With Allah’s Name, The Merciful Benefactor, The Merciful Redeemer
A Symbol of Unity
The kaba is located in the holiest of cities, Makkah, in present day Saudi Arabia. It is the place where Hajar took her son, Ismail (pbuh), and the place where Prophet Abraham(pbuh) and his son Prophet Ismail(pbuh) built the first house of worship. This sacred house, the kaba, has an important meaning for those who understand wisdom.Behold! We pointed the site, to Abraham, of the (Sacred) House, (saying): "Associate not anything (in worship) with Me; and sanctify My House for those who compass it round, or stand up, or bow, or prostrate themselves (therein in prayer) --22:26
First, we must understand that the house itself is only a building. It is only stone, and it must be kept like any other house. Even before the Prophet Muhammad began preaching Islam to the Makkans, they had a tribe that was responsible for the house. They were the custodians of the sacred house. This noble tribe, the Quraish, was responsible for the upkeep of the house, but they abused that honored privilege. They exploited the house for capital gain. They became wealthy and powerful by housing 360 idols within the walls of the kaba.
Even before they heard the call of Islam, they knew that Abraham(pbuh), who worshipped the one God, built this house, but they closed their hearts to this memory. The allure of this material world (dunya) has the ability to blind us. Thus, the Quraish were blinded to the unity of God by the material gain of the house. They lost the meaning behind the house. They remembered the physical structure, but they forgot the symbolic meaning.
That symbolic meaning contained in that small, cube-shaped house is a symbol of Unity. It is a single house built for the worship of a single God. A single house was built for a single Ummah (nation or community). When we make the Hajj or pilgrimage to this sacred house, we circumambulate it. We all circle it in the same direction praying to the same Creator. We become unified in our cause, in our direction, in our prayers, and in our way of life. The stone itself is insignificant. There is no magic power in the stone. We must comprehend the symbol of Unity that the stone represents.
Arabia, at the time of our Prophet’s life, prior to his receiving revelations, was a beautiful example. It was a beautiful example of disunity. The tribes fought against each other. Some tribes would band together with other tribes only to fight against some other tribe. They were constantly in competition for material superiority. There are now 56 Muslim countries in the world, not including the places where Muslims are the minority. We have seen wars where Muslims fought against Muslims, brother against brother. Why?
Just like the pagan tribes of Arabia did over 1400 years ago, our Muslims brothers have forgotten the house. They have abandoned it. They didn’t abandon it physically. They abandoned the symbol. They closed the door on Allah’s house and locked it. We, as a collective community, have ignored the symbol and message that Allah has given us in the house. Allah tells us that the world is a Masjid. Allah has also instructed us to worship the Lord of this house. What kind of house is it? It is a house of prayer? What do we call that type of house? We call it a Masjid. Our brothers and sisters have chosen to worship this world instead of worshipping the Lord of this world or of this house.
Does this mean that all of us are going to hell? No, Allah will still judge us individually. Collectively, however, we are already IN hell. Think about the anguish that we would cause the Messenger of Allah if he could see us today. Think about how sick he would be to see brothers and sisters slaughtered in Kosova while we sit by idly. Think about how he would be moved to tears to see our brothers and sisters in Africa fighting in civil war after civil war. Think how ashamed he would be to see his own tribe in Arabia misusing the sacred house. Think how saddened he would be to see 56 Muslim countries and no Islamic Khilafa.
Now think about why we are in the chaotic state we are in today. Think about how Muslims leaders go to western powers for help. Muslim leaders steal small insignificant pieces of earth from each other and from their people. Worst of all are the Muslim individuals who do not rise up against this tyranny.
Why is it so easy for millions of Muslims from all over the world to go on Hajj together, but it is so hard for them to stay united when they go home? Allah has designed a practical solution to the problems listed above. The solution is unification through the kaba. Once we understand the symbol, we will understand our unity. The message of the Qur’an is one of Unity: unity of God, unity of religion, unity of nations, and unity of humanity. In order to put this message into practice, we must be unified.Remember We made the House a place of assembly for people and a place of safety; and take ye the Station of Abraham as a place of prayer; and We covenanted with Abraham and Ismail, that they should sanctify My House for those who compass it round, or use it as a retreat, or bow, or prostrate themselves (therein in prayer). --2:125