Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Title is written in Arabic and means "The Kaaba". Arabic is read from right to left

I made this drawing for the Kaaba so I decided to write a post about it as well .This post is not a detailed reference, It's a brief introduction to the Kaaba, its significance to Muslims, its history and interesting facts about it. I have also added a list of references and related pages for more information. Note : post is not finished yet :D

Never heard of it ?
The Kaa'ba is an ancient cube shaped sanctuary in the city of Makkah in Saudi Arabia. For Muslims, it's the most sacred place on earth. The Kaaba existed before Islam however, and was revered by Arabian tribes allover the Arabian peninsula; even Christians and pagans would come every year to Makkah to perform an annual pilgrimage to the Kaaba. The Kaaba was named so for its cube shape. It also has other names like"البيت العتيق" The ancient house, "البيت الحرام" the sacred house or simply "البيت" The house.

Significance to Muslims
Muslims have to stand facing the direction of the Kaaba when they pray (five times aday). This leads some people into a misconception that Muslims worship the Kaaba which is absolutely not true.

Also every Muslim is required to perform pilgrimage to Makkah at least once in their lifetime provided that they are capable of it (in terms of financial cost of the trip and being physically able to perform the rituals).

One of the basic rituals of Hajj is "Tawaf" which is to move in a counter-clockwise direction around the Kaaba while praying and asking forgiveness.

How does it look like?
Although named the Kaaba, it's not a perfect cube. Its base is 11.03 by 12.86 meters and it's 13.1 meters high (15 meters according to other sources!! I couldn't figure out which is correct).

The four corners of the kaaba roughly face the four directions of the compass. Its base is made of marble and the walls from granite.
The eastern corner has great significance since it marks the beginning and end of Tawaf and contains the "black stone" which Muslims believe to have come from heaven. Pilgrims kiss the black stone or, usually because of congestion, just raise their hands pointing to it.

the cover
The Kaaba is covered with a cloth of black silk embroidered with verses from the Qur'an using silver and gold threads and written in beautiful Arabic calligraphy. The cover is renewed annually; it's manufactured in Saudi Arabia and costs about 20 million Saudi Riyals (approximately US $5,365,000 )

The door
The door to the Kaa'ba is on the north-eastern wall and its bottom is raised 2 meters above the ground.The Kaa'ba is opened twice a year for cleaning. It's cleaned then washed with oils whose smell lasts for the whole year.
"The keys to the Kaaba are held by the Bani Shaybah (بني شيبة) tribe since the time of Muhammad. Members of the tribe greet visitors to the inside of the Kaaba on the occasion of the cleaning ceremony. A small number of dignitaries and foreign diplomats are invited to participate in the ceremony.
The governor of Makkah leads the honored guests who ritually clean the structure, using simple brooms. Washing of the Kaaba is done with a mixture of Zamzam water and Persian rosewater." Wikipedia

What's inside ?

This video shows the inside of the Kaaba using a 3D model

History and remarkable events
Throughout its amazing history, the Kaaba has witnessed a lot of events, and was destroyed and rebuilt several times!

The first House of worship
According to the Quran, the Kaa'ba was built by Abraham (Ibrahim in Arabic) and his eldest son Ishmael (or Ismael). Abraham is the ancestor of Arab people through Ishmael, as well as Jewish people through his other son Isaac, and both Abraham, Ismael and Isaac are revered in both religions.

But according to Islamic tradition ,the Kaaba was built long before that by the angels, and then by Adam the first man but it was destroyed and nothing remained of it until god commanded Abraham to rebuild it on the same old foundations.
Quran supports this too since it describes the Kaaba as "The first House appointed for men" which means its foundations were laid before Abraham.

"The first House (of worship) appointed for men was that at Bakka (another name for Makkah); full of blessing and of guidance for all kinds of beings" Quran [3:96]

Quran also describes the process of building the Kaa'ba by Abraham:

"And (remember) when Ibrahim (Abraham) and (his son) Ismael(Ishmael) were raising the foundations of the House (the Kaa'ba ), (saying), 'Our Lord! Accept (this duty) from us. Verily! You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.(127) Our Lord! Make of us Muslims (submissive to your will) and of our progeny a people Muslim (bowing to Thy Will) and show us our ways of worship, and relent toward us. Lo! Thou, only Thou, art the Relenting, the Merciful. (128) " Quran[2:127-128]

The Kaaba that Ibrahim built was different from the structure we see today. It was a roofless rectangular building with a semicircular back wall. It had two doors at the ground level. this figure shows the Kaaba built by Ibrahim compared to the recent Kaaba today.

