THE BLACK STONE
THE HOLY KA'ABA
WHAT IS THE KA'ABA?
The Ka'aba is the most sacred place for Muslims,other names are Bait-al-Atiq, the Ancient House and Bait-al-Haram, The Sacred House. The Kaaba is one of the oldest sites on earth and purportedly the oldest mosque on earth. Even before the advent of Islam, it was the place of worship for the people of Arab.
The Holy Kaaba is cubical in shape and built around a sacred "Black Stone" Al-Ḥajaru al-Aswad which is tucked away in the eastern corner about five feet off the ground. The Kaaba is covered with a large black cloth made of silk with the verses of the Holy Quran embroidered with gold on the cloth. This cloth is called kiswa and is changed annually.
Ḥajaru al-Aswad (the black stone) is believed to have been sent down from heaven to mark the spot where Allah (God) wanted Adam (PBUH) to establish a place of worship on earth similar to Allah's house in heaven called "Baitul Ma'amoor." It must be kept in mind that Muslims do not worship the Holy Kaaba nor do they worship Ḥajaru al-Aswad (the black stone) The Kaaba is the symbol of the Oneness of Allah and signifies the Supremacy of Allah, which is also the first pillar of Islam that there is no god but Allah. It is also the Qibla which means the direction that Muslims all around the world face while performing Salah(Prayer), the second pillar of Islam. It is hence, the uniting point for the Muslims.
Construction of Ka'aba was first done by Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and his son Prophet Ismail (AS). Despite the fact that Prophet Ibrahim built the Kaaba for the worship of Allah alone, the Arabs started occupying the Kaaba with idols for worship.
During the early years of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) before his prophethood the Ka’aba was damaged by floods and was rebuilt again. This responsibility was divided amongst the Quraish's four tribes, when the Black stone was to be put 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 Muhammad (PBUH). The Makkans were ecstatic, "This is the trustworthy one (Al-Ameen)," they shouted in a chorus"This is Muhammad (PBUH)".
He came to them and they asked him to decide on the matter. He agreed.He advised them to place the stone in a cloak and ordered the heads of each Tribe each to take an end and bring the cloak nearer the corner on the eastern side. He himself then took out the stone and placed it in its position. It has been fixed there ever since.
Ever since then the Holy Ka'aba has been modified and altered due to factors such as rain and flooding. Most importantly, the changes in the structure of Holy Ka'aba have been done to accommodate the ever-increasing number of pilgrims that arrive in Mecca to perform Hajj around the Holy Ka'aba.
INTERIOR OF THE HOLY KA'ABA
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