Hajr-e-Aswad, also famous as ‘Black Stone’, is one of the most prime Islamic landmarks all over the world. Tawaf (taking seven rounds around the Holy Kaaba) in Hajj and Umrah starts and ends from Black Stone. Every pilgrim in Hajj and Umrah try to touch and kiss the stone. Black Stone has many facts that should be acknowledged.
Black Stone History
According to a hadith in Tirmidhi, Hajr-e-Aswad came from Jannah (paradise) when the Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was constructing the Holy Kaaba. It was narrated by Ibn Abbas (RA) that once the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) 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)
Black Stone and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
When the Prophet (PBUH) was the age of about 35 the Holy Kaaba was reconstructed. The issue of setting the Black Stone to its position back was turning into a fight. Then the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) resolved the matter wisely. He (PBUH) ordered to put the stone in a cloth and ask to hold the corners of the cloth by the leaders of each clan.
In this way, the Black Stone was repositioned without any hassle. When the Holy Prophet (PBUH) arrived at Makkah after the conquest He (PBUH) took seven rounds around the Kaaba on his camel and touched the Black Stone with His stick.
Physical Appearance of Black Stone
The stone was originally a single stone but unfortunately, it was broke down into pieces by a rock attack on it during the siege of Makkah in 683. All the parts were then cemented and enveloped again with a strong silver bond. The silver frame had been changed once by Ottoman Sultans and the previous envelope was moved to Istanbul.
The original size of Black Stone is not confirmed by anyone yet. However, the size that is visible through the silver ring is 20cm by 16cm. Black Stone is fixed on the east corner of the Holy Kaaba which is also known as ‘Al-Rukn Al-Aswad’. The nature of Black Stone according to the scientific view is still confusing. Different experts have different views on it. No one can definitely say whether it is agate or it is a stony meteorite.
All the Muslims that either kiss or touch the Black Stone don’t have any intention of having some kind of benefits from it. It is just the sunnah of our Holy Prophet (PBUH) that we should follow. Once the second and great caliph of Islam Hazrat Umar was making a Tawaf around the Kaaba and He said, “I know well that you are just a stone that can do neither good nor harm. Had I not seen the Prophet (PBUH) kiss you, I would not have done so.”
This statement of Umar (RA) clarifies that kissing Hajr-e-Aswad doesn’t carry any kind of benefits. The Caliph made this statement in front of new converts so that he made clear that it is not idolatry rather it is just the sunnah of our Prophet (PBUH).
Day of Judgment and Black Stone
It is narrated by Ibn Abbass (RA) that once the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said that, “By Allah, Allah will bring it forth on the Day of Judgment, and it will have two eyes with which it will see and a tongue with which it will speak, and it will testify in favor of those who touched it in sincerity.” (Al-Tirmidhi, 961; Ibn Maajah, 2944)
Was Black Stone Stolen?
Yes, this happened in 930 CE. Hajr-e-Aswad was stolen by Qarmatian warriors who belong to the Ismaeli Shia sect of Islam. They carried the Black stone to Ihsaa that was their base at that time. According to Al-Juwayni (a great historian), they returned it after 22 years in 952 CE. The Black Stone was then repositioned to its original place.
Every Muslim can kiss the Black Stone in Hajj and Umrah as it is the sunnah. On the other hand, we see many pilgrims pushing each other to do so that is never encouraged at all. We should harm anyone for our success to reach Black Stone. If one can’t kiss the Black Stone then he/she can only initiate his/her tawaf by either touching or pointing right hand towards it.
Exact Number of Pieces in Black Stone
There is a total of eight small pieces that are cemented within the silver ring. A close view of Hajr-e-Aswad can make it clear to everyone. In fact, there are also additional six pieces that are claimed to be in Istanbul. That is placed on different places, one is also placed in the mihrab of Blue Mosque. The authenticity of these additional pieces is still a question. However, Turkish had ruled over Saudi Arabia for many years.
Allah knows the best.