• Meezab al-Rahma

    The Meezab al-Rahma (Arabic: ميزاب الرَحمة; “Waterspout of Mercy”), also known as the Meezab al-Kaaba (Arabic: ميزاب الكعبة; Waterspout of the Kaaba’), is a fixture located on the northern side of the Kaaba’s roof. It extends towards the Hijr Ismail and serves as a drainage system for water that accumulates on the roof, whether from rainfall or washing the Kaaba with Zamzam water.

    History

    The installation of the Meezab traces back to the Quraysh tribe, who initially built the Kaaba without a roof when the Prophet ﷺ was 35 years old. Prior to this addition, the Kaaba lacked a roof. The Quraysh undertook the task of roofing the structure out of concern for safeguarding the treasures within, following an incident where a group of people had stolen from the Kaaba.

    When Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr I reconstructed the Kaaba in 63 AH (684 CE), he maintained the tradition of installing a waterspout and positioned its outlet towards Hijr Ismail, in line with the practice of the Quraysh. Later, during the alterations of the Kaaba made by al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf in 73 AH (684 CE), a new Meezab was installed.

    The current Meezab adorning the Holy Kaaba dates back to Sultan Abdulmejid I, who crafted it in Constantinople and later transported and installed it in 1276 AH (1859 CE). This particular Meezab is noteworthy for being coated in gold. Subsequent maintenance work involved partial repairs to the upper nails, aimed at deterring pigeons from perching on them. These repairs were undertaken during the reign of King Saud bin Abdulaziz, who oversaw the restoration of the Kaaba’s roof.

    Waterspouts were installed by various rulers and leaders throughout history:

    • Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr I (63 AH/684 CE): Installed a Meezab during the reconstruction of the Kaaba.
    • Al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf (73 AH/692 CE) – Rebuilt the Kaaba and installed a new Meezab.
    • Sheikh Abu al-Qasim Ramisht (537 AH/1142 CE) – Meezab installed by his slave after his death.
    • Al-Muqtafi (541 AH/1146 CE).
    • Al-Nasir (677 AH/1279 CE).
    • Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent (958 AH/1551 CE).
    • A Meezab was brought from Egypt in 961 AH/1554 CE.
    • Ottoman Sultan Ahmed I (1020 AH/1612 CE).
    • Ottoman Sultan Abdulmejid I (1272 AH/1856 CE).
    • Haji Rida Pasha (1276 AH/1859 CE).
    • King Fahd bin Abdulaziz (1417 AH/1997 CE) – Replaced the old Meezab with a new one.

    Description

    The roof of the Kaaba is characterized by its flat surface, gently sloping downwards towards the northwest corner. Extending from this corner is the Meezab al-Rahma, designed to channel rainwater away from the roof. Beneath the Meezab, the ground is paved with marble slabs and adorned with intricate mosaic designs.

    Its description, according to the historian Al-Azraqi, who lived in the 3rd century AH, is as follows:

    It measures four cubits in length and eight fingers in height. The Meezab is adorned with sheets of gold, a task attributed to al-Walid ibn Abd al-Malik. Over time, changes occurred in the waterspouts of the Holy Kaaba for two main reasons. Firstly, when the Meezab deteriorated, it was replaced with a new one. Secondly, wealthy individuals, including kings and prominent Muslims, would donate new waterspouts to the Holy Kaaba, leading to the removal of the existing one.

    Ibn Battuta, the prominent traveller, described the Meezab al-Rahma around the year 726 AH (1326 CE). He said:

    The Meezab is above the Hijr Ismail. It is made of gold, one inch wide, extending outward two cubits. The place under the Meezab is the place where supplications are answered, and under the Meezab in the Hijr Ismail is the grave of Ismail, peace be upon him. On it is a rectangular green marble in the shape of a mihrab connected to a round green marble. Both are an inch and a half wide and are strange in shape and beautiful in appearance. Next to the Iraqi Corner is the grave of his mother, Hajar, peace be upon her. It is marked by round green marble, measuring an inch and a half. There are seven spans between the two graves.

    Over the years, the design of the Meezab al-Rahma has undergone alterations, culminating in its current golden form. Today, the waterspout assumes a rectangular shape. Constructed from thick teak wood, the sides of the Meezab are adorned with sheets of 24-carat gold. It measures 2.58 m (8.46 ft) in length, with 58 cm (1.9 ft) embedded into the wall of the Kaaba. Its width is 26 cm (10 in), while each side stands at a height of 23 cm (9.1 in). The Meezab has sharp nails along both of its ridges to prevent birds from perching on it.

    The front of the Meezab bears the following inscription:

    بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم . يا الله

    The left hand-side of the Meezab is inscribed with the following:

    جدد هذا الميزاب خادم الحرمين الشريفين الملك فهد بن عبد العزيز آل سعود ملك المملكة العربية السعودية
    This waterspout has been refurbished by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz of the Family of Saud, King of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

    Role in Worship

    Praying underneath the Meezab al-Rahma holds significant merit.

    It is mentioned by al-Azraqi on the authority of Ata’ I who said:

    Whoever stands under the Meezab of the Kaaba and supplicates, his sins will be removed, and he will be free of sin like the day his mother gave birth to him. A similar narration was mentioned on the authority of Al-Hasan Al-Basri.

    Al-Hasan al-Basri I in his famous “Risalah” said:

    I heard that Uthamn ibn Affan I, came one day and asked his companions: ‘Aren’t you curious about where I came from?’ They asked: ‘Where did you come from, O Commander of the Faithful?’ He said: ‘I was standing at the gate of Paradise.’ He was standing under the Meezab, where he was praying to Allah.

    Abdullah ibn Abbas I said:

    ‘Pray in the place where the devout pray, and drink from the drink of the righteous.’ It was said to Ibn Abbas: ‘What is the prayer place of the devout?’ He said: ‘Under the Meezab’. It was asked: ‘What is the drink of the righteous?’ He replied: ‘Zamzam water.’ The place mentioned by Ibn Abbas is underneath the Meezab of the Kaaba and is located inside the Hijr Ismail.

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