Sura Al-Imran (Tafseer-ul-Maariful Quran), Part-65

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Verse 96
إِنَّ أَوَّلَ بَيْتٍ وُضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ لَلَّذِي بِبَكَّةَ مُبَارَكًا وَهُدًى لِّلْعَالَمِينَ

The first house set up for the people is surely the one in Makkah having blessings and guidance for all worlds. [96]

Commentary:
The above verse points out to the distinction and superiority of the House of Allah, the Ka'bah, as compared to the houses, and even mosques, of the whole world. There are several reasons for this status, which have been mentioned in this verse, namely:

1. Among the true houses of worship in this world, the Ka'bah enjoys the distinction of being the first.
2. It is full of blessings.
3. It is a source of guidance for the entire world.

The gist of the words used in the verse is that the first House designated for people by Allah is none other than the one which is in Makkah. It means that the Ka'bah of Makkah is the first House of Worship in this world. One possible interpretation of this phrase may be that the first house of all the houses of the world was made for Divine worship exclusively, in which case, there would have been no place of worship or place of residence prior to it. Adam (A) was a prophet of Allah. Given his stature and the eminent position as Allah's vicegerent, it is likely that he, soon after his appearance on the earth,. elected to first build the House of Allah even before building his own  residence. It is for this reason that Sayyidna 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar, Mujahid, Qatadah and others from among the Companions and their suc. cessors are of the opinion that the Ka'bah is the first house of the world. Then, it is also possible that houses where people lived may have already been made earlier but this may have been the first ever House made exclusively for worship. This very view has been reported from Sayyidna 'Ali (Ra).

Al-Baihaqi, in his book, Dala'il al-Nubiwwah, has reported on the authority of Sayyidna 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr ibn as (Ra) that the Holy Prophet (SM) said: 'After the arrival of Sayyidna Adam and Sayyidah Hawwa'(A) into the mortal world, Allah Almighty commanded them through angel Jibra'il that they should build the House of Allah (the Ka'bah). After they had fulfilled the command, they were asked to go round it (in .tawaf). They were told that they were the first among people and this house was the first House (of worship) appointed for people (Ibn Kathir).

As it appears in some reports, this structure of the Ka'bah built by Sayyidna dam was there upto the time of Sayyidna . It collapsed during the Flood and its traces were obliterated. Following that, it was re-built by Sayyidna Ibrahim (A) on the same foundations. When the structure collapsed again due to some accident, a group from the tribe of Jurhum raised it once again. When yet another collapse came, the Amalkites rebuilt it. When it collapsed close to the early period of the Holy Prophet (SM),the Quraysh built it all over again in which the Holy Prophet (SM) himself participated and helped place the Black Stone with his blessed hands. But, the structure raised by the Quraysh was a little different from the original foundation laid down by Sayyidna Ibrahim in as much as they had left out a section of the House of Allah which is known as Hatim. There were two doors in the original Abrahamic structure of the Ka'bah, one for entry and another on the back for exit. The Quraysh retained just the one door in the east (for entry and exit).

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