Story of the building of the Ka’bah House of Allah at Makkah 

Ibn ‘Abbas May (Allah) God is pleased with them (On the authority of the
Prophet PBUH: See Fath Al-Bari, Vol. 7, Page 210

(Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol. 4, Hadith No. 583). 

first lady to use a girdle was the mother of Ismâ’îl (Ishmael). She used a
girdle so that she might hide her tracks from Sarah. Ibrâhîm (Abraham) brought
her and her son Ismâ’îl (Ishmael) while she used to nurse him at her breast,
near the Ka’bah under a tree on the spot of Zamzam, at the highest place in the
mosque. During those days, there was nobody in Makkah, nor was there any water.
So he made them sit over there and placed near them a leather bag containing
some dates, and a small water-skin containing some water, and set out homeward.
Ismail’s (Ishmael) mother followed him saying, “O Ibrâhîm (Abraham)! 

are not you going, leaving us in this valley where there is no person whose
company we may enjoy, nor is there anything (to enjoy)?” She repeated that
to him many times, but he did not look back at her. Then she asked him,
“Has Allah ordered you to do so?” He said, “Yes.” She said,
“Then He will not neglect us And returned while Ibrahim (Abraham)
proceeded onwards, and on reaching the Thaniyyan where they could not see him,
he faced the Ka’bah and raising both hands invoked Allah saying the following
supplication: o our Lord! I have made some of my offspring to dwell in an
uncultivable valley by Your Sacred House (the Ka’bah at Makkah); in order, O
our Lord, that they may perform As-Salat Iqamat-as-Salat). So fill some hearts
among men with love towards them, and (O Allah) provide them with fruits, so
that they may give thanks.’ (V.14:37). 

(Ishmael) mother went on suckling Ismâ’îl (Ishmael) and drinking from the water
(she had). When the water in the water-skin had all been used up, she became
thirsty and her child also became thirsty. She started looking at him [i.e.
Ismâ’îl (Ishmael)] tossing in agony; she left him, for she could not endure
looking at him, and found that the mountain of As-Safâ was the nearest mountain
to her on that land. She stood on it and started looking at the valley keenly
so that she might see somebody, but she could not see anybody. Then she
descended from As-Safâ and when she reached the valley, she tucked up her robe
and ran in the valley like a person in distress and trouble, till she crossed
the valley and reached Al-Marwah mountain where she stood and started looking,
expecting to see somebody, but she could not see anybody. She repeated that
(running between As-Safâ and Al-Marwah) seven times.” 

The Prophet PBUH
said, “This is the source of the tradition of the Sa’y (the going) of
people between them (i.e. As-Safâ and Al-Marwah). When she reached Marwah, (for
the last time) she heard a voice and she asked herself to be quiet and listened
attentively. She heard the voice again and said, ‘O (whoever you may be)! You
have made me hear your voice; have you got something to help me?’ And behold!
She saw an angel at the place of Zamzam, digging the earth with his heel (or
his wing) until water flowed from that place. She started to make something
like a basin around it, using her hands in this way, and started filling her
water-skin with water with her hands, and the water was flowing out after she
had scooped some of it.” 

The Prophet PBUH added, “May Allah bestows
mercy on Ismail’s (Ishmael) mother! Had she let the Zamzam (flow without trying
to control it) (or had she not scooped from that water) (to fill her water skin),
Zamzam would have been a stream flowing on the surface of the earth.” The
Prophet PBUH further added, “Then she drank (water) and suckled her child.
The angel said to her, ‘Don’t be afraid of being neglected, for this is the
House of Allah which will be built by this boy and his father, and Allah never
neglects His people.’ The House (i.e. Ka’bah) at that time was on a high place
resembling a hillock, and when torrents came, they flowed to its right and
left. She lived in that way till some people from the tribe of Jurhum or a
family from Jurhum passed by her and her child, as they (i.e. the Jurhum
people) were coming through the way of Kadâ’. 

They landed in the lower part of
Makkah where they saw a bird that had the habit of flying around water and not
leaving it. They said, ‘This bird must be flying around water through we know
that there is no water in this valley.’ They sent one or two messengers who
discovered the source of water and returned to inform them of the water. So,
they all came (towards the water). The Prophet PBUH added, “Ismail’s
(Ishmael) mother was sitting near the water. They asked her, ‘Do you allow us
to stay with you? She replied, Yes but you will have no right to possess the
water. They agreed to that.” 

