Saturday, November 5, 2011

Do Muslims Worship The Black Stone of the Ka'abah?

Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, claimed that the stone 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, Muslim believe that Prophets Abraham and Ishmael built the Kaaba.

The black stone was proven by NASA to be a Meteorite sent from space:
Western Scientists have confirmed that the black stone, which resides near the Kaaba in the Holy City of Mecca, is an outside METEORITE OBJECT!

""Stars" falling from the skies have been known since ancient times; rarely, stones are found that were tied to these "shooting stars". One such rock has been venerated by Islam (in its encased shrine in Mecca) for more than 1300 years. By the 19th Century, meteorites were identified correctly as samples from other parts of the Solar System. They are part of the nearly 500 tons of extraterrestrial rock material that reaches and enters the atmosphere each day. Most of that material is burned up by friction from the high speed of entry but meteoric dust can remain in the air and a very few individual blocks of material survive this passage to fall in the sea or on the ground as meteorites."

"The second city of Saudi Arabia is Mecca which contains the holiest shrine in Islam, a great plaza with a rectangular structure containing a meteorite that is considered to have fallen into the Muslim world directly from Heaven. Devout Muslims make the Hajj, a pilgrimage to this shrine required at least once in a lifetime. Here it is as seen in a Quickbird image:"

Further Explanation
Christians regularly to justify their idolatrous practices such as prayers to Mary by claiming that Muslims "worship" the Black Stone at the Kaaba in Makkah.

Having been on hajj let me answer this based both on history and my own experiences. The Black Stone(Hajar al- Aswad) is NOT mentioned in the Quran. The Black Stone is located about five feet from the ground on the East corner of the Kaaba (this corner is known as "al-rukn al-Aswad").

While there are traditions about kissing or touching the Stone, it's real significance is as marker of the point at which one starts the Tawaaf (circumambulation of the Kaaba as part of hajj or omra.) Even the traditions which talk about kissing or touching the stone are VERY CLEAR that the Stone is JUST A STONE!

BUKHARI, Volume 2, Book 26, Number 667 says,
Narrated 'Abis bin Rabia: Umar came near the Black Stone and kissed it and said "NO DOUBT, I KNOW THAT YOU ARE A STONE AND CAN NEITHER BENEFIT ANYONE NOR HARM ANYONE. Had I not seen Allah's Apostle kissing you I would not have kissed you."~ 
BUKHARI, Volume 2, Book 26, Number 665 
Narrated Zaid bin Aslam from his father who said: "Umar bin Al-Khattab addressed the Corner (Black Stone) saying, 'BY ALLAH! I KNOW THAT YOU ARE A STONE AND CAN NEITHER BENEFIT NOR HARM. Had I not seen the Prophet touching (and kissing) you, I would never have touched (and kissed) you.' Then he kissed it and said, 'There is no reason for us to do Ramal (in Tawaf) except that we wanted to show off before the pagans, and now Allah has destroyed them.' 'Umar added, '(Nevertheless), the Prophet did that and we do not want to leave it (i.e. Ramal).'"
MUSLIM: Book 007, Number 2914:
Abdullah b. Sarjis reported: I saw the bald one, i. e. 'Umar b. Khattib (Allah be pleased with him). kissing the Stone and saying: BY ALLAH. I AM KISSING WITH FULL CONSCIOUSNESS OF THE FACT THAT YOU ARE A STONE AND THAT YOU CAN NEITHER DO ANY HARM NOR GOOD; and if I had not seen Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) kissing you. I would not have kissed you. The rest of the hadith is the same.
The Stone is not be worshiped or regarded as anything but a marker.

(At hajj time you are actually unlikely to see the Black Stone: Masjid Al-Haram is just two crowded. There is a line on the floor of the Masjid to tell you where the line of the Black Stone is. Many hajis must perform Tawaaf NOT on the Kaaba floor but on the SECOND OR THIRD STORIES of the Majid Al-Haram!
On Levels #2 and #3 there are both marks on the floor and neon lights to show you where to start and stop tawaaf. The scholars agree that waving in the direction of the Black Stone is sufficient recognition of its location as the start and stop of Tawaaf. In actuality, waving in direction of the Black Stone is the best you will probably do at hajj time)

The Black Stone has had an interesting history during the Islamic period. In 930 AD a ruler of Bahrain - who belonged to a branch of Ismailism known as the Karmatians - sacked Makkah and carried the Black Stone away for some 70 years until it was ransomed.

In the process, the Black Stone was cracked. It is now held together by a silver band. The fact that Islam was able to function without the Black Stone for 70 years is one of the best illustrations that it is but a marker for Tawaaf - and NOT an object of worship.

[Source:Collected from different sources and combined by me]