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  3. Do Muslims Honor the Black Stone of the Ka`bah as an Idol?

Do Muslims Honor the Black Stone of the Ka`bah as an Idol?

5403 2008/11/24 2024/05/22
the point that islam encourages idolatry isn't true; because no other religion opposes idolatry as vehemently as islam.

as for the black stone in the kabah, it is not an idol; and nobody worships it. it is simply 'a black stone' and its chief use in the kabah during pilgrimage is as a marking stone.

do christians worship the picture of mary or the cross behind the altar? these are but symbols. yet, the black stone does not even have that status.

muslims honor the ten commandments just like christians. prophet muhammad (peace be upon him) never claimed that he came to teach a new religion. he taught that his mission was to restore the religion of all prophets of god, including abraham, moses and jesus (peace be upon them all) to its pristine purity.

this basically means that we humans must not worship any god other than the one and only creator of the universe. you know the first of all commandments, according to jesus is:

"hear, o israel: the lord our god, the lord is one.." (mark 12: 29)

here he was actually reiterating the first commandment of the torah as revealed to moses:

"hear, o israel: the lord our god, the lord is one.." (deuteronomy 6:4)

the quran repeatedly and most emphatically states that god is one and only. you can read this concrete islamic concept in the quran:

*{say: he is god, the one and only; god, the eternal, absolute; he begetteth not, nor is he begotten; and there is none like unto him.}* (al-ikhlas 112:1-4)

before i explain at length how muslims view the black stone, let me say that it can never be considered as an idol, as it is not the likeness of anything living, and no worship is rendered to it.

first of all, the black stone is not mentioned in the quran. it is only a marker at which point the tawaf (the circumambulation of the kabah) starts and ends. the traditions speak about kissing or touching the stone during tawaf; but this is not compulsory. our scholars are unanimous that waving in that direction is enough.

it is reported that umar ibn al-khattab drew near the black stone and kissed it, saying:

"no doubt, i know that you are only a stone and can neither benefit nor harm anyone. if i had not seen allah's apostle kissing you i would not have kissed you." (al-bukhari)

no muslim has any doubt about the fact that the black stone is not to be worshipped or regarded as anything but a marker. at hajj time, the whole area around the kabah is so crowded that most pilgrims cannot even see it. and many pilgrims perform tawaf not on the ground floor of the kabah, but on the floors above.

this means that they cannot see the black stone at all. they start tawaf and end it at the place where there is a marking line on the floor. and, nobody can ever say that their hajj is incomplete for that reason.

many critics of islam make much of this stone, trying to find some sort of justification for their own polytheistic practices. but the founding principle of islam is the concept of the oneness of god: la ilaha illa allah; there is no one that deserves worship or obeisance except the one and only god.

so, muslims do not worship anybody--or anything--other than allah, almighty. this was the teaching of all prophets of god from adam to the last prophet, muhammad (peace be upon them all).

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