Abraham prayed to god to make Makkah a city of peace and security and provide its people with fruits and all kinds of goods; a prayer that any visitor to Makkah today can tell that it was answered.

And (remember) when Ibrahim (Abraham) said, "My Lord, make this city (Makkah) a place of security and provide its people with fruits, such of them as believe in Allâh and the Last Day." He (Allâh) answered: "As for him who disbelieves, I shall leave him in contentment for a while, then I shall compel him to the torment of the Fire, and worst indeed is that destination!" Quran [2:126]

After that god tells Ibrahim to call people from all around the world to perform Hajj (pilgrimage). Ibrahim exclaims: "but how far can my voice reach ?" but he eventually submits to god's command. He calls people for pilgrimage ,and people are answering the call every year till today from all around the world.

"And proclaim the Pilgrimage among men: they will come to thee on foot and (mounted) on every kind of camel, lean on account of journeys through deep and distant mountain highways" Quran [22:27]

Around the year AD 500, the tribe of Quraysh (Into which Muhammad was later born) took control of the Kaaba making an agreement with the local Bedouins. The early Arabian population consisted of warring nomadic tribes.but since the Kaaba was revered by Arabian tribes, no violence was allowed in its vicinity. This allowed Makkah to become a trading center as well as a place of pilgrimage.
The early Arabian people worshiped many other deities besides Allah. At that time, the Kaaba had 360 idols representing those gods placed around and inside it, in addition to other religious figures including Jesus and Mary.

One of the significant events in the Kaaba's history is the attempt to destroy it by Abraha-al-Ashram. Abraha was an army commander for king Kaleb of Axum, but he later seized control of Saba' (Yemen) and became its king. In Islamic tradition, Abraha is very well known for his expedition to destroy the Kaaba. He is said to have built another sanctuary, a church named "al Qullays" to rival the Kaaba and wanted to attract pilgrims to it diverting them away from the Kaaba. He marched to Makkah with 40,000 men with a giant elephant named Mahmoud in the lead.

Abraha sent a man to warn the people of Makkah that his sole purpose was to demolish the Kaaba and that he will not harm anyone who doesn't stand in his way. The people of Makkah took refuge in the hills surrounding the city. When the army arrived at the borders of Makkah the elephant stopped . when he was turned to the direction of Yemen or Syria, he would move, but when turned to Makkah, he would kneel down and refuse to go forward. Shortly a dark cloud of flocks of birds appeared, holding stones in their beaks and started to bombard the invading army which ran in panic and Abraha was wounded and carried back to Yemen but died in the way.

The incident was a sign of the holiness of the Kaaba, and that year became known as "year of the elephant" and was used by Quraysh to relate events (like a calendar) and it's in this same year that Muhammad was born, which corresponds to 570 AD. The Quran mentions the story in its 105th Sura (chapter)

"Have you not seen how your Lord dealt with the Owners of the Elephant?(1) Did He not make their treacherous plan go astray? (2) And He sent against them birds, in flocks, (3) Which pelted them with stones of baked clay, (4) And made them like green crops devoured (by cattle)? (5)" Quran [105:1-5]

around the year AD 600, the Kaaba structure had been weakened by periodic floods and on one occasion, partially destroyed by fire. Quraysh decided to rebuild the Kaaba. Their funds however did not suffice so they decided to exclude the semi circular wall from the building and to make it roughly a cube. Theyalso added a roof, raised the building higher and made only one door and raised it above the ground so that no one could enter without their permission. At that time the prophet was 25 (35 in some accounts) and he participated with his people in moving the stone blocks as reported. That was before Muhammad claimed to be a messenger of god.

The Kaaba that Quraysh built looked almost the same as the building of today. and a low semicircular wall exists but not connected to the building of the Kaaba, and people performing Tawaf have to go around it since the area inside the semicircle is still considered part of the Kaaba.

Once Mohammad started preaching the message of Islam, declaring that he is a messenger from god ,and calling his people to worship only one god and abandon all other false deities, he gained enmity and hostility of his people. and after 12 painful years of persecution, torture, and economical boycott, Mohammad and his followers migrated to Madina, where they were welcomed and the first Islamic state was established. This event "Hijra" or migration marks the beginning of Islamic calendar.

