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The Black Stone ( The Hajar al-Aswad )

The black stone was a meteorite that was sent down by Allah Almighty to Prophet Abraham and his son Ishmael, peace be upon both of them, to give the precise location of where the Kaaba was to be built by them. We believe that Prophets Abraham and Ishmael built the Kaaba. The black stone is placed in one of the corners of the Kaaba, and it serves as a starting and ending point for the Circumambulation (tawaaf) 7 times around the Kaaba.
The_Black_Stone_The_ Hajar _al-Aswad
The Black Stone is set in the eastern corner of the Ka’bah. Tawaf begins and ends facing this sacred stone. Throughout the ages, countless people including many of the Prophets (upon them be peace), the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) himself, the Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with them), pious personalities and millions of Muslims who have performed Hajj and Umrah have placed their blessed lips on it.

Facts about the Black Stone ( The Hajar al-Aswad )
Du’as are accepted at the Hajar al-Aswad and on the Day of Judgement it will testify in favour of all those who kissed it. The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “By Allah! On the Day of Qiyamah, Allah will present the Hajar al-Aswad in such a manner that it will have two eyes and a tongue to testify to the Imaan (faith) of all those who kissed it.” [Tirmidhi]
 
Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Prophet (ﷺ), while leaning against the Ka’bah said:“The Hajar al-Aswad and al-Maqam (Ebrahim) are two jewels from the jewels of Paradise. Had Allah (ﷻ) not concealed their radiance, they would illuminate everything between the East and the West.” [Tirmidhi]

The Hajar al-Aswad was brought from Jannah and presented to Ebrahim (upon him be peace) to be placed on the corner of the Ka’bah. Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “The Black Stone came down from Paradise and it was whiter than milk, but the sins of the sons of Adam turned it black.” [Tirmidhi]

When the Quraysh demolished the Holy Ka’bah in order to reconstruct it, a dispute arose when the building reached the level of the Black Stone. They differed on the issue of who was eligible to restore the Black Stone to its original place. A civil war was about to break out. Banu Abdu’d-Dar brought a bowl full of blood and all of the tribes inserted their hands in it, which meant that they had made up their minds to fight one another. But Abu Umayya Ibn al-Mugheera , their elder, asked Quraysh to agree on the judgement of the first person to come through the Bani Shaibah gate and they all agreed on this suggestion. The first to come through this gate was the Prophet (ﷺ). This was five years before his mission. He put the Black Stone in the middle of a piece of cloth, and asked a representative of each tribe to hold one of the edges of the cloth and raise it close to its place. Then the Prophet (ﷺ) picked it up with his own noble hands and restored it to its original place. This was how the Prophet (ﷺ) prevented a war from breaking out among the Quraysh by a supreme demonstration of wisdom.

The Hajar al-Aswad was stolen from the Ka’bah around 930 CE by Qarmatian warriors who were an Ismaeeli Shia sect. They ransacked Makkah, desecrating the Well of Zamzam with Muslim corpses and carried the Black Stone away to their base in Ihsaa, in medieval Bahrain. According to the historian Al-Juwayni, the stone was returned in around 952 CE and restored to its original location.

The Hajar al-Aswad was originally a complete stone but due to various historical incidents now consists of eight pieces of varying sizes affixed to a large stone and encased in a silver frame. The silver frame was first made by Abdullah bin Zubair (may Allah be pleased with him) and replaced by later Khalifas as the need arose.

Six (additional) pieces are claimed to be in Istanbul, Turkey. One is displayed in the mihrab of the Blue Mosque, one above the entrance of the tomb of Sulaiman the Magnificent and four in the Sokullu Sehit Mehmet Pasa Camii mosque (one over the mihrab, one below the lower pulpit, another is above the upper pulpit and the last is over the entrance door). The authenticity of these additional pieces has been questioned, although the Turks did rule over what is now Saudi Arabia for many years and hold many historical Islamic relics. And Allah (ﷻ) knows best.

Note that when kissing the Hajar al-Aswad, one should neither push people nor harm anyone because while kissing the Hajar al-Aswad is Sunnah, causing harm to people is a forbidden act (haram). When the area is crowded, it will suffice to merely point towards the Hajar al-Aswad with one’s hand or a stick while reciting the Takbeer and then to kiss the hand or stick. Although the Prophet (ﷺ) kissed the Hajar al-Aswad directly, he also pointed towards it when the area was crowded, it is therefore clear that both kissing it and pointing towards it are Sunnah.

Muslims don’t worship the black stone.

The black stone in Islam is NOT sacred! Prophet Muhammad Said:  Demolishing the Kaaba completely is much easier upon Allah Almighty than shedding the blood of a single Believing Muslim.

Abis bin Rabi'ah (R. A) reported: I saw 'Umar bin Al-Khattab (R.A) kissing the black stone and saying: "I know that you are just a stone and that you can neither do any harm nor give benefit. Had I not seen Messenger of Allah (‎ﷺ) kissing you, I would not have kissed you". [Bukhari and Muslim].
 
The statement of 'Umar (R.A) quoted in this Hadith is highly significant in the sense that he wanted to make it absolutely clear to the illiterate and ignorant that Al-Hajar Al-Aswad (Black Stone of the Kaaba) is not kissed for because stones are venerated in Islam, as was the practice in pre-Islamic period. What he wanted to emphasize was that kissing the Black Stone was in accordance with the Sunnah of the Prophet (‎ﷺ).
 
Obedience of the Prophet (‎ﷺ) in every affair is a must, whether one understands the wisdom behind it or not. By analogy, kissing of the Black Stone, some people think it is permissible to kiss and show respect to the tombs of saints. But this is not valid reason because kissing the Black Stone is an 'Ibadah (act of worship), or a part of it, and every 'Ibadah is Tauqifiyah (prescribed by Allah and the Prophet (‎ﷺ) and it can neither be increased nor diminished, nor can it be graded as something else.

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