The Black Stone, al-Ḥajar al-Aswad is the eastern cornerstone of the Kaaba. It is revered by Muslims as an Islamic relic which, according to Muslim tradition, dates back to the time of Adam (a.s) and Eve (a.s). Islamic tradition holds that it fell from the heaven as a guide for Adam and Eve to build an altar, which became the first temple on Earth. It is believed that the stone was originally pure and dazzling white, but has since turned black because of the sins of the people who touches it. Adam’s altar and the stone were lost during Noah’s (a.s) great Flood and forgotten. Ibrahim (a.s) later found the Black Stone at the original site of Adam’s altar when the angel Jibreel (a.s) revealed it to him. Ibrahim ordered his son Ismael (a.s)- who is an ancestor of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) – to build a new temple, the Kaaba, into which the Stone was to embedded.The Kaaba marks the location where the sacred world intersects with the profane, and the embedded Black Stone was a further symbol of this as an object as a link between Heavenly realm and earthly
Muslim pilgrims circle the Kaaba as a part of the tawaf ritual during the hajj and many try to stop and kiss the Black Stone, emulating the kiss that Islamic tradition records as it received from Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w).
Following are several reliable virtues of this sacred stone:
1. Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas (r.a) reports that Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said:
‘The black stone is a white ruby from the rubies of Jannah, Paradise, it was only blackened due to the sins of the those who join partners with Allah. It will be brought forth on the day of judgment as huge as mount Uhud, to testify on behalf of those who touched or kissed it in the world.’ (Appears in Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah, Hadith: 2734)
2. Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas (r.a) reports that Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said:
‘Indeed on the day of judgement, this (black) stone shall have a tongue and two lips to testify for those who touched it.’
(Appears in Sunan Tirmidhi, Hadith: 961, Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith: 2944, Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah, Hadith: 2736 & Sahih Ibn Hibban, Hadith: 3711)
3. Ibn ‘Abbaas said: The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) 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.”
(Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 877; Ahmad, 2792. Classed as saheeh by Ibn Khuzaymah, 4/219. Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar classed it as qawiy (strong) in Fath al-Baari, 3/462).
4. Ibn ‘Umar said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (s.a.w) say:
“Touching them both [the Black Stone and al-Rukn al-Yamani] is an expiation for sins.”
(Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 959. This hadeeth was classed as hasan by al-Tirmidhi and as saheeh by al-Haakim (1/664). Al-Dhahabi agreed with him).
5. When the second Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab (r.a) came to kiss the Stone, he said in front of all assembled: “No doubt, I know that you are a stone and can neither harm anyone nor benefit anyone. Had I not seen Allah’s Messenger [Muhammad] kissing you, I would not have kissed you.” Ali, brother of prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) responded to Umar (r.a), saying, “This stone (Hajar Aswad) can indeed benefit and harm. Allah says in Quran that he created human beings from the progeny of Adam (as) and made them witness over themselves and asked them, ‘Am I not your creator?’ Upon this, all of them confirmed it. Thus Allah wrote this confirmation. And this stone has a pair of eyes, ears and a tongue and it opened its mouth upon the order of Allah, who put that confirmation in it and ordered to witness it to all those worshippers who come for Hajj.” [Appears in Sahih of Bukhari and Kanz al-Ummal]
in a variation:
When `Umar ibn al-Khattab (r.a) was on Hajj, he came to stand before the Black Stone of the Ka`bah and he spoke to it, ‘O Hajar al-Aswad, you are but a stone. You do no good and no harm, but the Holy Prophet (s.a.w) gave you great honor so I will honor you too.’ `Ali (r.a) coming up to him said, ‘Oh `Umar, why do you speak thus? The Lord of the Worlds has informed us that the Black Stone was an angel before this time, and he has consciousness. On the Day of Judgment he will testify. He witnesses all the pilgrims who step before him during the Hajj, and their names are written before him in a book. In it, he records their name and reports them on the Day of Judgment, for the Hajar al-Aswad also has a mouth with which he, then, will speak.’” [Appears in Lore of Lights, Volume I]