The ornaments of the Holy Ka'bah include all forms. of the beautification and decoration of the interior and exterior of the Holy Ka'bah.
Abdul Muttalib, the grandfather of the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) was the first to decorate the Holy Ka'bah with the two gazelles which he came across while digging up Zamzam. He also decorated the door of the Holy Ka'bah with the weapons which he found with the two gazelles.
It was then decorated by AI-Waleed Ibn Abdul Malik, Abdullah Ibn Al-Zubair (may Allah be pleased with them), Al-Amin, the Abbasid Caliph, AI-Mutawakil, AI-Mu'tadid, AI-Muqtadir and many others. The last of them were Kings Abdul Aziz, Saud, Faisal, Khalid and the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.
The decoration of the Holy Ka'bah includes embellishing some of its parts with gold and silver, such as the interior corners, the waterspout, the door, the interior pillars and the lock.
Examples of its ornaments include the two golden gazelles and the inlaid weapons accompanying them, jewels, crescents, rare bottles, sapphires, pearls, chrysolites, silver crowns, locks, diamonds, pearl strands, lamps, wooden pieces, crystals, brass, glass and bejewelled candles.
Many of the gifts to the Holy Ka'bah and much of its decoration were subject to loss due to previous torrential floods, demolition and attacks. Nowadays the situation is different and all the properties of the Holy Ka'bah are secure and safe.
Gatekeeping and custody are synonymous. It is a service of the Sacred House, opening and locking its doors. This was bestowed on Tasm, a tribe of Aad before Quraish. It passed to Khuza'a, then Qusai, who gave it to his son Abdul Dar, who handed it over to his son Othman. It shifted from one person to another until it rested with their nephew Shaiba. It is still inherited by their ancestors up to the present day. The Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) handed the key to Bani Shaiba in' the year of the conquest of Makkah AI-Mukarramah, and said, "Take it, O Bani Talha, eternally up to the Day of Resurrection, and it will not be taken from you unless by an unjust, oppressive tyrant".
Perfuming and incensing the Holy Ka'bah is an old practice ever since the pre-Islamic era. The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) acknowledged this. Sometimes the entire building was perfumed.
During the reign of Muawiyah (may Allah be pleased with him), the Holy Ka'bah was perfumed after every prayer. During the era of lbn AI-Zubair (may Allah be pleased with them), it was incensed daily and especially on Fridays. After he had completed the building of the Holy Ka'bah, he covered its interior and exterior with incense and perfumes. AI-Mahdi, the Abbasid Caliph. anointed its interior and exterior with a mixture of musk and ambergris. People then continued in perfuming and incensing it.
Scholars consider perfuming the Holy Ka'bah as a sort of sanctity which Allah, the Almighty, instructed in the following Qur'anic verse: "And sanctify My House for those who compass it round, Or stand up, or bow, or prostrate themselves (Therein in prayer)" (22:26)
The first person who partially covered the Holy Ka'bah with a kiswah was Ismail (peace be upon him). Tubba' AI-Himairi fully covered it with kiswah. During AI-Jahiliyyah period, the kiswah was made of various fabrics, such as hair cloaks, animal hides, mats, red Yemeni cloaks, silk, Egyptian fabrics (gubati), Iraqi material, black, red, white, yellow and green silk brocades.
During AI-Jahiliyyah period, the kiswahs of the Holy Ka'bah were put one on top of the other, the new one over the old one.
The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) covered the Holy Ka'bah in Yemeni cloaks. Then it was furnished with kiswah by Abu Bakr AI-Siddiq, Omar, Othman, Muawiyah and AI-Zuhair (may Allah be pleased with them all). Over the years, others provided the Holy Ka'bah with kiswahs until its present design was formalized during the era of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Adnan, the paternal forefather, of twenty generations, of the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him), covered the Holy Ka'bah with a kiswah, and so did Khalid Ibn Ja'far lbn Kilab.
The Holy Ka'bah used to be re-covered at any time and especially when the old kiswah was torn. Sometimes the Holy Ka'bah was provided with a new kiswah Iwo or three times a year. Later it became customary to re-cover the Holy Ka'bah with a kiswah on A'shura the first of Rajah, the 27th of Ramadan, the eighth of Dhul Hijjah (Tarwiyah) and the first day of Eid AI-Adha.
After the sixth century Hijrah, the Holy Ka'bah was covered with a kiswah once a year.
