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Monday, January 16, 2006

Ka'bah: History, Significance and Structure

Since Allah created the universe and all that exists, there has
never been any single spot that has received and continues to receive
such reverence as the Holy Ka bah. Every moment of time come rain come
sunshine dedicated believers circumambulate the Ka bah worshiping,
glorifying and thanking Allah.

Makkah owes its historical and religious significance to the Ka
abah, called Baitullah in Islamic terminology. Standing in the midst of
Jabl Abu Qubais and Jabl Al-Ahmar, it is a beehive of socio-religious
activity for the entire Muslim Ummah.

Literally Ka bah in Arabic means a high place with respect and
prestige. The word Ka bah may also be a derivative of a word meaning a
cube. Ka bah is also known as Bait Al-Ateeq meaning the earliest or the
ancient. Ateeq also signifies independent or liberating. It is also
known as Haram Al-Shareef or Bait Al-Haram, meaning the Honorable House.

The Ka bah is a 13.8 meters high box-shaped building. Its north
and south walls are 11 meters long, and its east and west walls are 9.6
meters wide. It is built of gray stones and it stands on a marble base,
which is 23 centimeters high.

This small building is said to have been constructed and
reconstructed by Prophets Adam, Ibraheem, Ismail and Muhammad (peace be upon
them all). No other building on the surface of the earth has had this
honor yet not much is known about the origins of this small but extremely
significant building.

However, history books narrate various stories about the building
of Ka bah. In his book, The Kiswah of Holy Ka bah, Sheikh Muhammad Bin
Abdullah As-Subayyil says: A great deal was said by the companions and
the followers concerning the building of this Center of Worship. Some
said it was built by the angels before Adam s creation. Some said it was
built by Prophet Adam (peace be upon him). Others said it was created
by Allah 2,000 years before the creation of earth. Then the earth was
wrapped up under it. Whatever the basis of these reports it does not
affect the fundamental beliefs of Muslims.

In Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim two of the most authentic
collections of the traditions of the Prophet, peace be upon him Abdullah Bin
Abbas is cited as saying that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had said on
the day Makkah was conquered: This place was declared inviolable on the
day Allah created the Heavens and the earth and it will remain
inviolable by the interdiction of Allah until the Doomsday.

However, according to the Holy Qur an it was Prophet Ibraheem and
his son (peace be upon them) who built the foundations of the Ka bah.
This proves the remote past as well as the spiritual importance of the
structure.

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