When and how was the Kaaba rebuilt and repaired? How did the Prophet (pbuh) settle the disagreement about placing Hajar al-Aswad into its place?

Details of the Question

When and how was the Kaaba rebuilt and repaired? How did the Prophet (pbuh) settle the disagreement about placing Hajar al-Aswad into its place?

(editor) on Tue, 20/02/2018 - 09:52

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The Pride of the Universe (PBUH) was 35 years old.

During this time, the Quraysh had decided to tear down the Kaaba’s walls so they could renew them. Nevertheless, the floods that resulted from years of pouring rain had corroded this structure that was not sturdy to begin with. Since the Kaaba was roofless at the time, the rains had affected its base and caused the building to crumble.

The last great flood had eroded the Kaaba completely. This condition had awoken feelings of fear and worry in the Meccans.

In the meantime, another incident took place; a woman lit a fire in the temple mount (Harem). The jolting sparks from the ember caught the Kaaba’s curtain and caused it to burn.

And when a treasure from the Kaaba was stolen, the Meccans were determined to execute their plan immediately.1

A Ship Loaded with Construction Materials

The Qurayshis were consulting with one another on which materials they should use to reconstruct the Kaaba.

In the meantime, a Byzantian ship that had set sail from Egypt to Jeddah was found stranded in a location that was close to its destination.

The Quraysh sent a committee to the ship’s spot upon hearing this news. The ship was loaded with soft white stone, wood, beams, and steel; they were materials that the Quraysh had been looking for and had not been able to find till then.

The committee reached an agreement with those on the ship and purchased the timber from them. In addition, they guaranteed the merchant on the ship that he would be able to freely enter Mecca and sell his goods without having to pay tariffs since the Meccans used to collect tithes from those who sold trade goods in their city.

Furthermore, a Byzantine architect by the name of Bakum was found on the ship and they reached an agreement that he would reconstruct the Kaaba. According to these terms, Bakum would reconstruct the Kaaba’s walls, and a craftsman, who lived in Mecca and was of Coptic descent, would be involved with the carpentry.2

The Apportionment of the Walls

The reconstruction of the walls of the Kaaba was divided among four tribes through drawing lots. According to this,
- Abd-Manaf and the Sons of Zuhra would have the Kaaba’s front and its side with the door;
- Abduddar, Asad and the Sons of Adiy would have the side facing Damascus (the side of Hijir, Hatym);
- Sham, Jahm (Jumah), and the Sons of Amir would have the space in between the Yemen corner and the corner where the Hajarul Aswad would be placed;
- Mahzum and the sons of Taym were given the construction of the Yemen side which was adjacent to Safa and Aryad.3

The Shaking of Mecca

Every tribe demolished their designated side. They descended all the way down to where Hazrat Ibrahim laid the foundations. At that point, they saw green stones which had all been fused with one another.

Their intention was to go further down; however, they were unsuccessful. When someone shook these green stones while trying to extract them, they all suddenly saw Mecca shaking as if it were experiencing an earthquake. Everyone began to panic and got scared. Afterwards, they understood that they were not allowed to dig further; thus, they were content with what they had excavated.4

The Tribes Disagree

Everyone was carrying rocks and putting up walls for their designated side. The building had risen all the way to where the Hajaru-l-Aswad was going to be placed. However, a disagreement broke out because each tribe wanted to position this holy stone in its place. Every tribe believed that they were most deserving in this matter. At a time in which every tribe was a bigot, which tribe would want another to get this honor? The issue escalated; the arguments and the controversy hardened so much that they swore they would fight one another.5

There was a chaos and a clash was expected to take place at any minute. If a clash was to take place, then many people would lose their lives and many commodities would perish.

A solution had to be found.The Qurayshi tribes waited for four to five days without putting a single stone into the Kaaba’s walls. Afterwards, they gathered at the Masjid Haram (Mosque) once again. They spoke and argued with one another.

During this time, there were some individuals who suggested that the tribes compromise/reconcile.

While a bloody battle was expected to break out at any moment, Huzayfa bin Mughira, who was a well-known individual, one of the oldest men in the Quraysh, and known as Abu Umayya, proposed the following solution:

“Oh, Qurayshis! Appoint the first person who comes through this door (he pointed to the Bani Shayba’s door) as the judge in this disputed matter so that he can bring an end to this.”6

The tribes accepted Abu Umayya’s unexpected proposal without hesitation.

Muhammad-The Trustworthy and Faithful One- Was Coming!

All eyes were now on the door of Bani Shayba. Who was going to come and how was this dispute going to be solved? How was this going to be settled without hurting any of the tribes’ feelings? Everyone’s gazes were filled with curiosity as they looked attentively towards the Mosque’s aforementioned door.

Somebody is seen at the gate! They immediately noticed and recognized his unique height, build, and dignified walk from afar and shouted with happiness:

"He is Muhammad, the Trustworthy One! We will agree with and consent to his ruling.”7

Yes, he was Muhammad-al –Amin (Muhammad-The Trustworthy, the Faithful One). He was an honest individual who had earned everyone’s trust. For this reason, the glances that were filled with curiosity were immediately transformed into looks of happiness because they were all undoubtedly certain that he would issue a fair decision.

Of course, the arrival of our Pride (PBUH), who never stumbled in making the most appropriate decision, was not a coincidence. He would affirm his ability to think deeply, before his Prophethood, with the ruling that he was about to give.

The Quraysh explained the situation to him. Our Pride’s (PBUH) mind was as clear and clean as his heart was. He did not delay in providing an appropriate answer; he issued an order:

“Quickly bring me a cloth!”

They immediately brought one and according to a narration, this cloth was Walid bin Mughira's garment. According to another narration, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) used his own rida in this situation.8

The Pride of the Universe (PBUH) spread this cloth out on the ground. Everyone’s stares, from young to old, were focused on our Holy Prophet (PBUH). What was he going to do with that cloth?

Their curiosity did not last long. Our Beloved Prophet (PBUH) placed the Hajaru-l-Aswad on the middle of this cloth and said,

“Have someone from each tribe hold a corner of this cloth!”

They followed directions and lifted the cloth that was holding the Hajaru-l-Aswad to the location where the latter was to be placed.

Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) then fulfilled this honor by placing the Hajaru-l-Aswad in its place with his own hands. Afterwards, they began building the wall and completed it within a short time.9

With his decision, which was a work of Divine benefaction, Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) was able to prevent a bloody battle from taking place among the tribes.

With this decision, our Beloved Prophet (PBUH) proved that he had a more well-directed point of view, a stronger sense of judgment, and a higher intelligence (that was excessive) than those who were much older and experienced than him and that he testified to a Divine power.

According to Hazrat Ibn-I Abbas’s narration, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) placed the Hajaru-l-Aswad in its location on a Monday.10


1. Sirah, 1/205; Tabaqat, 1/145; Tabari; 2/198.
2. Sirah, 1/205; Tabaqat, 1/145.
3. Sirah, 1/207; Tabaqat, 1/146; Tabari; 2/200.

4. Sirah, 1/207-208; Tabaqat, 1/146.
5. Sirah, 1/209; Tabaqat, 1/146; Tabari; 2/201.
6. Sirah, 1/209; Tabaqat, 1/146; Tabari; 2/201.
7. Sirah, 1/209; Tabaqat, 1/201.
8. Balazuri, Ansab, 1/99.
9. Sirah, 1/209-210; Tabaqat, 1/146; Tabari; 2/201.
10. Suhayli, Rawdu’l-Unf, 1/129.

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