The Ihram of the Holy Ka'bah is putting a white covering around it from the top to a point a bit higher than the Black Stone. This procedure goes back to the time of AI-Mmnoon. When the Holy Ka'bah is enclosed in its Ihram people say that the Holy Ka'bah is in a state of consecration. The Ihram of the Holy Ka'bah indicates that it is the seventh of Dhul Hijjah, therefore fixing the day of Arafat The Ihram of the Holy Ka'bah includes washing it with Zamzam water and incensing it early on the morning of the seventh of Dhul Hijjah.
It was not a customary practice to cover Hijir Ismail (peace be upon him) with a kiswah. It was covered with kiswah once during the reign of AI-Sultan Jaqmaq, the Circassian, who sent two kiswahs, like that of the Holy Ka'bah. One was put inside the Hijir, the other outside it. This was in 853 H.
Most, if not all, Prophets performed Hajj. Before the construction of the Holy Ka'bah by Abraham (peace be upon him), they went to the site of the Holy Ka'bah which was known to them. It was a high rock which had been partly eroded by heavy rains.
Makkah AI-Mukarramah and the Sacred House were sanctified when Allah created the heavens and the earth. This will continue to be so until the Day of Resurrection.
In the beginning, during the circumambulation, the Angels say, "Glory be to Allah, praise be to Allah, there is no god but Allah". Adam (peace be upon him) added to this, "There is no power or strength except in Allah". But Abraham (peace be upon him) added: "The All-Powerful, the Most Exalted". The statement "Allah is Great" was also added. The whole statement for Tawaf now is "Glory be to Allah, praise be to Allah, there is no god but Allah. Allah is great, and there is no power or strength except in Allah".
Abraham and Ismail (peace be upon them) used to mention the following Qur'anic verse as they were constructing the Holy Ka'bah: " Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us: for you are the All-Hearing, The All-Knowing." (2:127)
The Holy Ka'bah was never opened at night either during the pre-Islamic period or the Islamic era, since the time that a door which could be locked was fitted.
The noblest shade on earth is that of the Holy Ka'bah.
It is certain that the earth emanated from the centre of the Holy Ka'bah, and it is, therefore, the centre of the planet.
Directly above the Holy Ka'bah, at its zenith, there is the duplicate of the Most-Frequented House, in heaven. It is visited by seventy thousand angels daily, then they leave and cannot return until the Day of Judgement. The Most-Frequented House is below the Throne of Allah, and those who circumambulate the Holy Ka'bah are under the shade of that Throne. The Sacred House is blessed and full of good, and those who perform Hajj or Umrah or visit it are granted endless reward.
The Sacred House contains very clear miracles with meaningful symbols, such as the deep impressions of Abrahams feet in stone at his station. This indicates that Allah, the Almighty, enables His worshipper to overcome any obstacle if he is a true believer. The Black Stone has always been returned to its place in spite of the fact that it was subject to ravaging and plundering through the ages. The Holy Ka'bah stood and still stands in its place, and is glorified by visitors. Anybody who tries to do harm to it is severely punished by Allah, the Almighty.
The Holy Ka'bah is called so because of its cube shape and its being isolated from the other dwelling houses. It is called the Sacred House because of its sanctity and also because the pursuit of its land game and the cutting of its grass and trees are completely prohibited. It is also called the Ancient House because it is very old, dignified and holy. Sincere visitors to it are freed from going to Hell on the Day of Resurrection.
The Holy Ka'bah is washed twice a year in the middle of Sha ban and on the seventh of Dhul Hijjah.
When the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) stepped into the Holy Kabah on the day of the Makkah conquest, there were 360 idols fixed around it with melted lead. The Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) was holding a stick while circurnambulating it and said: Truth has (now) arrived, and falsehood perished: for falsehood is (by its nature) bound to perish ) (17:81) As he pointed at each of these idols with his stick, they fell backwards.
The building of the Holy Ka'bah was seen in the era of Noah (peace be upon him), but its landmarks vanished during the deluge.
Some scholars maintain that looking at the Holy Ka'bah is a kind of worship. It is without a doubt that looking at the Holy Ka'bah in contemplation and reflection indicates a living worship.
The foundation stones of the Ancient House werdescribed in history books as Khulufat, one overlapping the other. Khulufat are the camels in the wombs of their mothers.
