What's the history behind the Black Stone in Mecca, Saudi Arabia?

Poster: STANCOBRIDGE | Date: 1:24am, 10th Mar 2018. | Views: 49 | 1 Replies
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STANCOBRIDGE. Jalingo, Taraba
1:24am, 10th Mar 2018.

Al-Ḥajar al-Aswad (Arabic: الحجر الأسود, The Black Stone) is an ancient Islamic sacred stone. It is located in the eastern corner of the Ka'ba (aka. al-Rukn al-Aswad, or al-Rukn al-Hajari), 1.5 meters above the earth. The Stone was honored before Islam. Nevertheless, even then, when the worshipping stones was customary (age of ignorance), it was not worshiped, but it was a symbol of monotheism and rejection ofpolytheism.

The Black Stone has not been mentioned in Qur'an. According to Imam al-Sadiq, the Black Stone is one of the "clear wonders" that have been mentioned in Sura Al 'Imran 3:97 ("In it are clear signs [such as] the standing place of Abraham. And whoever enters it shall be safe.").

In hadiths, especially the ones reported by Shi'as, the Black Stone has been mentioned frequently (with the term "al-hajar"). It is, for example, said that the Black Stone was originally one of the angels that had entered the divine covenant; so God had made that angel a faithful guardian of the creatures and had deposited the covenant of all the servants with him. God, then, called all the creatures to renew their oath with this angel of the covenant. God has set that angel in Adam's company in order to remind him of his oath and covenant. But when Adam disobeyed God and fell out of heaven to the earth and repented, God sent down this angel as a white gemstone so that it could remind him of his forgotten oath. Adam took this white gemstone to Mecca and put it in the place were the covenant had been made, at the time of the first construction of Ka'ba. In the Judgment Day, the Stone will be a testimony to those who have renewed their covenant.

According to yet another hadith, the Stone was deposited in Mount Abu Qubays. But when Abraham (Ibrahim (a)) and Ishmael (Isma'il (a)) reached a point in the construction of the Ka'ba when they should put the Stone, it was returned to them.

According to some hadiths, when Abraham (a) was building Ka'ba, Gabriel (Jabra'il) brought this stone from heaven so that it could stand in a corner of the Ka'ba and become an axis for circumabmulation (tawaf).

It is also said that the Black Stone was in the beginning whiter than milk and brighter than the sun; but it became dark after the polytheists touched it and the believerssinned.

In the debate between Muhammad b. al-Hanfiyya and Imam al-Sajjad (a), the Black Stone spoke to the latter and testified the Imamate of Imam 'Ali b. al-Husayn (a) afterImam al-Husayn (a).

Saif Lari

Student of logical and comparative religions. Also an MBA

Hajre Aswad is a

black stone that is engraved in the southeast wall of the Kabaah. There are different narrations that give a different account of the background of the stone and its placement in the wall of Kaabah. Regardless of the different narratives, the importance and respect of the stone remains the same and it enjoys the same level of sanctity and sacredness in all the narratives.

Out of the different narratives, the most significant and the most authentic one is the narrative of Hajre Aswad being a stone from Jannah that was installed in Kabaah by Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) and His son Hazrat Ismail (AS). According to the narration, when Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) and His son started construction of Kabah on the order of Allah Almighty as a place of worship and sanctity, they were a stone short in the building of the walls. Thus, upon this Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) ordered His son to go and look for a stone that could fit in the gap in order to complete the construction of the holy place. Hazrat Ismail (AS) went in search of the stone, but after a while when He could not find any suitable rock. and came back to His father and saw that a rock was already placed in the empty space, upon which He asked His father about the stone, regarding which Hazrat Ibrahim replied that it was delivered to Him by Garbriel. Thus this narrative proves that Hajre Aswad is a heavenly stone.

Pertaining to its heavenly origin and its true color, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said in one of His hadiths:

“The Black stone descended from paradise, and it was more white than milk, then it was blacked by this sins of the children of Adam.” (Tirmidhi)

This hadith proves that Hajre Aswad is a stone that came from paradise, and it was originally in pure white state, which then started, turning black with the progression in the increasing sins of humankind.

Significance for Muslims:

Besides the very fact that Hajre Aswad is a stone from Paradise, there are numerous hadiths of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that prove the sanctity and reverence of the stone and the kind of significance it has in Islam and for the Muslims. The lines below give a few of the hadiths of Prophet (PBUH) that point towards the importance and stature of Hajre Aswad in Islam and the way a Muslim should perceive it.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said in one of His hadiths:

“By Allah! On the Day of Qiyaamah, Allah will present the Hajare 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)

This hadith points towards the kissing of Hajre Aswad (the details of which will be covered in the latter part of the post) and how it will testify for the faith of people who have kissed it on the Judgment Day. Therefore, Hajre Aswad is not some ordinary stone and neither is the kissing of it as kissing some ordinary stone, rather it holds importance which will be exposed to the person on the Judgment Day.

