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All About Kaabah

"Dari arah mana saja kamu keluar (datang) , maka palingkanlah wajahmu ke arah Masjidil Haram. Sesungguhnya ketentuan itu benar-benar sesuatu yang hak dari Tuhan mu. Dan Allah sekali-kali tidak lengah dari apa yang kamu kerjakan" (al-Baqarah : 149)

English translations by diffreent authors:
Verse 2:149
Yusuf Ali:
From whencesoever Thou startest forth, turn Thy face in the direction of the sacred Mosque; that is indeed the truth from the Lord. And God is not unmindful of what ye do.
Zohurul Hoque:
And from wheresoever you come forth then turn your face in the direction of the Masjid al-Haram. For indeed, that is the truth from your Rabb. And Allah is not unaware as to what you do.
T. J. Irving:
No matter where you may set out from, turn your face towards the Hallowed Mosque. It means the Truth from your Lord; nor will God overlook whatever you are doing.
T.U. Hilali-M. Khan:
And from wheresoever you start forth (for prayers), turn your face in the direction of Al-Masjid-al-Harām (at Makkah), that is indeed the truth from your Lord. And Allāh is not unaware of what you do.
M. Pickthall:
And whencesoever thou comest forth (for prayer, O Muhammad) turn thy face toward the Inviolable Place of Worship. Lo! it is the Truth from thy Lord. Allah is not unaware of what ye do.
M.H. Shakir:
And from whatsoever place you come forth, turn your face towards the Sacred Mosque; and surely it is the very truth from your Lord, and Allah is not at all heedless of what you do.

The small, cubed building known as the Kaba may not rival skyscrapers in height or mansions in width, but its impact on history and human beings is unmatched.

The Kaba 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.

Size and shape of Kaabah
Pictures of Kaabah
Constructions of Kaabah
Inside Kaabah
Covering of Kaabah
Prestige of Kaabah

The Size of the Kaba:

The current height of the Kaba is 39 feet, 6 inches and total size comes to 627 square feet.

The inside room of the Kaba is 13X9 meters. The Kaba's walls are one meter wide. The floor inside is 2.2 meters higher than the place where people perform Tawaf.

The ceiling and roof are two levels made out of wood. They were reconstructed with teak which is capped with stainless steel.

The walls are all made of stone. The stones inside are unpolished, while the ones outside are polished.

This small building has been constructed and reconstructed by Prophets Adam, Ibrahim, Ismail and Muhammad (peace be upon them all). No other building has had this honor.

Yet, not very much is known about the details of this small but significant building.

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Lets find it out through these articles:

Article 1 

Article 2

Article 3

Article 1:

KAABA, ka'a ba: The pre-Mohammedan sanctuary at Mecca, adopted by the Mohammedans as the chief sanctuary of their faith. It is situated in the heart of Mecca, the sacred city of Islam (see MOHAMMED, MOHAMMEDANISM), in a court approximately 535 feet by 355 feet which forms an irregular oblong, the long axis of which is approximately n.e.-s.w., while its sides are only approximately parallel. The wall which bounds the enclosure does not preserve its direction throughout on any one of the four sides, while on the northeastern and southwestern sides are projections forming two large halls. The wall is pierced by nineteen ungated entrances. On the inside and next to the bounding wall a triple or, in some places, a quadruple, colonnade a little over twenty feet in height limits the open area, while each group of four columns supports a small dome as a part of the roof of the colonnade. The ground level of the area inside the walls is lower than that outside. The Kaaba itself is near the center of the enclosure, a structure in the form of a trapezium, no two sides exactly parallel, with its long axis transverse to that of the court, the diagonals being nearly in the direction of the cardinal points, one corner of the building being said by the Arabs to face the North Star. The structure is about fifty-five feet by forty-five, and between thirty-five and forty feet in height, built of the common gray stone of the district, the courses of which are irregular. Its roof is nearly flat, yet sufficiently inclined to shed the rainfall easily. The main structure rises from a sloping base two feet in height. It has no win dows and but one door, placed on the eastern side about six feet from the southeast corner and seven feet from the ground. At the southeast corner is the Black Stone, an irregular oval about seven inches in diameter, the pieces of which it is composed being joined by cement. It has an uneven surface, though it is worn smooth by the constant kissing and rubbing to which it has for ages been subjected by the faithful. It is described now as being a deep reddish brown, but whether it is basaltic or a meteorite is undetermined, with probabilities in favor of the latter. It is set in the wall about fifty inches from the pavement, and is surrounded by a border of composite cement so set as to form a boss, and this is supported by a circle of gold or silver or gilt. In the northeast corner is another stone of the material common about Mecca, eighteen inches by two in size, set horizontally in the wall, which receives a secondary veneration, being rubbed by pilgrims with the right hand but never kissed. A slight hollow in the northeastern side in the pavement is lined with marble and is hallowed as the place where Abraham and Ishmael mixed the material with which they built the Kaaba. The roof is sustained by three cross beams each supported in the center by a column covered with decorated aloe wood. In the northern corner is a small door leading to a staircase and the roof, used only by the attendants for purposes of work. The roof of the Kaaba is covered by a robe or mantle which hangs over the sides. This is made at Cairo by a family in which the monopoly is hereditary, and is made of coarse silk and cotton. The interior of the court about the Kaaba has three levels: (1) a pavement of marble immediately surrounding the Kaaba in an irregular oval, about which is an oval of small columns between which lamps are suspended; (2) a second pavement about twenty feet broad and slightly higher than the interior pavement; (3) a pavement six inches higher and about forty feet in width, surrounding the two inner pavements. Between the outer edge of this last and the colonnade the ground is graveled except where the stone walks lead to several of the gates. There are a number of smaller structures at different points of the outer pavement which serve various purposes, one of them covering the sacred well Zem Zem. The lowest pavement next the Kaaba is that upon which the sevenfold circuit of the building is made by the pilgrims.

