Inside the Ka’bah

Cross section of the Ka'bah
Cross section of the Ka'bah

The diagram above shows a rare view of what the interior of the Ka’bah looks like. The construction made by Ebrahim (عليه السلام) contained no roof, it was the Quraysh who raised the walls of the Ka’bah and added a roof. Today, only a privileged few have had the opportunity to step inside the Ka’bah.

  • During the times of Jahiliyyah (Ignorance), a man and woman from the Yemenite tribe of Jurhum called Isaf and Na’ilah committed adultery inside the Ka’bah. Allah (ﷻ) turned them into stones. When they were found the next day, they were carried outside and were set up at the Ka’bah as a warning. Over time these two stones were worshipped along with the other idols. One of the stones was placed right next to the Ka’bah; the other one was set up at the spring of Zamzam. Finally, the Quraysh ordered that the stone next to the Ka’bah to be carried to the other one at Zamzam. From then on, people slaughtered their sacrificial animals at that spot.
Model of the Ka'bah in the time of Prophet Ebrahim (عليه السلام)
Model of the Ka’bah in the time of Prophet Ebrahim (عليه السلام)
  • When Islam began to spread, the Quraysh became more embittered and could not tolerate the Prophet (ﷺ) any longer. The chiefs drew up a document which called for the social and economic boycott of the Prophet (ﷺ) and all those who supported him and his family. All of them signed this document on 1st Muharram of the seventh year of the Prophethood and the scroll was hung up inside the Ka’bah to give it full sanctity. For three long years the Prophet (ﷺ) and his kinsmen were ostracized in a narrow valley in Makkah. Food was so scarce that they had to resort to eating leaves of trees and their children’s cries could be heard all over the valley. At last by the Grace of Allah, the scroll was eaten up by white ants save for the name of Allah and the boycott was uplifted.
  • When the Prophet (ﷺ) arrived in Makkah on the day of victory, he made tawaf around the Ka’bah seven times and touched the Hajar al-Aswad with his staff. He then asked Uthman bin Talha to open the door of the Ka’bah. The Prophet (ﷺ) entered the Ka’bah accompanied by Usama bin Zaid, Bilal and Uthman bin Talha (رضي الله عنهم). He closed the door, performed prayer and stayed for some time.
The place where the Prophet (ﷺ) prayed in the Ka'bah
The place where the Prophet (ﷺ) prayed in the Ka’bah
  • Inside the Ka’bah were statues of Ebrahim (عليه السلام) and Ismail (عليه السلام), along with pictures of angels and a picture of Ebrahim (عليه السلام) with divining arrows in his hand. It has also been reported that there was an icon painting of the Virgin Mary and the child Christ which had been done by a Christian. The Prophet (ﷺ) ordered all of them to be destroyed.
  • The two horns of the ram which Ebrahim (عليه السلام) slaughtered were hung inside the Holy Ka’bah. When Abdullah bin Zubair (رضي الله عنه) demolished the Ka’bah to rebuild it, he found the horns had disintegrated due to previous damage and age.
  • The Quraysh had erected their chief idol, Hubal, within the centre of Ka’bah. It was made of red carnelian and shaped like a human with the right hand broken which the Quraysh had replaced with gold. In front of the idol were seven arrows of fate and when the pagan Arabs were undecided on a matter they would go to Hubal and throw the arrows in front of him and took ‘advice’ based on how the arrows appeared.
Model of the inside of the Kabah
Model of the inside of the present Ka’bah
  • Abdul Muttalib, the grandfather of the Prophet (ﷺ) had made a vow that if he ever had ten sons he would sacrifice one of them to God in front of the Ka’bah. When he subsequently fathered ten grown up sons up he announced his vow to them and had their names written on arrows of fate which were mixed and then one drawn out. Destiny fell upon Abdullah, his youngest and dearest son, who was to become the father of the Prophet (ﷺ). Not wanting to sacrifice Abdullah, Abdul Muttalib consulted a soothsayer to see how he could be exonerated from his vow and in return for Abdullah’s life he gave away 100 camels. Hence the Prophet (ﷺ) is called the descendant of the “two sacrificed ones” (Ismail (عليه السلام) and his own father, Abdullah). Similarly, he is referred to as the descendant of the “two elders held for ransom,” for Ismail (عليه السلام) was ransomed for a ram and his father for a hundred camels.
  • The Prophet (ﷺ) had Hubal destroyed after the conquest of Makkah.
  •  Hadhrat Khaarija bin Mus’ab (رحمه الله) narrates that four people completed the Quran inside the Kaaba in a single rak’at. [1] Hadrat Uthmaan (رضي الله عنه) [2] Hadhrat Tamim Daari (رضي الله عنه) [3] Hadhrat  Sa’eed bin Jubayr (رضي الله عنه) [4] Imam Abu Hanifa (رحمه الله).

References:, Symbols of Islam – Tanja Al-Hariri-Wendel, Muhammed the last Prophet – Sayyed Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi, When the Moon Split – Safiur Rahman Mubarakpuri, Muhammad – Martin Lings, Astonishing Facts about The Qur’an – Mufti AH Elias