Gold and silver bricks


Ibn ʿArabi's story of the Kaʿba built of silver and gold bricks:

I had a vision concerning myself, and took it as good tidings from God. For it was similar to a tradition of the Prophet, in which he indicated his position in relation to the other prophets.

He, upon him be peace, said: “As regards myself and the prophets, it is as if a man built a wall, leaving out one brick. I am that brick, and there will no envoy or prophet after me.”

Here he likens prophethood to the wall and the prophets to the bricks that make it up. It is an extremely beautiful analogy, as although it is called a wall, it only happens because of the bricks that make it up. Thus he was the Seal of the Prophets.

When I was in Mecca in the year 599 AH [1203], I had a dream in which I saw the Kaʿba built of bricks of silver and gold, placed alternately. The construction was complete, and there was nothing left to add. I contemplated it and admired its beauty.

Then I turned to the side between the Yemenite and Syrian corners – near the Syrian corner I noticed there were two bricks missing, one gold, one silver, on two rows of the wall. The missing gold was on the upper row, the missing silver on the lower.

I saw myself being put into the place of these two bricks.

Then I woke up, and gave thanks to God, saying to myself: “I am to the followers of my kind, as the Envoy of God is to the prophets.”