Here, in the time of Ibn Jubair, the Maqam or standing stone of Abraham was usually placed for better security, but brought out on great occasions.2 The houses of ancient Mecca pressed close upon the Ka`ba, the noblest families, who traced their descent from Iosai, the reputed founder of the city, having their dwellings immediately round the sanctuary.
After the Ka`ba the principal points of interest in the mosque are the well Zamzam and the Maqam Ibrahim.
The Maqam of Abraham is also connected with a relic of heathenism, the ancient holy stone which once stood on the Ma`jan, and is said to bear the prints of the patriarch's feet.
The whole legend of this stone, which is full of miraculous incidents, seems to have arisen from a misconception, the Maqam Ibrahim in the Koran meaning the sanctuary itself; but the stone, which is a block about 3 spans in height and 2 in breadth, and in shape "like a potter's furnace" (Ibn Jubair), is certainly very ancient.
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