Since the time of Hazrat Ibraheem (A.S.), Makkah was known as the 'City of Peace'. The Ka'bah, known as Baitullah (House of Allah) was built by Hazrat Ibra'heem (A.S.) and his elder son Hazrat Isma'eel (A.S.) They established the rites and usage of the sacred city and the Ka'bah.
The Ka'bah was the center of Arabia where the various tribes, chiefs, individuals and others met for trade, socialising, circumambulation (Tawaaf), religion and other business. It was a neutral meeting place for the warring tribes where they laid down their arms annually for the 'pilgrimage'. It was the duty of everyone to maintain the Ka'bah and care for the black stone (Hajre-Aswad) Which was in the Ka'bah.
During the islamic era, it was stated in a Hadith that Hazrat Ibn-Abbas reported that Rasulullah had said : 'The Hajre Aswad had descended from Jannah (Paradise), having being whiter than milk. The sins of man caused it to be become black'.
Once the Ka'bah caught alight and it was very badly damaged. The Quraish decided to rebuild it. Waleed-bin-Mugheera started the project. The people of Makkah bought a wrecked ship on the shores of Jeddah, and, using camels, carted its timber to Makkah to use for the roof of the Ka'bah.
Then came the touchy issue of re-placing the Black stone (Hajre-Aswad) in its original place. Each leader of his tribe wanted the honour to do this sacred task. Daggers were drawn and chaos would have been widespread but, a wise old man Abu Ummayyah-bin-Mugheera made a suggestion that the first person seen entering the Ka'bah should be asked to decide the issue. Incidentally, the first person to enter the Ka'bah in the morning was Rasulullah . A pleased shout of 'Al Ameen!' filled the Ka'bah as the people of Makkah had full confidence in his piety, justice and arbitration. Rasulullah was not at all nervous at this task of settling a serious dispute of a warring nation. He ordered a sheet and spread it on the floor and put the Black Stone (Hajre Aswad) on it. He then asked each leader of the various tribes to hold the edges of the sheet and pick it up. When the sheet was level to the height where the Hajre Aswad was to be placed, Rasulullah picked up the Black Stone with his own hands and placed it in its corner.
The diplomatic manner in which this dangerous situation was handled by Rasulullah was acclaimed by all in Makkah. A major disaster was averted and it was an accepted fact that had there been no solution found, the war which would have been sparked off would have been one of the bloodiest and disastrous of all the wars that had been fought during the barbaric and illiterate age. At the time of this incident, Rasulullah was twenty three years old.
Contents of the biography of the Prophet Muhammed