Eight years later, in 630, and after many battles and efforts to spread the message, and after Mohammad's followers grew to thousands, the prophet marched to Makkah with an enormous army of 10,000 of his followers as the Makkans had violated a peace treaty with him. The Makkans surrendered with almost no fighting, and were granted clemency by the prophet and most of them converted to Islam.

The Kaaba was then rededicated to the worship of only one god, and reconstituted as the central pilgrimage shrine of Islam. Thus the sole worship of Allah was instituted in Makkah, and Mohammad destroyed all the idols around and inside the Kaaba by himself and removed the paintings and all other pagan decorations from the inner walls .As he did that, he recited "Truth has arrived and falsehood has perished for falsehood is by its nature bound to perish." Quran[17:81]

And in one of the most glorious moments in Islamic history, Bilal climbed on top of the Kaaba and cried out the call to prayer. But first we should know who is Bilal ?
was a black Ethiopian slave and one of the very first followers of Mohammad, and one of the most people to suffer torture from his master.His slavemaster Umayyah placed heavy rocks on his chest in the blazing desert sun and over the burning sand. He remained in this suffering untill he was bought by Abou-Bakr who then set him free. Bilal migrated to Madinah among those who migrated, and was appointed by the prophet as the first "Moa'then". a Moathen means a caller or crier who calls Muslims for prayer, He was chosen for his beautiful penetrating voice.

For the first time the Islamic call to prayer was heard within Islam's holiest city by the slave who was being tortured on its sand eight years ago.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Another painting

Hi everyone, haven't blogged for a while. like six months or something. This is a brief one though. here is a drawing I sketched earlier yesterday, while in a conference, listening to a lecture:

Note : Click image for full size

The base of the glass doesn't look so good, I was too lazy to draw it well. The glass and flag were about 10 meters away infront of the people on the stage. It looks better on paper :) , more contrast

also have a look at this

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Gaza ...

"It [the 2006 election that brought Hamas to power] was a democratic election and one of the fairest and freest elections ever to take place in the Arab world, that's troubling for Arab states in itself."
"Israeli foreign minister said, about few hundred home made rocket is enough to lauch such a genocide in Gaza. What about years of Occupation of Palestine ?? "
manfred - Australia
"I am disgusted with our western leaders in not condemning the war crimes which Israel is carrying out against the population in Gaza. I do understand why there is so much hatred against the west and why we have terrorism! The inactivity of our governments is beyond belief. If that was Israel at the receiving end,no doubt there would be a different approach by the west to this crime! History will judge Israel and the west for their wrong doing.....shame on the bastards!! "
As the offensive entered its eighth day Palestinian medical sources said 464 Palestinians had died and more than 2,000 have been injured.
Ehud Barak, the Israeli defense minister, said on Saturday that the operation was aimed at forcing Hamas "to stop its hostile activities against Israel and bring about significant change".

"We have carefully weighed all our options, we are not war hungry but we should not allow a situation where our towns are constantly targeted by Hamas," he said.

Mark Regev, an Israeli government spokesman, later told Al Jazeera on Saturday that the "single aim" of the offensive was to halt Hamas rocket attacks into Israeli territory.

"Ultimately Hamas is solely responsible for this crisis and today they are paying a price for that," he said.

Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera's senior political analyst, said: "Israel can claim in various stages that it has won this or that war against Arabs, but it is obvious since the invasion of Lebanon in 1982 that there is no military solution to Israel's security."It cannot bomb its way into peaceful co-existence. Israel is trying to do all it can to destroy Hamas but with more than 400 dead, there will be more than 400 more new recruits in Gaza.

"It has taken this path and will probably pay the price in the long term, short term it's the Palestinians who pay the price."
At least 11 Palestinians, including one child, have been killed after Israeli forces struck a mosque during prayers in the town of Beit Lahiya, north of Jabaliya in the Gaza Strip.
More than 200 people were inside the the Ibrahim al-Maqadna mosque praying when it was struck.It is not clear yet whether the mosque was hit as part of the Israeli army's shelling, which started on Saturday afternoon. At least 50 people were wounded, Hamas and medical officials said.

The Israeli military has destroyed several mosques during its week-long offensive in Gaza, saying Hamas uses the houses of worship to store weapons.
Ayman Mohyeldin, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Gaza, said: "As much as Israel wants to be surgical in its strikes at the end of the day it is civilians that are being hit. This is proof that civilians are caught up in these attacks."

