The Black Stone and the Yemeni Corner


Part four of lessons in ‘Aqeedah

دروس عقدية مستفادة من الحج

Excerpts from The Teachings of Hajj by Abdul Razzaq ibn Abdul Muhsin



The preceding post dealt with the virtue of Tawaaf around the sanctified House of Allah, and we emphasized that it is prescribed only at that specific location. Thus, it is impermissible to do so around domes, graves, tombs or anything else due to such acts contradicting the very foundations of the Sharee’ah and being at odds with the essence of Tawheed.

During Tawaaf, it is prescribed for the Muslim to kiss the Black Stone and to touch the Yemeni corner, all with the intention of obedience to Allah and emulating the practice of the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. 

There are many texts in the Sunnah that prove that it is prescribed:

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar ibn Al Khattab stated,

رأيت رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم حين يقدم مكة إذا استلم الركن الأسود أول ما يطوف يخب ثلالثة أطواف من السبع

“I saw that when the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would arrive at Makkah, once he touched the corner with the Black Stone, he would begin Tawaaf by walking briskly for the first three out of seven rounds.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Hence, Muslims kiss the Stone in emulation of his practice, following his guidance and adhering to his Sunnah. This is not done out of belief that the Black Stone can bring about any type of benefit, cause any type of harm, grant something, or withhold anything. This is why ‘Umar ibn Al Khattab radhiallahu ‘anh said when he kissed the Black Stone,

إني أعلم أنك حجر لا تضر و لا تنفع و لولا أني رأيت النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم يقبلك ما قبلتك

Indeed, I know that you are merely a stone that can bring no benefit or cause any harm. Had I not seen the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam kiss you, I would not have kissed you.

Ibn Jareer commented, “Umar only made that remark because the people around him had just recently stopped worshipping idols. Thus, he feared that the ignorant among them might presume that touching the Stone was done out of venerating certain stones, similar to the practice of the pagan Arabs during Jahiliyah (pre-Islamic period). ‘Umar wished to edify the people that his touching it was done emulating the practice of the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and not because the Stone inherently causes any benefit or harm as they used to believe about the idols.”

It is also prescribed to touch the Yemeni corner. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar ibn al Khattab said, 

لم أر رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم يستلم من البيت إلا الركنيين اليمانيين

“I did not see the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam touch any part of the House other than the two Yemeni corners.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Hence it is understood that touching any part of the House except for the two Yemeni corners- the Black Stone and the Yemeni corner- is not prescibed.

There is no text to indicate the permissibility of doing so anywhere other than these two specific spots. Therefore, it is not prescribed to wipe or kiss the Maqaam of Ibrahim either. Some ignorant people throng to tombs, domes and other similar places, kissing and wiping against them, seeking blessing from them, seeking assistance, while this is not part of Islam in any way. Ibn Taymiyyah said, “As for wiping against a grave, kissing it or pressing one’s cheek against it, all of that is prohibited by scholarly consensus, even if it was the grave of a Prophet. Such deeds are in fact considered Shirk.”

-The Sahara Bloggers (Umm Saifullah)



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