I am the Kaaba

Source: John 2: 19

In one hand, God holds mercy, joy and love; in the other, terror, dread and death.
Let these words be always with you.

The fire began with a bang. According to one witness, bluish sparks rose up from the ground, touched the building, and burst into flames that took only seconds to engulf the whole structure in a red and surreal conflagration.

People were stunned by the news, as if the world had come to an end. What had happened was a major event in human history. In minutes, the first images were being broadcast on televisions the world over. The fire consumed every conversation; everyone had experienced the unthinkable.

The heat was high, so intense that no firefighter could approach. Someone near me said the building could no longer be seen. In no time the crowd noticed that too, uttering a stunned gasp that I felt run around the world.

It was true: the flames were so huge, so numerous, so dense that people could see nothing else. I wondered, good heavens, in such intense flame how long will it be until nothing is left?

After a while it became clear that something paranormal was happening: nothing could feed such an intense fire for so long. Starting then, people calmed down a little and settled down to wait. The attention of the whole world, and every religion, turned toward the Kaaba.

The first night was black. No stars, and the sky heavy. A threatening, turbulent night. The voracious flames had fallen asleep at dusk. The building had become visible again, but looked like burning charcoal, radiating intensity and looking transparent but impenetrable. The heat it generated was just as intense, but no one thought of approaching now. To me the building seemed so fragile that, if anything touched it, it might crumble in an instant into ashes.

But there were neither ashes nor raindrops. Only the unmitigated heat, which persisted in deep silence through the whole first night. Then the second day dawned, and with it came the noise.

The first sound was heard just as the first rays of sunlight opened up the night sky. It was like the cry of an animal, a suffering, strangling animal. A sound conveying superhuman pain. I'm sure it was caused by the building structure cracking, but I felt as though the sound were cracking me open, tearing me apart. And I don't think I was the only one: I saw many people nearby racked as if by violent shivers down their spines. The sounds kept up all day long, with no particular rhythm. Some were just cracking noises; others lasted so long they sounded like laments. But the heat never abated.

So I was relieved when the second night came; all that cumulative noise was painful. Eventually it affected my awareness, and altered it. It was as if I had been planed by a very special carpenter. Absorbed by the sight, my spirit had become one with it, as if, to some extent, everything that happened to the building was fated to happen to me. Although, as far as I know, the heat of the first day hadn't troubled me, it was different with the noise: every sound took its toll on me. It was as if my spirit were being twisted one way and then another, to make it flexible enough to be rebuilt into something else.

When the second night arrived, the noise gradually dissipated and then stopped altogether. That night, too, was very dark, with no stars. But what had made the first night threatening had disappeared.

By night, people could see that something else had changed, or was changing. In the heaviness of the coals there seemed to be more, and finer, incandescent filaments than on the previous night. These ones seemed delicate and light. In particular, they seemed to be in motion on the surface of the building. During the course of the night there were more and more of them, livelier and livelier, and ever more scarlet in colour. They were in motion all along the building, eventually completely covering the available surface, and always in motion.

Of course the whole world kept following this extraordinary event. No matter where they were, people didn't go about their usual pursuits. Completely absorbed by what was looking more and more like some kind of revelation, they had created what felt like a temporary but worldwide community of spirit.

After dawn on the third day, it took less than an hour for the amazing thing to happen that people can still see today and will certainly see for all time.

Perhaps an hour before the end of the second night, the wavelength of the incandescent filaments clearly changed to purple. The filaments were so incandescent that the building became almost transparent. Of course you couldn't see the details, but you could distinguish the back walls from the front ones. And you could see very clearly that the three pillars inside were still standing. The interior structure was visible and hadn't budged.

At dawn on the third day, it was very clear that the heat was beginning to abate. The gold letters embroidered on the hazam were still there, entirely untouched. Every single thing was intact. After an hour, people noticed that the kiswah, the black silk pall covering the kaaba, was no longer fabric. It had become purest marble.

And that marble was white.