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Maqam Ibrahim The Station of Ibrahim (AS)

The term “Maqam Ibrahim” refers to the rock or stone on which Prophet Ibrahim (AS) stood while constructing the Ka’bah in Makkah. According to Islamic history, while Prophet Ismail (AS) passed the stones to his father, Prophet Ibrahim (AS), to lay them in place, the stone on which Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was standing started rising miraculously as high as the wall rose. Allah SWT then imprinted the footprints of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) as a reminder for his descendants. 

The Story of the Maqam Ibrahim

The station of Prophet Ibrahim (AS), commonly known as Maqam Ibrahim, is a large stone block on which Prophet Ibrahim (AS) stood while he and his son Prophet Ismail (AS) were building the Ka’bah in Makkah. Read on to know the story of Maqam Ibrahim and its significance in the Islamic practices of Hajj and Umrah. 

Allah SWT commanded His beloved Prophet Ibrahim (AS) to begin constructing the Holy Ka’bah. Therefore, following the divine order, Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and his son Prophet Ismail (AS) started building the foundation of the Ka’bah. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) used rocks from different mountains in Makkah: Labnaan, Jabalul Khayr, Thubayr, Hira, and Toor Seena to build the Holy Ka’bah. However, there came a time when the height of the walls of the Ka’bah became unreachable for Prophet Ibrahim (AS). 

That is when the stone on which Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was standing rose until he finished constructing the walls. It is also believed that the rock became soft as the feet of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) pressed into the stone, thereby creating an imprint of his feet. After the construction of Ka’bah was completed, the sacred stone was left at the eastern side of the Holy Ka’bah. 

During his Khilafat, Hazrat Umer (RA) ordered the Muslims to move the stone from the eastern side to the front of the Ka’bah. The change of placement was made so that Muslims don’t face any difficulties while performing Tawaf during Hajj. However, today, the stone is located at the spot where Prophet Ibrahim (AS) offered two Rakah payers after the Holy Ka’bah was constructed. Thousands of years later, the impressions of Prophet Ibrahim’s (AS) feet are still on the miraculous rock. 

On being asked about Maqam Ibrahim, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “The stone is the station of Ibrahim. Allah made it soft and made it a mercy. Ibrahim would stand on it, and Ismail would hand the stones up to him.”

However, in some places, it is also believed that the stone was sent from heaven along with two other rocks, one of which is the Hijr-e-Aswad, also known as the sacred black stone.

What Does “Maqam of Ibrahim” Actually Mean?

In the term Maqam Ibrahim, the word “maqam” literally means station, whereas Ibrahim here refers to the beloved Prophet Ibrahim (AS). According to Islamic tradition, Maqam Ibrahim is a place (station) inside the Great Mosque of Makkah where the miraculous stone carrying the impressions of the feet of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) is present. 

Thus, Maqam Ibrahim isn’t only of significant value to Muslims worldwide, it is also an evitable part of The Holy Ka’bah. Maqam Ibrahim is a symbol of the hardships and dedication of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and Prophet Ismail (AS) towards Allah SWT. Therefore, when Muslims go for Hajj or Umrah today, it’s essential to pay their respects to Maqam Ibrahim by offering two Rakah prayers. 

Maqam Ibrahim Mentioned in the Quran

The Quran is the holy book of Islam. Muslims consider the sacred scripture to be the “word of Allah SWT.” The Holy Quran has information about everything related to the world’s past, present, and future. It holds significant value in the religious practices of Hajj and Umrah. Maqam Ibrahim appears twice in the Holy Quran, first in Surah Al-Baqarh verse 125:

“When We made the House (Ka’bah of Makkah) a frequented place for men and a place of peace! Make from the Station of Ibrāhīm a place of prayer. We gave the (following directive) to Ibrāhīm and Ismā‘īl (Ishmael): “Purify My House for those who are to circumambulate (make Tawāf) and those who stay in I’tikāf, and those who bow down or prostrate themselves (in prayers).”

And then in Surah Al-Imran verse 97, which states:

“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 can find thereto a way. But whoever disbelieves – then indeed, Allah is free from need of the worlds.”

In light of the aforementioned verses, Maqam Ibrahim is a place for worship (performance of Salah during Umrah or Hajj) and not for kissing or touching. However, in the case of many people performing Tawaf during Hajj or Umrah, you can also pray the two Rakats from a distance.

Facts about Maqam E Ibrahim 

Maqam Ibrahim‘s history and importance can be tied to the construction of the home of Allah SWT in Makkah– the Holy Ka’bah. It is considered one of the miracles of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) as the Holy Stone was specially sent to him from heaven to help him out during the construction of the Ka’bah. Since then, it has become compulsory for Muslims to perform two Rakats prayer for the completion of Tawaf while performing Hajj or Umrah. Listed below are some interesting facts about Maqam Ibrahim:

  • The stone measuring 16 inches (40 cm) in length and width and 7.9 inches (20 cm) in height is placed in a square-shaped casing. However, the depth of both the footprints of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) is 9 centimeters and 10 centimeters, respectively. 
  • The stone was sent from Heaven to Prophet Ibrahim (AS) along with two other stones: Hajr-e-Aswad and the stone of the children of Israel.
  • In the 2nd AH (8th Century), the sacred stone somehow broke into several pieces. It was then reassembled using gold and silver. 
  • The stone with the impression of the feet of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) is located in the front of the Ka’bah near the sanctuary for the ease of Muslims while performing Hajj or Umrah, whereas earlier, it was placed at the eastern side of the Holy Ka’bah.
  • Maqam Ibrahim during the Ottoman era was reconstructed in the form of a shrine. However, after the takeover by the Saudis, the shrine was demolished, and an iron sheet box was built to protect and preserve the sacred stone and its place.
  • In 1967, the Maqam Ibrahim was covered by a wooden structure that was three by six meters, making it difficult for Muslims to perform Hajj or Umrah. Therefore, the Saudi government planned to move Maqam Ibrahim near Bab Bani Shayba but failed to do so due to public objection.
  • Today, Maqam Ibrahim is located approximately forty-three feet east of the Holy Ka’bah. 

Who Helped Build the Ka’bah With Prophet Ibrahim (AS)?

According to Islamic history, the Holy Ka’bah in Masjid al haram has been constructed three times; by Prophet Adam (AS), Prophet Ibrahim (AS), and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Out of all three, the main construction of Ka’bah was done by Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and his son Prophet Ismail (AS).

Before construction was done by Prophet Ibrahim (AS), the structure of Ka’bah resembled a simple unroofed rectangle. Prophet Ismail (AS) helped his father by providing him with rocks to build the walls of the Holy Ka’bah. Regardless of all the difficulties and no one else to help, Prophet Ismail (AS) stood by his father and helped him fulfill the divine command of Allah SWT. 

Maqam Ibrahim Summary

The Station of Ibrahim is a square-shaped stone that bears the footprints of Prophet Ibrahim (AS). According to the tradition, the stone appeared like a miracle to help Prophet Ibrahim (AS) during the construction of the Ka’bah in Makkah. It is said that the sacred stone lifted Prophet Ibrahim (AS) when the walls of the Ka’bah became too high. The rising stone made it easier for Prophet Ibrahim (AS) to build the Ka’bah. It is also said that the stone softened for Prophet Ibrahim (AS) in order to preserve his foot impressions so that future generations of the Muslim Ummah could witness them. Muslims today pray two Rakah prayers at Maqam Ibrahim during Hajj or Umrah.