Hajr-e-Aswad The Sacred Black Stone
For the first time in history, Saudi officials captured crystal clear close-up images of the Hajr-e-Aswad (sacred Black Stone) of the Ka’aba in Makkah.
Adviser to the Saudi information ministry in a statement on Monday said that it took 7 hours to take the pictures which are up to 49,000 megapixels.
He said since the Black Stone is “piece of Jannah and the first-ever high resolution pictures reflect how beautiful paradise would be…”
The new high-resolution pictures of the Hajr-e-Aswad were taken by the Engineering Studies Department of the Reasah Alharmain through Focus Stack Panorama technology.
Hajr-e-Aswad is situated in the eastern corner of the Ka’aba and thought to be a whole, which can be seen placed in a silver encasement but it is actually comprised of eight small rocks that moulded together using Arabic frankincense, according to AlArabiya News. It is the starting and ending point of the Circumambulation (Tawaf).
The smallest stone is no bigger than 1CM, while the biggest does not exceed 2CM. The encasement, made out of pure silver, only serves as a protection mechanism for the sacred stone.
History books on the Black Stone (Hajr-e-Aswad) recall how it was placed in the Ka’aba by Prophet Abraham after it was presented to him by the angel Gabriel. The stone is recognised as to have come from heaven.
Where did the Hajar al-Aswad come from?
- The Hajar al-Aswad was brought from Jannah and presented to Ebrahim (عليه السلام) to be placed on the corner of the Ka’bah. Ibn Abbas (رضي الله عنه) narrated that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “The Black Stone came down from Paradise and it was whiter than milk, but the sins of the sons of Adam turned it black.” [Tirmidhi]
- Du’as are accepted at the Hajar al-Aswad and on the Day of Judgement it will testify in favour of all those who kissed it. The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “By Allah! On the Day of Qiyamah, Allah will present the Hajar al-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]
Placing of the Hajar al-Aswad when the Quraysh rebuilt the Ka’bah
- 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 Shaybah 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 mission. 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 own 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.
The Hajar al-Aswad was once stolen
- The Hajar al-Aswad was stolen from the Ka’bah around 930 CE by Qarmatian warriors who were an Ismaeeli Shia sect. They ransacked Makkah, desecrating the Well of Zamzam with Muslim corpses and carried the Black Stone away to their base in Ihsaa, in medieval Bahrain. According to the historian Al-Juwayni, the stone was returned in around 952 CE and restored to its original location.
The stone is now in pieces
- The Hajar al-Aswad was originally a complete stone but due to various historical incidents now consists of eight pieces of varying sizes affixed to a large stone and encased in a silver frame. The silver frame was first made by Abdullah bin Zubair (رضي الله عنه) and replaced by later Khalifas as the need arose.
- Six (additional) pieces are claimed to be in Istanbul, Turkey. One is displayed in the mihrab of the Blue Mosque, one above the entrance of the tomb of Sulaiman the Magnificent and four in the Sokullu Mehmet Pasa Mosque (one over the mihrab, one below the lower pulpit, another is above the upper pulpit and the last is over the entrance door). The authenticity of these additional pieces has been questioned, although the Turks did rule over what is now Saudi Arabia for many years and hold many historical Islamic relics. And Allah (ﷻ) knows best.
Manner of kissing the Hajar al-Aswad
- Note that when kissing the Hajar al-Aswad, one should neither push people nor harm anyone because while kissing the Hajar al-Aswad is Sunnah, causing harm to people is a forbidden act (haram). When the area is crowded, it will suffice to merely point towards the Hajar al-Aswad with one’s hand or a stick while reciting the Takbeer and then to kiss the hand or stick. Although the Prophet (ﷺ) kissed the Hajar al-Aswad directly, he also pointed towards it when the area was crowded, it is therefore clear that both kissing it and pointing towards it are Sunnah.