Who built the Kaaba Sharif in Makkah? Did Ibrahim alaihi salaam and his son Ismail really build the Kaaba, I mean is it written in the Old Testament (Torah) and the Holy Quran?


3 Answers 3


Allah said in the Qur'an:

Sahih International:
Indeed, the first House [of worship] established for mankind was that at Makkah - blessed and a guidance for the worlds. (3:96)

Lo! the first Sanctuary appointed for mankind was that at Becca, a blessed place, a guidance to the peoples;

This verse is used as an evidence, that the Ka'abah was established for humans by the angels long before Ibrahim. Note that almost all translations except the sahih international kept the Arabic بَكَّةَ Becca/Bakkah word.

This word was also used in the Bible:

In the old Testament you may find:

5 Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them.

6 Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools. (Psalms 84: 5-6)

Nowhere in the world there's a valley called Baca/Becca or Bakah, but there's a valley in Mekkah with the Ka'aba as the next verse of the Qur'an indicates:

In it are clear signs [such as] the standing place of Abraham. And whoever enters it shall be safe. And [due] to Allah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House - for whoever is able to find thereto a way. But whoever disbelieves - then indeed, Allah is free from need of the worlds. (3:97)

As there's the Ka'abah to which people go for pilgrimage.

To strengthen this meaning there are further more verses such as 2:158 (shows the location), 29:67 and 106:3-4 (both create a link to the safety around the Ka'aba) which wipe away any confusion about the location.

The fact that Ibrahim was in the Hijaz region can hardly be denied as you may find in the old testament:

7 And the angel of the Lord found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur.

8 And he said, Hagar, Sarai’s maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai.

9 And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands.

10 And the angel of the Lord said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude.

11 And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the Lord hath heard thy affliction.

12 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.

13 And she called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me?

14 Wherefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; behold, it is between Kadesh (in Arabic Raqeem رقيم) and Bered (Ii Arabic يرد). (Genesis 16/7-14)

Here the name of the Hijaz (in actual translations Shur, Shor or Sur) is mentioned, in the first Arabic translation of the Torah by Saadia Gaon (also known as Sa'id ibn Yusuf al-Fayyumi) سعيد بن يوسف الفيومي‎ while later translations use other ambiguous names instead to change the location from the Arabic peninsula to a location which is still located in Egypt as we know it now. Also later translations use the word south instead of direction of prayer (qiblah). And Hajar’s departure to that place, after which the blessing of the “Well of the Living One Who sees me” is bestowed by Allah, may He be glorified and exalted is also mentioned: Which is a clear reference to the Well of Zamzam.

Based on the above explanation Ibrahims sejour in Mekkah can be read in

Abraham removed from thence to the south (the south (from its drought); specifically, the Negeb or southern district of Judah, occasionally, Egypt (as south to Palestine) -- south (country, side, -ward).) country, and dwelt between Cades and Sur, and sojourned in Gerara. (Gensis 20/1)

It is also mentioned that Hajar has chosen a wife from Pharan for her Son Isma'il:

And he dwelt in the wilderness of Pharan (ornamental; Paran, a desert of Arabia -- Paran.), and his mother took a wife for him out of the land of Egypt. (Genesis 21/21)

Muslim scholars hold the opinion that even people of the book considered Pharan a reference for a location in Makkah:

Although many passages in the Torah suggest that Paran is in Palestine, Imam al-Qarraafi said in his book al-Ajwibah al-Faakhirah (p. 165): Paran is Makkah, according to the consensus of the People of the Book. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said in al-Jawaab as-Saheeh liman baddala Deen al-Maseeh (5/200):

There is no difference of opinion between the Muslims and the People of the Book concerning the fact that Paran is Makkah. But if they say that it is not Makkah, there is nothing strange in that, because they are known for their distortions and fabrications.

He (may Allah have mercy on him) also said concerning the region around Mount Hira’ in Makkah:

That place is called Faaraan (Paran) to this day. End quote. (islamqa #204341)

Finally the Qur'an mentions how Ibrahim and Isma'il have re-built the Ka'abah:

And [mention] when Abraham was raising the foundations of the House and [with him] Ishmael, [saying], "Our Lord, accept [this] from us. Indeed You are the Hearing, the Knowing. (2:127)

after showing Ibrahim the location, which can be used as an indication that the Ka'abah was demolished and needed rebuilding:

And [mention, O Muhammad], when We designated for Abraham the site of the House, [saying], "Do not associate anything with Me and purify My House for those who perform Tawaf and those who stand [in prayer] and those who bow and prostrate. (22:26)

See also this relevant post:

What did Mushrikeen think about who built the Kaaba?


