“God has made the Ka‘bah, the Sacred House...” (Al-Māedah 5:97)

by Fethullah Gülen on . Posted in Sūratu’l-Māedah (The Table)

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جَعَلَ اللَّهُ الْكَعْبَةَ الْبَيْتَ الْحَرَامَ قِيَامًا لِّلنَّاسِ

God has made the Ka‘bah, the Sacred House, a standard and maintenance for the people… (Al-Māedah 5:97)

This verse may be dealt with from several perspectives, as follows:

1. The Ka‘bah has the position of being the heart of the earth. It is such a glorious and luminous pillar around which human beings, jinn, and an-gels incessantly turn from the center of the earth to the Sidratu’l- Muntahā (the farthest point of the created realm or the highest limit separating this created realm with the “realm” of Divinity) that billions of visible or invisible pure souls look forward to reaching it at every moment. Indeed, only this aspect of the Ka‘bah is enough for it to be worthy of being the projection of the Sidrah upon earth. This is such a projection that it is as if God “looks at” and judges all humankind, including particularly the Prophets, from this Sidrah–Ka‘bah perspective. Hence, it can easily be said that the Ka‘bah is “a standard” or a unit of measurement, and the existence of many things, like that of the earth, seems to have been programmed according to its existence. But for the Ka‘bah, the existence of other things would have no meaning. Pointing to this fact, several sayings of our Proph-et, upon him be peace and blessings, inform us that the destruction of the Ka‘bah is a sign of the final destruction of the earth. That is, the destruction of the Ka‘bah signals the disconnection between the earth and the heavens. In other words, the existence of the earth disconnected with the heavens will have no meaning. When the earth loses its means of realizing the aim of its existence, it must be removed from the arena of existence.

With this characteristic, the Ka‘bah is the only basis for the existence of the earth, and it has been performing its mission with its unique spirit. Thus, when the Ka‘bah is deprived of the aim of its existence, it will eventually return to its essence. I would like to present an observation confirming this reality. It belongs to a spiritual Pole from among the followers of Imām Rabbānī. He says: “I was circumambulating around the Ka‘bah when I suddenly witnessed the rise of the Ka‘bah towards the heaven. While it was rising, it was complaining about the people not worshipping God properly. I held it by its foot, begging it to come back.” Certainly, it is hard to tell whether the Ka‘bah remained with its spirit and “secret” or not, without having an observer of the same degree of insight.

I do not think that the case today is different than it was at that time. However, we rely on the immensity of God’s grace and favor. Maybe, the tragic condition of the believers at the present results from the com-plaint of the Ka‘bah that is treated with disrespect.

2. Islam can be practiced individually, and a person can be successful in performing their personal obligations. However, it is only through being in a Muslim community that God Almighty’s favors can be acquired in a general sense and that these favors can be represented in a perfect way. Thus, the Ka‘bah is the core and cornerstone of forming a community and its preservation. Many occasions from millions’ turning towards it in Prayers to millions’ visiting it in minor and major pilgrimages reinforce and strengthen the awareness of being in a community and contribute to its maintenance. We should not forget as well that the Hājj, or major pilgrimage, is a universal assembly. A perfectly performed pilgrimage is a world-wide assembly organized by Muslims. If it can be performed consciously, it would be possible to find solutions to the problems of the Muslim world. If the pilgrimage cannot function in this way today, the fault lies in Muslims’ lack of awareness. In fact, the pilgrimage always has this potential. Thus, the Ka‘bah is always a source of power and maintenance for humankind.

3. The Ka‘bah is a support also in respect to the fact that it strengthens the spiritual power of each individual believer. For every be-liever who turns towards the Ka‘bah while praying finds with himself the entire community of believers all over the world that stand for the Prayer turning to the Ka‘bah, among them are tens of thousands of saints, saintly scholars, and those whose eyes of the heart are open. They exist for the believer as proofs of the truths in which they believe, and in their presence, the believer is freed from any possible hesitations. They can also silence their carnal soul and Satan, both of which try to instill doubts in their heart that the Ka‘bah is a building like any other structure built of stones and earth and therefore has no sacredness. Instead their faith is reinforced by the thought: “If the Ka‘bah did not have any appealing sacredness, would thousands of people who have over time progressed spiritually and intellectually have such great interest in it?”

4. There is a strong relationship between the movement of revival and the fact that the Ka‘bah is “a maintenance for human beings.” The level of the movement of revival is directly proportionate to the comprehension of the truth of the Ka‘bah. On the day when it is comprehended perfectly, the movement of revival will have reached the highest possible level.

In sum, the Ka‘bah has always been the light of the eyes of people, the power of their knees, and the source of their energy and uplifting feel-ings. The religious and worldly affairs of believers have maintained their harmony through the Ka‘bah, and it has always been a source of the balance of the heart of the entire Muslim community. Those who turn to God do so through the Ka‘bah; the Prayer and Pilgrimage are performed in closest contact with it. Those who seek contentment find it around the Ka‘bah and in what is going on around it, and those who suffer homesickness feel the breeze of familiarity and friendship in its sacred area. The Ka‘bah is both an altar, and yet its meaning transcends beyond the sense of an altar as it extends from the heart to the Sidratu’l-Muntahā. It is the most meaningful voice of all realms of existence, embodied in stone in a blessed region of the earth.

May God, The Almighty, not deprive us of the Ka‘bah’s protection and support!