Ka’abah is the first ever house of worship built on earth. It was first built by Adam ‘alayhi salaam and then it went through subsequent re-constructions during different periods. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says in the Qur’an, “Indeed, the first House (of worship) established for mankind was that at Makkah – blessed and a guidance for the worlds. In it are clear signs (such as) the standing place of Abraham. And whoever enters it shall be safe. And (due) to Allah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House – for whoever is able to find thereto a way…” [Aal-Imran 3: 96-97]
In the Two Saheehs it is recorded that Abu Dharr radhiAllahu ‘anhu asked the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam about the first mosque to be established. The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam replied, “Al-Haram [the Sacred Mosque in Makkah].” He then asked about the next mosque. The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam replied, “Al-Aqsa [the mosque in Jerusalem].” Masjid Al-Aqsa was built by the grandson of Ibraheem ‘alayhi salaam, Yaqoob [Jacob] ‘alayhi salaam.
In the hadeeth collections it is stated: This land was made sacred by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala when He created the heavens and the earth. It is made sacred until the Day of Judgment.
We learned in the Tafseer that it is absolutely forbidden to fight or hurt others in the precincts of Masjid Al-Haram. Pilgrims going to the mosque must learn the adaab [etiquette] of visiting the House of Allah. May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala invite us all to His House again and again, and free Masjid Al-Aqsa from the enemies. And may He allow us to pray, at least once, in the mosque of Al-Aqsa before we die, aameen.
The Re-Construction of Ka’abah
When the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was 35 years old, Makkah was hit by a severe flood that caused the walls of Ka’abah to collapse. In an earlier incident, the walls had been damaged by fire. The Quraysh decided to re-build the Ka’abah because it could no longer stand on its existing foundations.
At first the people worried about bulldozing the walls because after all it was the House of Allah. They feared being struck by a calamity if they demolished the House. Then Waleed ibn Mugheerah, the father of Khalid ibn Waleed radhiAllahu ‘anhu and one of the elites of Makkah, stepped forward and started breaking the walls. When people saw that nothing happened to him, then they too got the courage and participated. The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam also participated in this event along with his uncle ‘Abbas radhiAllahu ‘anhu.
The elite of Makkah decided to not use any haram wealth in the re-construction of Ka’abah because Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is good and He only accepts the good. Therefore the earning of a prostitute, wealth earned through interest-based transactions and wrongfully earned blood money were not be accepted.
Notice that the Arabs at this time were not Muslims, yet they had the concept of haram and halal income. While some of them conducted interest-based transactions, they knew they could not use the same money for the House of Allah. People who work in the banks take their profession too lightly. They consider their salary a payment for their work and long hours. But what are they working for? It should be remembered that whether one is a manager or a gatekeeper at a bank, both of them are earning haram because they are supporting a haram business. This is not a trivial matter; we need to be really concerned about those who work in such organizations or take interest in their private dealings with people. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has declared war against such people. Who can have a war with Allah? May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala protect us.
Any charity given through haram money is not accepted. One cannot give such money for the construction of a mosque and other related projects. Some Islamic schools in Karachi (Pakistan) have a strict policy against banking professionals. If you are a banking professional and you intend to enroll your child in their school, then they will ask you to provide an evidence of alternative source of income. They will not accept your banking salary as your child’s fee. It might appear strange to some, but these institutions care about not mixing the filth with the pure.
We need to be really careful about what subjects we study and the fields we choose to work in. What a wastage it would be that later in life we realize what we had been doing was haram! May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala guide us, aameen. Make a habit of offering Istekhara [consultation] prayer whenever you intend to start a new phase of life. With Allah’s guidance you won’t go astray.
Hateem and the Black Stone
After breaking the walls up to the foundation laid by Ibraheem ‘alayhi salaam, the re-construction started. The re-construction was done by a Roman builder named Baqoom.
Because the Quraysh had such strict guidelines on pure and impure wealth, the funds collected were insufficient. Instead of raising a full-length wall they built a small wall to mark the foundations laid by the Friend of Allah, Ibraheem ‘alayhi salaam. This semi-circle wall to the north-west of Ka’abah is known as Hateem. Praying inside the Hateem is considered praying inside the Ka’abah and one gets the same reward as praying inside the Ka’bah.
