Courtesy: The Muslim Observer, Vol II, Issue Eleven, March 17-23, 2000.

Books and E-Books
On Muslim History and Civilization

The small, cubed building known as the Kaba [Ka'bah] 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.

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 13 x 9 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 [Abraham], Ismail [Ishmael] and Muhammad (peace be upon them all). [Prophets of Allah]. No other building has had this honor. Yet, not very much is [commonly] known about the details of this small but significant building. Did you know the Kaba was reconstructed as recently as close to four years ago? Did you know that the Kaba has been subjected to danger by natural disasters like flooding, as well as human attacks? If you didn't keep reading, you'll find some rarely heard of information discussed below and discover facts about the Kaba many are unaware of.

The Other Names of the Kaba

Literally, Kaba in Arabic means a high place with respect and prestige. The word Kaba 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.

The History of the Kaba

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. 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 Ismail 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 Prophet Muhammad's time.

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....

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 the floors are of the 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.

Allah: Allah is the proper name in Arabic for The One and Only God, The Creator and Sustainer of the universe. It is used by the Arab Christians and Jews for the God (Eloh-im in Hebrew; 'Allaha' in Aramaic, the mother tongue of Jesus, pbuh). The word Allah does not have a plural or gender. Allah does not have any associate or partner, and He does not beget nor was He begotten. SWT is an abbreviation of Arabic words that mean 'Glory Be To Him.'
s or pbuh: Peace Be Upon Him. This expression is used for all Prophets of Allah.

Courtesy: The Muslim Observer, Vol II, Issue Eleven, March 17-23, 2000.


E-Books on Islam and Muslims


Recommend This Site To:
Your Name: