20 Unknown Facts About Kaaba
There are some things that every Muslim knows about Makkah – but a lot of interesting information that very few people know. Amaze your friends with this unusual Makkah facts!
Despite being the spiritual heart of Muslims around the world, there are many things about Makkah that many do not know – until now.
Kaaba, small shrine located near the centre of the Great Mosque in Mecca and considered by Muslims everywhere to be the most sacred spot on Earth. Muslims orient themselves toward this shrine during the five daily prayers, bury their dead facing its meridian, and cherish the ambition of visiting it on pilgrimage, or hajj , in accord with the command set out in the Qur’an.
1. Not a Cube shape: the original design of Holy Kaaba was a rectangle.The cube-shaped structure is roughly 50 feet (15 metres) high, and it is about 35 by 40 feet (10 by 14 metres) at its base. Constructed of gray stone and marble, it is oriented so that its corners roughly correspond to the points of the compass.The interior contains nothing but the three pillars supporting the roof and a number of suspended silver and gold lamps. During most of the year the Kaaba is covered with an enormous cloth of black brocade, the kiswah. Two doors and a Window: The Kaaba initially had a door for entering and for exiting. It also had a window on one side as well. At present, there is only one door.
2. Located in the eastern corner of the Kaaba is the Black Stone of Mecca ,whose now-broken pieces are surrounded by a ring of stone and held together by a heavy silver band. According to tradition, this stone was given to Adam on his expulsion from paradise in order to obtain forgiveness of his sins. Legend has it that the stone was originally white but has become black by absorbing the sins of the countless thousands of pilgrims who have kissed and touched it.
3. Every Muslim who makes the pilgrimage is required to walk around the Kaaba seven times, during which he or she kisses and touches the Black Stone. When the month of pilgrimages (Dhū al-Ḥijjah) is over, a ceremonial washing of the Kaaba takes place; religious officials as well as pilgrims take part.
4. Makkah is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world.
The Zamzam well alone is believed to be around 4,000 years old.
5. The city was never the capital of any Islamic empire.
But Muslim rulers did regularly contribute to its upkeep.
6. Not all of Makkah falls within the Haram boundary.
There are many neighborhoods of the city, like Sharaya, which falls outside the Haram boundary.
7. The city used to be called Bakkah.
Nevertheless, some scholars suggest that Bakkah refers only to the Kaaba and the immediate areas surrounding it.
8. Apart from Bakkah, the Qur’an refers to the city as Umm Al Qura.
Umm Al Qura is Arabic for “Mother of All Settlements.”
9. Nowadays it is called Makkah Al Mukarramah.
This literally translates to “Makkah The Honored.”
10. While Madinah is known as the city of the Prophet (PBUH), it is Makkah where he spent much of his life.
The Prophet spent around 50 years of his life in Makkah.
11. Makkah’s population is estimated to be between 1.5-2 million.
This swells to close to 4.5 million during the Hajj season.
12. Saudi Arabia receives the highest number of tourists in the Middle East.
This is largely due to the millions of pilgrims that flock the cities of Makkah and Madinah.
13. In popular English usage, “Mecca” refers to any place that draws large numbers of people.
14. The city centers on the Masjid Al Haram area, which is lower than most of the city.
This made it prone to flash floods in the past.
15. The Black Stone hasn’t always been in Makkah.
In 930 AD, it was stolen by the Qarmatians, who took it with them to Eastern Arabia.
16. British newspaper The Telegraph listed Masjid Al Haram as the most expensive building in the world.
Its total cost of construction was at $100 billion.
17. No. 2 on the same list of the most expensive buildings was Abraj Al Bait, which is also in Makkah.
Abraj Al Bait holds other world records, including the records for having the tallest clock tower and the largest clock face.
18. It was multicolored: We all were under the impression that the Kaaba was always black whereas it was not black initially. The tradition was started by Abbasids whose favorite household color was black. Before it was finalized on black, the colors were Green, red and white as well.
19. One could swim in it: The problem that is faced is that since Makkah is in the center so when it rains it tends to get flooded. There were no sewerage and water control system. Like the usual, it rained so much that the Muslims had to swim to perform their Tawaf.
20. The early history of the Kaaba is not well known, but it is certain that in the period before the rise of Islam it was a polytheist sanctuary and was a site of pilgrimage for people throughout the Arabian Peninsula .The Qur’an says of Abraham and Ishmael that they “raised the foundations” of the Kaaba. The exact sense is ambiguous, but many Muslims have interpreted the phrase to mean that they rebuilt a shrine first erected by Adam of which only the foundations still existed. The Kaaba has been destroyed, damaged, and subsequently rebuilt several times since. In 930 the Black Stone itself was carried away by an extreme Shiʿi sect known as the Qarmatians and held almost 20 years for ransom. During Muhammed’s early ministry, the Kaaba was the qiblah or direction of prayer, for the Muslim community. After the Muslim migration, or Hijrah to Medina , the qiblah briefly switched to Jerusalem before returning to the Kaaba. When Muhammad’s forces conquered Mecca in 630, he ordered the destruction of the pagan idols housed in the shrine and ordered it cleansed of all signs of polytheism. The Kaaba has since been the focal point of Muslim piety.