Adhering to the Prophets Sunnah

Abis bin Rabiā€™ah (radi Allahu anhu) reported: I saw Umar bin Al-Khattab (radi Allahu anhu) kissing the Black Stone (Al-Hajar Al-Aswad) and saying: “I know that you are just a stone and that you can neither do any harm nor give benefit. Had I not seen the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) kissing you, I would not have kissed you.”

[Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Commentary:

  1. The statement of Umar (radi Allahu anhu) quoted in this Hadith is highly significant in the sense that he wanted to make it absolutely clear to the illiterate and ignorant that Al-Hajar Al-Aswad (Black Stone of the Ka’bah) is not kissed because stones are venerated in Islam, as was the practice in pre-Islamic period. What he wanted to emphasise was that kissing the Black Stone was in accordance with the Sunnah of the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam).
  2. Obedience of the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) in every affair is a must, whether one understands the wisdom behind it or not. By analogy, kissing of the Black Stone, some people think it is permissible to kiss and show respect to the tombs of saints. But this is not a valid reason because kissing the Black Stone is Ibadah (an act of worship), or a part of it, and every Ibadah is Tauqifiyah (prescribed by Allah and the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam)) and it can neither be increased nor diminished, nor can it be graded as something else.

And Allah Knows Best!

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