Companions of the Prophet Muhammad (Second Caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate)

The Kaaba March (Arabic: ٱلْكَعْبَة احتجاج, romanized: Ka'ba Aihtijāj) was held towards the Kaaba in Mecca in the year 616 CE, led by Umar ibn al-Khattab. The purpose of the march was to advocate the permission for the Muslims to openly pray at the Kaaba.


Umar's suggestion to Muhammad

Shall they (polytheists) pray to their false gods openly while we must worship the true God in secret? Come we will go there (Kaaba) right now

— The address was given at the House of Arqam

In 616, Umar went to assassinate the Islamic prophet Muhammad. On his way to murder the leader, Umar met his close friend Nu'aym ibn Abd Allah, who had become a Muslim. Nu'aym warned Umar not to attack Muhammad.[1] Nua'ym also informed Umar that the latter's sister Fatima and her husband Sa'id ibn Zayd had secretly converted to Islam. Umar arrived at his sister's house and heard her reciting the Quran. He physically attacked Fatima and then later went towards the House of Arqam, where Muhammad had resided. According to Sunni Islamic tradition, Muhammad had prayed to God that Islam be strengthened either with Umar ibn al-Khattab or Amr ibn Hisham, better known as Abu Jahl to Muslims.

Umar knocked at the House of Arqam, whereupon Hamza ibn Abd al-Muttalib opened the door and asked permission from Muhammad to let Umar in. The Muslims were frightened, as Umar's fierceness was well-known in the society. Muhammad allowed Umar to enter and Umar declared his faith as a Muslim. On Umar's conversion, the Muslims celebrated and Muhammad said 'God is the Greatest' (Allah Hu Akbar). Umar suggested to Muhammad that the Muslims should pray publicly at the Kaaba, as the Muslims were prevented from the Meccan polytheists to do so. Muhammad accepted this advise and Umar then led the march towards the Kaaba.


Few hours after his conversion, Umar led the march towards the Kaaba with a group of Muslims, including Muhammad, his relatives Ali and Hamza, close friend Abu Bakr, son in-law Uthman and others. When the Qurayshite polytheists saw Umar in the lead, they thought that Umar brought these Muslims as prisoners.[2] However, Amr ibn Hisham told that Umar had embraced the new faith.

After arriving at the Kaaba, Umar announced that he had become a Muslim publicly in front of the polytheists.[3] He recited the Shahada, which made the polytheists furious. Utba ibn Rabiah attacked Umar, though Umar severely beated and injured Utba, who then fled.[4] According to some accounts, the polytheists assembled under Amr ibn Hisham and escaped from the Kaaba.[2] Umar then openly prayed at the Kaaba, while Amr ibn Hisham and Abu Sufyan watched angrily. At this stage Umar even challenged anyone who dared to stop the Muslims from praying, although no one dared to interfere with Umar when he was openly praying. From that day, the Muslims started to openly pray at the Kaaba.

Aftermath and legacyEdit

In late 616, the Meccan polytheists, furious because of the event, declared a total boycott on the Banu Hashim (Muhammad's clan).[5]

Ma'n ibn Adi was amongst the attendees, he was an opponent of Sa'd ibn Ubada, so he went to Abu Bakr and Umar and informed them about this plan of election.[6]


  1. Haykal 1994, p. 113.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Adil 2002, p. 134–135.
  3. Ramadan 2007, p. 65.
  4. Haylamaz, Resit (2014-03-07). The Luminous Life of Our Prophet. Tughra Books. ISBN 978-1-59784-681-3.
  5. Ramadan 2007, p. 67.
  6. Madelung, Wilferd (1997). The Succession to Muhammad: A Study of the Early Caliphate. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-64696-3.