Tawaf begins from the corner of the Kaaba with the Black Stone. Introduction to mosque architecture. The fall of the city and the death of 'Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr allowed the Umayyads under 'Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan to finally reunite all the Islamic possessions and end the long civil war. One of them reads as follows: "God suffices and wrote Maysara bin Ibrahim Servant of the Kaaba (Khadim al-Kaaba).". Pilgrims go around the Kaaba (the most sacred site in Islam) seven times in a counterclockwise direction; the first three at a hurried pace on the outer part of the Mataaf and the latter four times closer to the Kaaba at a leisurely pace. 'Honored Ka'bah'), is a building at the center of Islam's most important mosque, the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Hans Wehr, Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic, 1994. Another name of Holy Kaaba … Tradition goes that the Kaaba was ordained by Allah (swt) 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 ceremony takes place on the 1st of Sha'baan, the eighth month of the Islamic calendar, approximately thirty days before the start of the month of Ramadan and on the 15th of Muharram, the first month. These later were installed in the Kaaba and its environs. The truth is that no one knows who built the Kaaba. The holy Kaaba is both a spiritual sanctuary and symbolic monument of Islam. [Quran 2:144] In 628 CE, Muhammad led a group of Muslims towards Mecca with the intention of performing the Umrah, but was prevented from doing so by the Quraysh. -said that Adam built first structure there. Timur Kuran, “Commercial Life under Islamic Rule,” in The Long Divergence : How Islamic Law Held Back the Middle East. As has already been posted on here, Islamic tradition - and the tradition at the center of the Haaj - states that it was a construction of the Prophet Abraham, who had traveled there to settle down with Hagar and Ishmael, although some stories even suggest it was a home for earlier Prophets, too. Kaaba a square stone building in the centre of the Great Mosque at Mecca, the site most holy to Muslims and towards which they must face when praying. " In Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam, Patricia Crone argues that the identification of Macoraba with Mecca is false and that Macoraba was a town in southern Arabia in what was then known as Arabia Felix.  Edward Gibbon believed that this was the Kaaba. During the Hajj of 930 CE, the Shi'ite Qarmatians attacked Mecca under Abu Tahir al-Jannabi, defiled the Zamzam Well with the bodies of pilgrims and stole the Black Stone, taking it to the oasis in Eastern Arabia known as al-Aḥsāʾ, where it remained until the Abbasids ransomed it in 952 CE. The Kaaba has been repaired and reconstructed many times. " Armstrong further says that the Kaaba was thought to be at the center of the world, with the Gate of Heaven directly above it. In the Qur'an, the Ka'bah is also mentioned by the following names: The masjid surrounding the Kaaba is called al-Masjid al-Haram ("The Sacred Mosque"). A picture of 'Isa and his mother Maryam was situated inside the Kaaba and later found by Muhammad after his conquest of Mecca. The Kaaba.  According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, "before the rise of Islam, it was revered as a sacred sanctuary and was a site of pilgrimage. In 930 the Black Stone itself was carried away by an extreme Shiʿi sect known as the Qarmatians and held almost 20 years for ransom. The Kaaba is built from grey granite and each corner points to one of the four points of the compass. , At the culmination of his mission, in 630 CE, after the allies of the Quraysh, the Banu Bakr, violated the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, Muhammad conquered Mecca. During the first half of Muhammad's time as a prophet while he was at Mecca, he and his followers were severely persecuted which eventually led to their migration to Medina in 622 CE. The Kaaba’s eastern cornerstone is known as the Black Stone, a relic traditionally dated to the life of Adam and Eve. The site may not work properly if you don't, If you do not update your browser, we suggest you visit, Press J to jump to the feed. Both the roof and ceiling (collectively dual-layered) are made of stainless steel-capped teak wood. A door was raised above ground level to protect the shrine from intruders and flood waters. Muslims believe that Abraham (known as Ibrahim in the Islamic tradition), and his son, Ismail, constructed the Kaaba. Since