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Monday, January 13, 2020

Did God build the Kaaba?

Question:
Is it true that God made the Kaaba structure according to The Quran verse 5:97?


The verse does not just say that God made the Kaaba. It says that God made the Kaaba ‘qiyaama lin naas’, that is, a standard or establishment for people.
5:97 God has laid down (Ja’3aLa) that the Ka'bah, the Inviolable Temple, shall be a symbol for all mankind... 
جَعَلَ اللَّهُ الْكَعْبَةَ الْبَيْتَ الْحَرَامَ قِيَامًا لِلنَّاسِ ...
That's not the same as saying that 'God built the Kaaba' or 'God made the Kaaba' (i.e it's structure). The word ja’3ala (made) is used in the sense that God assigned Kaaba the status of ‘qiyaama lin naas’, NOT that He built or constructed the Kaaba.

Just as in 2:125, ‘ja’3alna’ (we made) is not referring to the construction of the House but the fact that God assigned the House the status ‘focal point’ and a ‘sanctuary’...
2:125 And (recall) when We made (Ja’3aLna) the House a focal point for the people, and a sanctuary. ...
... وَإِذْ جَعَلْنَا الْبَيْتَ مَثَابَةً لِّلنَّاسِ وَأَمْنًا
More examples of the use of the word ja’3ala in its different forms: Moses and Aaron were inspired to treat their homes as ‘places of worship’, NOT to construct houses …
10:87 … Settle your people in Egypt, and make (waJ’3aLu) your homes places of worship….
... أَن تَبَوَّآ لِقَوْمِكُمَا بِمِصْرَ بُيُوتًا وَاجْعَلُوا بُيُوتَكُمْ قِبْلَةً
The following verse mentions those who turned the Quran into ‘portions’, NOT those who made/created the Quran ...
15:91 Those who have made (Ja’3aLu) the Qur'an into portions.
الَّذِينَ جَعَلُوا الْقُرْآنَ عِضِينَ
The actual word used to convey the meaning of building / construction comes from the root Ba-Nun-Ya/Waw: Let’s see some examples: The wife of Pharaoh asked God to build/construct a house for her in the Garden:
66:11 My Lord! build for me a house with Thee in the garden...
رَبِّ ابْنِ لِي عِنْدَكَ بَيْتًا فِي الْجَنَّةِ ...
The following verse mentions mosques built/constructed by wrong-doers:
9:110 Their buildings (BuNYaan) which they have built (BaNaW) will not cease to be a point of doubt within their hearts... 
لَا يَزَالُ بُنْيَانُهُمُ الَّذِي بَنَوْا رِيبَةً فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ ...
Another example comes from when Firawn ordered Hamaan to build a tower for him:
40:36 And Pharaoh said: O Haman! build (BNi) for me a tower that I may attain the means of access (to the heavens)
وَقَالَ فِرْعَوْنُ يَا هَامَانُ ابْنِ لِي صَرْحًا لَّعَلِّي أَبْلُغُ الْأَسْبَابَ
More examples from The Quran:
Source: http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=bny

What we can say for sure, in light of the above references, is that 5:97 does not say that construction / building of the House was carried out by God. The only thing that can be said is that the location of the House was assigned by God according to the Quran...

22:26 And (recall) when We allotted / settled (BaWWaA'na) for Abraham the location of the House ...
...وَإِذْ بَوَّأْنَا لِإِبْرَاهِيمَ مَكَانَ الْبَيْتِ

Now, those who claim that God built the Kaaba also interpret 22:26 to give the meaning that God 'showed' (or pointed out to) Abraham the House (which was already built by God according to them), but that's not what the verse says. It also does not refer to the House itself, but says instead that God 'allotted/settled' the 'location/placement' (makaan) of the house for Abraham.
See the usage of the BaWWaA'na / 'We allotted/settled' ( bā wāw hamza ب و أ ) in the following verse:
10:93 And We settled/allotted (BaWWaA'na) the Children of Israel a sure settlement/allotment (muBaWWaA'), and provided them with good things...
وَلَقَدْ بَوَّأْنَا بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ مُبَوَّأَ صِدْقٍ وَرَزَقْنَاهُم مِّنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ...
This is the only other occurrence of the form BaWWaA'na, and we can see how it gives the meaning 'We allotted/settled'. More examples at the following link: http://corpus.quran.com/qurandictionary.jsp?q=bwA#(22:26:2)
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Fahad Ali Khan www.Takhlees.org

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