Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Regarding the Hajj and the Black Stone: to kiss or not to kiss. `Umar Ibn Al-Akhattab (the second "rightly-guided caliph) disliked the practice of kissing the black stone. He said the stone does not harm nor does it benefit. To him is attributed the saying: I would not have kissed you if I did not see the Prophet kissing you. Ibn Taymiyyah said that the Black Stone is the only object on earth to be kissed and saluted. What if the Black Stone was not there (as it was removed and taken by the Qaramatians during their revolt? The theologians ruled that its empty location should be saluted but not kissed in that case. Most theologians argued that the Black Stone should not be kissed loudly, but softly.