The Kaabah has been rebuilt several times through history.

At least one of these was by Abraham and Ishmael and this is mentioned in the Quran:

وعهدنا إلى إبراهيم وإسماعيل أن طهرا بيتي للطائفين والعاكفين والركع السجود

And We charged Abraham and Ishmael, [saying], "Purify My House for those who perform Tawaf and those who are staying [there] for worship and those who bow and prostrate [in prayer]."

Quran 2:125

وإذ يرفع إبراهيم القواعد من البيت وإسماعيل ربنا تقبل منا إنك أنت السميع العليم

And [mention] when Abraham was raising the foundations of the House and [with him] Ishmael, [saying], "Our Lord, accept [this] from us. Indeed You are the Hearing, the Knowing.

Quran 2:127

وإذ بوأنا لإبراهيم مكان البيت أن لا تشرك بي شيئا وطهر بيتي للطائفين والقائمين والركع السجود

And [mention, O Muhammad], when We designated for Abraham the site of the House, [saying], "Do not associate anything with Me and purify My House for those who perform Tawaf and those who stand [in prayer] and those who bow and prostrate."

Quran 22:26

There is no indication in the Quran as to who was the first one to built the Kaabah, although it is mentioned that it was the first House ever established:

إن أول بيت وضع للناس للذي ببكة مباركا وهدى للعالمين

Indeed, the first House [of worship] established for mankind was that at Makkah - blessed and a guidance for the worlds

Quran 3:96

Which is also mentioned in Hadith:

قلت يا رسول الله أي مسجد وضع في الأرض أول قال المسجد الحرام

[ Abu Dhar asked:] "O Allah's Messenger (ﷺ)! Which mosque was first built on the surface of the earth?"

He (the Prophet) said, "Al-Masjid-ul-Haram"


And it is reasonable that it would have preceded Abraham, since several nations and prophets from mankind came before him. And it is known that they prayed and prostrated, and a Qiblah (and possibly Masjid) is required for these:

أولئك الذين أنعم الله عليهم من النبيين من ذرية آدم وممن حملنا مع نوح ومن ذرية إبراهيم وإسرائيل وممن هدينا واجتبينا إذا تتلى عليهم آيات الرحمن خروا سجدا وبكيا

Those were the ones upon whom Allah bestowed favor from among the prophets of the descendants of Adam and of those We carried [in the ship] with Noah, and of the descendants of Abraham and Israel, and of those whom We guided and chose. When the verses of the Most Merciful were recited to them, they fell in prostration and weeping.

فخلف من بعدهم خلف أضاعوا الصلاة واتبعوا الشهوات فسوف يلقون غيا

But there came after them successors who neglected prayer and pursued desires; so they are going to meet evil -

Quran 19:58-59

One tradition about who made the Kaabah:

وقال علي بن أبي طالب - رضي الله عنه - : أمر الله تعالى الملائكة ببناء بيت في الأرض وأن يطوفوا به ; وكان هذا قبل خلق آدم ، ثم إن آدم بنى منه ما بنى وطاف به ، ثم الأنبياء بعده ، ثم استتم بناءه إبراهيم عليه السلام

Ali Ibn Abi Talib said: Allah commanded the angels to build the House on earth and to perform Tawaf around it, this was before the creation of Adam. Then Adam made it again and performed Tawaf around it. Then after him other prophets also did it, and then Abraham completed it.

Tafsir Qurtubi

Also refer to this Hadith about the sanctity of the Kaabah since the day of creation:

إن هذا البلد حرمه الله يوم خلق الله السموات والأرض

Allah made this town (Makkah) sacred on the day He created the earth and the heavens.



Kaaba in early days after prophet Abraham built it

The Kaaba was most likely first built by the first human created and sent to earth by God; Adam. According to the Abrahamic History and Archaeology Encyclopedia the "Madain Project" Islamic tradition asserts that the Kaaba was first built by prophet Adam. It is said to have been lost over time until prophet Ibrahim re-built it with his son prophet Isamil. Since then the Kaaba has been the focul point of religious activity. Not much is known regarding the histoy of Kaabah before the advent of Islam, but what is for certain is that prior to Islam throughout the Arabian Peninsula, the Kaaba was a holy site for the various Bedouin tribes of the area.


  1. https://madainproject.com/kaaba
  2. https://madainproject.com/mecca_through_time
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