kaa'ba- masjid-al-haram

Posted by CARROR PUTTI Wednesday, 27 April 2011

The Ka’ba today stands in the midst of an open courtyard known as the al-masjid al-haram, the ‘sanctuary’. The cubical (the word Ka’ba means “cube”), flat-roofed building rises fifty feet from a narrow marble base on mortared bases of a local blue-gray stone. Its dimensions are not exactly cubical: the northeastern and southwestern walls are forty feet long, while the other two walls are five feet shorter (12 meters long, 10 meters broad, 16 meters high). The structure’s corners, rather than the walls, are oriented toward the compass points. The east and west walls are aligned to the sunrise at the summer solstice and sunset at the winter solstice. The south wall is directed to the rising of the bright star Canopus. The northeastern wall has the only door of the building, about seven feet above the ground level. Inside is an empty room with a marble floor and three wooden pillars supporting the roof. There are some inscriptions on the walls, hanging votive lamps, and a ladder leading up to the roof. The entire Ka’ba structure is draped with a black silk covering, called a kiswa, upon which passages from the Koran are embroidered in gold. The kiswa is renewed every year and the old kiswah is cut up and distributed so as to allow the barakah of the ka’ba to emanate among those to whom the pieces of the cloth are given. During the early centuries of Islamic history the kiswah was made in Egypt and carried with great ceremony to Mecca but now it is fashioned near the holy city itself.

Opposite the northwestern wall of the Ka’ba is an area of special sanctity called the Hijr, which Muslim tradition identifies as the burial place of Hagar and Ishmael (and here, too, Ishmael had been promised by God that a gate into heaven would be opened for him). In Muhammad’s time, the Hijr was a place used for discussion, prayer and, significantly, for sleep. The sleepers in the Hijr appear to have gone there specifically to have dreams of divine content: Muhammad’s grandfather, Abd al-Muttalib, was inspired to discover the Zamzam well while sleeping there; the mother of the Prophet had a vision of her son’s greatness; and at the Hijr Muhammed himself was visited by Gabriel before beginning his miraculous Night Journey to Jerusalem.

The Ka’ba, the Zamzan well, the Hijr and the hills of Safa and Marwa are now all enclosed in a vast structure called the Haram al-Sharif, ‘The Noble Sanctuary’. Ringed by seven towering minarets and sixty-four gates, this truly monumental building has 160,000 yards of floor space, is capable of holding more than 1.2 million pilgrims at the same time, and is the largest mosque in the Islamic world. The sa’y, or ritual walk between the hills of Safa and Marwa, celebrating the rapid movement of Hagar and her son Ishmael in search of water and being an integral part of the Hajj rituals, is understood to represent mans quest in this world for the life-bestowing bounties of God


The most beautifull azan of the world


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