In another hadith, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:

“The Hajre Aswad and al-Maqam (Ibrahim) are the two jewels from the jewels of Paradise. Had Allah not concealed their radiance, they would illuminate everything between the East and the West.” (Tirmidhi)

This hadith again testifies to the importance and significance of Hajre Aswad and as per this hadith, the stone and the place of Ibrahim (AS) are of the jewels of Heavens and they both are radiant in their nature, however, Allah Almighty has ceased their radiance so that the world could stay normal and the natural order should not be disturbed.

Why Do Muslims Kiss Hajre Aswad:

One of the major acts done in reverence of Hajre Aswad is its kissing. Muslims in the form of kissing it exhibit the love and reverence for the stone. Moreover, besides the expression of love, this reverence is also a Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) kissed Hajre Aswad during the Tawaf He did during Pilgrimage. Therefore, since then it has become a necessary element of Tawaf and Muslims kiss the stone after every single circumambulation of the Kaaba. Hence, in no way the kissing of Hajre Aswad is paying respect to the stone, rather it is done just in the remembrance of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Although the Muslims kissing the stone understand and know about the reason behind their kissing of it, however, people who are non-believers or those who have lack of knowledge about Islam have some misconceptions pertaining to the kissing of black stone. A few of the major misconceptions and their baseness is discussed below.

Sourabh Mahajan

History is stranger than fiction.

Industrial grade bull**it.

The cubic black stone is the stone of Al-lat, the one of the three pagan Arabian goddesses. There were 360 idols present in Kaaba prior to its capture by Prophet Muhammed's army, which were destroyed one by one personally by Prophet Muhammed himself using his stick. Yes however contrary it may sound, Arabs were once polytheistic pagan god worshippers like most of the Asia at that time.
                          Regarding the rituals they follow, this was quiet a common practice in many Indo-European faiths which were similar to Hinduism or either shared the same rituals. I cannot exactly point out why, but Prophet Muhammed seemed to carry on this practice after Islamizing the Arabian peninsula and during its formulating years Islam. Also it absorbed many of the earlier practices of various unorganized religions and tribal ceremonies. This resulted in the formulation of a religion which had a Pan-Arabian appeal and eased its acceptance around the region. The various elements, such as moon worship, the color green, the script and the commandments display various inspirations from the existing religions and tribal faiths as well as the other two world religions Christianity and Judaism. 
                 Equating these to Hinduism is naivety at least and stupidity at worst. This shows the fundamental illusions and a highly skewed  history we have on Hinduism and its association with other Indo-European faiths.

Zohaib Jaamy

A student who survived. Guardian of the Realm. Urdu-itte

In the name of Allah, the entirely Merciful, the especially Merciful.
I found various absurd, dumb and baseless reports calling the Holy Kaba and Hajar-e-aswad a Shiva Idol or Temple whatsoever.
The Holy Kaba was constructed by the First Human, Adam. But it was destroyed in the great deluge during Noah's era.
It was then constructed by Prophet Abraham and his son Prophet Ishmael.
But due to the corruption in the later people of Abraham, they shun his message and became pagans.
When Prophet Muhammad conquered Mecca - he cleansed the holy sanctuary of dirty idols and made it a sanctuary till the Last Day. 
There are many sites like krishnajkaaba.blogspot.in and others that absurdly claims Kaba to be a Hindu Temple taken over by Muslims.
They also claim that Mecca was ruled by Hindus. Its is true that most arabs of the pre-Islamic times were pagans, worshipping idols and self made things just like Hindus do. But they used to speak Arabic. Just because those people were idol-worshippers doesn't mean they were Hindus.
So Kaba being a Hindu Temple, this thing is baseless and can be developed into a mockery sort of stuff.
Secondly, some misinformed and illiterate people viz. P.N. Oak claim that the Hajar-e-Aswad (the Black Stone) is a Shiv Lingam. Hahaha.... this self-proclaimed historian went on a record to say that Mecca was ruled by a Hindu King. Well Mecca was never ruled by an autocrat or a king. 
Hajar e Aswad is a celestial stone sent miraculously by Allah to Abraham to be installed in this holy structure of Kaba. It was whiter than milk on arrival but sins of the sons of Adam blackened it.
The Holy Kaba is focal point, a Qiblah, towards which 1.8 Billion Muslims turn for prayer.
About a few yards nearby, stands the well of Zam Zam, the purest form of dihydrogen monoxide - water.

