5 Facts You Should Know About Alabaster Stones of The Kaaba – Shadharawan
If you have ever been to the Holy Kaaba or had a close look at its pictures, you must have noticed eight pieces of the Alabaster Stone placed at the bottom right side of the Kaaba’s door upon a gutter.
But did you know that about 200 years ago, all the pieces of the Alabaster Stone were stolen? In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about one of the most sacred and rarest marbles in the world – the Alabaster Stone at the Kaaba.
What Is the Holy Kaaba?
In the west of the Hejaz region of Saudi Arabia, not far from the Red Sea in the centre of the sacred city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia, stands a 60-feet tall cube-shaped structure elegantly draped in a jet-black cotton silk veil – the Holy Kaaba. According to the history of Islam, Allah SWT first commanded the angels to construct the Holy Kaaba in the shape of Baitul Ma’amoor, the House up in the Heavens.
The Holy Kaaba was later built by Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and his son Prophet Ismail (AS) and purified by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) after the conquest of Makkah, marking the end of polytheism in the Arabian Peninsula.
Why Is the Kaaba Important in Islam?
Also known as Khana Kaaba, the Holy Kaaba isn’t the actual House of Allah SWT but a symbol of the Almighty on Earth. The structure of the Kaaba denotes the Oneness of Allah SWT and His (SWT) Supreme Power.
It also signifies the unification of all and is a safe place for Muslims to pray and ask for forgiveness. The Holy Kaaba is the Qibla (direction) that Muslims worldwide face while offering the five daily prayers. Every year, millions of Muslims visit the Holy Kaaba to fulfil the obligation of Hajj, the fifth pillar of Islam.
“And (remember) when Abraham and (his son) Ishmael were raising the foundations of the House (the Kaba at Mecca), (saying), ‘Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us. Verily, You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.” (Holy Quran 2:127)
5 Things You Should Know about Alabaster Stone at the Holy Kaaba
Here are some lesser-known facts about the famous Alabaster Stone at the Kaaba:
Size of the Alabaster Stone at the Kaaba
Featuring eight different-sized pieces of the rarest marble, the biggest piece of the Alabaster Stone is 21 cm in width and 33 cm in length. All the marble pieces are exquisite and contain fascinating inscriptions.
The Alabaster Stone Was a Gift to Masjid Al Haram in 631 Hijri
A researcher in the affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, Mohi Eddine Al Hashemi, reported to Al Arabiya that the Alabaster Stone was actually a gift from Caliph Abu Jafar Al Mansur on the re-establishment of the circumambulation terrace of Masjid Al Haram (the Grand Mosque) in 631 Hijri. It is said that this special date is inscribed under a blue-coloured stone.
The Messenger (PBUH) of Allah SWT Was Taught by Angel Jibraeel (AS) at This Spot
According to Islamic history, the eight marbles were mindfully placed in the lower region of the Holy Kaaba, far away from the circumambulation terrace and adjacent to the area where Angel Jibraeel (AS) taught the beloved Messenger (PBUH) of Allah SWT how to pray Salah (Namaz).
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said that, “Jibraeel (AS) led me in prayer in Masjid al-Haram. He prayed the noon prayer with me when the sun had passed the meridian to the extent of the thong of a sandal; he prayed the afternoon prayer with me when the shadow of everything was as long as itself; he prayed the sunset prayer with me when one who is fasting breaks the fast; he prayed the night prayer with me when the twilight had ended, and he prayed the dawn prayer with me when food and drink become forbidden to one who is keeping the fast.
On the following day, he prayed the noon prayer with me when his shadow was as long as himself; he prayed the afternoon prayer with me when his shadow was twice as long as himself; he prayed the sunset prayer at the time when one who is fasting breaks the fast; he prayed the night prayer with me when about a third of the night had passed, and he prayed the dawn prayer with me when there was a fair amount of light.” (Sunan Abi Dawud 393)
Rare Type of Marble
Said to be more than 807 years old, the Alabaster Stone is one of the rarest kinds of marble in the world, known as the “Mary Stone.” The rare marble can be distinguished by its yellowish-brown hue.
The Alabaster Stone Was Missing for 164 Years
Per reports of an English Saudi newspaper, all eight pieces of the Alabaster Stone were stolen in 1231 Hijri. However, they were miraculously found later near a man’s dead body. After they were reported missing for 164 years with no clue as to who stole them and why the Alabaster Stone was finally placed back in its original spot in 1377 Hijri.
Summary – Alabaster Stone at the Holy Kaaba
Situated to the south right corner of the door of the Holy Kaaba in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, the Alabaster Stone is one of the most distinctive features of the House of Allah SWT. Not only does it comprise a rare marble called the “Mary Stone,” it also marks the place where Angel Jibraeel (AS) taught our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) how to pray Salah.
Although the Alabaster Stone went missing for almost 164 years, it was found and restored in 1377 Hijri. If you get a chance to visit the Holy Kaaba for pilgrimage (Hajj or Umrah), do have a look at the beautifully inscribed Alabaster Stone.