When the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) arrived at Makkah on the day of victory, he circurnambulated seven times on his she-camel and touched the Black Stone with his crooked stick. He asked Othman Ibn Talha to open the door of the Holy Ka'bah. The Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) entered the Holy Ka'bah accompanied by Osama Ibn Zaid, Bilal and Othman Ibn Talha. He closed the door, performed prayer, stayed for some time and then went out. He did the same on the second day. It was said that the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) entered the Holy Ka'bah twice, once during the Qadiyah Umrah and again during his farewell Hajj.
The places where the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) performed his prayers in the Holy Ka'bah and around it are: inside the Holy Ka'bah, opposite the door towards the western wall, at a distance of three cubits, behind Abraham's Station, opposite the Black Stone, close to the Shami corner at the door of the Holy Ka'bah opposite the north-western corner towards the Hijir, between the two corners of Hijir Ismail (peace be upon him) and between the Yemeni corner and the Black Stone.
The tribes of Al-Amaliqah and Jurhum lived in Makkah AI-Mukarramah at the same time. They were always in conflict and fought against each other on the issue of who had the authority to offer services to the Holy Ka'bah.
The Holy Ka'bah was re-constructed in the era of Quraish by lawful gains only, collected from contributions. The concept of co-operation and collecting money by contributions is, therefore, a very ancient idea.
Men and women worked together in constructing the Holy Ka'bah during the Quraishi time. Men carried the stones while women carried the mortar.
This is not an historic account to exchange views on, but a Qur'anic verse. To believe in it is faith, to disbelieve in it is atheism. It is stated by Allah Who said "And Whose word can be truer than Allah's?"
I have mentioned all this to draw the attention of those who maintain that the first house of worship appointed for mankind was Jerusalem, and the first house set up on earth was AI-Ka'bah. Those people consider history more valid than what Allah has said. They try to reconcile the Qur'anic verse and the historical version as if they were equivalent texts in their source and status. But Allah, the Almighty, says:
"The first House (of worship) established for mankind was that at Bakkah: full of blessing and of guidance for all the worlds. In it are Signs Manifest; The Station of Abraham; whoever enters it attains security." ( 3: 96-97)
This Qur'anic verse means that it is the first house set up on earth for all people. Accordingly, it might have been built by the Angels or by Adam (peace be upon him) when he descended to earth. It also means that it was the first house of worship appointed for people after Adam's descent to earth and after the emergence of dwelling and other worshipping houses, and remained so, after.
It is said that Abraham (peace be upon him) was the first who built the House, and this is mentioned in the Holy Qur'an. Allah. the Glorified, says: "And remember Abraham and Ismail raised the foundations of the House." This Qur'anic verse has two meanings. First, it means that Abraham (peace be upon him) was the first who built the House, but this is in contradiction with the previously quoted Qur'anic verse:
"The first House (for worship) established for mankind was that at Bakkah; full of blessing And of guidance For all the worlds."
This contradiction arises from the fact that there were previous dwelling and worshipping houses, and also Prophets and Messengers before the mission of Abraham (peace be upon him). But this can be refuted by saying that those houses, whether for worship or habitation, belonged to individuals or nations or communities. But the building by Abraham (peace be upon him) was the first building specifically appointed for all humanity, and this is poignantly brought out in the Holy Qur'an. Allah, the Supreme, says: "And proclaim the Pilgrimage among men: they will come to thee on foot". This means that he did not call a particular nation or sect, but he called the whole human race.
Secondly, the Qur'anic verse means that the House was built before the mission of Abraham (peace be upon him). It was demolished but its foundations remained. Abraham and his son Ismail (peace be upon them) re-raised the foundations so that the building might appear conspicuous with its walls, as it had been before.
History books mention eleven builders who rebuilt the Sacred House. Some of these views are presumptive while others are indisputable. But among those who were mentioned to have built the Holy Ka'bah are the following:
1. The Angels (peace be upon them).
2. Adam (peace be upon him). It was said that it was built by Adam (peace be upon him) assisted by the Angels (peace be upon them).
3. Seth Ibn Adam (peace be upon them).
4. Abraham in collaboration with his son Ismail (peace be upon them).
7. Qusai, the fourth grandfather of Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him).
8. Quraish. Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) was present during this construction and participated, five years before his mission, by carrying the stones with the help of his uncle AI-Abbas to the site of the building. He also played a wise role in settling who was eligible to put the Black Stone in its place.
9. Abdullah lbn Al-Zubair (may Allah be pleased with them) in the year 65 H. This was after the siege of AI-Husayn Ibn Numair, who came with his army on behalf of Yazeed Ibn Muawiyah to wage war against lbn AI-Zubair. He attacked the Holy Ka'bah with catapults, causing its walls to collapse and burn. This necessitated its complete demolition and reconstruction after the withdrawal of Al-Husayn and his army.
