BLACK STONES ARE NOT IDOLS
Several critics of Islam claim that Muslims worship some stones in the Kaaba, that the Prophet (P) destroyed the idols of the other tribes but kept the black stone idol.
The Black Stone was a meteorite that was sent down by God to Prophets Abraham and his son Ishmael,(pbut), to give the precise location of where the Ka’aba was to be built and as a starting point of circumbulation. The Stone used to very white but turned black in time.
The Black Stones, known as Hajar AlAswad, are not objects of worship. They are a part of the Kaaba and it is NOT mentioned in the Quran anywhere and its not holy.
Placed in the corner of the Ka’aba, it serves as a starting point of circumbulation and as a marker for thr 7 circuits. The Black Stone is just a stone and nothing more.
Narrated ‘Abis bin Rabia: Umar came near the Black Stone and kissed it and said “NO DOUBT, I KNOW THAT YOU ARE A STONE AND CAN NEITHER BENEFIT ANYONE NOR HARM ANYONE. Had I not seen Allah’s Apostle kissing you I would not have kissed you.” (BUKHARI:Volume 2, Book 26, Number 667)
The question is why did Muhammed (P) kiss the stone? For sure he did not kiss it with intention of worshipping because of God’s specific instruction against idol worship. He kissed it out of love for Ibrahim and Ismail (pbut), he kissed it out of the reason the black stone sent to the earth, what it stood for – the legacy left behind by prophet Ibraham (p), and finally as an act of appreciation and graditite for God’s command that He instructed the location of Ka’aba to the earlier prophets. If for instance, someone happened to find a relic of the Prophet, an utensil he used for making abultion – for example, he would pick it and kiss it. This does not mean that he worshipped it but he kissed it out of love and respect for the owner of that utensil. Umar (R) kissed the stone because of the action of the Prophet (P) and nothing more.
Kissing a stone is not a sign of its worship at all. Kissing the Black Stone cannot be twisted into an idol worship, for the stone is not an image. However we can see in the bible how Jacob worshipped a stone which he used for sleeping, by annointing it with oil.
“When Jacob got up early the next morning, he took the rock that he had used for a pillow and stood it up for a place of worship. Then he poured olive oil on the rock to dedicate it to God” (Genesis 28:18)
Muslims do not annoint the Black Stone and neither did the pagan Arabs. The pagan Arabs used to worship many idols and could be worshipping the Black Stone as well. Human nature is such that its very easy to get misled into beleiving anything has certain powers to get what we need.People used to worship anything just to meet their desires. This is evident even today. Some people crowd around the Black Stone thinking that it has power. Its misconception and not in Islamic teachings at all.The stone has no power whatsoever. Muslims kiss it following the actions of the Prophet.
The prophet did not always kiss it. Ibn ‘Abbaas said: The Messenger of Allah (p) performed Tawaaf on his camel, and every time he came to the corner [where the Stone is] he would point to it and say “Allahu akbar.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4987).
Touching the Stone is one of the things by means of which God expiates for sins. It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (p) say: “Touching them both [the Black Stone and al-Rukn al-Yamani] is an expiation for sins.” (Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 959).
Expiation of sins is only for touching it with sincerity and not with intention of worshipping it, in which case the worshipper would be out of Islam! This toucging is out of resopect and nothing more. Moreover it is touching only and not kissing according to the hadith.