KA’ABA’S DESIGN AND
KA’ABA’S KNOWN FACTS
• KAABA= THE CUBE
• the House of Allah, the first place of
worship for mankind
• ARCHITECT: HAZRAT JIBRAEL A.S.
• LABOUR: Hazrat Ibrahim A.S and HIS SON
Hazrat Ismail A.S
• HAJR-E-ASWAD TO EAST
• START OF CIRMCUMVENT FROM
• BEEN THOUSAND YEARS SINCE
KA’ABA’S FOUR RE-
• CONSTRUCTION MATERIAL: GRANITE
FROM FIVE MOUNTAINS
• It has been reconstructed several times (last in 1996)
• It used to have two doors and a window
• It used to be multi-colored (Black tradition started with the
• The keys are in the hands of one family (Bani Shaiba family)
• It used to be open to everyone (Twice a week up to 50
• You used to be able to swim around it (Bottom of the Valley)
• The inside contains plaques commemorating the rulers who
• There are two kaabas (Al-Bait-al-Ma'mur in heaven)
• The Black Stone is broken (Umayyad army/heretical Ismaili
group from Bahrain called the Qarmatians)
• It's not supposed to be a cube shape(Insufficient Pure
Sources to rebuilt it)
It seems that all ancient temples were part of a global network of monuments ( locations were
A line from the Dome of the Rock to the Kaaba, center to center, has length 666.75 nautical miles
(=1232.9690 km = 2,354,341.976 REC = 11.1 deg of arc).
Also, the perimeter of Giza-Jerusalem-Mecca triangle is: 1,600 nautical miles, 1840 miles, 2962
km =5,655,909 Royal Egyptian Cubits
• Is Mecca at the Golden Ratio point of the Earth?
• Phi to 15 places is 1.6180339887499. There are 180
degrees between the North Pole and the South Pole, so 180
divided by Phi is 111.2461179749810.
• As latitudes are expressed in degrees and distance from the
Equator, we subtract 90 degrees and convert this to a latitude
of 21 degrees, 14 minutes and 46.02 seconds, North or
• The latitude of Mecca, according to Google Earth, is 21
degrees, 25 minutes and 21.02 seconds.
• This puts it only 10 minutes and 52.54 seconds north of the
exact northern golden ratio latitude of the Earth.
• This is a variance of less about 1/10 of a percent, about 12
miles or 20 kilometers north of the exact golden ratio
• The two moments in each year when the sun is directly overhead the Kaaba, the direction
of shadows in any sunlit place will point directly away from the Qiblah.
• This happens on May 27 or May 28 at 9:18 GMT and on July 15 or July 16 at 9:27 GMT.
• Likewise there are two moments in each year when the Sun is directly over
the antipodes of the Kaaba.
• This happens on January 12 or January 13 at 21:29 GMT and on November 28 at 21:09
• Because the Earth is almost a sphere, this is almost the same as saying that the Qiblah
from a place is the direction in which a bird would start flying in order to get to the Kaaba
by the shortest possible way.
• The antipodes of the Kaaba is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, in remote
southern French Polynesia, some 35 mi (56 km) northeast of Tematangi atoll and 85 mi
(137 km) west-northwest of Moruroa atoll.
Its major (long) axis is
aligned with the rising of
the star Canopus toward
which its southern wall is
directed, while its minor
axis (its east-west
facades) roughly align with
the sunrise of summer
solstice and the sunset
of winter solstice
• The wall adjacent to the entrance has six
tablets inlaid with inscriptions
• Along the top corners of the walls runs a
green cloth embroidered with gold Qur'anic
• Three pillars with a small altar for perfumes
and other items
• Lamp-like objects hang from the ceiling.
• The ceiling is of a darker color, similar to the
• A golden door—the Babut Taubah "Door of
Repentance"—on the right opens to an
enclosed staircase that leads to a hatch,
which opens to the roof.
• the roof and ceiling are made of stainless
steel-capped teak wood.
ERAS OF KA’ABA
Left: Conceptual representation of the Ka’aba, as built by Ibrahim. Right:
Representation of the Ka’aba as it stands today.