10. AI-Hajjaj in the year 74 H. In fact, the construction by AI-Hajjaj is not considered as a comprehensive addition as it was only the demolition of the additions made by Ibn AI-Zubair.
11. The Ottoman Sultan, Murad Khan, in the year 1040 H., after most of the sides of the Holy Ka'bah were destroyed as a consequence of heavy rains and torrents which flooded Makkah on the afternoon and evening of Thursday 20th Sha'ban, 1039 H.
Those were the builders of the Holy Ka'bah through history. The main aim and objective of writing this record is to shed light on the architectural setup in the history of the Holy Ka'bah. As previously mentioned, some of the views are presumptive. Our statement is confined to the concise summing up of the history of the construction of the Holy Ka'bah which is historically and lawfully valid. This includes the building by Abraham, in collaboration with his son Ismail (peace be upon them), and the building by Quraish to which Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) contributed when he was thirtyfive years old. Add to this, the building by Abdullah Ibn Al-Zubair, and the demolition of those additions by Al-Hajjaj Ibn Yusuf Al-Thaqafi, and the building by the Ottoman Sultan, Murad Khan in 1040 H. This leads us up to the subject of this great, historical record which is the complete and comprehensive renovations of the edifice of the Holy Ka'bah made by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.
The Construction of the Holy Ka'bah by Abraham
(AI-Khalil) and His Son Ismail (peace be upon them)
Allah, the Almighty, says:
And remember Abraham and Ismail raised the foundations of the House (With this prayer); "Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us for You are the All-hearing, the All-knowing. Our Lord! Make of us Muslims, bowing to Your (Will). And of our progeny a people Muslim, bowing to Your (Will); and show us our places for the celebration of (due) rites; and turn unto us (in Mercy); for You are the Oft-Returning, Most Merciful. Our Lord! Send amongst them a Messenger of their own who shall rehearse Your Signs to them and instruct them in scripture and wisdom and sanctify them: for You are the Exalted in Might, the Wise. (2:127-129)
In the above-quoted Qur'anic verses, Allah, the Almighty, describes the situation of Abraham and his son Ismail (peace be upon them) while building the Sacred House. They were delighted and gratified with the task assigned to them, hoping that Allah, the Almighty, might accept from them this service, and bestow a blessing upon them and their progeny. Allah, the Supreme, instructed Abraham (peace be upon him) to build the Sacred House after pinpointing its site. Abraham (peace be upon him) executed the Divine Order with great love and joy. He was assisted in this honourable task by his son Ismail (peace be upon them). They completed the building in the following architectural form:
Abraham (peace be upon him) built the Holy Ka'bah with stones, and it was nine cubits high. Its length on the eastern side, the side of the present door from the corner of the Black Stone to the northeastern corner was thirty-two cubits. Opposite this, on the western side, between the Yemeni corner and the northwestern corner, the wall was thirty-one cubits. The southern side, from the Black Stone to the Yemeni comer, was twenty cubits . The northern side, facing Hijir Ismail (peace be upon him) was twenty-two cubits. He set up two opposing doors, one of them lay on the eastern side near the Black Stone, the other was on the western side near the Yemeni comer, similar to the eastern door. He dug a hole three cubits deep on the right side of the Black Stone door as a coffer for the properties and gifts of the Holy Ka'bah. He built it without a ceiling and doors that could be locked up and opened.
The building was in the form of rows of stones one above the other without any adhesive substance. This type of building without mortar is called 'radhm'. Abraham (peace be upon him) made two corners for the Sacred House, the Black Stone corner and the Yemeni corner. He did not make comers on the eastern side, but built it in a curve. He established on the side of the Sacred House a shed in keeping with the curve of the wall of the Sacred House opposite to it. This shed was used to shelter the sheep of Ismail (peace be upon him).
During the era of the Quraish, the Holy Ka'bah was built with rows of stones, and its door was on the ground. There was no ceiling, and the kiswah hung down on the exterior of the wall and was tied from the top of the interior walls of the Holy Ka'bah. Inside it, there was a pit where donations were stored. The two homs of the ram slaughtered by Abraham (peace be upon him) were hung on the inner walls of the Holy Ka'bah. While a Quraishi woman was perfuming it, an incense spark burnt the kiswah and the walls collapsed.
