Tag Archives: white

The Black Stone

As thousands, nay millions, of muslims flock to perform Hajj, they will form queues to touch the black stone and fight to kiss it. But what is the black stone? And what is its significance in Islam?

The black stone was sent down from paradise, as we learn from the hadith narrated by Ibn Abbas that The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The Black Stone came down from Paradise.”

(Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 877; al-Nasaa’i, 2935. The hadeeth was classed as saheeh by al-Tirmidhi)

“When the Black Stone came down from Paradise, it was whiter than milk, but the sins of the sons of Adam made it black.”

(Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 877; Ahmad, 2792. Classed as saheeh by Ibn Khuzaymah, 4/219. Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar classed it as qawiy (strong) in Fath al-Baari, 3/462).

This hadith means that the sins of those who touched the stone, caused it to turn black.

Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar said: “Some heretics tried to criticize this hadeeth by saying: How come the sins of the mushrikeen turned it black and the worship of the people of Tawheed did not make it white? I answer by quoting what Ibn Qutaybah said: If Allah had willed, that would have happened. But Allah has caused it to be the case that black usually changes other colours and its not itself changed, which is the opposite to what happens with white.”

Al-Muhibb al-Tabari said: The fact that it is black is a lesson for those who have insight. If sins can have this effect on an inanimate rock, then the effect they have on the heart is greater. (Fath al-Baari, 3/463)

Subhanallah! Imagine if sins can have such an adverse effect on a rock, then what about our hearts?!

This reminds me of another hadith, in which the Messenger ﷺ mentions the effects of sins on the heart;

It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “When the believer commits sin, a black spot appears on his heart. If he repents and gives up that sin and seeks forgiveness, his heart will be polished. But if (the sin) increases, (the black spot) increases. That is the Ran that Allah mentions in His Book: “Nay! But on their hearts is the Ran (covering of sins and evil deeds) which they used to earn.” [83:14] (Ibn Majah, Hasan)

So, let us use these upcoming blessed days to clean and polish our hearts. Let us seek the forgiveness of Allah and utilise our time in His remembrance. May Allah purify our hearts.

Back to the subject of the black stone…

Did you know that the black stone will speak on the day of judgement and testify?

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbaas said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said concerning the Stone: “By Allah, Allah will bring it forth on the Day of Resurrection, and it will have two eyes with which it will see and a tongue with which it will speak, and it will testify in favour of those who touched it in sincerity.”

(Tirmidhi, 961; Ibn Maajah, 2944, hasan by al-Tirmidhi, and as qawiy by al-Haafiz ibn Hajar in Fath al-Baari, 3/462)

So how should muslims performing hajj or umrah deal with the black stone?

It was narrated from Jaabir ibn ‘Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) that when the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) came to Makkah, he came to the Black Stone and touched it, then he walked to the right of it and ran three times and walked four times [around the Ka’bah].  (Muslim)

Hence touching the black stone is to be done before performing tawaf.

It is also encouraged to kiss for the Prophet was seen doing so.

It was narrated that ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) came to the Black Stone and kissed it, then he said: “I know that you are only a stone which can neither bring benefit nor cause harm. Were it not that I had seen the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) kiss you, I would not have kissed you.”  (Bukhari and Muslim)

However, one should know that it is merely a stone, and has no ability or power in of itself. It cannot cause harm nor bring benefit. Many a times, people become extreme in kissing it, they rub their faces into it, rub their clothes, and if they could, would probably try and take a piece home with them! We should beware of exaggerating, and know that benefit and harm are in Hands of Allah.

Nonetheless, touching the stone is a means of expiation,

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say: “Touching them both [the Black Stone and al-Rukn al-Yamani] is an expiation for sins.”

(Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, 959. This hadeeth was classed as hasan by al-Tirmidhi and as saheeh by al-Haakim (1/664). Al-Dhahabi agreed with him).

If one is unable to reach it due to the crowds or some other reason, then he should touch it with something else and kiss that object. And if he is unable to do that then he should point towards it and say Allahu-Akbar, as these were all reported from the Prophet.

When one goes to kiss it or touch one should maintain Islamic etiquettes, and should not cause annoyance to others. Pushing, shoving are all too common in Hajj crowds, and we should aim to change this, and be better than that. Islam teaches us good manners, and we should uphold these mannerisms when we are the holiest site, performing such honourable rituals, otherwise we only incur sin upon ourselves. Pushing and shoving in crowds are often the reason for unnecessary injury, and at times even death or stampedes. Many a times women also get caught up in the crowds, hence we should be aware, and maintain cautiousness even in these difficult trying circumstances.