Arabic legend asserts that the present structure is the tenth in historical order. The first was built by the angels before the creation; the second by Adam; the third by Seth, and was destroyed in the deluge; the fourth by Abraham; the fifth by the Amalikah, descendants of Shem; the sixth by the Beni Jurham, about the Christian era; the seventh by Kusay bin-Kilab, fifth in order of ascent among Mohammed's paternal ancestors; the eight in Mohammed's twenty-fifth (thirty-fifth) year; the ninth in 686 A.D. (64 A:H.) by Abdullah bin-Zubaye, nephew of Ayesha, after the Black Stone had been split by fire or by the weapons of an enemy; the tenth between 1652 and 1662 A.D., after the partial destruction of the house by flood in 1652. The ceremony of circumambulation was performed about all of these, according to Arab tradition. That the Kaaba has a high antiquity is made certain by Diodorus Siculus who asserts that "there is in this country (Arabia) a temple greatly revered by all the Arabs." The very universality of reverence asserted here and supported by Arab tradition guarantees an early origin for the structure.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: The foregoing description of the Kaaba is taken from a careful comparison of the accounts of R. F. Burton, Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Meccah and Medinah, chaps. xxvi.-xxx., and Appendix, London, 1879; A. Sprenger, Das Leben und die Lehre des Mohammed, ii. 340-347, 3 Vols., Berlin, 1861-65: and J. L. Burckardt, Travels in Arabia, pp. 136 sqq, London, 1829. The history is taken from W. Muir, Life of Mahomet, vol. i., pp. ccx. sqq., London, 1861; and A. P. Caussin de Perceval, Essai sur l'histoire des Arabes avant l'islamisms, i. 170-175, Paris, 1847.

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Article 2:

The Kaaba is nearly square in shape, built with hard dark bluish- grey stones. It now rises to sixteen meters; but was much lower at the time of the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, as may be inferred from the fact that, on the day of conquest of Makkah, the Prophet raised `Ali Ibn Abu Talib on his shoulders so that `Ali could remove and break the idols that were placed on the roof of the Kaaba.

The wall [the northern one that faces the Enclosure of Isma`il and] over which is placed the water trough and the one on its opposite side [the southern one] are ten meters and ten centimeters long; while the [eastern] wall which has the door and the one opposite to it are twelve meters long. The door is placed at a height of two meters from the ground level.

The Black Stone is fixed in the [east-south] corner, so that if one wants to enter the door, the Stone would be on his left. This Stone is one and a half meters above the ground level, that is, above the level of the circumambulation area. The Black Stone is a hard rock of irregular oval shape, black with some reddish tint; it has red dots and yellow wavy lines which appeared when some broken pieces were soldered and joined. It has a diameter of about thirty centimeters.

