And again, after a long separation, Abraham and Ishmael were destined to meet. This time, by order of the Almighty, they were to build the Kaaba – a place to worship God. It was here, in the desert, that Abraham once left Hajjar and Ishmael. And now they had to establish a temple for all times, where there would be no place for idols.
The Construction Of Kaaba
Abraham was glad that his son was settled down happily in Mecca. Occasionally he travelled and visited him. During one of these visits he informed Ismael that God had commanded him to build ashrine in Mecca where his followers would offer their devotion to God. Ishmael helped his father build the rectangular house, henceforth known as the Ka’bah. When the building was completed Abraham proclaimed the obligation of pilgrimage to this place, where worshippers ever ever since have come annually to worship God.
Years later, father and son are together again to build a sacred temple, to which believers would turn during prayers and make pilgrimages. Many beautiful verses of the Qur’an speak of the sanctity of the Kaaba and the purpose of its construction:
وَإِذْ جَعَلْنَا الْبَيْتَ مَثَابَةً لِلنَّاسِ وَأَمْنًا وَاتَّخِذُوا مِنْ مَقَامِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ مُصَلًّى وَعَهِدْنَا إِلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ أَنْ طَهِّرَا بَيْتِيَ لِلطَّائِفِينَ وَالْعَاكِفِينَ وَالرُّكَّعِ السُّجُودِ
“And We made the House a focal point for the people, and a sanctuary. Use the shrine of Abraham as a place of prayer. And We commissioned Abraham and Ishmael, “Sanctify My House for those who circle around it, and those who seclude themselves in it, and those who kneel and prostrate.”(Quran 2: 125)
35, وَإِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ رَبِّ اجْعَلْ هَذَا الْبَلَدَ آمِنًا وَاجْنُبْنِي وَبَنِيَّ أَنْ نَعْبُدَ الْأَصْنَامَ
36, رَبِّ إِنَّهُنَّ أَضْلَلْنَ كَثِيرًا مِنَ النَّاسِ فَمَنْ تَبِعَنِي فَإِنَّهُ مِنِّي وَمَنْ عَصَانِي فَإِنَّكَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ
رَبَّنَا إِنِّي أَسْكَنْتُ مِنْ ذُرِّيَّتِي بِوَادٍ غَيْرِ ذِي زَرْعٍ عِنْدَ بَيْتِكَ الْمُحَرَّمِ رَبَّنَا لِيُقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ فَاجْعَلْ أَفْئِدَةً مِنَ النَّاسِ تَهْوِي إِلَيْهِمْ وَارْزُقْهُمْ مِنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَشْكُرُونَ37
38رَبَّنَا إِنَّكَ تَعْلَمُ مَا نُخْفِي وَمَا نُعْلِنُ وَمَا يَخْفَى عَلَى اللَّهِ مِنْ شَيْءٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فِي السَّمَاءِ
39الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي وَهَبَ لِي عَلَى الْكِبَرِ إِسْمَاعِيلَ وَإِسْحَاقَ إِنَّ رَبِّي لَسَمِيعُ الدُّعَاءِ
40رَبِّ اجْعَلْنِي مُقِيمَ الصَّلَاةِ وَمِنْ ذُرِّيَّتِي رَبَّنَا وَتَقَبَّلْ دُعَاءِ
41رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لِي وَلِوَالِدَيَّ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَوْمَ يَقُومُ الْحِسَابُ
“My Lord! Make safe this territory, and preserve me and my sons from worshipping idols. My Lord! Lo! They have led many of people astray. But whoever follows me, he verily is of me. And whoever disobeys me, still You are Forgiving, Merciful. Our Lord! Lo! I have settled some of my posterity in an uncultivable valley near to Your Holy House, our Lord! That they may establish proper worship; so incline some hearts of men that they may yearn toward them, and provide You them, with fruits in order that they may be thankful. Our Lord! Lo! You know that which we hide and that which we proclaim. Nothing in the earth or in the heaven is hidden from God. Praise be to God Who has given me, in my old age, Ishmael and Isaac! Lo! My Lord is indeed the Hearer of prayer. My Lord! Make me establish regular prayer, and some of my posterity (also), our Lord! And accept my prayer. Our Lord! Forgive me and my parents and believers on the Day when the account is cast.” (Quran 14:35-41)
The Kaaba: the first place of worship for all humanity
“Truly, the first house that was built for the people to worship is the one that is located in Bakka (Mecca). It was raised as a blessing and a guide for the worlds. There are clear signs in it – the place of Ibrahim (Abraham). Whoever enters it will be safe. People are obliged to Allah to make a hajj to the House (Kaaba), if they are able to make this way ”(Quran 3: 96-97)