The Prophet PBUH further said. “Ismail’s
(Ishmael) mother was pleased with the whole situation as she used to love to
enjoy the company of the people so they settled there, and later on they sent
for their families who came and settled with them so that some families became
permanent residents there. The child [(i.e. Ismail (Ishmael] grew up and
learned Arabic from them and (his virtues) caused them to love and admire him
as he grew up and when he reached the age of puberty they made him marry a
woman from amongst them. After Ismail’s (Ishmael) mother had died, Ibrahim
(Abraham) came after Ismail’s (Ishmael) marriage in order to see the family he
had left before, but he did not find Ismail (Ishmael) there When he asked
Ismail’s (Ishmael) wife about him, she replied. ‘He has gone in search of our

Then he asked her about their way of living and their condition,
and she replied, We are living in misery, we are living in hardship and
destitution, complaining to him. He said, ‘When your husband returns, convey my
salutation to him and tell him to change the threshold of the gate (of his
house),’ When Ismail (Ishmael) came he seemed to have felt something unusual,
so he asked his wife, ‘Has anyone visited you?’ She replied, ‘Yes, an old man
of such and such description came and asked me about you and I informed him,
and he asked about our state of living, and I told him that we were living in a
hardship and poverty.’ 

On that Ismâ’îl (Ishmael) said, ‘Did he advise you
anything?’ She replied, ‘Yes, he told me to convey his salutation to you and to
tell you to change the threshold of your gate.’ Ismâ’îl (Ishmael) said, ‘It was
my father, and he has ordered me to divorce you. Go back to your family.’ So, Ismâ’îl
(Ishmael) divorced her and married another woman from amongst them (i.e. Jurhum).
Then Ibrâhîm (Abraham) stayed away from them for a period as long as Allah
wished and called on them again but did not find Ismâ’îl (Ishmael). 

he came to Ismail’s (Ishmael) wife and asked her about Ismail (Ishmael). She
said, ‘He has gone in search of our livelihood.’ Ibrâhîm (Abraham) asked her,
“How are you getting on?’ and asked her about their sustenance and living.
She replied, ‘We are prosperous and well-off (i.e. we have everything in
abundance). Then she thanked Allah. Ibrâhîm (Abraham) said, ‘What kind of food
do you eat?’ She said Meat.’ He said, ‘What do you drink?’ She said, ‘Water.’
He said ‘O Allah Bless them and water. The Prophet PBUH added. The Prophet
PBUH added, “At that time they did not have grain, they had grain, he
would have also invoked Allah to bless it.” 

The Prophet added, “If
somebody has only these two things as his sustenance, his health and
disposition will be badly affected unless he lives in Makkah.” The Prophet
PBUH added. Then Ibrahim (Abraham) said to Ismail’s (Ishmael) wife, ‘When your
husband comes, give my regards to him and tell him that he should keep firm the
threshold of his gate.’ When Ismail (Ishmael) came back, he asked his wife, did
anyone call on you? She replied, ‘Yes, a good-looking old man came to me so she
praised him and added. He asked about you. And informed him, and he asked about
our livelihood and I told him that we were in a good condition’ Ismail (Ishmael)
asked her, “Did he give you any piece of advice? She said, Yes, he told me
to give this regards to you and ordered that you should keep firm the threshold
of your gate. 

On that Ismail (Ishmael) said, ‘It was my father, and you are the
threshold (of the gate). He has ordered me to keep you with me. Then Ibrahim
(Abraham) stayed away for them for a period as long as Allah wished, and called
on them afterward. He saw Ismail (Ishmael) under a tree near Zamzam, sharpening
his arrows. When He saw Ibrahim Abraham), He rose up to welcome him (and they
greeted each other as a father does with his son or a son does with his father)
Ibrahim (Abraham) said, ‘O Ismail (Ishmael)! Allah has given me an order Ismail
(Ishmael) said. ‘Do what your Lord has ordered you to do.’ Ibrâhîm (Abraham)
asked, ‘Will you help me?’ Ismâ’îl (Ishmael) said. I will help you.’ Ibrâhîm
(Abraham) said, ‘Allah has ordered me to build a house here. Pointing to a
hillock higher than the land surrounding it.’ 

The Prophet PBUH added.’ Then
they raised the foundations of the House (i.e. the Ka’bah). Ismâ’îl (Ishmael)
brought the stones and Ibrâhîm (Abraham) was building; and when the walls
became high, Ismail (Ishmael) brought this stone and put it for Ibrâhîm
(Abraham) who stood over it and carried on building, while Ismâ’îl (Ishmael)
was handing him the stones and both of them were saying, ‘O our Lord! Accept
(this service) from us. Verily. You are the All-Hearer the All-Knower.'”

Prophet e added, “Then both of them went on building and going round the
Ka’bah saying ‘O our Lord. Accept (this service) from us. Verily. You are the
All-Hearer, it Allah knower” 

(Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol. 4, Hadith No. 583).