The Kaaba's corners, since ancient days, are called "Al-Arkan (pl. of "Ar-Rukn" pillar); the northern one is called, the Iraqi Rukn; the western, the Syrian; the southern, the Yemenite; and the eastern (wherein the Black Stone is fixed), is named the Black. The area between the door and the Black Stone is called "al-Multazam" (lit.: the place where one clings to) because when one circumambulates one adheres to it for invocation and prayer.

The trough fixed over the northern wall, which is called the Trough of Mercy, was an innovation of Al-Hajjaj Ibn Yusuf; in 954 A.H. Sultan Sulaiman changed that with a silver one; that too was replaced by Sultan Ahmad in 1021 A.H. with another one of enameled silver with golden designs. In 1273 A.H. Sultan `Abdul-Majid replaced it with another one made of gold, and it is the present one.

Facing the northern wall is a wall-half circle in shape. It is called, Al-Hatim. It is like a bow whose two ends face the northern [Iraqi] and the western [Syrian] Rukns; there is a gap of two meters and three centimeters between the ends of the bow and the said Rukns. The wall, Al-Hatim, is one meter high and one and a half meters wide. It is paneled with carved marble. The distance between the center of Al-Hatim and the center of the northern wall of the Kaaba is eight meters and forty-four centimeters. The area covered by al-Hatim and the northern wall is known as Hijr Isma`il [Enclosure of Isma`il]. About three meters of this space was included in the Kaaba built by Ibrahim, peace and blessings be upon him

The changes and alterations that were done inside the Kaaba, and the rituals and Sunnah rites connected with the House are not so necessary to be described here.

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Article 3:
    The base of the Ka'ba is 10.5 x 12 meters, and it's 15 meters high, and is standing on a marble base which is 25 cm high. Each of the corners are pointing in the four directions of the compass. It is built of grey stones from the hills around Mecca.
The door of the Ka'ba is in the northeastern wall, and is 2 meters above the ground. Inside the Ka'ba, three wooden pillars hold the roof up. The roof can be accessed by a ladder. The floor is covered by marble, and there are no furnitures, except gold and silver lamps.
    A fire in the Ka'ba at the time of Muhammad destroyed it partly, and the renovation resulted in major alterations. The size was increased, the door was put up high to prevent unwanted visitors. Rebel activities in 683 CE (64 H) destroyed the Ka'ba over again, and a fire made the Black Stone split. The second renovation began after the removal of the old ruins. Two new doors at ground level were added. In 693 (74 H) the new doors were removed, and the Ka'ba have had more or less the same shape and size up until now. Only small alterations and renovations have been made. Most of the stones are original from the 683 structure. The Black Stone was removed from the Ka'ba for more than 20 years in 10th century, but was eventually returned to its original place.

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Pictures of Kaabah
(Please click on the pictures to view)

1297 H (1876 AD)

Kaabah 1297 H (1876 AD)

1359 H (1941 AD)

Kaabah 1359 H (1941 AD)

1371 H (1951 AD)

Kaabah 1371 H (1951 AD)

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Article 1
Article 2

Diriwayatkan bahawa Kaabah dibina lima kali:

1.      Dibina oleh malaikat sebelum Nabi Adam as, iaitu daripada permata yaquut merah. Kemudian diangkat ke langit pada banjir besar yang melanda Makkah. Kata-kata ini disokong oleh firman Allah yang bermaksud: “Dan (ingatlah) tatkala Ibrahim meninggikan (membina) dasar Baitullah berserta Ismail (seraya berdoa): Ya Tuhan kami, terimalah daripada kami (amalan kami), sesungguhnya engkaulah yang maha mendengar lagi maha mengetahui,” – surah al-Baqarah, ayat 127.

Sendi itu diangkat menunjukkan bahawa sendi, iaitu asasnya sudah pun ada (dibina), jadi Baitulllah al-haram sudah pun ada sebelum Ibrahim as dan Ibrahim membinanya semula di atas asas itu.

Ibnu Abbas meriwayatkan bahawa Nabi Adam telah mengerjakan haji sebanyak 40 kali dari India ke Makkah berjalan kaki, kekallah ia tawaf Kaabah itu, begitu juga diikuti oleh anaknya hingga pada hari berlakunya banjir, lalu Allah angkatkan ke langit keempat.

