Kaaba is the holiest site for Muslims. It is the greatest and most sacred mosque in Islam. Muslims considered it as the House of God “Bait Ullah”. According to Abrahamic religions, Kaaba was made by Prophet Abraham and his son Ishmail on the order of God. Millions of Muslims from all over the world attend this place each year for Hajj and Umrah.
Destruction of Kaaba in History
Kaaba the House of God was greatly damaged by Humans many times in History. Just a few years after the death of Muhammad PBUH, the Sanctity of Kaaba was desecrated. Astonishingly no foreign or nonmuslim forces ever dared to perform such an act, rather the Kaaba was damaged by the Muslims themselves during their civil wars.
Here are the events when Kaaba was destroyed.
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First Siege of Makkah:
The structure of Kaaba was severely damaged by a fire during the first siege of Mecca in the war between the Umayyads and ‘Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr. this incident occurred 51 years after the death of Muhammad PBUH.
The first siege of Makkah took place in 683, this the siege was commanded by Husayn ibn Neymar who was the leader of the Umayyad caliphate. Abdullah ibn Zubair was in power in the city of Makkah and Madinah. Yazid 1 was the Caliph of the Ummayyad caliphate at that time. Yazid 1 was able to maintain its rule over all the Muslim territories except for the Makkah and Madinah which were under the control of Abdullah ibn Zubair. Abdullah bin Zubair did not consider Yazid 1 worthy of the caliphate, he thought that selection of Yazid as a caliph was not fair, as he was selected on nepotism. So Ibn Zubair decided to establish its own caliphate in the city of Makkah and Madinah.
Yazid 1 sent his army to take Makkah and Madinah by force under the leadership of Husayn ibn Neymar. His Army took over Madinah and went for Makkah. In the first battle in Makkah, Abdullah bin Zubair’s army got the victory. Later Yazid’s army put Makkah under siege and used catapults to throw stones at the city. Abdullah bin Zubair’s army protected Kaaba with a wooden frame covered with mattresses. These mattresses along with wooden frames caught fire. A stone from a catapult struck to sacred black stone (Hajr e Aswad) and it broke into pieces. The structure of Kaaba was severely damaged as stone from the catapult hit its walls. This siege continued for 64 days. Siege came to an end when NEWS of the death of Yazid arrived in Makkah. Abdullah ibn Zubair rebuilt the Holy Kaaba. Fragments of Black stone then joined by silver.
Second Siege of Makkah:
The second siege of Makkah took place in 692 CE, 60 years after the death of Muhammad PBUH. After successfully dealing with the first siege, Abdullah ibn Zubair was able to capture more territories than before.
By then Abdul Malik bin Marwan was the new caliph of the Umayyads. He decided to take cities back under the Umayyad’s control. After defeating his enemy in Iraq and Syria, he sent Hajaj bin Yusuf with 2000 troops to Makkah to fight with Abdullah bin Zubair. Hajaj besieged the city of Makkah
. Food supplies to the city had been cut off, Hajaj’s army used catapults to throw stones at Makkah. Hajaj did not even stop bombarding the city at the time of Hajj. He wanted to perform tawaaf of Holy Kaaba, but Abdullah bin Zubair refused. Tawaaf means Circling the Kaaba seven times counterclockwise. After the refusal, Hajaj started to bombard the stone on Kaaba itself. Siege continued for 6-7 months. Abdullah bin Zubair was martyred fighting with Hajaj’s Army. Siege ended after his death, his head was sent to Caliph and his body was displayed in Gibbet.
After Abdullah ibn Zubair’s death, Ummayad’s caliph Abdul Malik destroyed the remnants of ibn Zubayr’s Kaaba and rebuilt it on the foundations set by the Quraysh. The Kaaba returned to the cube shape.
Qarmatians were Shia Muslims split from the Fatimid caliphate. During the Hajj of 930 CE, the Shi’ite Qarmatians attacked Mecca under Abu Tahir al-Jannabi. They killed hundreds of pilgrims. defiled the Zamzam Well with the bodies of pilgrims and stole the Black Stone, taking it to the oasis in Eastern Arabia. Black stone remained under Qarmatians till 952 CE. The Abbasid caliph took it back in 952, after paying the ransom.