The Black Stone (Arabic: ٱلْحَجَرُ ٱلْأَسْوَد, al-Ḥajaru al-Aswad) is a black stone set into the eastern corner of the Kabaah. The Black Stone was originally a single piece of rock. But today consists of a number of fragmented pieces which have been cemented together. They are surrounded by a silver frame. Frame is fastened by silver nails to the Kabaa’s outer wall. The fragments are made up of smaller pieces which have been combined to form the eight fragments visible today. The silver frame was first made by Abdullah bin Zubair (R.A). It replaced by later Khalifas as the need arose. The Stone’s exposed face measures about 20 centimetres (7.9 in) by 16 centimetres (6.3 in). Its original size is unclear and the recorded dimensions have changed considerably over time, as the pieces have been rearranged in their cement matrix on several occasions.
History of Black Stone:
There are different narrations that give a different account of the background of the stone and its placement in the wall of Kabaah. Regardless of narratives, it’s importance and respect remains the same. It enjoys the same level of sanctity and sacredness in all the narratives. The most significant and the most authentic one is the narrative of Hajr-e-Aswad being a stone from Jannah. It was installed in Kabaah by Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) and His son Hazrat Ismail (AS). Pertaining to its heavenly origin and its true color, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ 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. It was originally in pure white state, which then started, turning black with the progression in the increasing sins of humankind.
In Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ Time:
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 Prophethood. 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 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.
Reason of Kissing Black Stone:
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 ﷺ.
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ kissed Black Stone 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 ﷺ.
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