‘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).’ [Qur’an 2:125]
The Maqam of Ibrahim (AS) is the stone on which the Prophet Ibrahim (AS) stood when building the Ka’bah. He stood on it and worked his way around the Ka’bah whilst Isma’il (AS) passed him the stones for the walls of the Ka’bah.
Out of deference to Ibrahim (AS) and the task that he was undertaking, the stone became soft for him and Ibrahim’s (AS) footprint was engraved on the stone.
The stone now sits in a golden enclosure a couple of meters away from the Ka’bah. Pilgrims are required to pray behind the Maqam of Ibrahim once they have completed the Tawaf (Circumambulation) of the Ka’bah.
Al Hijr Isma’il (AS) – Sometimes Also Known as Hateem
Aisha (RA) narrated: “I wanted to enter the House (i.e. Ka’bah) and pray inside. Allah’s Messenger (SAW) took my by the hand and led me inside the Hijr and said: ‘If you want to go inside the House then pray here, for it is part of the House, but your people reduced its area when they rebuilt it.'” [Al-Nasa’i]
This area is the semi circular area outside of the Ka’bah located under the Mizab (the Golden Gutter of the Ka’bah). It forms part of the Ka’bah, however, was excluded from the Ka’bah when the Quraish rebuilt the Ka’bah during the time of the Prophet (SAW).
This was because they had run out of sufficient acceptable funds from good sourced to be able to complete the full building. Therefore they built as much as they were able to with the funds available and built a semi circular wall to surround the part that they had missed.
If one prays in this area it is as if you have prayed inside the Ka’bah itself.
It’s a Mercy from Allah that the Hijr was not included in the building because it now means that ordinary pilgrims such as ourselves can pray inside the Ka’bah by praying inside of the Hijr.
May Allah grant everyone Tawfiq to be able to pray in the Hijr Isma’il.