Saturday, 1 February 2014

Why is the Gate so High?

Narrated by 'Aisha,

I asked the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم about the wall (outside the Ka'ba). "Is it regarded as part of the Ka'ba?" He replied, "Yes." I said, "Then why didn't the people include it in the Ka'ba?" He said, "(Because) your people ran short of money."

I asked, "Then why is its gate so high?" He replied, ''Your people did so in order to admit to it whom they would and forbid whom they would.
Were your people not still close to the period of ignorance, and were I not afraid that their hearts might deny my action, then surely I would include the wall in the Ka'ba and make its gate touch the ground."
[Bukhari,Volume 9, Book 90, Number 349]

The Syrian army destroyed [damaged] the Kaba in Muharram 64 AH/ 683 AD) and before the next Hajj Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr, may Allah be pleased with him, reconstructed the Kaba from the ground up.

A ruined portion of a wooden pillar of the Holy Ka'ba 
(Dating back to 65 H.)

Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr wanted to make the Kaba how the Prophet Muhammad  (صلى الله عليه وسلم wanted it, on the foundation of the Prophet Ibrahim (AS). 

Ibn az-Zubayr said, "I heard Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) say, 'The Prophet  (صلى الله عليه وسلمsaid: "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, restored 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  (صلى الله عليه وسلم 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 [April 2, 1630] 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, 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 [May 9, 1630]. The rest of the walls except for the one near the Black Stone, were demolished. 

By the 2nd of Zul-Hijjah 1040 [July 2, 1631] 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 [Feb. 17, 1958], 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.

The history of custody of the Holy Ka’aba, or the Holy Mosque in general, have witnessed a lot of important stages and events.

It started with Prophet Ismael and then after he passed away it went to his son “Thabet” until it it was taken from his children by force by their mother’s tribe “Jurhum”and they were in charge for century until it was taken by force again by “Khuza’a” and it stayed in their hands for several centuries too until the time when Makkah and the Holy Ka’aba was in the hands of “Qusai ibn Kelab ibn Murra Al-Qurashi” who is the fifth grandfather of the Prophet Muhammed  (صلى الله عليه وسلم. 

He took it back from Khuza’a, since he was from the grandsons of Prophet Ismael, and after his death it went to his eldest son “AbdulDar” and it continued to be in his children control. It ended up in the hands of “Shaiba ibn Uthman ibn Talha” and his real name is “Abdullah ibn Abdeluzza ibn Uthman ibn Abduldar ibn Qusai”.

The custody of the Holy Ka’aba today is in the hands of his great great grandsons.

“Hussein Abdullah Basalama” have introduced very important information about “The History of The Holy Ka’aba...It’s Structure, Cloth and Custody” it was included in a book printed 75 years ago and was dedicated to the founder of Saudi Arabia, King Abdulaziz.

It’s second edition was reprinted in 1982.

He pointed out various important stages in the history of the custody of the Holy Ka’aba, before and after Islam. What we are concerned about here is how did the custody of the Holy Ka’aba end up to “Bani Shaiba” or the family of Shaiba until these days and to point out who was the head of the custodians.

The writer mentioned that the basic history and events of the custody of the Holy Ka’aba and how were the keys given back to Uthman ibn Talha and Shaiba ibn Uthman by the Prophet is mentioned in details in the books of Tafsir, Hadith, and Sira.

Ibn Sa’ad narrated that Uthman ibn Talha said “During “Jaheleya”, the era before Islam, we used to open the doors of the Ka’aba in Mondays and Thursdays.
Once the Prophet  (صلى الله عليه وسلم came along with other people with the intention of entering the Ka’aba. I was rude to him, and he forgave me.

He said to me: 
O Uthman, you might witness the day where I hold this key, and I give it to whom I wish.
I replied: At that day Quraish must have been gone and defeated!
The Prophet said: No, it would be victorious and prosperous.
After that he entered the Ka’aba, and I was so sad because I knew it would happen until the day Makkah was conquered. He called me and said:
O Uthman, give me the key.
I gave it to him and he gave it back to me and said:
Take it for eternity, no one will take it from you but an oppressor.
O Uthman, God have put trust in you, so take whatever comes to you through this house of his.
When I left he called me again and said:
Do you remember that day?. I said: Yes, I do. I bear witness that you are the Prophet of Allah.”


“O family of Abi Talha, take for eternity. 

No one will take it from you 

but an oppressor

 Tirmidhi, Abu Da'ud, Nasai, Ibn Majah, Kanz al-'ummal:
Hadith: "After me there will come some people as rulers. 
Whosoever supports their lying and helps their oppression, he is not of me and I am not of him."
"Whoever pleases a ruler by saying what displeases Allah, he gets out of the religion of Allah."

The Maqam of Ibrahim (AS)

The Maqam of Ibrahim in relation to the Ka'abah

Narrated by Umm ul-Mu’mineen Sayyidah Ayesha Siddiqa رضي الله عنها
 "The Maqam during the time of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وصحبه وسلم and Ameer ul-Mu’mineen Sayyiduna Abu Bakr as-Siddiq رضي الله عنه was attached to the House, then Ameer ul-Mu’mineen Sayyiduna `Umar ibn al-Khattab رضي الله عنه moved it back." 


"The Companions رضي الله عنهم did not oppose Sayyiduna `Umar رضي الله عنه
neither did those who came after them, thus it became unanimous agreement."
He was the first to build the enclosure (Maqsura) on it, which still exists today.
[Imam ibn Hajr al-Asqalani ,
 Fath al-Bari]


(Edited by ADHM)