This was made worse by the torrential rains which followed. Then Quraish thought of pulling down the Holy Ka'bah and rebuilding it. They came to know that a Roman ship was wrecked at AI-Shua iba, Makkah Al-Mukarramah's port. AI-Waleed lbn AIMugheera accompanied by some Quraishites went to the port and purchased the wood of the ship. They made a contract with a carpenter named Baqum who happened to be one of the passengers of the ship, to rebuild the Holy Ka'bah with them in the Shami style. They decided not to finance the building of the Holy Ka'bah with money obtained by usury, gambling, the fee of prostitutes or money obtained by illegal or unjust means, for Allah is Good and He accepts only that which is good. When they disagreed on distributing the duties of demolishing and rebuilding of the Holy Ka'bah amongst the tribes, they divided the House into four parts, and each part was further divided into four sectors. Each tribe or group of tribes was assigned a specific part.
Women contributed to the building; men carried the stones while women carried the mortar. They collected the ornaments, money, and the belongings inside the Holy Ka'bah and kept them with Abu Talha lbn Abdullah lbn Abdul Uzza Ibn Othman Ibn Abdul Dar lbn Qusai. They took Hubal out of the Holy Ka'bah and erected it at Abraham's Station. Allah's Messenger (blessings and peace be upon him) carried the stones with them when he was thirty-five years of age. The demolition was completed down to the foundations, but when they started using iron bars. Makkah's mountains shook and trembled, so they did not go further.
The rebuilding of the Holy Ka'bah then started, but when it reached the stage of laying the Black Stone at its position, there was a quarrel over who was to have the honour of restoring it to its place. This dispute was on the verge of causing a civil war. At this point, Abu Ummayya Hudhaifa 16n AI-Mugheera AI-Makhzumi suggested that they should agree upon the judgement of the first person coming through the door of Bani Shaiba.
The first to come was the Messenger of Peace, the man most renowned for honesty in all of Makkah, Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him). He put the Black Stone in the middle of a piece of cloth, anti asked a representative of each tribe to hold one of the edges of the cloth and raise it close to its place. Then the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) picked up the Black Stone with his noble hands and restored it to its place. Afterwards, they built to the height of four cubits and one hand span. At that point, they filled up the interior of the Holy Ka'bah with earth. Then they set up a door at this point, and resumed building by laying a layer of wood followed by a layer of stones. They increased its height from nine cubits to eighteen, and roofed it over. Inside, they erected six columns to support its ceiling, in two rows, each row was formed of three pillars from the Shami side to the Yemeni side. It consisted of fifteen strata of wood and sixteen layers of stones. The waterspout was made to pour into Hijir Ismail. They also made wooden stairs inside the Holy Ka'bah, in the Shami corner at the same side of the door wall, leading to its roof.
The ceiling, the interior walls and the pillarswere decorated. The Prophets' portraits were fixed to the pillars, and the portrait of Abraham (peace be upon him) stood there in the form of an old man divining by arrows. The portraits of the Angels (peace be upon them) and the pictures of trees were fitted to the pillars.The portrait of Mary (peace be upon her) was fixed there with Jesus (peace be upon him) sitting on her lap. They erected one door that could be locked up and opened. And after they had finished building the Holy Ka'bah, they restored the money to the pit, and hung on it ornaments and the two horns of the ram. The pit was restored to its original position, and Hubal was erected on the top of it, as it had stood there before. After the building had been completed, the Holy Ka'bah was covered in Yemeni cloaks.
The Construction of the Holy Ka'bah by Ibn Al-Zubair
When Yazeed Ibn Muawiyah sent AI-Husayn Ibn Numair with his army to Makkah AI-Mukarramah to fight Ibn Al-Zubair, he subjugated the whole of Makkah AI-Mukarramah except the Holy Mosque. Ibn AI-Zubair and his companions took refuge in the Holy Mosque, and built shelters with reed stalks round the Holy Ka'bah, and also wooden structures to protect them from the heat of the sun and from the stones hurled from the catapults outside.
AI-Husayn Ibn Numair erected catapults at the top of Mount Abu Qubais and Mount Qa'iqan to throw stones at the Holy Ka'bah. The kiswah was torn to pieces and the stones of the Holy Ka'bah began to shake. One of Ibn Al-Zubair's companions lit a fire, and a spark flew off and set alight the Holy Ka'bah. At that time the Holy Ka'bah was built in the Quraishistyle. a layer of wood followed by a layer of stone. This took place on the evening of Saturday, the third of Rabi AI-Awwal, 64 H. The stones of the Holy Ka'bah scattered far and wide. to the extent that small stones flew under the feet of the birds and pigeons that had flown in the direction of the walls of the Holy Ka'bah.