PRE ISLAMIC ERA
• in the Encyclopedia of Islam, Mecca is identified with a place called Macoraba found in a
3rd-century BC map
• In Islam: A Short History, Kaaba was dedicated to Hubal, a Nabatean deity, contained 360
idols that represented days of an year.
• In translation of Ibn Ishaq, an early biographer of Muhammad, the Ka'aba itself was
addressed as female.
• Circumambulation was often performed naked by men and almost naked by women, linked
to ancient fertility rites.
• By Muhammad's day, the Kaaba was venerated as the shrine of Allah, the High God.
• Once a year, tribes from the Arabian peninsula, whether Christian or pagan, would converge
on Mecca to perform the Hajj, marking the widespread conviction that Allah was the same
deity worshiped by monotheists
COLORED STONES ERA
• there were numerous such "Kaaba" sanctuaries in Arabia at one time, but this was the only one built
• The others allegedly had counterparts of the Black Stone.
1. "red stone", the deity of the south Arabian city of Ghaiman
2. "white stone" in the Kaaba of al-Abalat (south of Mecca).
• the experience of divinity of that period was often associated with stone fetishes, mountains, special
rock formations, or trees of strange growth.
• The Kaaba was thought to be at the center of the world, with the Gate of Heaven directly above it.
• The Kaaba marked the location where sacred world intersected with the profane
• the embedded Black Stone was a further symbol of a meteorite that had fallen from the sky and
linked heaven and earth
• about 400 years before the birth of Muhammad, the king of Hijaz had placed a Hubal idol onto the
roof of the Kaaba.
• This idol was one of the chief deities of the ruling Quraysh.
• The idol was made of red agate and shaped like a human, but the right hand broken off and
replaced with a golden hand.
• When the idol was moved inside the Kaaba, it had seven arrows in front of it, which were used
• Mecca was declared a combat-free zone for 20 miles of the Kaaba.
• This allowed Mecca to thrive as a place of pilgrimage and a trading center.
• Edward Gibbon suggested that the Kaaba was mentioned by ancient Greek writer, Diodorus
Siculus, before the Christian era:
between the Thamudites and the Sabeans, a famous temple, whose superior sanctity was
revered by all the Arabians; the linen of silken veil, which is annually renewed by the Turkish
emperor, was first offered by the Homerites, who reigned seven hundred years before the time
• Allah had shown Ibrahim the exact site, very near to the Well of Zamzam, where Ibrahim
and Ishmael began work in circa 2130 BC.
• After Ibrahim had built the Kaaba, an angel brought the Black Stone… it is believed to be
the only remnant of the original structure made by Ibrahim.
• After placing the Black Stone in the Eastern corner of the Kaaba, Ibrahim received a
revelation, in which Allah told him that he should now go and proclaim the pilgrimage to
mankind, so that men may come both from Arabia and from lands far away, on camel and
• The Kaaba is believed by Muslims to be more than a millennium older than Solomon's
Temple in Jerusalem
• the Muslim believe that Kaaba is the first and oldest mosque in history
• 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.
IBRAHIM A.S. AND ISMAEL A.S.
• the Quraysh, was in charge of the Kaaba, which was at that time a shrine containing
hundreds of idols representing Arabian tribal gods.
• Muhammad earned the enmity of his tribe by claiming the Kaaba to be dedicated to the
worship of Allah alone and by having all the other idols evicted.
• Islamic histories also mention a reconstruction of the Kaaba around 600 AD.
• In 630 AD, Muhammad entered Mecca with his followers; they proceeded to the Kaaba.
• The Kaaba was re-dedicated as an Islamic house of worship and henceforth the annual
pilgrimage was to be a Muslim rite, the Hajj, with visits to the Kaaba and other sacred
sites around Mecca.
PROPHET MUHAMMAD’S ERA
The Kaaba has been repaired and reconstructed many times since Muhammad's day.
1. The structure was severely damaged by fire in the war between the Umayyads and Abd-
Allah ibn al-Zubayr. He rebuilt it to include thehatīm.