Diriwayatkan bahawa Allah membina di langit sebuah rumah yang dikenali sebagai Baitul Makmur. Dia menyuruh malaikat supaya tawaf sekelilingnya, kemudian Dia menyuruh malaikat di bumi supaya membina sebuah rumah di bumi mengikut ukurannya dan bentuknya, dan mereka hendaklah tawaf sebagaimana ahli langit tawaf Baitul Makmur.

2.    Sebenarnya Nabi Ibrahim tidak tahu di mana ia harus membinanya, lalu Allah memberitahu kepadanya tempatnya dengan angin yang bertiup. Angin tadi menyapu sekeliling rumah itu, lalu Ibrahim membinanya di tapak asal.

Dalam doa Ibrahim as, ada dalil yang menunjukkan bahawa dia membina binaan itu di atas asas yang terdahulu sebagaimana firman Allah: “Rabbanaa taqabbal minna – surah al-Baqarah, ayat 127. ‘Taqabbal minna’ bermaksud “terimalah daripada kami (amalan kami).”

Ada perbezaan di antara lafaz ‘qabul’ dan ‘taqabbul’ dalam bahasa Arab. Lafaz ‘taqabbul’ dibina atas takalluf atau susah payah; digunakan apabila sesuatu perkara yang dibuat itu ada kekurangan yang mana tidak layak diterima amalan itu melainkan melalui jalan kemurahan Allah.

Berbeza dengan lafaz ‘qabul’. Lafaz ini tidak ada makna seperti lafaz ‘taqabbul’. Seandainya Ibrahim as membina asasnya sebagaimana binaannya, nescaya kerjanya menjadi lengkap dan sempurna, tiada lagi kekurangan, dan dia tidak berdoa dengan lafaz ‘taqabbul’, sebaliknya dengan lafaz ‘qabul’.

Pemilihan lafaz ‘taqabbul’ ini sebagai pengiktirafan daripada Ibrahim as sendiri dan juga anaknya Ismail as mengenai kekurangan dalam pekerjaan itu. Dia tahu bahawa bukan dia atau Ismail yang membina binaan Kaabah itu dari awal, dia hanya mengangkat sendi-sendinya.

3.    Dibina oleh Quraisy sebelum kebangkitan Nabi Muhammad saw dan Rasul sendiri hadir bersama mereka ketika pembinaan berkenaan. Tatkala mereka ingin meletakkan Hajarul Aswad, mereka berbalah-balahan di antara satu sama lain, siapa atau puak mana yang diberikan kemuliaan untuk meletakkan batu berkenaan ke tempat asalnya.

Mereka kemudian bersetuju untuk melantik orang yang mula-mula sekali ke Masjidil Haram. Kebetulan Nabi Muhammad saw adalah orang yang pertama masuk.

Dengan kepintaran Baginda saw, disuruhnya puak yang bertelagah itu menyediakan satu bentangan kain, kemudian meletakkan batu itu di tengah-tengahnya.

Masing-masing ketua setiap suku kaum memegang bucu kain itu dan dibawa ke tempat letaknya, kemudian Nabi Muhammad saw sendiri mengambil Hajarul Aswad dan meletakkan di tempatnya.

4.    Dibina oleh Abdullah bin Az-Zubair ra.

5.    Dibina oleh jemaah haji, iaitu binaan yang kekal sampai ke hari ini.

Selepas Nabi Ibrahim dan anaknya, Ismail, membina Rumah itu, Allah mengarahkannya supaya menyeru manusia datang bersembahyang di situ, lalu Nabi Ibrahim berkata: “Wahai Tuhanku, suaraku tidak sampai (untuk menyeru semua manusia).” Allah berfirman: “Hendaklah kau azan dan Aku menyampaikannya.”

Nabi Ibrahim terus naik ke Bukit Safa dan menyeru: “Wahai sekalian manusia, ketahuilah bahawa sesungguhnya Tuhanmu telah membina sebuah rumah dan mewajibkan ke atas kamu haji ke Baitul ‘Atiq, maka hendaklah kamu menyahut seruan Tuhan kamu itu, dan kerjakanlah haji di Baitullah al-haram supaya dengannya Dia akan memberikan kamu pahala dan menjauhkan kamu daripada api neraka. Lalu ia berkata: Labbaikallahumma labbaik’. Golongan pertama yang menyahut seruan itu ialah ahli Yaman (penduduk Yaman), merekalah yang paling banyak mengerjakan haji.