Tümer Şengör

Home taught on Islam, self taught on theology.

I’m afraid the black stone “Hajra Aswad” is not mentioned anywhere of the Quran, the holy book of Muslims. Worshipping to this stone (if you feel better, you may say “kissing” it to be purified) is only backed by the hadiths.

What is a hadith? A hadith is statement of Prophet Mohammed as heard by “others”. As you can see from above replies, all information on the “Black Stone” is derived from these 3rd hand (4th, 5th?) information. Unfortunately the sources of hadiths are unreliable and “Fiqh Experts” , (Islamic judges) dispute on accuracy of some hadiths. A recent approach of Islam even denies all hadiths and claim Quran is all you require to practice Islam. Quran itself suggests that too;

Al Nahl (16:89): We have revealed to you this book to provide explanations for everything, and guidance, and mercy, and good news for the submitters.

Even if the hadiths were reliable sources, the Islamic explanation of Hajra Aswad is full of dilemmas and contradictions.

Here is the story behind the Black Stone;

According to classical “Fiqh” (Ehli Sunnah), Qaabe was built by Prophet Ibrahim. Prophet Ibrahim is also known as Abraham, from the Book of Genesis, Old Testament. That story exists in Quran too, but it’s a lot shorter.

As you can see from other replies, some even say that, the location of Qabe is where Adam and Eve first met. Therefore this location is the first house and first temple. This place is the first Oasis in the desert. Where the human life emerges and the water springs.

Ibrahim (Abraham) is the first prophet who found Allah without a divine inspiration. Well actually he first thinks the Stars is the God, then the Moon and then the Sun. But finally he finds Allah. (Al An’am 76–77–78). Although Quran says that Allah does not speak to any men directly (Ash-Shura:51) he speaks to Abraham directly (Al-Baqarah:260) Is it because Abraham is a very special prophet? Or is there a contradiction in the Quran?

Anyway, Abraham’s father is called Azer. Azer means fire. (Azerbaijan, land of fire, Atletico Madrid shirts, remember?) Abraham begs his father not to worship idols/statues. He refuses so Abraham begs him again. “Don’t worship the Satan” he says. When he fails to convince again, he destroys these statues.

Alas, this incident is told as two different stories in Quran (Al-Anbiya: 57–69) and (Al-Saffat:91-97). Again, contradiction in Quran?

At least we are sure that some statues are broken. And Abraham invites his father and his friends to worship the only God instead of many Gods. Certainly the worshippers of those statues are very angry because Abraham insulted their Gods, so they try to burn Abraham. By miracle, fire turns into water and the wood that the fire was set, turn into fishes. Thus we’ve had Pool of Abraham (or Pool of Sacred Fish) in Şanlıurfa, Turkey. Well, there’s a version of the story where Abraham leaves his father peacefully (Maryam:47–48) but the contradictions in Quran is not my point right now so let’s move forward.

As Abraham leaves, he’s been heralded of sons (he couldn’t have any child). Well, at least “a son”. Because according to one verse, he’s been heralded with Ishmael, which he was going to sacrifice during his early childhood but a ram (goat?) was sent instead, many of you know the story. In another verse Isaac is heralded to Abraham (Al-Saffat:99–112), in another Isaac is heralded along with Jacob (Maryam:49, Al-Ankabut:27) and Ishmael is not mentioned at all. Be careful though, you might be completely confused when you see in another verse that Jacob is actually son of Isaac (Al-Baqarah:133) And in one place Isaac and Jacob were heralded when the people of lut were about to be destroyed (Hud:71). This is confusing because there should be decades for that to come. Let’s say Allah knows best and continue…

Now, Ishmael is left by his father, on the location of Qabe with his mother Hadjer.

Why Ishmael is left in the desert, we are not certain. In fact, according to Quran, we don’t even now if it is Ishmael that is left because it says “some of my offspring” (Ibrahim:37) in the book.

However some says that it was Sara, Abraham’s legitimate wife, who made Abraham leave Ishmael and his mother. She feared Abraham leaving her and marry his slave Hadjer.

By the way, Hadjer means “stone” in Arabic. Weirdly, Jesus told to Saint Peter, his apostle, that he will build his church over him (Matthew 16:17–18) As you know Bible was written in Greek, therefore name Peter is actually “Petrus”. Petrus means “stone” in Greek. Maybe Abraham’s wife Sara was treating Hadjer and her son badly because she knew Abraham will build his temple over his Petrus (Hadjer) as well? You know Palestinians and Israelis both claim their ancestry to Abraham. However, while Palestinians are sons of Hadjar, Israelis say they are sons of Sara. That’s an ancient rivalry!

