The Black Stone: History and Significance

Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada., answers: “There are various reports from the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) concerning the origin or the Black Stone, but most of them are of doubtful origins. In Islam, we should not base our belief on sources which we cannot verify one hundred percent. The only fact that we can certainly establish is that it was put there by Prophet Ibrahim and Isma’eel (peace be upon them both) by the order of Almighty Allah, and the purpose of it was to indicate the beginning of tawaf (circumabulation of the Ka`bah).
Thus we as Muslims do not attach divine power to the stone. As `Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) is reported to have said: “You’re just a stone that does not benefit or harm anyone, and if I hadn’t seen the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) kissing you, I would have not done so.”
So, we are simply touching or kissing the Black Stone in order to honor us with association with the great Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him); it does not imply any reverence whatsoever.”
However, some other scholars have classified some of the Hadith reports concerning the Black Stone as Sahih (authentic) and as such they relate some importance to the Black Stone. Here are some of the hadiths reported as regards the Black Stone:
1. Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “The Black Stone came down from Jannah (Paradise).” (At-Tirmidhi, Sunan, hadith no. 877, and classified as authentic hadith by Sheikh Al-Albaani in his book Sahih At-Tirmidthi, hadith no. 695 )
2. Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) also narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “When the Black Stone came down from Paradise, it was whiter than milk, but the s
ins of the sons of Adam made it black.”
(At-Tirmidhi, Sunan)
3. Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) further related that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “By Allah, Allah will bring it forth on the Day of Judgment, and it will have two eyes with which it will see and a tongue with which it will speak, and it will testify in favor of those who touched it in sincerity.” (At-Tirmidhi, Sunan)
4. Ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) quoted the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as saying: “Touching them both [the Black Stone and Ar-Rukn Al-Yamani] is an expiation for one’s sins.” (At-Tirmidhi, Sunan, hadith no. 959. This hadith is classified as hasan by At-Tirmidhi and as Sahih by Al-Hakim (1/664), and Adh-Dhahabi agreed with him.)