Next came the step of placing the Black Stone [Hajr Aswad] at its place. Each tribe desired the honor to perform this service. This led to a heated argument that continued for 4-5 days. They were almost near bloodshed in the precincts of Ka’abah that an old man named Abu Umaya intervened and it was decided that the first man to come through the door of Masjid Al-Haram will do it. At this instance, the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam entered and the Quraysh screamed:
“This is the trustworthy one, we are pleased. This is Muhammad!”
The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was not only the beloved of his family but the entire Makkah. Everyone loved and praised him even before Prophethood came to him. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala indeed speaks the truth when He says: When Allah loves a person He instructs Angel Jibreel to love that person as well. He then informs other angels to love the person and so on. Eventually, everything on the earth loves that person. We need to work on becoming the favorites of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. We need to adopt the manners and practices to qualify for Allah’s love. May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala fill our hearts with His love and enable us to become His beloveds, aameen.
People do all sorts of things to get others to love them. All the love you need is to be found in obeying Allah subhana wa ta’ala. Do actions sincerely to win Allah’s love, and love from humans will also be yours!
The Quraysh then informed the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam about the argument. This fine man who was the epitome of wisdom asked for a piece of cloth, placed the Black Stone in its center and asked the heads of each tribe to hold the corners of the cloth. This way each tribe would get their share of participation and no one would feel being mistreated. The Quraysh agreed and did as was decided. The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then took the Black Stone and placed it as its place.
The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was indeed a leader. While he qualified to be the one to have the honor of placing the stone, he was not selfish. He was aware of the Arabs’ love for the House of Allah, and how dearly each one of them wanted to be of service. Instead of being the only one to have the honor, he came up with a solution that would include everyone. This is a win-win solution. Satan teaches us arrogance and self-centeredness. He teaches us that we should not think about others and only be concerned about how we can beat others and race to the top. This is not from the teachings of Islam. Islam teaches us discipline and brotherhood.
The rich and strong have not been favored by Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala because they are special. Rather, it is a test for them that how they are going to treat the poor and weak. We have learned in the Tafseer posts that one should avoid self-praise and should be more focused on hidden good deeds. Blowing one’s own trumpet is not from the character of a Muslim. If Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has blessed you in any way then also recognize your responsibilities. May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala grant us humility and compassion, aameen.
Virtues of Hajr Aswad
Hajar al-Aswad is a stone of Paradise and it was as the Messenger of Allah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “The black stone descended from Paradise whiter than milk, but the sins of the descendants of Adam made it black.” [Musnad Ahmad and at-Tirmidhee no: 2577. The latter stated it as Hasan] Al-Muhibb al-Tabari said, “The fact that it (has turned) black is a lesson for those who have insight. If sins can have this effect on an inanimate rock, then the effect they have on the heart is greater.” [Fath al-Baree, 3/ 463]
From the virtues of al-Hajar al-Aswad is that touching it causes the (minor) sins to be forgiven, Ibn ‘Umar radhiAllahu ‘anhu said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam say, “Touching them both [the Black Stone and al-Rukn al-Yemeni] is an expiation for sins.” [(Hasan) by at-Tirmidhee, no: 959 and (Saheeh) by al-Haakim, vol: 1, no: 664] Sowayd bin Ghaflah said, “I have seen ‘Umar kissing the Black Stone and touching it.” He further said, “I know that the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was especially very particular about it.” [Saheeh Muslim] Ibn Umar radhiAllahu ‘anhu reported that Allah’s Messenger salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam used to come to Ka’abah, touch the Black Stone and then say: Bismillahi wallahu akbar (In the name of Allah, Allah is the Greatest.) [Musnad Ahmad]
Kissing al-Hajar al-Aswad is from the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. This kissing is a manner of honoring this noble Stone of Paradise. It is reported in Saheeh al-Bukhari (1520), Saheeh Muslim (1720) that ‘Umar radhiAllahu ‘anhu approached the Black Stone and kissed it. Then he said, “I know that you are a mere stone that can neither harm nor do any good. If I had not seen the Prophet (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) kissing you, I would have never kissed you.” So, the Black Stone is a blessing from Allah because one erases all his past (minor) sins merely by touching and kissing al-Hajar al-Aswad.
The Black Stone will come forth on the Day of Resurrection and will testify in favor of those who touched it in truth. The Messenger of Allah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said concerning the Stone, “By Allah, Allah will bring it (al-Hajar al-Aswad) forth on the Day of Resurrection, and it will have two eyes with which it will see and a tongue with which it will speak, and it will testify in favor of those who touched it in sincerity.” [(Hasan) by at-Tirmidhee, no: 961]