2. The Kaaba was bombarded with stones in the second siege of Mecca in 692, in which
the Umayyad army fought Ibn al-Zubayr. Abdu l-Malik had the remnants of al-Zubayr's
Kaaba razed, and rebuilt on the foundations set by the Quraysh. The Kaaba returned to
the cube shape it had taken during Muhammad's time.
3. During the Hajj of 930 AD, the Qarmatians attacked Mecca, defiled the Zamzam Well
with the bodies of pilgrims and stole the Black Stone until the Abbasids ransomed it in
952 AD. The basic shape and structure of the Kaaba have not changed since then.
4. After heavy rains and flooding in 1629, the walls of the Kaaba collapsed and the Masjid
was damaged. The same year, the Kaaba was rebuilt with granite stones from Mecca
and the Masjid was renovated. The Kaaba's appearance has not changed since then.
AFTER MUHAMMAD P.B.U.H.
Malcolm X visited Mecca, he was left enchanted.
He found the city “as ancient as time itself,” and wrote that the partly
constructed extension to the Sacred Mosque “will surpass the
architectural beauty of India’s Taj Mahal.”
Pilgrims performing hajj now search in vain for Mecca’s history.
The skyline is dominated by the rugged outline of encircling peaks with the humble kaaba in the centre.
• The dominant architectural site in the city is not the Sacred Mosque, where the Kaaba, the symbolic
focus of Muslims everywhere, is.
• It is the obnoxious Makkah Royal Clock Tower hotel, which, at 1,972 feet, is among the world’s tallest
• It is part of a mammoth development of skyscrapers that includes luxury shopping malls and hotels
catering to the superrich.
• Ancient mountains have been flattened.
• The city is now surrounded by the brutalism of rectangular steel and concrete structures — an amalgam
of Disneyland and Las Vegas.
LIST OF HERITAGE DESTROYED
1. Bayt Al-Mawlid, the house where Muhammad was born demolished and rebuilt as a library without
2. Dar Al-Arqam, the first Islamic school where Muhammad taught flattened to lay marble tiles.
3. The house of Abu Jahal has been demolished and replaced by public washrooms.
4. Dome which served as a canopy over the Well of Zamzam demolished.
5. Some Ottoman porticos at Al-Masjid Al-Haram demolished and the remaining under threat.
6. House of Muhammed in Medina where he lived after the migration from Mecca.
7. The complex stands on top of Ajyad Fortress, built around 1780, to protect Mecca from bandits and
8. The house of Khadijah has been turned into a block of toilets.
9. The Makkah Hilton is built over the house of Abu Bakr
10. Bilal mosque, dating from the time of the Prophet Muhammad, were bulldozed.
11. The old Ottoman houses, with their elegant mashrabiyas — latticework windows — and elaborately
carved doors, were replaced with hideous modern ones.
12. Mahhalla complex of Banu Hashim, in Mecca
• Construction officially began earlier with the country's Justice Minister, Mohammed al-Eissa
saying "the sacredness and glory of the location, which calls for the highest care and
attention of the servants or Islam and Muslims".
• The 400,000 square metre development is built to accommodate an extra 1.2 million pilgrims
each year and will turn the Grand Mosque into the largest religious structure in the world.
LIST OF HERITAGE THREATENED
1. Bayt al-Mawlid
When the Wahhabis took Mecca in the 1920s they destroyed the dome on top of the house where the
Prophet Mohammed was born. It was then used as a cattle market before being turned into a library
after a campaign by Meccans. There are concerns that the expansion of the Grand Mosque will
destroy it once more. The site has never been excavated by archaeologists. The clerics fear that, once
inside, pilgrims would pray to the prophet, rather than to God — an unpardonable sin.