Setiap yang mempunyai niat buruk terhadap rumah itu, pasti Allah akan membinasakannya. Lihatlah kepada tentera bergajah Abrahah yang ingin meruntuhkan Kaabah, Allah menghantar ke atas mereka burung ababil yang melontari mereka dengan batu daripada neraka lalu hancurlah mereka seumpama daun yang dimakan ulat.

Sesungguhnya Nabi Ibrahim mengangkat sendi rumah itu bersama Ismail. Adapun sendinya memang sudah pun ada. Faktor alam sekelilinglah yang menutup atau melitupi sendi ini, lalu Allah zahirkan pada Ibrahim ketika awalnya ketika Ismail masih bayi.

Selepas Ismail meningkat usianya sehingga boleh membantu ayahnya, Allah memerintahkan Ibrahim mengangkat sendi-sendi tadi. Sesungguhnya Ibrahim telah mengetahui (dengan petunjuk Allah) tanah wadia atau lembah yang khusus padanya ada Baitullah.

Seandainya ia tidak mengetahui dengan tepat kedudukan Rumah Allah di tanah itu, kenapa pula Nabi Ibrahim datang bersama Hajar dan anaknya lalu meninggalkan mereka di situ, sambil berdoa sebagaimana dalam firman-Nya: “Ya Tuhan kami, sesungguhnya aku menempatkan sebahagian keturunanku di lembah yang tidak mempunyai tanam-tanaman dekat Rumah Engkau (Baitullah) yang dihormati,” – surah Ibrahim, ayat 37.

Kata Nabi Ibrahim itu menunjukkan bahawa kewujudan Rumah Allah itu sudah pun diketahui ketika ia hendak menempatkan isteri dan anaknya di situ. Akan tetapi tempat kedudukan Rumah itu tidak diketahui oleh Ibrahim. Ini adalah peringkat pertama bagi hubungan Ibrahim dengan Rumah berkenaan.

Kemudian datang peringkat kedua, iaitu Allah menerangkan kepada Ibrahim kedudukan rumah itu. Firman Allah bermaksud: “Dan (ingatlah), ketika Kami memberikan tempat kepada Ibrahim di tempat Baitullah (dengan mengatakan): Janganlah kamu mempersekutukan sesuatu pun dengan Aku.” (Surah al-Hajj, ayat 26)

Kemudian Allah berfirman selepas daripada itu: “Sucikanlah rumah-Ku ini bagi orang yang tawaf, dan orang yang beribadat dan orang yang ruku’ dan sujud,” – surat al-Hajj, 26.

Kerja ini tidaklah terlalu rumit bagi Ibrahim melakukannya seorang diri kerana hanya menyapu pasir dan batu kecil yang menutupi asas binaannya.

Sebab itulah Ismail tidak mengambil peranan menolongnya pada peringkat ini. Lagipun, Baginda masih kecil ketika itu. Kemudian datang marhalah ketiga yang mana perlu kepada bantuan. Ketika ini Ismail sudah membesar yang mencapai peringkat boleh menolong bapanya.

Pada marhalah ini, Ismail muncul sebagai pembantu Nabi Ibrahim dalam mengangkat sendi binaan. Maka turunlah ayat yang bermaksud: “Dan (ingatlah) tatkala Ibrahim meninggikan (membina) dasar Baitullah berserta Ismail (seraya berdoa): Ya Tuhan kami, terimalah daripada kami (amalan kami), sesungguhnya engkaulah yang maha mendengar lagi maha mengetahui” – surah al-Baqarah, ayat 127.

Ayat ini menunjukkan penyertaan Ismail dalam doa itu menandakan bahawa Ismail sudah pun dalam usia yang ia tahu ia turut serta dalam beribadat kepada Tuhan yang ia minta perkenan.

Rumah Allah yang pertama dibina di atas muka bumi ini ialah rumah yang disambung binaannya oleh Nabi Ibrahim dan anaknya Ismail. Allah berfirman bermaksud: “Sesungguhnya rumah yang mula-mula dibangunkan untuk (tempat beribadat) manusia ialah Baitullah yang di Bakkah (Makkah) yang diberkahi dan menjadi petunjuk bagi semua manusia,” – surah Ali Imran, ayat 96.