When the news of the death of Yazeed Ibn Muawiyah arrived, AI-Husayan ended the siege and left Makkah with his army on the fifth of Rabi AI-Thani in the same year. It was then inevitable that the Holy Kabah had to be pulled down and rebuilt.
Ibn AI-Zubair consulted wise and experienced people concerning this problem. He finally decided to demolish and rebuild the Holy Ka'bah. He reconstructed it on the foundations of Abraham (peace be upon him), thus fulfilling what Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace be upon him) had hoped for. He collected the stones from the same mountains from which Quraish had built the Holy Ka'bah, Hira, Thabeer, AI-Muqatta, AI-Khandamah, Halhala, Ka'bah and Mardalla.
When lbn AI-Zubair prepared all of the building materials, he took the ornaments and other things from the inside of the Holy Ka'bah and put them at the house of Shaiba Ibn Othman till he finished the building. Ibn Al-Zubair was the first person on top of the building, and he himself started demolishing it on Saturday, 15th Jumada AI-Thani, in the year 65 H. People followed him, and the building was completely demolished by midday. lbn AI-Zubair then picked up the Black Stone, wrapped it in silk, put it in a casket, sealed it and took it to Dar AI-Nadwah for safekeeping. He set up pieces of timber, wrapped in cloth, around the Holy Ka'bah, for people to circumambulate.
When the foundations of the Sacred House were excavated, it was discovered that it was six cubits and a hand span inside Hip Ismail. The base stones were intertwined. Changing the site of Hijir Ismail necessitated the removal of all the foundations and corners. Ibn AI-Zubair then summoned fifty notable citizens to witness that he had based the building on the original foundations of Abraham (peace be upon him). He set up the eastern door of the Holy Ka'bah one base higher than AI-Shadhrwan which is on the ground, and the western door was parallel to the eastern door at the back of the Holy Ka'bah and opposite to it. When the building reached the site of the corner, the Black Stone was put in its place unobtrusively.
He increased the height of the Holy Ka'bah to twenty-seven cubits and the width of the wall by two cubits. He put in three pillars in one row to support the ceiling from north to south, and he built the ceiling of the Holy Ka'bah with marble brought from Sana'a. He made two leaves for the door of the Holy Ka'bah instead of one. The height of the door was eleven cubits. He built a zig-zagged staircase made of wood inside the Holy Ka'bah at the Shami corner. These stairs led to the roof on which a waterspout pouring into Hijir Ismail was fitted. After he had completed the building, he perfumed the interior of the Holy Ka'bah with ambergris and musk. He painted the exterior wall with musk from top to bottom and screened it with silk curtains. There remained some stones which he spread ten cubits around the Sacred House. The building was completed on the 17th of Rajab, in the year 65 H. On this occasion, he encouraged people to perform Umrah from Al-Taniem in gratitude and thanksgiving to Allah, the Almighty.
He also encouraged them to slaughter, if they could afford it, as almsgiving for Allah's kindness and generosity. Ibn AI-Zubair and his companions then put on their ihrams and commenced their Umrah from a hill in front of A'isha's mosque. He slaughtered a number of camels as charity in praise and gratitude to Allah, the Almighty. Makkans then started to perform 'Umrah' annually on this very day.
Considering the architectural contribution of AI-Hajjaj to the building of the Holy Ka'bah as a comprehensive, independent work is an exaggeration and an error committed by historians. In fact, he did not contribute to the building of the Holy Ka'bah, but demolished parts of the additions made by Ibn AtZubair.
In the year 74 H., AI-Hajjaj wrote to Abdul Malik Ibn Marwan that Abu Khubaib Abdullah lbn At-Zubair had made additions to the building of the Holy Ka'bah, and fixed another door. Abdul Malik instructed AI-Hajjaj to close down the western door added by Ibn Al-Zubair, and also to pull down what had been added to the Hijir. Al-Hajjaj was further commanded to spread out the surplus stones on the floor as had been done during the Prophet's time. He demolished six cubits and a hand span on the side of AI-Hijir, and built it on the foundations of Quraish. He spread the floor with the remaining stones, and closed the western door at the back of the Holy Ka'bah. He removed the part under the threshold of the eastern door which was four cubits and one hand span high. He left the rest of the building as it was, but he added a wall in the Hijir. He closed down the west door at the back of the Holy Ka'bah and raised the eastern door to its former position under Quraish. All this was built by AI-Hajjaj in addition to the staircase inside the Holy Ka'bah and the two present doors.
