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. Since this is AskHistorians, it's probably worth mentioning that there is no evidence that Abraham ever existed. , Narrated Abdullah: When the Prophet entered Mecca on the day of the conquest, there were 360 idols around the Kaaba. You are correct that tradition holds that he built it, but there's no reason to take that remotely seriously as a historical answer (I'm assuming that's what OP is looking for when he asks who "really built" it. The structure beneath the shroud is quite plain. Eventually, idol worshippers begun using the Kaaba to store their pagan idols. , Based on an earlier report by Agatharchides of Cnidus, Diodorus Siculus mentions a temple along the Red Sea coast, "which is very holy and exceedingly revered by all Arabians". During Muhammad's lifetime (570–632 CE), the Kaaba was considered a holy site by the local Arabs.  Muhammad's Isra' is said to have taken him from the Kaaba to the Masjid al-Aqsa and heavenwards from there. Google Classroom Facebook Twitter.  The Kaaba's appearance has not changed since then. Introduction to Islam. Several rituals were adopted in the pilgrimage including doing naked circumambulation. Not much else can be said there.  However, Ian D. Morris argues that Gibbon had misread the source: Diodorus puts the temple too far north for it to have been Mecca.. 'Depiction') of Maryam and 'Isa. 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.  Inside the Kaaba, the floor is made of marble and limestone. The Kaaba is depicted on the reverse of 500 Saudi riyal, and the 2000 Iranian rial banknotes.. 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 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 Allah. Kaaba definition at Dictionary.com, a free online dictionary with pronunciation, synonyms and translation. ), New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast, More posts from the AskHistorians community. , Writing in the Encyclopedia of Islam, Wensinck identifies Mecca with a place called Macoraba mentioned by Ptolemy. 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. Millions of Muslims travel to Mecca, Saudi Arabia every year and in a single day, Mecca is capable of attracting over two million Muslim followers for the annual hajj pilgrimage, considered one of the five pillars of Islam . There's a rather bizarre Islamic tradition that Alexander the Great visited the Arabian peninsula, and more specifically the Kaa'ba; i've only recently encountered this, and I was wondering if you could direct me towards how this tradition seems to have come about; the implication was that a) the kaa'ba existed in c.323 BC, b) that Alexander visited Arabia, c) that at the time it was the centre of a monotheistic religion. The Kaaba’s original architecture has remained the same for centuries. 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. with alternating courses of masonry and wood. After successfully gaining control of Mecca, he destroyed all of the idols of the Arabian deities that had been placed by the Arabs inside the Ka'ba. , Imoti contends that there were numerous such Kaaba sanctuaries in Arabia at one time, but this was the only one built of stone. [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. Does the Kaaba actually have anything to do with Abraham or was that just another thing Muhammad made up? In Samaritan literature, the Samaritan Book of the Secrets of Moses (Asatir) claims that Ishmael and his eldest son Nebaioth built the Kaaba as well as the city of Mecca. 'Cloth') is changed. The Kaaba was the object of pre-Islamic pagan worship, threatened by the rise of Islam. Kaaba in Mecca, demonstrating that Abraham could not have built it, even if the city of Mecca had existed before the 4th century AD. However, the most significant increase in their numbers is during Ramadan and the hajj, when millions of pilgrims gather for tawaf. ", In her book Islam: A Short History, Karen Armstrong asserts that the Kaaba was officially dedicated to Hubal, a Nabatean deity, and contained 360 idols which probably represented the days of the year. Accept (this service) from us: For Thou art the All-Hearing, the All-knowing. Hajj. Rock inscriptions from early Islam: Documentary evidence for the Kaaba. The prophet Muhammad was apparently part of the priesthood of the Kaaba at one time.  He performed the Hajj in 632 CE called the Hujjat ul-Wada' ("Farewell Pilgrimage") since Muhammad prophesied his impending death on this event.. The wall directly adjacent to the entrance of the Kaaba has six tablets inlaid with inscriptions, and there are several more tablets along the other walls. 'House of God') and is the qibla (Arabic: قِبْلَة, direction of prayer) for Muslims around the world when performing salah. Wow. 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. They are also to chant the Basmala and Takbir each time they complete one revolution. Pickthall: Lo! The Kaaba has been repaired and reconstructed many times. ", Ibn Kathir, in his famous exegesis (tafsir) of the Quran, mentions two interpretations among the Muslims on the origin of the Kaaba. These later were installed in the Kaaba and its environs.  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. Taha Hussein said, “This is something really clear because the Kaaba was a new structure that was built before Islam existed. The Kaaba and the Mataaf are surrounded by pilgrims every day of the Islamic year, except the 9th of Dhu al-Hijjah, known as the Day of Arafah, on which the cloth covering the structure, known as the Kiswah (Arabic: كسوة, romanized: Kiswah, lit. [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. Muslims believe that Abraham (known as Ibrahim in the Islamic tradition), and his son, Ismail, constructed the Kaaba. 