Monday, 29 December 2014

Why Muslims Kiss the Black Stone in Mecca

Following the Abrahamic ritual that Muhammad had taught his followers, the wheeling throng circumambulated the Kaaba seven times. The persistent among them tried to press through the crowd toward the Kaaba and kiss the smooth Black Stone embedded in one of its corners. This was not required of the pilgrims, but as Shah WaliAllah wrote in his own instructions on Hajj, it was done 'out of imitation of the Prophet'. Indeed, one of the Hadiths that Ibn Hanbal had included in his Musnad quoted the Caliph Umar's words as he had approached the Black Stone: 'I know you are but a stone that cannot hurt or help, and if I had not seen the Messenger of God kiss you I would not kiss you'  ['Misquoting Muhammad', Jonathan A.C Brown, Kindle, Loc 1066]

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