The time lapse between the building by Quraish and the building by Ibn AI-Zubair was eighty years. The work done by Ibn Al-Zubair was nine or ten years before that of Al-Hajjaj. The Holy Ka'bah remained as it was ever since AI-Hajjaj demolished the part of the Hijir added by Ibn AI-Zubair, closed its western door and raised the eastern door, up to the year 1039 H. This meant that the Holy Ka'bah was not subject to any destruction or ruin for nine hundred, sixty-six years, except for some slight maintenance.
In 1039 H., unprecedented rains flooded the Holy Mosque and led to the collapse of most of the Sacred House. Then followed the eleventh reconstruction by the Ottoman Sultan, Murad Khan, in 1040 H.
The Construction of the Holy Ka'bah
by Sultan Murad Khan
On Wednesday, 19th Sha'ban, 1039 H., a heavy rain fell on Makkah Al-Mukarramah and continued up till Thursday evening. This caused torrential flooding, never before seen in Makkah. The Holy Mosque was heavily affected by the rains up to the middle of the wall of the Holy Ka'bah and consequently the walls collapsed one after the other. This happened during the reign of Al-Shareef Masaud Ibn ldrees Ibn Hasan, Amir of Makkah. Necessary steps were taken to collect the properties of the Holy Ka'bah, put them in a safe place, as well as cleaning up the Holy Mosque. Learned and influential people held a meeting to look into the question of what to do for the rebuilding of the Holy Ka'bah and it was decided that they should write to Sultan Murad Khan. Then they fitted a wooden screen around the Holy Ka'bah six cubits wide.
There arrived at Jeddah a ship laden with all the equipment required for the rebuilding of the Holy Kabah. The work started towards the end of Jumad Al-Awwal, 1040 H. It was done as it was during the period of AI-Hajjaj. The layout, progress and history of the building might be summarized in the following points:
1. Sultan Murad rebuilt the Holy Ka'bah as it was constructed at the time of AI-Hajjaj without any additions or reductions.
2. If we take the date of the building from the time of demolishing the remainder of its rubble, then it would be Saturday, the end of Jumad Al-Awwal, 1040 H. But if we start from the laying of the first foundation of the building, it would be on Sunday 23rd Jumad AI-Thani,1040 H. The complete construction of the Holy Ka'bah was on the second of Dhul Hijah, 1040 H. This was the last extant reconstruction of the Holy Ka'bah until the recent comprehensive renovation of the Holy Ka'bah by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, may Allah, the Almighty, grant him success.
3. In the demolishing process, they reached the first layer of stones on the floor of the building, and erected the present building on it. The dimensions of the Holy Ka'bah were not changed even by one centimetre.
4. The stones needed to complete the building were taken from Ka'bah mountain at Al-Shubeikah.
5. On the demolition of the Holy Ka'bah, all comers were pulled down except the corner of the Black Stone. The stone at the top of the Black Stone was uncovered and the area surrounding it was thoroughly repaired without removing it.
6. It was found that the colour of the hidden part of the Black Stone was white just like the marble of Abraham's Station.
7. A plaque was fixed inside the Holy Ka'bah in which the name of Sultan Murad and the date of the construction were inscribed.
The Renovation of the Roof of the Holy Ka'bah in the Reign of King Saud
On the first of Muharram, 1377 H., it was evident that the ceiling of the Holy Ka'bah was in need of repair. This was decided by a technical council commissioned by His Majesty King Saud (may his soul rest in peace). A royal decree was issued at the end of Muharram of the same year instructing the Director of the Public Works, his Excellency Al-Sheikh Muhammad Bin Awad Bin Ladin, to rebuild the two ceilings of the Holy Ka'bah and make the necessary repairs. The following work was implemented:
1. The work commenced on 21st Jumad AI-Thani, 1377 H. by erecting a high wooden screen around the Holy Ka'bah except at the sites of the Black Stone, Yemeni corner and Hijir Ismail (peace be upon him). They set up the scaffolding leading to the ceiling from Hijir Ismail (peace be upon him).