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.  Members of the tribe greet visitors to the inside of the Kaaba on the occasion of the cleaning ceremony. The Ka'aba is considered the center of the Muslim world and is a unifying focal point for Islamic worship. 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. This idol was one of the chief deities of the ruling Quraysh tribe. This is the currently selected item. There is also a very clear argument to be main against the Islamic tradition for the practical purpose of what became the Hajj.  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. -said that Adam built first structure there. As Islam’s holiest shrine, it is not surprising that the …  A recent study has revisited the arguments for Macoraba and found them unsatisfactory. The scholars differed as to who built the Ka’bah. 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. This allowed trade to thrive, and it is argued that the worship of the many Arabian deities brought wealth to Mecca and the region.  It is considered by Muslims to be the Bayt Allah (Arabic: بَيْت ٱللَّٰه, lit. Lastly, I think it important to mention that the the way most people think the Ka'ba looks is from pictures which almost always include the special shroud which is created to cover it, known in Arabic as kiswa. 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). Verily, the first House (of worship) appointed for mankind was that at Bakkah (Makkah), full of blessing, and a guidance for mankind. This is the second dateable text mentioning the Kaaba, first being some verses from the Quran. Email. It attracts almost 2 million people annually. 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. The Kaaba’s original architecture has remained the same for centuries. 'Abdullah rebuilt it to include the hatīm. Looking at pictures now it's very obvious that it's a covering, but I always assumed that it (the facade at least) was made of black marble. 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. For other uses, see, Every year, from the eighth to the twelfth day of. The Five Pillars of Islam. Many Muslim and academic historians stress the power and importance of the pre-Islamic Mecca. One of them reads as follows: "God suffices and wrote Maysara bin Ibrahim Servant of the Kaaba (Khadim al-Kaaba).". Tawaf begins from the corner of the Kaaba with the Black Stone. The vicinity of the shrine was also made a sanctuary where bloodshed and war were forbidden. I'm not an Arabist, but I've spent quite a bit of time reading about the Middle East in general. 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. The ceiling itself is of a darker colour, similar in hue to the lower trimming. The Kaaba- Another Prove That Islam Is The Religion Of Peace / Monarch University Built By Bishop Tom Samson Where School Fees Is N500k (Photos / First Customized Church In Built In Benue State (Photos) 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. After the construction was complete, God enjoined the descendants of Ishmael to perform an annual pilgrimage: the Hajj and the Korban, sacrifice of cattle. Undefined decorations, money and a pair of ram's horns were recorded to be inside the Kaaba,. The Kaaba in Mecca is without equal in veneration in Islamic tradition, and had been revered by Arab pagans long before Muhammad’s birth. The Holy Kaaba stands at the very heart of the Islamic world both physically and figuratively. The Kaaba is the holiest site in Islam, and is often called by names such as the Bayt Allah (Arabic: بيت الله, romanized: Bayt Allah, lit. 'Honored Ka'bah'), is a building at the center of Islam's most important mosque, the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Abraham and son built the original Kaaba structure, Muhammad redirected it to Islam and monotheism -dedicated to Muhammad on his return to Mecca-focal point for Muslim Worship -houses black stone, used to house pagan relics but Muhammed cleansed all shrines of pagan idols. Saudi archeologist Mohammed Almaghthawi discovered some rock inscriptions mentioning the Masjid Al Haram and the Kaaba, dating back to the first and second centuries of Islam. The keys to the Kaaba are held by the Banī Shaybah (Arabic: بني شيبة) tribe, an honor bestowed upon them by Muhammad. 'Cleaning of the Sacred Cube'). , Building at the center of Islam's most important mosque, the Masjid al-Haram, This article is about the Islamic holy site in Mecca. ['Ata'] said: "Yes, there was set in it a picture of Maryam adorned (muzawwaqan); in her lap, her son Isa sat adorned. That is interesting. The basic shape and structure of the Kaaba have not changed since then.. Allah in his infinite Mercy ordained a similar place on earth and Prophet Adam was the first to build this place. [Quran 2:143–144] The direction faced during prayer is the direction of where the Kaaba is, relative to the person praying. The Kaaba is a cuboid-shaped structure made of stones.  It is the most sacred site in Islam. His first action was to remove statues and images from the Kaaba. ", And remember Ibrahim and Ismail raised the foundations of the House (With this prayer): "Our Lord! Tawaf (Arabic: طَوَاف, lit.  