he lived in tents, he built that place for the worship of God and for the offering of sacrifices. The Kaaba marked the location where the sacred world intersected with the profane; the embedded Black Stone was a further symbol of this as a meteorite that had fallen from the sky and linked heaven and earth. Crone argues that if Mecca had been a well-known center of trade, it would have been mentioned by later authors such as Procopius, Nonnosus, or the Syrian church chroniclers writing in Syriac. It attracts almost 2 million people annually. The name he gives it allows us to identify it as a South Arabian foundation created around a sanctuary. The Kaaba with the signature minarets. Ibn Kathir regarded this tradition as weak and preferred instead the narration by Ali ibn Abi Talib that although several other temples might have preceded the Kaaba, it was the first Bayt Allah ("House of God"), dedicated solely to Him, built by His instruction, and sanctified and blessed by Him, as stated in Quran 22:26–29. After the construction was complete, God enjoined the descendants of Ishmael to perform an annual pilgrimage: the Hajj and the Korban, sacrifice of cattle. Up Next. It stands on the site of a pre-Islamic shrine said to have been built by Abraham, and a sacred Black Stone is set in its south-eastern corner. Indeed no Muslim will deny that there may have been as many as 360 stone idols located in and around the Kaaba in Mohammed's day. Muslims initially considered Jerusalem as their qibla, or prayer direction, and faced toward it while offering prayers; however, pilgrimage to the Kaaba was considered a religious duty though its rites were not yet finalized. The keys to the Kaaba are held by the Banī Shaybah (Arabic: بني شيبة) tribe, an honor bestowed upon them by Muhammad. Another theory says that it holds astrological significance, perhaps like the pyramids at Giza. Allah in his infinite Mercy ordained a similar place on earth and Prophet Adam was the first to build this place. During Muhammad’s early ministry, the Kaaba was the qiblah, or direction of prayer, for the Muslim community. The Prophet started striking them with a stick he had in his hand and was saying, "Truth has come and Falsehood has vanished..." (Qur'an 17:81)", Al-Azraqi further conveys how Muhammad, after he entered the Kaaba on the day on the conquest, ordered all the pictures erased except that of Maryam, Shihab (said) that the Prophet (peace be upon him) entered the Kaaba on the day of the conquest, and in it was a picture of the angels (mala'ika), among others, and he saw a picture of Ibrahim and he said: "May Allah kill those representing him as a venerable old man casting arrows in divination (shaykhan yastaqsim bil-azlam)." The sacred nature of the site predates Islam: tradition says that the Kaaba was built by Adam and rebuilt by Abraham and the descendants of Noah. He did so on the basis of a tradition (found in several hadith collections) that the hatīm was a remnant of the foundations of the Abrahamic Kaaba, and that Muhammad himself had wished to rebuild it so as to include it. The Kaaba is believed by Muslims to have been rebuilt several times throughout history, most famously by Ibrahim (Abraham) and his son Ismail (Ishmael), when he returned to the valley of Mecca several years after leaving his wife Hajar (Hagar) and Ismail there upon Allah's command. This short Nestorian (Christian origin) chronicle written no later than the 660s CE covers the history up to the Arab conquest and also gives an interesting note on Arabian geography. There was nothing special about Mecca's kaaba and stone aside from the fact that they happened to be in Mohammed's hometown. The Kaaba was the object of pre-Islamic pagan worship, threatened by the rise of Islam. Then he saw the picture of Maryam, so he put his hands on it and he said: "Erase what is in it [the Kaaba] in the way of pictures except the picture of Maryam.  According to the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah, 6,791,100 pilgrims arrived for the Umrah pilgrimage in the Islamic year 1439 AH,[a] a 3.6% increase from the previous year, with 2,489,406 others arriving for the 1440 AH Hajj. Later, a house of worship was built on the location and was lost during the flood in Noah's time and was finally rebuilt by Abraham and Ishmael as mentioned later in the Quran. The mosque was built around the original Kaaba.  Again, Crone disputes this etymology.  and Bayt Allah al-Haram (Arabic: بيت الله الحرام, romanized: Bayt Allah il-Haram, lit. The Kaaba is the holiest place in Islam. The interior of the Kaaba is bare except for three supporting wooden pillars and gold hanging lamps. 