destroyed by the flood of Noah, then it was rebuilt by Abraham and his son Ishmael, peace be upon them.
- According to the Islamic religious sources, God Almighty revealed to Abraham, peace be upon him, the place of building the Kaaba in the Holy Qur’an, in the verse, “Behold! We gave the site, to Abraham, of the (Sacred) House, (saying): “Associate not anything (in worship) with Me; and sanctify My House for those who compass it round, or stand up, or bow, or prostrate themselves (therein in prayer)”, thus came the order of God Almighty to Abraham to build the Sacred House, and Gabriel had brought him the Black Stone. According to Islamic religious sources the Black Stone was pure white because the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “When the Black Stone came down from Paradise, it was whiter than milk, but the sins of the sons of Adam made it black.”
- It all started when Abraham, peace be upon him, migrated with his wife and son Ishmael and settled in the place where the well of Zamzam is located now, then he left them in this place following the command of God Almighty, and when they became very thirsty, Hagar ran seven times between Al-Safa and Al-Marwah, finally in the last time the water came out of the well of Zamzam, and she and her son Ishmael drank, after that came the command of God to build the Kaaba, so he and his son built it and put the stone that Gabriel, peace be upon him, brought and completed the construction.
- Qusayy ibn Kilab, the fourth grandfather of the Prophet Muhammad, covered the roof of the Kaaba with palm leaves and doum wood.
- Quraysh rebuilt the Kaaba about thirty years after the year of the elephant, during construction they raised the door from the level of the shrine, and blocked the back door opposite to that door due to underexpenditure, then roofed the Kaaba, and they raised the building itself to about 8.6m from only 4.3m, and the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, who was 35 years old at the time, lifted the Black Stone from its place.
- During the conflict between Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr and Yazid ibn Mu’awiya, Yazid shot Al-Zubayr and his followers while they were holed up inside the Sacred Mosque with catapults and fire, and as a result the Kaaba was burned. When Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr became the caliph, he demolished the Kaaba and rebuilt it on the foundations of the prophet Abraham, peace be upon him, where he increased the building and made two doors, he also carried out an expansion of Masjid al-Haram, where the area was doubled until it reached approximately 10,000 square meters.
- The Kaaba burned out again after Al-Hajjaj Ibn Yusuf attacked Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr, and he bombarded the mosque with catapult stones after Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan ordered him to demolish it, and that ended with the killing of Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr, after that Al-Hajjaj Ibn Yusuf rebuilt the Kaaba, following the order of Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, but based on the foundations of Quraysh, and not those of Abraham, peace be upon him, as Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr did.
- During the Ottoman era, Sultan Ahmed I made restorations to the Kaaba (upper and lower extensions made of brass, plated with gold). In 1039 AH, great torrents occurred, causing many losses and destroying parts of the Kaaba, so Sultan of the Ottoman Empire Murad Khan renovated it in 1040 AH, with the help of Egyptian engineers, and they finished the renovation at the beginning of Ramadan of the same year. This building is the same as the current building with some repairs and restorations.
The names of the Kaaba mentioned in the Holy Quran:
- Surah Al-Ma’idah: “Allah has made the Ka’bah—the Sacred House—a sanctuary of well-being for all people”. “Kaaba”
- Surah Ali ‘Imran: “Pilgrimage to this House is an obligation by Allah upon whoever is able among the people.” “House”
- Surah Al-Ma’idah: “or those coming to the Sacred House seeking bounty from their Lord and [His] approval”. “Sacred House”
- Surah Al-Hajj: “and circle the Ancient House.” “Ancient House.”
- In Surat Ibrahim: “Our Lord! I have settled some of my offspring in a barren valley, near Your Sacred House”. “Sacred House”
- Surah At-Tur: “By the Mount (1) and the Book inscribed (2) on fine parchment (3) by the much-frequented House (4)”. “much-frequented House”
Description of the Holy Kaaba:
- It is a large, square, 15 meters high building with a two meters high door from the eastern side. The four corners of the Kaaba are called (the Levantine corner, the black corner, the Yemeni corner, and the Iraqi corner), and there is a Mizab to get rid of rain water on top of the northern corner which is made of gold.
(The “eastern” black corner of the Kaaba): is located towards the east and is called the Black Stone because the Black Stone is fixed in it, and it marks the beginning of the circumambulation around the Kaaba. This corner faces the well of Zamzam and is next to the door of the Kaaba.
(The Yemeni “southern” corner of the Kaaba): faces the south.
(The “Western” Levantine Corner of the Kaaba): is located on the western side of the Stone of Ishmael, and it was called Levantine Corner because it faces the Levant.
(The Iraqi “northern” corner of the Kaaba): is called al-Iraqi because it faces Iraq, and it is located on the eastern side of the Stone of Ishmael.
- The door of the Kaaba is 3.06 meters high, and 1.68 meters wide, it is about 2.5 meters high above the ground. This door was made of gold in an amount of about 280 kilograms, which cost 13,420,000 Saudi riyals.
- From the inside, the floor is a white marble bordered by black marble edges. This marble rises 4 meters to the walls of the Kaaba without sticking to the wall, and the rest of the area is covered by the Kiswah of Kaaba on which Quranic verses are written in silver. In the center of the Kaaba there are three wooden columns that are nine meters high to support the ceiling of the Kaaba, and there are hanging lamps dating back to the Ottoman era that were made of copper, glass and silver, and a ladder made of crystal and aluminum that reaches the ceiling of the Kaaba, and a group of marble tiles dating back to all the eras in which the expansion of the sanctuary was carried out.
- Kaaba is characterized by its distinctive and pleasant smell throughout the year, as it is constantly cleaned using a mixture of oud, musk and amber.