At this juncture a vehement dispute arose among the Kureisch as to who was to have the honour of depositing the Black Stone in its place. They wrangled for days, and finally decided to appeal to Mahomet, who had a reputation for wisdom and resource. Mahomet, after carefully considering the question, ordered a large cloth to be brought, and commanded the representatives of the four chief Meccan houses to hold each a corner. Then he deposited the Black Stone in the centre of it, and in this manner, with the help of every party in the quarrel, the sacred object was raised to the proper height. When this was done Mahomet conducted the Black Stone to its niche in the wall with his own hand.
The building of the Kaaba was ultimately completed, and a great festival was held in honour. Many hymns of praise were sung at the accomplishment of so difficult and important a work. The Kaaba has remained substantially the same as it was when it was first rebuilt. It is a small place of no architectural pretensions, merely a square with no windows, and a tiny door raised from the ground, by which the Faithful, duly prepared, are allowed to enter upon rare occasions. The sacred Black Stone lies embedded about three feet from the ground in the eastern wall, at first a dark greenish stone of volcanic or aerolitic origin, now worn black and polished by thousands of kisses. There is little in the Kaaba to account for the reverence bestowed upon it, and its insignificance bears witness to the Eastern capacity for worshipping the idea for which its symbols stand. This was the sacred temple of Abraham and Ishmael, therefore its exterior mattered little.
Mahomet’s share in the construction of the Kaaba brought him further honour among the Kureisch. From this time until the beginning of his mission he lived a quiet, easeful domestic life, interrupted only by mental storms and depressions. He found leisure to meditate and observe, and of this necessarily uneventful time there is little or no mention in the histories. He certainly gained an opportunity of examining somewhat closely the tenets of Christianity by the entrance into his household of Zeid, a Christian slave, cultured and well-informed as to the doctrines of his religion, and his presence doubtless influenced Mahomet in the spiritual battles he encountered at a time when as yet he was certain neither of God nor himself. Besides Zeid another important personage entered Mahomet’s household, Ali, son of Abu Talib, and future convert and pride of Islam, “the lion of the Faith.” The adoption of Ali was Mahomet’s small recompense to Abu Talib for his care of him, and the advantages there from to Islam were inestimable. Ali was no statesman, but he was an indomitable fighter, with whose aid Mahomet founded his religion of the sword.