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Bani Shaybah Gate

Historic photo of the Bani Shaybah Gate in the Mataf
Historic photo of the Bani Shaybah Gate in the Mataf

The Bani Shaybah Gate was a freestanding arch that was one of the main entry points to get into the area of the Ka’bah in the time of the Prophet (ﷺ). The gateway was changed and renovated many times throughout history on the same spot. It was removed in the 1960s to provide more space in the Mataf area.

Entrances to the Ka’bah

  • During the time of the Prophet (ﷺ) there were seven known entrances into the area of the Ka’bah. The Bani Shaybah Gate was the most prominent.
  • The gate belonged to the Bani Shaybah clan, the custodians of the keys to the Ka’bah.
  • The Bani Shaybah Gate was the Ka’bah’s main northern gate, and the one used by visitors coming from the north.
Historic photo of the Bani Shaybah Gate
Historic photo of the Bani Shaybah Gate

Incident when the Quraysh were rebuilding the Ka’bah

  • When the Quraysh rebuilt the Ka’bah, a conflict arose on the issue of who would have the honour of placing the Hajar al-Aswad back in its place. Things became heated and there was a real danger that blood would be shed.
  • But Abu Umayya Ibn al-Mugheera , one of their elders, asked Quraysh to agree on the judgement of the first person to come through the Bani Shaybah Gate and they all agreed on this suggestion.
  • The first to come through this gate was the Prophet (ﷺ). He (ﷺ) put the Black Stone in the middle of a piece of cloth, and asked a representative of each tribe to hold one of the edges of the cloth and raise it close to its place. Then the Prophet (ﷺ) picked it up with his own noble hands and restored it to its original place. This was how the Prophet (ﷺ) prevented war breaking out among the Quraysh.

Detail on the last Bani Shaybah Gate

Detail on the Bani Shaybah Gate
Detail on the Bani Shaybah Gate
  • The Gate had two Quranic verses on it. One from Surah Hijr, the other from Surah al-Isra:

(Having been told), Enter it in peace, safe (and secure)”

Surah Hijr : Verse 46

And say, ‘My Lord, cause me to enter a sound entrance and to exit a sound exit and grant me from Yourself a supporting authority.'”

Surah al-Isra : Verse 80
  • The names of the first two Caliphs, Abu Bakr and Umar (رضي الله عنهم) were written on either side.

Location on the Mataf

  • The gate was removed in the early 1960s. Unfortunately, no marking has been left on the Mataf to show where it existed.

References: Makkah at the time of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) – BinImad Al-Ateeqi