Selagi rumah itu dijadikan untuk manusia, maka secara automatik yang meletakkannya (yang membinanya) adalah bukan daripada golongan manusia. Sesungguhnya Rumah Allah itu dibangunkan untuk tujuan ibadat kepada Allah.

Allah yang memilih tempatnya dan mengkhabarkan kepada malaikat akan batas-batasnya. Sebab itulah ayat ini datang dengan ayat pasif, tidak disebutkan siapa pembinanya (faa-‘il dalam bahasa Arabnya). Pembuatnya tidak disebutkan sebagai lambang pembinanya adalah ghaib, iaitu Allah, yang melaksanakannya juga di alam ghaib, iaitu malaikat.

Apabila kita melihat kepada perkataan ‘An-Naas’ dalam ayat itu, kita akan dapati bahawa ia mencakupi semua individu manusia, dari Adam hinggalah ke hari kiamat.

Tetapi, mungkin dipersoalkan, kenapakah permulaan itu bermula dari zaman Ibrahim, bukan daripada Adam lagi? Bukankah Adam juga manusia dan termasuk dalam perkataan ‘An-Naas’ seperti dalam ayat itu.

Sebagaimana yang disebutkan di atas bahawa sesungguhnya Kaabah dibina oleh malaikat sebelum Nabi Adam as. Ibnu Kathir dalam tafsirnya memetik hadis daripada sahih Muslim, daripada Abu Dzar berkata: “Aku telah bertanya Rasulullah saw mengenai masjid yang pertama sekali dibina di bumi, lalu Baginda menjawab: Masjidil-haram. Aku berkata: Kemudian apa? Masjidil-Aqsa, kata Baginda. Aku bertanya lagi: Berapa jarak masa antara kedua-duanya? Rasulullah menjawab: 40 tahun, kemudian tanah/bumi ini dijadikan untukmu sebagai masjid, maka di mana saja kamu berada, hendaklah kamu solat.”

Mujahid berkata: Saling berbangga-bangga antara orang Islam dan orang Yahudi. Yahudi berkata: Baitulmaqdis lebih agung dan lebih mulia daripada Kaabah kerana ia tempat yang pernah didatangi oleh nabi-nabi dan ia terletak di tempat yang suci.

Orang Islam berkata: Bahkan Kaabah lebih afdhal, lalu turunlah ayat daripada surah Ali Imran ini. Kata Mujahid lagi, Allah telah mencipta tempat asas rumah itu 2,000 tahun sebelum diciptakan mana-mana makhluk di atas muka bumi ini dan sendinya sudah pun ada di lapisan bawah bumi yang ketujuh.

Ada pun Masjidil Aqsa dibina oleh Nabi Sulaiman as sebagaimana hadis yang dikeluarkan oleh An-Nasaei dengan isnad yang sahih daripada Abdullah bin Amru.

Timbul kemusykilan di sini kerana jarak masa di antara Nabi Ibrahim dan Nabi Sulaiman agak panjang. Ada yang mengatakan lebih daripada 1,000 tahun. Sudah tentu ini ada percanggahan di antara dua hadis tadi.

Bagi menjawab persoalan ini, kita ambil satu riwayat yang mengatakan bahawa Nabi Ibrahim dan Nabi Sulaiman hanya memperbaharui saja asas yang dibina oleh orang lain sebagaimana ada riwayat yang mengatakan bahawa orang pertama membina Rumah Allah itu ialah Adam.

Maka tidak mustahil ada daripada anaknya yang membina Baitulmaqdis selepas 40 tahun Kaabah dibina. Kemungkinan juga ia dibina oleh malaikat selepas ia membina Kaabah di Makkah dengan izin Allah. Semua itu adalah mungkin, hanya Allah yang lebih mengetahui.

Baitullah terletak di Makkah seperti yang disebut dalam ayat daripada surah Ali Imran bahawa Rumah itu di Bakkah. Bakkah mengikut Al-Qurthubi ialah kawasan letaknya asas Baitullah itu manakala Makkah ialah negeri Makkah seluruhnya.

Jadilah Kaabah sekarang kiblat umat Islam di seluruh dunia. Ia adalah salah satu lambang penyatuan umat Islam seluruh dunia. Bahkan, umat sebelum Nabi Muhammad saw juga berjalan bersama nabi mereka ke arah mentauhidkan Allah yang Esa.

