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إِنَّ أَوَّلَ بَيْتٍ وُضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ لَلَّذِي بِبَكَّةَ مُبَارَكاً وَهُدًى لِّلْعَالَمِينَ
-Âl ‘Imrân ( آل عمران )

Tafsir al-Jalalayn

When they said, ‘Our direction of prayer (qibla) came before yours’, the following was revealed: The first house, for worship, established for the people, on earth, was that at Bakka (a variant of Makka [Mecca], so called because it ‘crushes’ [tabukku] the necks of tyrants); it was built by the angels before the creation of Adam, and after it the Aqsā [in Jerusalem] was built, a period of forty years separating them, as reported in the hadīth of the two Sahīhs [sc. of al-Bukhārī and Muslim], and in the hadīth [that states]: ‘The first thing to appear on the surface of the water, at the creation of the heavens and the earth, was a white foam, underneath which the earth was unrolled’; a blessed place (mubārakan, a circumstantial qualifier referring to la’lladhī, ‘that’) meaning a place of blessings, and a guidance to all worlds, because it is their qibla.

Tafsir al-Jalalayn, trans. Feras Hamza
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