Mohyeldin said doctors in the Gaza Strip were being overwhelmed by the number of casualties being brought in as a result of the Israeli offensive and that hospitals were near a state of collapse due to a lack of medicines and blood.
Read full article


Tens of thousands of protesters including singer Annie Lennox, human rights campaigner Bianca Jagger and Ken

Livingstone, the city's former mayor, marched through the capital.

Shoes litter Whitehall in London in protest against Israel [AFP]
Marchers on the event organised by the Stop the War Coalition were to leave old shoes for Gordon Brown, the

country's prime minister, at his Downing Street residence, in the spirit of an Iraqi journalist who threw his

shoes at George Bush, the US president.

World wide protests

In Ankara, Turkey's capital, about 5,000 people shouted "killer Israel" during an anti-Israeli rally as anger mounted in a country traditionally considered an ally of Israel.
Bush.. The terrorism paranoid:
President Bush's first public comments on the violence come on the SEVENTH DAY of Israel's aerial assaults on Gaza, which have killed 431 people and injured 2,100 others in the coastal territory.
"I urge all parties to pressure Hamas to turn away from terror!!!, and to support legitimate Palestinian leaders working for peace," Bush said in his weekly radio address.

Bush said Hamas was responsible for the latest violence and rejected a unilateral ceasefire that would allow Hamas to continue to fire mortars on Israel from the Gaza Strip.

Read full article

Luis - United States
First, Bush government has been all about terrorizing Americans with the false premise of terrorist hating Americans. Second, how can you trust a person that calls for peace talks when he's been leading a country to two wars for 8 long years without the option of diplomacy? Only two weeks of this "Horse" and his "Last kicks"

anti-neocon - Afghanistan
This is the same Bush who refused to call for a ceasefire in Lebanon until Israel had "finished its job". Well, I've got news for the US warmonger . Hizbollah was not wiped out and Hamas will not be either. This is the same liar who launched an illegal war against Iraq, who has the blood of hundreds of thousands on his hands.
Jamna - Malaysia
Gazans were given only two choices by the Israelis starved to death or bombed to death.
7th day video report:

How does it feel to live in continuous fear?

8th day report:


Israeli's would have made Hitler proud.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Rate My Drawings

Here are my best drawings so far :

Original photo:
This is my first portarit and fourth drawing on RMD .I don't like the background. It is so empty but I may try to change it later.

My real glasses:
I didn't draw it from the photo. they are not similar. I put the glasses infront of me and painted them. it's my third drawing using the RMD tool.

My profile and drawings on Ratemydrawings.com

On Rate My Drawings you can draw and publish your paintings to be rated and commented on, rate and comment on others' drawings, read excellent drawing tutorials and share your skills.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Hi Everyone ,
This is a very inspiring video that I found out there on the web. It's entitled 'Choices'. It's in the form of slides accompanied by awesome background scenes and music. I have written down each slide and my comment on it. If you have a fast connection to play video and think that my comments are not worth reading, then jump to the end of the post and watch the video directly. The original words from the video are those in bold. The small words are my thoughts and comments.

Everyday wisdom

by Patrick M. Powers

We are born with virtually unlimited potential. We all have 86,400 seconds a day

Where you end up in life is not determined by where you start


It's what you choose to do with the seconds you have -It's what you choose to do with your potential that shapes your destiny

....Your destiny is actually predetermined. your actions will only lead you to what has been decreed for you. The key point here is that we have no idea about what has been planned for us. This is what I believe. and this issue has soo many arguing about it through human history.


You can choose to be selfish or you can choose to make a difference



I have learned that there are two things that will create your dreams

...So teach us .. O wise one :)
  1. Your choices
2. Your commitment to those choices


Your choices will make or break you

Here are some of the choices that I have found will lead to an amazing life:

...This is where the video really begins

Be kind to everyone - even the ones that don't deserve it

...It's also a good thing to believe that: there is no one who doesn't deserve to be kind to


Smile at challenges There is a divine gift hidden in them

...This needs practice

Embrace change. Resisting it will only lead to frustration.

...Sure. everything is in continuous evolution. You have to adapt.

Always Take responsibility. When you blame, you give your power away.

..and you prevent yourself from discovering the real cause of failure.

Believe in your dreams . If you don't nobody else will.

..This is the wisest thing I ever heard

Strive everyday to become just a little bit better. Soon you will be a master at what you do.

