Demolition of Dhul Khalasa

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The Demolition of Dhul Khalasa[1] occurred in April and May 632 AD, in 10 AH of the Islamic calendar. Dhul Khalasa (or Dhu'l-Halasa) is referred to both as a cult image and a temple, and was known by some as the Kaaba of Yemen, built and worshipped by pagan tribes,[2] Muhammad sent Jarir to destroy it.[3][4][5][6] The cult image was in the form of a white stone.[7]


In the early 7th century, the worship of Dhul Khalasa was popular in some regions of Arabia. Its principal sanctuary was the famous al-Ka'bah al-Yamaniyah (the 'Southern Ka'ba'), rivalling that of Mecca, and located in the Asir region, south of Mecca.[3]

After the triumph of Islam, Muhammad sent a party of his followers to destroy the cult image of Dhul Khalasa which stood there.[3]

Jarir ibn Abdullah al-Bajali was sent to demolish it. The Temple of Dhul Khalasa resided at Tabala, and was worshipped by the Bajila and Khatham tribes.

The term Dhul Khalasa is usually taken as the name of the temple, it was referred to as the Yemenite Ka’ba by the tribes who worshipped it. But old accounts say that it was the name of a God who was worshipped there.[2] It was reportedly worshipped under the name "God of Redemption".[3]

Military campaign[edit]

According to Sahih Bukhari, Jarir rode with 150 horsemen[8] to Dhul Khalasa[1] to destroy the "Yemenite Ka’ba".[4]

Hisham Ibn Al-Kalbi mentions when Jarir ibn Abdullah proceeded to Dhul Khalasa, he was met with resistance. The Muslims led by him, fought and killed 100 men "of the Bahilah, its custodians, and many of the Khath'am" and another 200 men of the "Banu-Qubafah" tribes. He then demolished the building and set it on fire.[6][9][10]


Even after the cult image was destroyed by Muhammad's followers, the cult of Dhul Khalasa was resurrected and worshipped in the region until 1815, when members of the Sunni Wahhabi movement organised military campaigns to suppress remnants of pagan worship. The reconstructed cult image was subsequently destroyed by gunfire.[3]

Islamic primary sources[edit]

The Muslim historian Hisham Ibn Al-Kalbi, mentions this event as follows:

When the Apostle of God captured Mecca and the Arabs embraced Islam, among the delegates who came to pay their homage was Jarir ibn-'Abdullah. He came to the Apostle and embraced Islam before him. Thereupon the Apostle addressed him saying, "O Jarir! Wilt thou not rid me of dhu-al-Khalasah?" Jarir replied, "Yea." So the Apostle dispatched him to destroy it. He set out until he got to the banu-Abmas of the Bajilah [tribe] and with them he proceeded to dhu-al-Khalasah. There he was met by the Khath'am and the Bahilah, who resisted him and attempted to defend dhu-al-Khalasah. He, therefore, fought them and killed a hundred men of the Bahilah, its custodians, and many of the Khath'am; while of the banu-Qubafah ibn-'Amir ibn-Khath'am he killed two hundred. having defeated them and forced them into flight, he demolished the building which stood over dhu-al-Khalasah and set it on fire. A certain woman of the banu-Khath'am thereupon said:

"The banu-Umamah, each wielding his spear,
Were slaughtered at al-Wahyab, their abode;
They came to defend their shrine, only to find
Lions with brandished swords clamoring for blood.
The women of the Khath'am were, then, humiliated
By the men of the Abmas, and abased."

At the present time dhu-al-Khalassah constitutes the threshold of the gate of the mosque at Tabalab.

Ibn-Al-Kalbi, Hisham, The Book of Idols, pp. 31–2[9]

The incident is also referenced in the Sahih Bukhari hadith collection:

In the Pre-Islamic Period of Ignorance there was a house called Dhu-l-Khalasa or Al-Ka'ba Al-Yamaniya or Al-Ka'ba Ash-Shamiya. The Prophet said to me, "Won't you relieve me from Dhu-l-Khalasa?" So I set out with one-hundred-and-fifty riders, and we dismantled it and killed whoever was present there. Then I came to the Prophet and informed him, and he invoked good upon us and Al-Ahmas (tribe). Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:59:641

The event is also mentioned in Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:59:642, Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:59:643 and Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:59:645.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Dermenghem, Émile (1930). The life of Mahomet. G. Routledge. p. 239. ISBN 978-9960-897-71-4.
  2. ^ a b Robertson Smith, William (2010). Kinship and Marriage in Early Arabia. Forgotten Books. p. 297. ISBN 978-1-4400-8379-2.
  3. ^ a b c d e S. Salibi, Kamal (2007). Who Was Jesus?: Conspiracy in Jerusalem. Tauris Parke Paperbacks. p. 146. ISBN 978-1-8451-1314-8.
  4. ^ a b Muir, William (August 1878). The life of Mahomet. Kessinger Publishing. p. 219.
  5. ^ Mubarakpuri, Saifur Rahman Al (2002). When the Moon Split. DarusSalam. p. 296. ISBN 978-9960-897-28-8.
  6. ^ a b Glasse, Cyril (28 January 2003). The new encyclopedia of Islam. US: AltaMira Press. p. 251. ISBN 978-0-7591-0190-6.
  7. ^ S. Salibi, Kamal (2007), Who Was Jesus?: Conspiracy in Jerusalem, Tauris Parke Paperbacks, p. 146, ISBN 978-1-84511-314-8
  8. ^ Sahih al-Bukhari, 5:59:641
  9. ^ a b Ibn al Kalbi, Hisham (1952). The book of idols: being a translation from the Arabic of the Kitāb al-asnām. Princeton University Press. pp. 31–2. ASIN B002G9N1NQ.
  10. ^ The Book of Idols – via Scribd.