Lihatlah peristiwa Nabi Ibrahim ketika saat akhir Baginda sebelum meninggal dunia. Dipanggil semua anak cucunya (Ismail, Ishak, Yaakub dan lain-lain) dan diberikan wasiat untuk mereka.

Bukannya harta dan wang ringgit tetapi dengan pesanan: “Sesungguhnya Allah telah memilih agama ini bagimu, maka janganlah kamu mati kecuali dalam memeluk agama Islam,” – surah al-Baqarah, ayat 132.

Begitu juga tatkala Yaakub hendak meninggal dunia, Baginda bertanya kepada anaknya apa yang akan disembah mereka selepas Baginda meninggal dunia. Lalu mereka semua menjawab: “Kami akan menyembah Tuhanmu dan Tuhan nenek moyangmu, Ibrahim, Ismail, Yaakub, Ishak, (iaitu) Tuhan Yang Maha Esa dan kami hanya tunduk patuh kepada-Nya,” – surat al-Baqarah, ayat 133.

Akan tetapi, daripada keturunan inilah juga munculnya Yahuda (anak Yaakub) yang akhirnya namanya diambil sebagai satu agama, iaitu Yahudi. Dari keturunan ini jugalah lahirnya agama Nasrani yang menyeleweng lagi sesat. Alangkah baiknya andainya mereka semua kembali kepada agama asal nenek moyang mereka sebagaimana pengakuan mereka dulu.

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The Kaba has been reconstructed up to 12 times

Scholars and historians say that the Kaba has been reconstructed between five to 12 times.

The very first construction of the Kaba was done by Prophet Adam (peace be upon him). Allah says in the Quran that this was the first house that was built for humanity to worship Allah.

After this, Prophet Ibrahim and Ismail (peace be upon them) rebuilt the Kaba. The measurements of the Kaba's Ibrahimic foundation are as follows:
-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

Following this, there were several constructions before the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be uponj him) 's time.

Reconstruction of Kaba by Quraish

Prophet Muhammad participated in one of its reconstructions before he became a Prophet.

After a flash flood, the Kaba 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 Kaba.

Arguments erupted about who would have the honor of putting the Black Stone in its place. A fight was about to break out over the issue, when Abu Umayyah, Makkah's oldest man, proposed that the first man to enter the gate of the mosque the following morning would decide the matter. That man was the Prophet. The Makkans were ecstatic. "This is the trustworthy one (Al-Ameen)," they shouted in a chorus. "This is Muhammad".

He came to them and they asked him to decide on the matter. He agreed.

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 Kaba.

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

Construction After the Prophet's Time-Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr

The Syrian army destroyed the Kaba in Muharram 64 (Hijri date) and before the next Hajj Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr, may Allah be pleased with him, reconstructed the Kaba from the ground up.

Ibn az-Zubayr wanted to make the Kaba how the Prophet Muhammad wanted it, on the foundation of the Prophet Ibrahim.

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 Kaba], I would have added five cubits to it from the Hijr. Also, I would make two doors; one for people to enter therein and the other to exit." (Bukhari). Ibn az-Zubayr said, "Today, I can afford to do it and I do not fear the people.

Ibn az-Zubayr built the Kaba on Prophet Ibrahim's foundation. He put the roof on three pillars with the wood of Aoud (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 Kaba on the Prophet Ibrahim's foundation, which meant that the Hateem area was included. The Hateem is the area adjacent to the Kaba 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 Kaba to allow for light.

-moved the door of the Kaba to ground level and added a second door to the Kaba.

-added nine cubits to the height of the Kaba, 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 Kaba and hung cloth over them until the building was completed. People began to do Tawaf around these pillars at all times, so Tawaf of the Kaba was never abandoned, even during reconstruction.

During Abdul Malik bin Marwan's time

In 74 Hijri (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, restore 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 Kaba.

-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 Kaba to be constructed the way Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr had built it, he regretted his actions.

Imam Malik's advice to the Khalifa Harun al Rasheed Abbasi Khalifa Harun al Rasheed wanted to rebuild the Kaba the way the Prophet Muhammad 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 Kaba.

Based on this advice, Harun al Rasheed did not reconstruct the Kaba. 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 Hijri, 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 Shaban 1039 Hijri (2 April 1620 AD)  which continued constantly, so the water in the Kaba became almost close to half of its walls, about 10 feet from the ground level.

