Hajj – Pagan worship of a Black Stone or a moon god?
“Lies Against Islam”
- Why do Muslims pray for a black cube in the desert in Mecca?
2. Why do they kiss a black stone hanging from the black cube?
Muslims only worship One God, with no gods other than Him. This is the same God as Abraham in the Bible, in the same terms mentioned in the Book of Exodus and Deuteronomy in the Ten Commandments; “You will have no other gods besides Me.”
The “Pedra Negra” is Mounted on the Kaaba – A Cube-shaped Building in the Sanctuary of Mecca
Let’s take a closer look at the square-shaped Caaba (The Holy House) in Mecca, Arabia, where the Pedra Negra is mounted on its eastern corner. Every pilgrim in Mecca would like to kiss you from the moment you arrive there. This action marks the beginning of the “Tawaf” act.
The word “Tawaf” is an Arabic infinitive noun that means to circle, compass or move around something. A pilgrim must travel to Kaaba seven times to complete the Tawaf. Each of the seven rounds starts by kissing, if possible, or simply pointing to the Black Stone. The Black Stone thus serves to mark the beginning of each round. Tawaf is one of the integral parts of the Pilgrimage (Hajj), which is also performed, as a separate act of worship at any time. Thus, we find Ka’bah being continuously circulated by people day and night.
The Real Importance of Tawaf (walking around the Kaaba)
Surrounding or circling the Kaaba (also known as the House of Allah) and kissing the stone are in fact considered the external aspects of Tawaf, in addition to its internal meaning. They look like the postures of standing upright, bending, prostrating and sitting down, observed in daily Islamic prayers. However, the postures of prayer, as well as surrounding the Kaaba together with the kiss, form the outer shell of the chaff, which preserves the grain. The grain of Tawaf rests on the elevated meanings of the Pilgrim’s recitations and prayers, on the emotional feelings that arise in his heart – such as his extreme love for Allah, his admiration for Him and his great hopes for Him.
Let us examine, for example, the words of the Oneness of God, mentioned by the pilgrim throughout his Hajj and, especially, around the Kaaba.
Labbaik Allah humma labbaik Labbaik la sharika laka labbaik Innal hamda Wan-ni’mata Laka walmulk Laa sharika lak.
O my Lord, here I am at your service, here I am. There is no partner for You. Here I am. Certainly the praise and provisions are His, as well as Dominion and Sovereignty. There is no partner for You.
Tawaf is made only for the Supreme God of the universe (Allah), and never in the name of any other god, nor for the black stone, as some people claim. Tawaf’s action is in obedience to the promise that a pilgrim has with his Lord. He is doing this as a believer in the One God of Abraham, Adam, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad , peace be upon them all. Worship in Islam can only be for Allah and no one else. The act of kissing the stone or pointing it while walking around the Kaaba is nothing more than following the tradition of the Prophet himself, who explained that it was not the stone or the moon or anything else to be worshiped, but rather all of our worship, devotion and thanksgiving should be for Almighty God (Allah) only.
Can a Stone Be God?
Consider this, when the prophet Muhammad ﷺ finally gained access to his homeland after being forced to leave for more than a decade, the first and only thing he did was to remove and destroy the 360 idols and statues that dominated the area for centuries . After destroying all these false “gods”, the prophet ﷺ and his companions made sure to communicate to the next generations after them, to worship only the One God who cannot be contained in a box, stone or anywhere else in the universe. This is similar to what we still find today in the Bible for Jews and Christians, when King Solomon dedicated his temple to God, saying: “Heaven and heaven from heaven cannot contain You, how much less this house that we built with human hands? “There is no carved image for pilgrims to worship at kaabah,
Muslims worship only God as One. Worship anything or anyone other than Allah- is the most heinous and blasphemous crime in Islam. In light of what the Qur’an declared, worshiping anything instead of Almighty God, or making partners in worship, praying through something like a rock, a stick, a stone, a bone or anything else in the universe, would be the last thing any worshiper of One (Muslim) God could imagine. A stone has no power to do good or inflict harm on anyone other than Allah, humanity’s Only divinity. This is something that is consciously, ignorantly or figuratively appreciated – by those who adopt stone worship instead of worshiping God, a belief and practice as profane as it is unwise. That is why the Black Stone becomes a mystery to these people and, out of ignorance, some openly lie saying that Muhammad ﷺ broke all idols in Islam,
It was then that ‘Umar, the second Caliph, removed any doubt from their minds. Umar made it clear to everyone about the black stone, when he went around the Kaaba, he reached the corner where the black stone is mounted, leaned over and said:
“Without a doubt, I know that you are nothing but a stone and that you cannot harm or benefit anyone. If I had not seen the prophet Muhammad ﷺ kiss you, I would not have kissed you ”[Sahih Al Bukhari].
