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Myths Regarding the Ka’bah

The ka’bah: the holiest muslim site on earth. Muslims revere it, and face it as a direction for prayer. It is a symbol of unity, unity of muslims, and unity of all previous prophets. Muslims would travel great distances to reach it, to see its magnificent sight, to touch its beautiful kiswa, kiss it and more.

However, there are many myths that surround the Ka’bah that has gained root amongst non-muslims, and ignorant muslims, and those who perhaps have never seen it.

Let’s begin with the first myth: Muslims worship the Ka’bah. This is far from the truth. Muslims worship one God, Allah. The Ka’bah is merely a direction faced in prayer, to unite muslims. Muslims do not bow or prostrate to the Ka’bah at all, they only bow and prostrate to Allah. Hence muslims can pray in any place in the world.

Muslims touch the ka’bah to imitate the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him. Some touch it out of awe and fascination at this great building that witnessed many great events in Islamic History. It witnessed, the Prophet Abraham, and Ishma’el and Muhammad peace be upon them. It is not mandated to kiss it, or cling on it, or wipe one’s face or clothes against it, rather these extreme practices have been done by some who are ignorant, or overly passionate.

Another huge misconception, is that the Ka’bah houses the idol Shiva Lingham which muslims worship. The inside of the Ka’bah is bare, there is nothing inside it. Every year the doors are opened to clean it and to welcome prestigious guests. This is often broadcasted on live television, and it is clear for all to see, that there is nothing inside the Ka’bah. Furthermore, muslims do not build or carve statues of any shape or form, as this is against the basic principle of worshiping Allah who is beyond human imagination.

Next up, no bird flies over the Ka’bah. Some believe that the ka’bah is so holy that no bird is able to fly over it, as though there is a radar system in place, preventing the birds. This is not true. Birds fly over the Ka’bah constantly, they perch on its edge, and do what birds do.

Others believe the Ka’bah hovers over the ground. It is not resting, nor rooted in the earth, but floating. It’s very easy to dispel this myth, simply look at the many images of the ka’bah that are available, look at video footage, and if you get a chance to go, have a peep. The Ka’bah is like any other building with a foundation on the ground.

Others hold the belief that the rain water that falls off the ka’bah is holy and has benefit. It is blessed, and so they collect it in a container, and bathe and drink it. I would strongly advise against this, firstly because there is nothing reported from the Prophet nor the salaf on the matter. And secondly, as mentioned previously, birds do what birds do, including leaving droppings. Hence the water that falls off the top of the Ka’bah is contaminated with bird droppings, as well as sand, and dust.

What myths have you heard?

The Sandgrouse’s Nest

sandgrouse

When we picture a bird’s nest, we imagine it to be on a branch of a tree, but not all birds weave their nests on trees. Some birds have nests hanging from trees, whereas others like the woodpecker have cozy little tree chambers that they claim to be their homes. Yet there are some that prefer to lay eggs simply in burrows. Allah The Exalted has given each species its unique nest building instincts and techniques in accordance with its need.

So, while some birds take hundreds and thousands of trips to gather the building material and put in much effort to elaborately weave their nests, other birds suffice with a very minimal structure, and one such bird is the sandgrouse; a nest for this bird is simply a shallow depression in the ground, and sometimes the nest is simply lined with a few pieces of dried plants. Now pay close attention my dear friends, for this hadith will blow your mind:

The Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Whoever builds a Masjid for the Sake of Allah, like the nest of a sandgrouse or even smaller, Allah will build for him a house in Paradise.” [Ibn Majah 738]

Subhan Allah, amazing, isn’t it! Of all the nests in the world Allah’s Messenger (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) gives the examples of the simple and unsophisticated nest of the sandgrouse! The scholars say that this is mentioned by way of exaggeration, but the message is clear, even if a person builds a mosque which is as humble as a sandgrouse’s nest, Allah will build for him a grand house in paradise.

Think about it dear friends, all of us being so involved in this world, struggle to erect at least one house on this planet, where we envision we shall spend our good old golden retirement days, whereas there are others amongst us, who endeavour to build houses not in one place but several cities creating a chain of houses that we proudly say we own. Yet how long are these houses going to last with us, ultimately a will is forged and our timeless effort and energy passes on to our descendants like a gift box decorated with ribbons, but a house build in a Paradise will be eternal and moreover what house could compete with a house in Jannah.

Furthermore, if one could build strings of houses or even one, can we not at least build one masjid? The hadith does not condition the masjid to be overly decorated, on the contrary Ibn ‘Abbaas said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “I have not been commanded to build lofty mosques.” Ibn ‘Abbaas said: You are going to adorn (mosques) as the Jews and Christians adorn (their places of worship). This hadeeth was classed as Saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood (448)

So, now at least a person cannot claim reluctance to build mosques due to extravagance, for indeed the hadith quells any questions in regards to it.

Perhaps issues such as land permission may arise, but as the saying goes “no pain no gain” These are obstacles that we have to overcome and we beg Allah to ease our difficulties.

The Masajid are the houses of Allah and indeed are the most honourable places in this world. The Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) showed us that the reward a person receives for building a Masjid for the sake of Allah is that Allah will build for them a house in paradise. The condition of receiving this great reward is sincerity as the Prophet ((Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) mentioned in the hadith “for the sake of Allah” which means that if a person was to build it for other reasons such as reputation or to be praised by people, they are forbidden from this great reward. The hadith also shows the great bounty which Allah has bestowed upon His creation whereby He gives such a great reward for this action.

And Allah Knows Best

We beg Allah to correct our intentions and give us the courage to build a mosque for His sake only and to bless us with a house in Paradise.

Ameen ya Rabbil Alameen

Bint Ayesha

AAT, Writer