The Kaaba


A lot of Muslims think that the actual Kaaba is the original one, from the time of the prophet, in fact, the Kaaba we have today is from 1996.

Because the Kaaba sits in a valley, the area is prone to flooding, as shown in this photo. Without drainage systems for the Kaaba itself, the roof had collapsed on at least two occasions.

1941, people are swimming around the Kaaba. The first one to do it was allegedly abdullah ibn al zubayr in the seventh century.

In 1996, the Kaaba was totally deconstructed and rebuilt with modern materials. Supposedly, the old pieces were dumped into the Red Sea to avoid them being “holy relics”. Seen in these images is the deconstruction all of the way down to the foundation, to allow for modern drainage systems to be installed.

I Guess people are not used to see a destroyed Kaaba so During this modernization, pilgrims just saw this white barrier around the construction site. The maintenance was scheduled for the “off season” to reopen before the next Hajj.

Seen here is the modern Kaaba, rebuilt, having its characteristic cover installed.

A rare look inside the Kaaba, showing the all new marble interior. It is cleaned once a year in a ceremony by the Saudi family.

Wait! What about the infamous Black Stone? Well, it turns out that the Kaaba is built totally without the stone, and it is an add-on to one of the corners. Seen here is a picture before the stone’s module is attached in the gap in the curtain.

A close-up of the stone. Compare to the previous image to see how the cut-out of the curtain matches up.

Every year, the old cover is carefully removed, cut into small pieces and then they are gifted to certain individuals, foreign Muslim dignitaries that are visiting the Kingdom and several organizations around the world. Currently, the cost of making the whole cover is around SR 17 million. The entire cover is comprised of 670 kilograms of pure silk. For the embroidery 15 kilos of pure gold is used.

Saudi soldiers fighting their way into the Kabaa Underground beneath the Grand Mosque of Mecca, 1979 when extremist insurgents calling for the overthrow of the House of Saud took over Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The insurgents declared that the Mahdi (the “redeemer of Islam”) had arrived in the form of one of their leaders – Mohammed Abdullah al-Qahtani – and called on Muslims to obey him. For nearly two weeks Saudi Special Forces, assisted by Pakistani and French commandos,fought battles to reclaim the compound.

The real black stone is not the entire black area we usually see, it’s only eight little pieces cemented together. The original black stone was stolen by the qarmatians in 930, and it was destroyed by fire then brought back 22 years later in a state of little piece. The Muslims convinced themselves that it was the original one by saying the the black stone didn’t sink in water, but since they cemented the pieces, we can’t test this claim. In 1674, according to Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, someone smeared the Black Stone with excrement so that “every one who kissed it retired with a sullied beard”.