Makkah - The Ka'bah

Makkah - The Ka'bah

June 01, 2017 Abu Muneer Ismail Davids

In relation to the following diagram:

Tawaaf: The direction for tawaaf is anti-clockwise, starting and finishing at the Hajr-al-Aswad.

Brown Line: There is no need to stop on this line. The brown line is a tiled area indicating the starting and end point of tawaaf. There is also a green light on the wall at the end of the brown tiled line to indicate the starting point. The middle floor and the roof both have a green light (with a sign indicating "Beginning and Completion of Tawaaf") for this purpose.

Multazam: This is the area from the Hajr-al-Aswad up to the door of the Ka'bah. It is reported that the companions (may Allah be pleased with them) of the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) used to make dua here.

Maqaam Ibraheem: This is where the pilgrim performs two rak'at salah after tawaaf. This is the station of Ibraheem referred to in the Qur'an.

Al-Hijr: It is part of the Ka'bah therefore the pilgrim should walk around it during tawaaf. Try to perform some sunnah/nafl salah in this area. Many books refer to this area as the Hijr-Ismail. Some go as far as to say that Prophet Ismail and his mother Hager (may Allah's peace be upon them) are buried here, hence the name. There is no authentic proof for this or the name. The fact that we are allowed to make salah in this area is proof enough that this cannot be true, as we are not allowed to make salah on graves. Also the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) referred to this area as Al-Hijr.

Water Spout: This is located on the roof of the Ka'bah in the middle of the Hijr. Its purpose is to allow any water on the roof to drain down. It has no spiritual or historical significance. Why mention it? Well, some pilgrims believe it has certain spiritual significance and fight to perform salah directly beneath it. Also, it is a new addition to the Ka'bah, and did not exist in the time of the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him).

South Corner: This is also known as Rukn-al-Yamani. During tawaaf the pilgrim touches this corner without kissing it.

Safaa: The sa’ee starts at Safaa and the direction is towards Marwah.

Green Lights: Between these green lights the male pilgrims “run” during sa'ee.

Marwah: The sa’ee ends at Marwah.



Needless to say that it is a condition of salah that one faces Qiblah (direction of the Ka'bah) while performing salah.

The marble tiles (in the newer areas) and the ones immediately around the Ka'bah are positioned facing Qiblah.

There is also a thin strip of darker coloured tiles (in a line format) to indicate the Qiblah.

The entire courtyard area (outside the Haram) has the tiles laid facing the Qiblah.

The following diagram illustrates what we mean.

In the older areas of the Haram where the tiles are laid straight there are two blue lines carved into the marble floor tiles of the Haram. This is to indicate the direction of Qiblah (also in the sa'ee area).

One of the more amazing things in the Haram is that the closer you are to the Ka'bah the more likely you are to “miss” the direction.

The red arrows clearly indicate that the person will be 'missing' Qiblah. Whereas the green arrows show that the two blue lines carved into the floor tiles guide the person to face Qiblah (previous diagram).

It is almost impossible not to face Qiblah when standing closer to the Ka'bah in the circled area. In the courtyard areas the direction is indicated by the tiles and also by a thin strip of a darker coloured tile, serving as a line (guide).

You will find many people (especially in the women's areas) facing in the wrong direction while performing salah (sunnah and fardh). This is because most people assume that facing straight ahead from wherever they are in the Haram is correct. (As soon as one person does it the rest seem to follow.)

Do not necessarily follow the lines of people performing salah. Ensure that they are facing Qiblah.

What shall you do if the entire line is facing the wrong way?  Turn as many of them as you possibly can by placing your hands on their shoulders from the back and gently turning them. (Be prepared for resistance and confusion. Do not insist as you may get a slap in the face.) After that, you should face the right direction, as those coming after you will follow your lead.

Around the Ka'bah it is easy and simple. The further back you go the more difficult it becomes to guess the direction. However there is no need to guess, just follow the lines on the floor tiles.

Around the Ka'bah is the only place in world where you will find people performing salah in a circle. If the Imam is standing further back under the covered area (as he sometimes does), where is the first line you may ask? Well, that's another topic all together.