True History of the Black Stone
More than five thousand years ago, the father of the Prophets, Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him), built the current structure of the Kaaba under Allah’s own orders. He built it with his young son, Ismael (peace be upon him), father of the Arabs. This is how the Qur’an describes their construction together:
“AND (REMEMBER) WHEN ABRAHAM (ABRAHAM) AND (HIS SON) ISMA’IL (ISHMAEL) WERE SETTING UP THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE HOUSE (THE KA’BAH) IN MECCA, (SAYING): ‘OUR LORD! ACCEPT (THIS SERVICE) FROM US. TRULY! YOU ARE THE ALL-HEARER, ALL KNOWER ”[HOLY QURAN 2: 127]
The father and son, true believers in the One God and submitting to Him on their terms ( Muslims ), were thus laying the foundations with trembling hearts, as Muslims are Allah’s most devout servants, always afraid of His discontent . While they were building the Kaaba, therefore, they were both afraid that Allah would not accept his humble service, hence their prayer. How touching is so much faithfulness, how touching is so much humility towards God the Great! It is the essence of monotheism, the ideal standard of faith and actions large and small for all Muslims to follow. When raised to a certain height, Abraham ordered his son to choose a piece of stone to mark the main point of the corner. While the boy was looking for her, the Angel Gabriel appeared with the Black Stone of Heaven.
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said:
«The black stone came down from heaven, when it was whiter than milk, but people’s sins blackened it»
Abraham took the black stone and inserted it, and it remains there today. It is a heavenly stone, then, and not an earthly one. He was selected by Allah for His Holy House (the Kaaba).
The finished building was how Abraham and Ishmael continued to pray to Allah, in the following verse:
“Our Lord! And make us submissive to You and [make] our children a nation submissive to You, and show us our Manasik (all pilgrimage ceremonies – Hajj and Umrah etc.) and accept our repentance. Truly, You are the One who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful ”[Holy Quran 2: 128]
Allah taught them, through revelation, the pilgrimage rites, which include Tawaf.
History Has a Rare Aspect
Assuming the Black Stone is missing for one reason or another, does it invalidate Tawaf and Pilgrimage for that reason? Absolutely not. This is exactly what has happened in the history of Islam. In this case, Shari’ah (Law) holds that the pilgrim must perform his Tawaf without the Black stone. Instead of the Black Stone, the pilgrim must touch his place at the corner of Kaaba, or point to his place, and continue his Tawaf. Thus, the total absence of the Stone itself makes no difference in the validity of Tawaf and Pilgrimage.
Does Kissing Mean Worship?
Kissing a stone is not a sign of your worship. Kissing the Black Stone cannot be turned into worship of idols, because the stone is not an image, just as a simple kiss is not worship by a mere imagination. Anyone can claim that Muslims worship a certain idol. But the fact is, they worship nothing except God, the One. The idol and its worship simply do not exist. The Bible is kissed in the courts; does that mean that it is worshiped? In addition, parents kiss their children with love, without any trace of adoration.
Invitation to Islam
This is the legacy left by the Prophet Abraham for all posterity to accept and follow, and no people of any country or nation is an exception to that posterity. So, instead of considering the duty of Hajj (pilgrimage) as a pagan ritual, why not consider your own age-old idolatry and accept and follow the religion of our father Abraham? The time has come for these same people to proclaim willingly:
“THERE IS NO GOD WORTHY OF WORSHIP, EXCEPT ALMIGHTY GOD!”
And we pray to Almighty God, asking Him to guide and let them perform Hajj (pilgrimage) to the House of God in Mecca! And offer your prayers regularly to the same house! Amen.