'The Cube', Arabic pronunciation: [kaʕ.bah]), also spelled Ka'bah or Kabah, sometimes referred to as al-Kaʿbah al-Musharrafah (Arabic: ٱلْكَعْبَة ٱلْمُشَرَّفَة, romanized: al-Kaʿbah al-Musharrafah, lit. , Narrated Abdullah: When the Prophet entered Mecca on the day of the conquest, there were 360 idols around the Kaaba. Please read the rules before participating, as we remove all comments which break the rules. The Holy Kaaba stands at the very heart of the Islamic world both physically and figuratively. It argues that the Arabs of the region had had their faith corrupted and had become polytheists, and the home of Abraham that had been built in Mecca - the Ka'ba - had become a shrine of veneration to the numerous Gods of the Arabian milieu. A Mosque in the area of Medina, possibly: This page was last edited on 13 December 2020, at 22:29. Preparations for the washing start a day before the agreed date, with the mixing of Zamzam water with several luxurious perfumes including Tayef rose, 'oud and musk. As for specifics on the building itself, we don't have great or reliable details on the condition of the structure prior to the coming of Islam. Tawaf (Arabic: طَوَاف, lit. The same year, during the reign of Ottoman Emperor Murad IV, the Kaaba was rebuilt with granite stones from Mecca, and the Mosque was renovated. The detailed story of how the Kaaba was built by Abraham and his son Ishmael peace be upon them: The sections of this article are: 1- The detailed story of how the Kaaba was built by Abraham and his son Ishmael, peace be upon them. The Kaaba was a sanctuary in pre-Islamic times. Since this is AskHistorians, it's probably worth mentioning that there is no evidence that Abraham ever existed. The theory holds that the Kaaba was originally a place to store the relics or objects used in rituals at Zamzam and eventually became a holy site itself.  He performed the Hajj in 632 CE called the Hujjat ul-Wada' ("Farewell Pilgrimage") since Muhammad prophesied his impending death on this event.. It is located inside the Grand Mosque in Makkah (Mecca) Saudi Arabia. Grunebaum in Classical Islam points out that the experience of divinity of that period was often associated with the fetishism of stones, mountains, special rock formations, or "trees of strange growth. The Kaaba is a large cube-shaped building inside the mosque known as al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.Muslims believe that the Kaaba was built by the command of God. The basic shape and structure of the Kaaba have not changed since then.. Eventually, idol worshippers begun using the Kaaba to store their pagan idols. Hawting, G.R. When Muslims travel to Mecca to perform the hajj they reenact important moments of their Abraham story. 'House of Allah').  The circling is believed to demonstrate the unity of the believers in the worship of the One God, as they move in harmony together around the Kaaba, while supplicating to God. This idol was one of the chief deities of the ruling Quraysh tribe. The ceiling itself is of a darker colour, similar in hue to the lower trimming. The floor of the interior stands about 2.2 m (7 ft 3 in) above the ground area where tawaf is performed. , Imoti contends that there were numerous such Kaaba sanctuaries in Arabia at one time, but this was the only one built of stone. One of the most convincing arguments I've heard is that there was a well in Mecca called "Zamzam" which was a holy site before the Kaaba was built. Islam prohibits the worship of the black stone, Kaaba, and/or any other object beside Allah Almighty! Muhammad was driven out of Mecca in 620 C.E. Mother Abiona or Amtelai the daughter of Karnebo, Slayers of Saleh's she-camel (Qaddar ibn Salif and Musda' ibn Dahr). A similar view is printed on the obverse side of 500-riyal (approximately 133 USD) notes in Saudi Arabia. Apart from praying, Muslims generally consider facing the Qibla while reciting the Quran to be a part of good etiquette. The Muslim religion holds that the Kaaba was built by Abraham and Ishmael after hearing a direct revelation from Allah. Along the top corners of the walls runs a Black cloth embroidered with gold Qur'anic verses. Robert Hoyland's Arabia and the Arabs is an excellent source of information for the pre-Islamic religious traditions if you want to know more. [Quran 22:26–33], According to Islamic tradition, over the millennia after Ishmael's death, his progeny and the local tribes who settled around the Zamzam