Prophet Muhammad, (SAW), said:
“Verily Allah made this place sacred on the day when Heaven and Earth were created, it will remain so until the day of resurrection” (al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Indeed, the erection of the temple for all upcoming generations is one of the best forms of expressing humility and worship to God. They tirelessly turned to the Almighty:
“Here Ibrahim (Abraham) and Ishmael (Ishmael) raised the foundation of the House (Kaaba):“ Our Lord! Take it from us! Verily You Are Hearer, Knower. Our Lord! Make us submit to You, and from our offspring, the community that submitted to You. Show us the rites of worship and accept our repentance. Verily, You are the Receiver of Repentance, the Merciful ”(Quran 2: 127-128)
Abraham prayed to God to bring the prophet out of the descendants of Ishmael, who would live on this earth, and the prophets of the descendants of Isaac, who would inhabit the land of Canaan:
“Our Lord, and raise up among them a messenger, of themselves, who will recite to them Your revelations, and teach them the Book and wisdom, and purify them. You are the Almighty, the Wise.” (Quran 2: 129)
The Lord answered the prayers of Abraham after thousands of years, when he made the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), who grew up among Arabs. And Mecca became the House of God for all mankind, as well as the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is the prophet and messenger of Allah for all humanity.
Completion of construction of the Kaaba was a key moment in the life of the prophet Abraham (AS). The kaaba (House of Allah) was not meant for any “chosen” people or color, but for each of the inhabitants of the earth to worship the One God (Allah). The existence of the Kaaba has become a guarantee that the worship of the True God will not cease until the end of ages. Truly, the Lord, to whom Abraham proved loyalty throughout his life, showed him great respect.
Those who followed this religion worshipped Allah alone and did not ascribe any partner to Him. But with the passage of time and through external influences the principles of the religion of Abraham became gradually mixed up, the idolatry and pagan practices permeated it, until at the time of the birth of Muhammad (SAW) every tribe and every clan had its own idols carved of wood, stone and similar materials. Allah as the supreme God remained as a vague idea. The practice of pilgrimage continued, through in a corrupted form, probably because of its economic advantages. The Ka’bah became the centre of idol worship, and was surrounded by gods which were widely recognized throughout Arabia To the superior gods round the Ka’bah, Arabians came annually from all coners to worship and to offer sacrifices.
Abraham and Pilgrimage
The call of the Prophet Abraham reached every corner of the earth, and Muslims from all over the world began to gather annually in the city of Mecca for pilgrimage – the Hajj. Hajj personifies many events in the life of His beloved servant Abraham and his family. After getting around the Kaaba, Muslims drink the water of the ZamZam source, which appeared as an answer to the prayers of Abraham and Hajjar, and caused the population of the once deserted Mecca. The run between the Safa and Marwa hills symbolizes the desperate attempts of Hajjar to find water; The sacrifice on the 10th day of the Hajj in the Mina Valley and in your city (for those who do not perform the Hajj) is Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his own son for the Lord. And finally, throwing stones at Mina is the embodiment of the example of Abraham, when he persecuted Satan, who was trying to keep the prophet from shedding Ishmael’s blood.
“Beloved servant of Allah,” about whom the Lord said: “We will make you a leader for the nations,” he returned to Palestine, where he met his death.
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