There is no other place on the earth bearing such holy reverence in the life of every Muslim as Makkah and Madinah. The sacred place called Kaabah, situated in Makkah, is the cube-shaped structure, carved in granite, bears prodigious significance on pilgrimage for Hajj and Umrah. Kaabah is shrouded in black cloth called Kiswah and is surrounded by the most pious mosque in Islam, Masjid Al Haram. This epitome of spirituality is highly venerated during the journey of Hajj and Umrah. Tawaf is performed as a practice where circumambulation of Kaabah is done seven times in counterclockwise direction. Every Muslim is expected to face the direction of Kaabah, called the Qibla while performing Salah from any part of the world. Makkah is the sacred place where Prophet Ismael (A.S) and her mother Hajrah (A.S) were bestowed with Zamzam water in the dry desert.
There are many sources from where one can get updated about the pilgrimage and the holy Kaabah but here we will give you a wider influx of knowledge and information about the things you still don’t know but are true about Kaabah.
1. Construction of Kaabah several times:
The structure of Kaabah we see today is not the same that was built by the Prophet Ibrahim (A.S). It required major reconstruction over the time after natural and man-made disasters, with major rebuilding done before Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was endowed with the title of ‘ The Prophet‘. Of late, the major refurbishment was done in the year 1996 when many stones were replaced, the foundation was made stronger and a new roof was constructed. Not much has been done after that due to the employment of modern techniques which were far more secure and stable.
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2. Two Doors and a Window:
The Kaabah, in its original form, had two doors, one for entrance and one towards the exit. Until a long time, it had a window situated at one side. This was quite different from what it is at present. Today, it has only one door and no window.
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3. Multi-colored structure:
When we think of the Kaabah, the image that comes to mind is that of the cubical holy structure covered with black cloth and encrypted in golden colour, so if someone says that it was clad in different colours in earlier times, it would be hard to believe but this is the truth and not only one colour was used but multiple colours like red, green and even white.
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4. The Keys are kept in custody of One family:
During the time of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), all the rites related to Hajj were under the control of different sub-groups of the Quraish. As time passed by, they lost their guardianship of all the rites except the one of key keeping. After the conquest of Makkah, the keys of Kaabah were being given to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) but he refused to keep it and returned it back to Osman ibn Talha (R.A) of the Bani Shaiba family that was the traditional key keepers of the Kaabah for centuries and the Prophet (PBUH) confirmed their role as key keepers till the end of time.
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5. Open to everyone:
Before recent times, the Kaabah was open for the worshippers twice in a week, but now due to rapid expansion in the number of visitors and other related factors, the Kaabah is opened only twice a year, that too for affluent guests and dignitaries only.
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6. Tawaf was performed Swimming around the Kaabah:
Kaabah being situated in a low lying valley and as rains were quite common in Makkah, the surrounding area of the Kaabah remained flooded with rainwater during olden days. At that time few of the people used to swim around the Kaabah to perform the Tawaf. Great measures have been taken to avoid the situation nowadays and facilitate the people for a convenient Hajj and Umrah pilgrimage.
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7. Inside the Kaabah are the plaques of the rulers:
The inside of the Kaabah contains spots that commemorated the rulers who renovated the edifice. For many years it remained a mystery as to what the Kaabah looked like from the inside. Some lucky ones got a chance to enter and capture the images on their cameras. The interior of the Kaabah is lined with marble and a green cloth that covers the upper walls. On the walls is the display of the souvenirs related to the rulers that reigned during that time and played a major role in the renovation of this sacred place.
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8. Replica of Kaabah:
The Kaabah on the earth has its exact replica on the seventh heaven where 70,000 angels pray and perform Tawaf every day. Once they visit the Bayt-Al-Mamoor, they never get a chance to return, and a fresh batch of angel visits to perform Tawaf daily. Allah swears by this house in the Quran. “And by the Bayt al-Mamoor.” (Quran 52:4)
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9. Broken Black Stone (Hajre Aswad):
The black stone, known as Hajre Aswad, is seen with a silver casting around it. It is said that the stone was broken in the Middle Ages by an extreme dissident Ismaili group belonging to Bahrain which was called Qarmatians who said that performing Hajj was an act of superstition. The broken pieces were enclosed in a silver casting and some of them are still missing.
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10. It is Not Cube Shaped:
The most famous holy structure of Islam was earlier in a rectangular shape. The dimensions that were originally there included the semi-circular area known as Hijr Ismail. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) wished to rebuild the Kaabah during his lifetime and that too on its original foundations but he passed away without fulfilling his wish.