On Thursday the 20th of Shaban 1039 Hijri (3 April 1620 AD) , the eastern and western walls fell down.

When flood receded on Friday the 21st of Shaban, 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. The rest of the walls except for the one near the Black Stone, were demolished.

By the 2nd of Zul-Hijjah 1040 the construction was taking place under the guidance of Sultan Murad Khan, the Ottoman Khalifa. From the point of the Black stone and below, the current construction is the same as that done by Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr.

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 Quraysh had built it before Prophethood.

On Rajab 28 1377, One historian counted the total stones of the Kaba 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 Kaba In 1996

A major reconstruction of the Kaba 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 Kaba are the stones. All other material has been replaced including the ceiling and the roof and its wood.


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What is inside the Kaba?

Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi is the president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). He had the opportunity to go inside the Kaba in October 1998. In an interview with Sound Vision, he described the following features:

-there are two pillars inside (others report 3 pillars)

-there is a table on the side to put items like perfume

-there are two lantern-type lamps hanging from the ceiling

-the space can accommodate about 50 people

-there are no electric lights inside

-the walls and floors are of marble

-there are no windows inside

-there is only one door

-the upper inside walls of the Kaba were covered with some kind of curtain with the Kalima written on it


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The Covering of the Kaaba

As for the covering of the House itself, it is said that the first to cover it was the Tubba [Tubba' - was the title of the Kings of Yemen.] Abu Bakr As'ad, who hang on it the sheets embroidered with silver threads. His successors followed this custom. Then people started covering it with sheets of various kinds - putting one upon the other. Whenever a covering looked old, a new one was put over it. This continued until Qusayy came on the scene. He imposed a tax on the Arabs for putting a new covering every year. This system continued in his descendants. Abu Rabi`ah Ibn Al-Mughirah used to put a covering one year and all the clans of Quraysh did so the next year.

The Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, covered the House with Yemenite sheets. This custom continued. When the `Abbaside caliph Al- Mahi went for pilgrimage, the attendants of the House complained to him about the coverings that had accumulated on the roof of the Kaaba. They said there was a danger of the roof collapsing down because of that load. The King ordered that all the old coverings should be removed and that every year a new covering should replace the old one - and that custom is followed up till now.

The Kaaba is draped from inside too. The first to do so was the mother of `Abbas, son of `Abdul-Muttalib - she had done so because of a vow she had taken regarding her son- `Abbas.


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Prestige of the Kaaba

The Kaaba was held in high esteem by various nations. The Hindus respected it, believing that the spirit of Siva, the third person of their Trimurty, entered into the Black Stone, when he was accompanied by his wife visiting Hijjaz.

The Sabaeans of Persia and Chaledonia counted it as one of their seven holy sanctuaries [The seven sanctuaries were: (1) The Kaaba; (2) Mars - on the summit of a mountain in Isfahan; (3) "Mandusan"? in India; (4) Naw Bahar in Balkh; (5) House of Ghamdan in San`a; (6) Kawsan in Farghana, Khurasan; and (7) a House in Upper China. Many of them said that it was the House of the Saturn - because it was the most ancient, and the longest in existence.

The Persians too respected the Kaaba, believing that the spirit of Hormoz was present therein; they sometimes went for its pilgrimage.

The Jews honored it and worshipped God there according to the religion of Ibrahim. There were many pictures and images in the Kaaba, including those of Ibrahim and Isma`il which had divining arrows in their hands. Also there were pictures of the virgin Mary and Christ - which indicates that the Christians too respected the Kaaba like the Jews.

The Arabs held it in the highest esteem; they believed that it was the House of Allah, and came to its pilgrimage from every place. They believed the Kaaba to be built by Ibrahim and the hail to be a part of his religion which had come to them as his legacy.


Learn more about arguments on issues regarding Qiblat direction from this page The Qiblah Of Early Mosques: Jerusalem Or Makkah? by  M S M Saifullah, Muhammad Ghoniem, cAbd al-Rahmân Robert Squires, Mansûr Ahmed & Jason Hannan.

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Compiled by Norizan Ahmad
while waiting for my PhD proposal's vetting on Feb 2002, Alhamdulillah, I got through the processes and graduated in August 2005.