Arabia was submerged and engulfed by the violent and unwise practices of its people. The birth of the prophet in the “Times of Ignorance” was a sign of Allah’s mercy upon mankind. He had chosen yet once again to guide His people towards the right path through His messenger peace be upon him. The prophet peace be upon him belonged to one of the most famous tribes in Arabia. He was an orphan since his birth. His mother died when he turned six. After the tragic death of his grandfather too, Abu Talib, his uncle took him in his custody. The Prophet was an illiterate man and worked as a shepherd in his youth.
The incident took place when the Prophet (peace be upon him) was thirty five years old, five years before he embarked on the holy mission. It so happened that Makkah was hit by a great flood which almost demolished the Ka’bah. The Makkan tribes decided to reconstruct the Ka’bah. This was done due to some other reasons as well.
1. It was a low building of white stones no more than nine arm’s length.
2. It was also roofless leaving thieves easy access to its treasures inside.
3. It was also exposed to the wearing factors of nature – because it was built so long ago.1
Even though the Quraish were indulged in all unjust practices and idol worship yet the chiefs of Quraish made it clear that money earned through illegal or unjust means will not be invested in the rebuilding project. At the beginning people were a bit reluctant about bringing the walls down, scared that they might be inflicted by Allah’s anger. Finally Al-Walid bin Al-Mughirah Al-Mukhzumi began the task. Seeing that no harm has come to him the others participated. The work continued until they reached the Black stone. At this point a conflict broke out about who would have the honor of placing the sacred Black stone in its place. The arguments reached to the height where bloodshed seemed inevitable. Fortunately, the oldest among the chiefs Abu Ummaiyah bin Mughirah Al-Makhzumi suggested an idea that was acceptable to everyone. He said that” Let him, who enters the Sanctuary first of all decide on the point.”
By Allah’s will it was the prophet (peace be upon him) that entered first. The people of Makkah were rejoiced when they saw him as they knew him for being just and trustworthy. They informed him (peace be upon him) about their objective. He asked for a mantle to be spread across and kept the stone in the middle. He then commanded the chief of every tribe to hold a corner of the mantle and take it over to the respective wall. Upon reaching the assigned position the Prophet (peace be upon him) placed the stone inside with his own hands.
The incident not only mentions how the Prophet (peace be upon him) was able to handle a complicated situation wisely, but also that the people of Makkah viewed the Prophet (peace be upon him) as a trustworthy and honest person.
1. The Sealed Nectar/ Saifur-Rahman Al-Mubarak/ page 79