No place on Earth equal to Kaaba
It has been rebuilt several times
The Kaaba that we see today is not exactly the same Kaaba that was built by the Prophets Ibrahim ل allallāhu ‘alayhi wa salaam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and Ismail ulalāhu’ alayhi wa salaam (peace and blessings of Allah be with he) From time to time, it has needed a reconstruction after natural disasters and caused by man.
Of course, we all know of the great reconstruction that took place during the life of the Prophet, sallallâhu ‘alayhi wa salaam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) before he became a Prophet, sallAllahu alayhi wa salaam (peace and blessings of Allah) to be with him). This is the occasion when the Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa salaam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) avoided a great bloodshed by quickly thinking how to place the Black Stone with a cloth that each tribe could lift.
Since then, there has been an average of one major reconstruction every few centuries. The last renovation was carried out in 1996 and was extremely thorough, which led to the replacement of many of the stones and the strengthening of the foundations and a new roof. It is likely to be the last reconstruction for many centuries (Insha’Allah), since modern techniques mean that the building is safer and more stable than ever.
It used to be multicolored
We are so used to the Kaaba being covered with the black Kiswah brand with gold bands that we cannot imagine that it is of another color. However, this tradition seems to have begun at the time of the Abbasids (whose home color was black) and before this, the Kaaba was covered in multiple colors, including green, red and white.
The keys are in the hands of a family
At the time of the Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa salaam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), every aspect related to the rites of Hajj was in the hands of different subgroups of the Quraysh. Each of them would eventually lose control of their guardianship of a particular rite, except one. In the conquest of Mecca, the Prophet, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa salaam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was given the keys of the Ka’bah and instead of keeping it in his possession; he returned them to Osman ibn Talha® of the Bani Shaiba family. They had been the traditional key guardians of the Kaaba for centuries; and the Prophet, sallallâhu ‘alayhi wa salaam (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) be confirmed in that role until the end of time by these words
“Take, O Bani Talha, eternally until the Day of Resurrection, and it will not be taken from you unless it is by an unjust and oppressive tyrant.”
Be it Caliph, Sultan or King, the most powerful men in the world have had to submit to the words of the Prophet sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and ask permission of this small Makkan family before that they can enter the Kaaba
It used to be open for all
Until recently, the Kaaba was opened twice a week for anyone to enter and pray. However, due to the rapid expansion in the number of pilgrims and other factors, the Kaaba now opens only twice a year for dignitaries and exclusive guests only.
You used to be able to swim around
One of the problems of having the Kaaba located at the bottom of a valley is that when it rains, the valleys tend to flood. This was not an unusual occurrence in Mecca and the cause of many problems before the days of flood control systems and sewage. For days and days the Kaaba would be half submerged in the water. Did that stop Muslims from performing Tawaaf? Of course, no. As the following image shows, the Muslims simply began to swim around the Kaaba.