The History of Kaaba

The Kaaba before Islam 

Little is known of the pre-Islamic history of the Kaaba.

  • Wensinck, writing in the Encyclopedia of Islam, identifies it with a place called Macoraba mentioned by the Roman geographer Ptolemy mention of Mecca. Ptolemy’s text is believed to date from the second century CE., before the rise of Islam.Wensinck, A. J; Ka`ba. Encyclopaedia of Islam IV p. 318 Patricia Crone, in Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam, believes that this identification is false, and that Macoraba was a town in southern Arabia, in what was then known as Arabia Felix
  • According to The Encyclopaedia Britannica, “before the rise of Islam it was revered as a sacred sanctuary and was a site of pilgrimage.”
  • According to the German historian Eduard Glaser, the name “Kaaba” may have been related to the southern arabian or Ethiopian word “mikrab”, signifying a temple. Again, Crone disputes this etymology.

A Short History of Kaabah

It is definitely known that it was Ibrahim al-Khalil (peace and blessings be upon him) who built the Ka`bah. The residents around it at that time were his son, Isma`il, and the tribe of Jurhum (originally from Yemen ). It is an almost square building whose sides face the cardinal points of the compass; the winds, no matter how strong, lose their force when they strike it – without doing it any harm.

Black Stone

There are a number of ahaadeeth etc. about the Black Stone which we will quote for our brother so that he may learn from them.

The Kiswa- (Kaaba Covering)

The Holy Kaaba has been draped over the ages………

Even today in Makkah the years old ritual is being practised with full enthusiasm. The holy Kaaba is covered with new kiswa (cover) every year on the 10th Dhul Hijjah, which coincides with Haj. Every year the old Kiswa is removed, cut into small pieces and gifted to certain individuals, visiting foreign Muslim dignitaries and organisations. Some of them sell their share as souvenirs of Haj. Earlier Umar bin al-Khattab(radiyallahu anhu) would cut it in to pieces and distribute them among the pilgrims who used them as shelter from the heat of Makkah.

Maps of Important Places in Makkah, Madinah, Arafat and Mina

Please find the attached document that contains maps of important places in Makkah, Madinah, Arafat and Mina. It is a very useful document to get better understanding of the places that you will visit when going for Hajj or Umrah.