well gradually turned to polytheism and idolatry. The Kaaba, the House of Allah which is situated in the centre of Mecca, symbolises the Unity of God Who alone is worthy of worship. According to Ishaq's biography, Muhammad's solution was to have all the clan elders raise the cornerstone on a cloak, after which Muhammad set the stone into its final place with his own hands. Muslims originally prayed towards Jerusalem, but then switched to Mecca (after the hijra I think) for the same reason lots of European pagan sites became churches. Tradition holds that it was originally a simple unroofed rectangular structure. The Kaaba is a cuboid-shaped structure made of stones. An excellent source for some of the building work that has taken place around the Ka'ba and the Mosque which was built to surround it - the Masjid al-Haram - can be found here. Taha Hussein said, “This is something really clear because the Kaaba was a new structure that was built before Islam existed.  Inside the Kaaba, the floor is made of marble and limestone. Learn kaaba with free interactive flashcards. Various sculptures and paintings were held inside the Kaaba. This seems improbable. We gave the site, to Ibrahim, 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). However, again according to Islamic teaching, the monotheistic and correct religion was lost to the Arabic peninsula. After the centuries after Prophet Adam (PBUH) built the Kaaba, two people came across the desert to Makkah Valley with a child. This allowed trade to thrive, and it is argued that the worship of the many Arabian deities brought wealth to Mecca and the region. The Bāb ut-Tawbah—on the right wall (right of the entrance) opens to an enclosed staircase that leads to a hatch, which itself opens to the roof. Allah said in the Qur'an: Sahih International: Indeed, the first House [of worship] established for mankind was that at Makkah - blessed and a guidance for the worlds. Pickthall: Lo! Crone believes that this is an exaggeration and that Mecca may only have been an outpost for trading with nomads for leather, cloth, and camel butter. The scholars differed as to who built the Ka’bah. The structure was severely damaged by a fire on 3 Rabi' I 64 AH or Sunday, 31 October 683 CE, during the first siege of Mecca in the war between the Umayyads and 'Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr, an early Muslim who ruled Mecca for many years between the death of ʿAli and the consolidation of power by the Umayyads. I'm going to leave the reason it is sacred to Islam to someone who knows more about the subject. The Kaaba was bombarded with stones in the second siege of Mecca in 692, in which the Umayyad army was led by al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf.  Alfred Guillaume, in his translation of the Ibn Ishaq's seerah, says that the Kaaba itself might be referred to in the feminine form. Encyclopaedia of the Qur'an p. 76, Key to numbered parts translated from, accessed 2 December, CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (, Al-Muwatta Of Iman Malik Ibn Ana, p. 186, Anas, 2013, Islamic New Year#Gregorian correspondence, "As Hajj begins, more changes and challenges in store", "The Holy Land, Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Qur'an, Sunnah and other Islamic Literary Source", "IN PICTURES: Six doors of Ka'aba over 5,000 years", "Hijazi Rock Inscriptions, Love of the Prophet, and Very Early Islam: Essays from Informed Comment", "Muhammad's Birth and Forty Years prior to Prophethood", "On this day in 683 AD: The Kaaba, the holiest site in Islam, is burned to the ground", "Saudi Arabia's Top Artist Ahmad bin Ibrahim Passes Away", "الرسول شرّف بني شيبة بحمل مفتاح الكعبة حتى قيام الساعة", Ka'bah info: Everything you want to know about the Holy Ka'bah, ibn Abdullah ibn Abdul-Muttalib ibn Hashim, Current Ummah of Islam (Ummah of Muhammad), https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Kaaba&oldid=994059904, Religious buildings and structures converted into mosques, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from November 2020, Articles with dead external links from November 2020, Wikipedia articles with TDVİA identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, The Agency of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, The entrance is a door set 2.13 m (7 ft 0 in) above the ground on the north-eastern wall of the, This slant structure, covering three sides of the. Behold! Hajj. To incorporate already established religious rituals and traditions into his "new" religion would have provided a comfortable transition for those committed to the old ways, while ensuring the local elites remained in an area shielded from warfare and where pilgrims would continue to come and spend money. I'm not an Arabist, but I've spent quite a bit of time reading about the Middle East in general. The prophet Muhammad was apparently part of the priesthood of the Kaaba at one time. Thanks for the learningwords! It could have been dedicated to a … The Kaaba returned to the cube shape it had taken during Muhammad's time. 