2. Ottoman and Abbasid columns of the Grand Mosque
Slated for demolition as part of the Grand Mosque expansion, these intricately carved columns date
back to the 17th century and are the oldest surviving sections of Islam's holiest site. Much to the
chagrin of Wahhabis, they are inscribed with the names of the Prophet's companions. Ottoman Mecca
is now rapidly disappearing
3. The house where hazrat hamza r.a., uncle of prophet p.b.u.h., grew up.
4. Al-Masjid an-Nabawi
For many years, hardline Wahabi clerics have had their sites set on the 15th century green dome that rests
above the tomb holding the Prophet, Abu Bakr and Umar in Medina. The mosque is regarded as the second
holiest site in Islam. Wahabis, however, believe marked graves are idolatrous. A pamphlet published in 2007
by the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, endorsed by Abdulaziz Al Sheikh, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia,
stated that "the green dome shall be demolished and the three graves flattened in the Prophet's Masjid".
5. Jabal al-Nour
A mountain outside Mecca where Mohammed received his first Koranic revelations. The Prophet used to
spend long spells in a cave called Hira. The cave is particularly popular among South Asian pilgrims who
have carved steps up to its entrance and adorned the walls with graffiti. Religious hardliners are keen to
dissuade pilgrims from congregating there and have mooted the idea of removing the steps and even
destroying the mountain altogether.
LIST OF HERITAGE THREATENED
AUTHORITIES AND STAKE
• the rulers of Saudi Arabia and the clerics
1. deep hatred of history. They want everything to look brand-new.
2. to accommodate the rising number of pilgrims
3. Mecca is their vision of the future – a steel and concrete metropolis built on the proceeds of
enormous oil wealth that showcases their national pride.
4. In the eyes of Wahabis, historical sites and shrines encourage "shirq" – the sin of idolatry or
polytheism – and should be destroyed.
• growing numbers of citizens, have looked on aghast as the nation's archaeological heritage
is trampled under a construction mania backed.
• Mecca, once a place where the Prophet Mohamed insisted all Muslims would be equal, has
become a playground for the rich, critics say, where naked capitalism has usurped spirituality
as the city's raison d'être.
1. Few are willing to discuss openly because of the risks associated with criticizing official policy in the
2. fear of a diplomatic fallout and restrictions on their citizens' pilgrimage visas. (except turkey and iran)
3. Western archaeologists are silent out of fear that the few sites they are allowed access to will be closed
a number of prominent Saudi archaeologists and historians are speaking up in the belief that the opportunity
to save Saudi Arabia's remaining historical sites is closing fast. Of the three sites the Saudis have allowed
the UN to designate World Heritage Sites, none are related to Islam.
"No one has the balls to stand up and condemn this cultural vandalism," says Dr Irfan al-Alawi who, as
executive director of the Islamic Heritage Research Foundation, "We have already lost 400-500 sites. I just
hope it's not too late to turn things around.“
Sami Angawi, a renowned Saudi expert on the region's Islamic architecture,says
"This is an absolute contradiction to the nature of Mecca and the sacredness of the house of God," "Both
[Mecca and Medina] are historically almost finished. You do not find anything except skyscrapers.“
• There is little argument that Mecca and Medina desperately need infrastructure development.
• Twelve million pilgrims visit the cities every year with the numbers expected to increase to 17 million by
• But critics fear that the desire to expand the pilgrimage sites has allowed the authorities to ride
roughshod over the area's cultural heritage.
• The Washington-based Gulf Institute estimates that 95 per cent of Mecca's millennium-old buildings have
been demolished in the past two decades alone.
IS THIS A
"We would never allow someone to
destroy the Pyramids, so why are we
letting Islam's history disappear?"
IMPACT ON HAJJ
• The word “hajj” means effort.
• It is through the
1. effort of traveling to Mecca
2. walking from one ritual site to another
3. finding and engaging with people from different cultures and sects
4. soaking in the history of Islam that the pilgrims acquired knowledge as well as spiritual
Today, hajj is a packaged tour, where you move, tied to your group, from hotel to hotel, and
seldom encounter people of different cultures and ethnicities.
Drained of history and religious and cultural plurality, hajj is no longer a transforming, once-in-a-
lifetime spiritual experience. It has been reduced to a mundane exercise in rituals and shopping.
RITES OF HAJJ
BAB UL SALAM
ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ISLAM