There were paintings of idols decorating the walls. A similar view is printed on the obverse side of 500-riyal (approximately 133 USD) notes in Saudi Arabia. The prophet Ibrahim (the biblical Abraham) and his son Ishmael rebuilt the Kaaba on the foundations left by Adam. Apart from praying, Muslims generally consider facing the Qibla while reciting the Quran to be a part of good etiquette. Setting aside any tribal feuds, they would worship their gods in the Kaaba and trade with each other in the city. When the idol was moved inside the Kaaba, it had seven arrows in front of it, which were used for divination. 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. The Kaaba has been destroyed, damaged, and subsequently rebuilt several times since. 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. As far as I understand it, the Kaaba is sacred to Islam because it was sacred to Muhammad (meaning, it was already considered an Arab holy site by the late 6th century).  A king named Tubba' is considered the first one to have a door be built for the Kaaba according to sayings recorded in Al-Azraqi's Akhbar Makka.  The others also allegedly had counterparts of the Black Stone. 'The Sacred House of Allah'). Setting aside any tribal feuds, they would worship their gods in the Kaaba and trade with each other in the city.  A hadith in Sahih al-Bukhari states that the Kaaba was the first masjid on Earth, and the second was the Temple in Jerusalem. This is an early record from the Rashidun caliphate, of a Christian origin that explicitly mentions the Kaaba, and confirms the idea that not just the Arabs but certain Christians as well, associated the site with Abraham in the seventh century. (Princeton University Press, 2011), 45–62. and later re-built by the Prophets Ibrahim and Ismail (peace be upon them) and i think it was rebuilt/repaired many times before and after that! After the centuries after Prophet Adam (PBUH) built the Kaaba, two people came across the desert to Makkah Valley with a child. 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. There is no simple answer to this question, I'm afraid. Various sculptures and paintings were held inside the Kaaba. This combat-free zone allowed Mecca to thrive not only as a place of pilgrimage, but also as a trading center.. A Mosque in the area of Medina, possibly: This page was last edited on 13 December 2020, at 22:29. Look it up now! So I would conjecture that the reason it is important to Islam is because it was already a prominent feature of Arabian culture and imagination; despite its evangelical intentions there are clear footprints of a distinctively Arabic perspective of the world in Islam. 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. According to Islamic tradition, the Kaaba was built by Abraham (yes, the same Abraham from the Bible) as a holy site to God/Allah thousands of years before Muhammad was born. 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 Governor of the Makkah Province and accompanying dignitaries clean the interior of the Kaaba using cloths dipped in Zamzam water scented with Oud perfume. The truth is that no one knows who built the Kaaba. I'm going to leave the reason it is sacred to Islam to someone who knows more about the subject. 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. " According to historian Eduard Glaser, the name "Kaaba" may have been related to the southern Arabian or Ethiopian word "mikrab", signifying a temple. " Armstrong further says that the Kaaba was thought to be at the center of the world, with the Gate of Heaven directly above it. Hajj pilgrims are generally advised to "make ṭawāf" at least twice – once as part of the Hajj, and again before leaving Mecca.. The Quraysh tribe, who ruled Mecca, rebuilt the pre-Islamic Kaaba in c. 608 C.E. The Kaaba (Arabic: ٱلْكَعْبَة, romanized: al-Kaʿbah, lit. 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. Once every lunar year, the Bedouin tribes would make a pilgrimage to Mecca. 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. The interior walls, measuring 13 m × 9 m (43 ft × 30 ft), are clad with tiled, white marble halfway to the roof, with darker trimmings along the floor. 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.  Various sculptures and paintings were held inside the Kaaba. , 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. In 624 CE, Muslims believe the direction of the qibla was changed from the Masjid al-Aqsa to the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, with the revelation of Surah 2, verse 144. " 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. The name he gives it allows us to identify it as a South Arabian foundation created around a sanctuary. the first Sanctuary appointed for mankind was that at Becca, a blessed place, a guidance to the peoples; . I've heard the central stone is a meteorite.  G. E. von Grunebaum states: "Mecca is mentioned by Ptolemy. 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. Introduction to mosque architecture. , The Qur'an contains several verses regarding the origin of the Kaaba. Islamic tradition holds that Adam built the first structure on earth in the spot the Kaaba now occupies.  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. Caretakers anoint the marble cladding with the same scented oil used to anoint the Black Stone outside. 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. They depict it as a city grown rich on the proceeds of the spice trade. Aside from Islamic tradition, we do know that Mecca was a site of Arabian religion prior to the coming of Islam, and work has been done to reconstruct what Arab life would have been like in the region prior to Muhammad's revelation.