'Abdullah rebuilt it to include the hatīm. Wow. Ibn Ishaq's Sirat Rasūl Allāh, one of the biographies of Muhammad (as reconstructed and translated by Guillaume), describes Muhammad settling a quarrel between the Meccan clans as to which clan should set the Black Stone in its place. Some speculate that the circumambulation around the Kaaba during the Islamic hajj may have originally been a symbol of the movement of celestial bodies. Three pillars (some erroneously report two) stand inside the Kaaba, with a small altar or table set between one and the other two. His first action was to remove statues and images from the Kaaba. I am not an expert in pre-Islamic Arabia, but I do have some knowledge of the area; as I recall, the Kaa'ba was already a sacred artifact in the Arabian peninsula centuries before the rise of Islam, and the Koran makes it fairly clear that non-muslims in the area considered it sacred themselves, otherwise they wouldn't have 'profaned' the artifact with idols. That is interesting. Filmed before and during the Covid-19 outbreak The Ask Project is made possible by donations from viewers like you. Introduction to mosque architecture. Introduction to Islam. Islamic traditions also says that once the Prophet Muhammad had established his new religion in the nearby town of Medina. I realise it is likely that much of this is about as accurate as the Iliad and the Odyssey, but it's something I've never seen before and find really fascinating.  However, Ian D. Morris argues that Gibbon had misread the source: Diodorus puts the temple too far north for it to have been Mecca.. In 693 CE, 'Abd al-Malik had the remnants of al-Zubayr's Kaaba razed, and rebuilt it on the foundations set by the Quraysh. Several idols were placed within the Kaaba representing deities of different aspects of nature and different tribes. So, when Muhammad and his young Islamic community gained control of Mecca it was very important to them to destroy the idols being held in the Kaaba and (in their minds) return it to its proper use; which was to serve as a tribute to Allah/God. Setting aside any tribal feuds, they would worship their gods in the Kaaba and trade with each other in the city. What prophets were believed to have come before Abraham? For a more basic introduction, Karen Armstrong's early chapters here are foundational reading that includes much of the information I've mentioned. Hajj pilgrims are generally advised to "make ṭawāf" at least twice – once as part of the Hajj, and again before leaving Mecca.. " According to historian Eduard Glaser, the name "Kaaba" may have been related to the southern Arabian or Ethiopian word "mikrab", signifying a temple. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts, Moderator | Ancient Greece | Ancient Near East.  The Kaaba's appearance has not changed since then. When the idol was moved inside the Kaaba, it had seven arrows in front of it, which were used for divination. (Princeton University Press, 2011), 45–62. , Building at the center of Islam's most important mosque, the Masjid al-Haram, This article is about the Islamic holy site in Mecca. The wikipedia page on the Ka'ba is actually quite good in helping to explain some of the events that surround the Islamic hajj, and is a really great starting point for better understanding why it is important to Muslims. A statue of Hubal (the principal idol of Mecca) and statues of other pagan deities are known to have been placed in or around the Kaaba. with alternating courses of masonry and wood.  Ibn Ishaq says that the timber for the reconstruction of the Kaaba came from a Greek ship that had been wrecked on the Red Sea coast at Shu'aybah and that the work was undertaken by a Coptic carpenter called Baqum. The Ka'aba is considered the center of the Muslim world and is a unifying focal point for Islamic worship. , The Governor of the Makkah Province and accompanying dignitaries clean the interior of the Kaaba using cloths dipped in Zamzam water scented with Oud perfume.
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