2. The wood, mortar and all equipment for the repair of the Holy Ka'bah were available before the work started.
3. In the forenoon of Friday 18th Rajah, the Crown Prince, Faisal Bin Abdul Aziz arrived on behalf of his brother, King Saud. He climbed to the roof of the Holy Ka'bah accompanied by some guests and officials, and demolished a small portion of the roof, thus announcing the commencement of the work.
4. The upper ceiling was totally removed and lintels were set up on the four walls and the wood of the ceiling was put on them from east to west, and was firmly fixed with the best mortar. Two wooden support beams were put on top, one was on the eastern wall and the other on the western wall. Under these wooden beams, a girder was put with its edges on the northern and southern walls to support the upper ceiling. Another girder was laid to support the lower ceiling. Wooden beams were also laid on the ceiling. A short wall eighty centimetres high was built. This is called the cornice. Four strong iron bars were fixed on the four walls to hang the kiswah on, instead of the previous wooden beams. The wood of the ceiling was painted with silicon. A layer of stones smeared with wax, a layer of mixed local mortar and a layer of AI-A'qul red bricks from Madinah were laid. This was covered with the previous white marble after cleaning it. The slope of the waterspout that pours into Hijir Ismail (peace be upon him) was taken into consideration. Melted lead was then cast in between the edges of the marble to strengthen them and prevent the leakage of rain water. The marble of the cornice was laid vertically on the four sides at the height of twenty-five centimetres. The opening of the stairs at the top of the roof was renovated and its cover was replaced by a new one coated with a beautiful, strong metal.
5. Useful pieces of the old wood were utilized in addition to the new ones.
6. The lower ceiling was renovated by replacing the broken wood that was laid on the three pillars extending from the east to the west. Only the middle pillar was completely replaced.
7. Slight renovations were made by plastering the interior wall of the Holy Ka'bah, and the marble floor and the walls.
8. Two large boxes, 150 centimetres long and 80 centimetres high, were made to store the lanterns and the inner curtains of the Holy Ka'bah.
9. The waterspout of the Holy Ka'bah was the same
10. one fixed by Al-Sultan Abdul Majeed Khan in 1273 H. It was made of pure silver coated with gold. It was so strong that it remained as it was, and therefore it was put in its original place after repairing its wooden base and re-hammering the nails that prevent the pigeons and birds from standing on it.
11. The inner stairs of the Holy Ka'bah, the threshold and the wall of the door buttress were renovated.
12. The inner stairs of the Holy Ka'bah were mended without any significant changes.
13. The three pillars supporting the ceiling made by Abdullah Ibn AI-Zubair were slightly repaired. They were still in good condition in spite of a lapse of more than thirteen hundred years. These pillars had decorated capitals and square, decorated bases. The exposed part of each pillar was seven metres long, with a diameter of about forty-four centimetres each.
14. On the second of Sha'ban, 1377 H., it was officially announced that the renovation of the ceiling of the Holy Ka'bah was completed, together with some minor repairs.
Historians have not come to an agreement as regards the dimensions of the Holy Ka'bah. It is a natural difference resulting from the differences of cubits. There is a difference between the hand cubit and the iron cubit. It is stated in a book entitled: `The History of the Glorified Kabah', that the hand cubit ranges between 46 to 50 centimetres, but the iron cubit is 56.5 centimetres. Later, it was determined that the hand cubit is 48 centimetres. Approaching the dimensions of the Holy Ka'bah in the present-day measure of the cubits does not give accurate information about these dimensions. This leads to confusion since the metre and its fractions are authorized measurements nowadays. The authorities in our country put an end to this confusion. The Hajj Research Centre at Umm UI Qura University in Makkah Al-Mukarramah conducted a study on the traffic in the circumambulation area. The study resulted in a detailed sketch of the Holy Ka'bah and Hijir Ismail. Its particulars are as follows:
1. From the corner of the Black Stone to the Shaini Corner, it is 11.68 metres, including the door of the Holy Ka'bah.
2. From the Yamani Corner to the Western Corner is 12.04 metres.
3. From the corner of the Black Stone to the Yamani Corner is 10.18 metres.
4. From the Shami Corner to the Western Corner is 9.90 metres.
According to the construction done by Abraham (peace be upon him), the height was 4.32 metres after the conversion to the metric unit. In the Quraish building, it was 8.64 metres high, and it was 12.95 metres in the reconstruction by Abdullah Ibn AI-Zubair (may Allah be pleased with them). The Caliph Abdul Malik Ibn Marwan retained the same height in the work done by Al-Hajjaj.
This cannot be undone and I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.
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