Later, Qabe was built at where Abraham left Hadjer and Ishmael. Hadjer searches for water between the hills of Al-Safa and Al-Marwah (Remember this place being the first temple, first oasis?). Later, Abraham returnes to the location where he knows Qabe is going to be built and to sacrifice Ishmael of course. (I can’t resist to mention that according to the Ibrahim:37, the “Sacred House” was already built.) But the ram is being sent instead, so “the offspring” is granted as well. Years later, when Ishmael is a young man, he goes back to Mecca to build Qabe. (Wasn’t it already built?!!)

Ok, I can write about this even more but I really need to focus on the main point.

What then is this stone, all these people run to Mecca every year, seeking for peace and purity?

I already said Hadjar means stone in Arabic. If you simply google translate the word “black” to Arabic, you’ll get “Aswad”. Therefore Hadjre Aswad is translated as Black Stone. Do you also think that the black stone being named after our Hadjer, doesn’t sound like a coincidence, right?

I see one of the other repliers shared the Hadith of, it is Hadjre Aswad will be testifying Muslims faith on the judgment day. That means, it’s a woman who will be testifying their faith. It’s such a refreshing idea after witnessing all those injustice behaviour that women get in Muslim countries.

I see some other folks here, indicating the source of Arab Mythology is based on Hindusim. There are obviously so many connections, including Hadgar Aswad-Sanghey Asweta, Abraham-Brahma, Sara-Sarai and many others. However Middle Eastern mythology is way older than Hindusim. Gonul Tekin, an ex-professor of Harvard University and editor of Journal of Turkish Studies says that, if there’s a resemblance between Brahma-Shiva and Abraham-Sara, it is probably because they are both Middle Eastern origined. Sumerian, to be specific. Because the history of Sumerians go all the way to BC 6000, while Hinduism is not that old.

Actually Sumerian mythology is the source of almost every god and goddess that has ever been told of in Middle East and Europe. Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Assurian, Babylonian, Arabian, Phonecian…

Hadjer Aswad is clearly the black stone of Moon cult and lunar deities. The story goes the same more or less in each culture; As the moon move from fullmoon to newmoon and crescent, it gives birth to a dark shadow. Hadjar Aswad is in the shape of a vagina because the black stone symbolizes the birth of this shadow. It’s the stone of Al-lat, Inanna, Astarte, Ishtar, Kaab (Qabe), Rheia and Kybele. Muslims turn to Kiblah (Kybele) to pray. The crescent on the Mosques symbolizes the same story.

The female is considered holy because it’s fertile. The sun is usually a masculine energy, it’s wild, it’s burning and hot. Moon is feminine because it’s fragile and enlights during the dark. As the civilizations become paternalistic, gods built a male image for themselves. All monothestic Gods, Yhvh, Eloh and Allah have masculine images.

The origin of Arabian moon cult is originiated from the Sabeans. Although Quran vilifies all other heathens, it mentions these Sabeans nicely somehow. (Al-Baqarah:62/Al-Ma’idah:69/Al-Hajj:17)

Why? Because they also worship moon! The main settlement of Sabeans was in Harran, modern day Turkey. One of the tribes leaded by Abraham, migrated to Egypt and changed the whole history. Another tribe migrated to Yemen.

Prophet Mohammed also had been to Yemen several times for trading purposes and was influenced by Sabean doctrine a lot. He says that the true belief (Imaan) is Yemenite (Saheeh Al-Bukhaari Hadith No:3079)

Some say that Sabeanism is an esoteric doctrine, it includes hermetic and orphic and pythogorean traces. Same people take these claims all the way to atlantis and mu civilizations but I personally think that is a different kind of bull**it and just think the origins are based on Sumerian myths.

Therefore, Hadjre Aswad and all other Mooncult motifs in Islam is influenced by Sabeanism directly and Sumerians indirectly. The rest of the doctrine is influenced from Judaism which is Sumerian origined as well.

And that’s the history behind the Black Stone.

Muhamed Halilovic

M.S. Information Technology & Computer Science, International Burch University (2012)

There is a lot of information about it on the official English wiki page: Black Stone - Wikipedia

Belief is that it removes the sins from the one who touches it.

One interesting peculiarity that is not mentioned in the article is that the Ottomans, while ruling over Makkah, took certain piece of it and cut this piece into small rectangular tiles. Afterwards, throughout places that they conquered, where they thought it was important, they embedded these tiles somewhere within the mosques they’ve built, especially those mosques that they named “Hunkari” mosques or “Emperor’s mosques”.

One such tile was embedded within emperor’s mosque in Sarajevo:

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