Hajr e Aswad, The Black Stone, is an Islamic relic that is installed on the eastern corner of the Holy Ka’ba.
You might have seen pilgrims kissing, touching or just gesturing towards it while performing Hajj and Umrah. If you have not, you should watch the live coverage of Hajj 2020. Or an even better option, get yourself one of those cheap Umrah packages and experience it yourself.
Did you ever wonder what is the story of this stone and what is its significance? Well keep reading and all your questions will be answered.
There are different narratives about the origin of Hajr e Aswad. One narrative is that it fell from Paradise to show Prophet Adam (A.S) where to build the first house of worship on Earth.
According to the most authentic and commonly accepted narration, Hajar al-Aswad was brought to Prophet Ibrahim (A.S) when he was building the Ka’ba. It states, when Prophet Ibrahim (A.S) was almost finished constructing the Ka’ba, he noticed there was a gap left.
So he asked his son, Prophet Ismail (A.S), to go look for a stone that could fit in the gap. Prophet Ismail (A.S) searched but he could not find any suitable stone. When He returned to his father, He noticed that the gap was filled. Upon asking the Prophet Ibrahim (A.S) revealed that the stone was brought to him by Angel Jibraeel (A.S) from heaven.
Ibn Abbas narrated that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
“When the Black Stone came down from Paradise, it was whiter than milk, but the sins of the sons of Adam made it black.” (Tirmidhi)
Why Do Muslims Kiss Hajr e Aswad:
While performing Tawaf, it is necessary for Muslims to kiss Hajar al-Aswad (or just touch or gesture towards it). Kissing it does not mean they are paying respect to the stone or praying it. They do so only because it is the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
There is a misconception among non-Muslims and people who reverted to Islam that Muslims pray to the Stone and it is a sort of idol worship. Hazrat Umar (R.A) did address this issue. 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.”
It clarifies that the notion that kissing the stone is a kind of idolatry, is baseless. Muslims kiss the stone only because Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) did so.
Hajar al-Aswad is a stone from the heaven, a place we all crave for. That makes it quite significant. Moreover, there are several Hadith that tell us about the significance of this stone.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
“ By Allah! On the Day of Qiyaamah, Allah will present the Hajar e 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)
On the Day of Judgment, the faith of every soul who has kissed Hajar al-Aswad will be testified by the stone itself.
Another Hadith states:
“The Hajr e 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 also states the significance and importance of Hajar al-Aswad.
So this is it, now you know about the origin and significance of Hajar al-Aswad. This is no ordinary stone, it is a stone from heaven and Muslims kiss it because it is a Sunnah.