..I should try that

Don't let anybody steal your dreams They are your greatest assets

..don't exactly understand how someone can steal my dreams

Be part of the solution , not the problem. The bigger the problems you are willing to solve The bigger the rewards you will get

..This is so true

Open your heart to strangers. They are just friends you haven't met yet

many people will disagree about that. But imagine if we all apply this concept, how our society will change

Do what you fear and you
WILL overcome it

hmmm.. will think about it

Choose to make a difference Most people just choose to stay alive

...Those who don't try to change to a better world are actually not alive

Don't let yourself be influenced by negativity

... it's easy to say that in words

Constantly seek advice from people that have more experience, knowledge and success than you do It will speed up your journey to success tremendously

... and also remember to remain grateful to them

Don't focus on the past. It doesn't equal your future.

I hope so..

Always Always Always Keep your word


Choose to believe YOU have the power to create and change anything You really do.

Complain less and take more action.

Don't choose mediocrity. Choose excellence. Nobody is born mediocre. It's a choice.


Forgive and let go It will liberate enormous amounts of energy and creativity


Stand up for yourself and your beliefs


Hug someone everyday

Need a hug? anyone? :D .It's not easy to find someone to be hugged, at least not everyday. People will eventually run away from you . Maybe if u pay them lool. I'll try to apply that.

Let's create a better world Together we can do it If you choose to.

Thanks , not interested , lol kidding, let's create a better world.

It's your choice

God bless and may you choose wisely in your life.

Thanks , you too

Brought to you by www.smashyouralarmclock.com


and here is the video:

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What do you usually do in a boring lecture?

a 10 minute portrait for Dr Salah .
24 Sept 2008 - class 201 - around 12 am.

It's not very accurate but it wasn't easy to capture his face while continuously talking and moving and using an 0.5 mm pencil but I sketched it. and I think it's not bad. Of course it's not complete. Needs more shading , more details and a better paper to be sketched on, but I was only wasting the time.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Makkah part II: What's going on in the sacred mosque?

People are wondering What's all the work going on inside and around the sacred mosque .Others don't even know there is something going on in the sacred mosque ,the dearest spot on earth to the heart of every Muslim. Maaany many buildings around the haram have been demolished leaving a vast empty area . Huge cranes working all day , a whole new four story Mas'a has been built (almost finished ) and people are performing sa'ay in it right now as you read. This post is mainly about the new extension project in the sacred mosque. Let's first see some photos and discuss the details of the project at the end

Click any photo to view in full size.

Work goes on day and night

This is how a demolished building looks like. Where did I see this before? lakomollah Ya ahla felasteen...

All this area was crowded with buildings.

You can see the two minarets at King Fahd gate, Dar al tawheed intercontinental and king Abdul Aziz Endowment project in the background.

The last three photos were taken from jabal-al-ka'ba street close to the Shamiya area where most of the extension will take place.

The New Mas'aa :

"Lo! (the mountains) As-Safa and Al-Marwah are among the indications of Allah. It is therefore no sin for him who is on pilgrimage to the House (of Allah) or visiteth it, to go around them (as the pagan custom is). And he who doeth good of his own accord, (for him) lo! Allah is Responsive, Aware." Quran[2:158]

To know more about Safa and Marwa hills and their significance in Islam follow this link

The distance between Safa and Marwah hills is about 450 meters, so that seven trips between them back and forth would cover 3.15 kilometers. The two hills and the path between them are now inside a long gallery that forms a part of the sacred mosque called "the Mas'aa".

The extension project of the holy mosque included building a new four story Mas'aa beside the old one. The Mas'aa is almost finished now and it's opened for people to perform sa'ay.

From the safa hill, the beginning of Sa'ay.

From the Marwa hill.

The new Mas'aa from outside at the Marwa. still not finished.

same spot as the pervious photo.

Moving back further

Demolition work in the area aroung the Mas'aa

How it's supposed to be at the end.

This is the haram before extension

Is this how the Haram will be after the extension project?. It's a whole city.However the new Mas'aa doesn't appear in this model I wonder why.The sacred mosque currently has nine minarets. eight of them are in pairs .In this photo, three more minarets are added. All the minarets are in pairs except for two of them. The Mas'aa is between those two single minarets.

Another model for the finished project.But this photo is much different from the previous one. Here you can see the new Mas'aa and there is only one minaret standing alone at the Safa mountain and two new huge minarets are added.I wonder which of the two models are they working on. In any case, it's something that every Muslim should be proud of.

for more details about the extension project follow this link

I still have more photos but enough for this post.