Ihram

Although clichéd, it truly is the best way to begin with…So here we go:

As we have studied in the article titled “Components of Hajj” we know that Ihram is the first pillar of Hajj, therefore common sense dictates us to realize that our first step for performing Hajj would be to assume Ihram.

In the previous article, we already discussed the sites wherein Ihram has to be assumed from, so In Sha Allah in this article we shall see how is Ihram assumed.

Now, most probably, most of you may already know how to do this, but I still urge you to continue reading, not only because I want you to read this article, written by yours truly, but also, maybe just maybe, you may come across something that you weren’t aware of, and reading an Islamic article is always beneficial. Think about the 101 times you spent reading the lamest jokes ever witnessed on planet Earth! Remember reading this with the correct intention will enable you to get ajar In Sha Allah.

Now, enough with the lecturing and now to the topic of interest:

When we think about Ihram, the first picture that floods our minds are that of white unstitched clothes (something which I used to unfortunately think of as large towels when I was young…) However, ihram does not mean donning on unstitched white clothes, rather this is one of the actions that one does to assume Ihram. Ihram is the ritual consecration either during Hajj or Umrah and is defined as the “intention” to start the rites.

Ihram is derived from the Arabic word “haram,” which means “forbidden” or “prohibited.” Now I am certain we don’t need really need Mr. Sherlock Holmes to conjecture that it is so named because there are certain acts that are prohibited in the state of Ihram, although they are permissible when not in Ihram, we shall mention those actions in a while.

الْحَجُّ أَشْهُرٌ مَّعْلُومَاتٌ ۚ فَمَن فَرَضَ فِيهِنَّ الْحَجَّ فَلَا رَفَثَ وَلَا فُسُوقَ وَلَا جِدَالَ فِي الْحَجِّ ۗ وَمَا تَفْعَلُوا مِنْ خَيْرٍ يَعْلَمْهُ اللَّهُ ۗ وَتَزَوَّدُوا فَإِنَّ خَيْرَ الزَّادِ التَّقْوَىٰ ۚ وَاتَّقُونِ يَا أُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ

“Hajj is [during] well-known months, so whoever has made Hajj obligatory upon himself therein [by entering the state of ihram], there is [to be for him] no sexual relations and no disobedience and no disputing during Hajj. And whatever good you do – Allah knows it. And take provisions, but indeed, the best provision is fear of Allah. And fear Me, O you of understanding.” (Al-Baqarah, 2:197)

Now it is important to realize that there are certain pre-requisites for assuming Ihram. To illustrate this Shaykhul- Islam Ibn Taiymiyyah said:

A man is not considered in a state of Ihram once he intends, with his heart, to perform Hajj, for the intention is already in his heart since he has left his hometown (heading for Makkah). So there must be specific words or deeds through which he becomes in a state of Ihram.”

There are mainly 4 pre-requisites before assuming Ihram:

By fulfilling the aforesaid prerequisites, a pilgrim is thus prepared to be in a state of Ihram, but such acts themselves are not called Ihram as many people mistakenly believe. Thus, a pilgrim is not considered to be in a state of Ihram just by wearing the aforementioned clothing of Ihram without having the intention of starting performing the rites of Hajj or Umrah.

As for a female Muhrim, she may wear whatever cloth she likes black or any other color, so long as she avoids wanton display (tabarruj) or clothes of fame and vanity such as tight, see-through, short, thin or decorated clothes. Women must also be careful to avoid clothes that resemble the clothes of men or the kuffaar.
However, she isn’t permitted to wear a burqa (a veil that covers the face and has 2 eyeholes for vision). In this case, the lady covers her face with other things such as a khimar (shawl like clothing that covers the head and shoulders) and a gown.
Moreover the female Muhrim shouldn’t wear gloves

Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu’minin: Riders would pass us when we accompanied the Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon Him) while we were in the sacred state (wearing ihram). When they came by us, one of us would let down her outer garment from her head over her face, and when they had passed on, we would have uncover our faces.

A pilgrim is free to choose either of the 3 kinds of Ihram

Steps of Assuming Ihram:

  1. The intention:
    The intention for Ihram is made in the heart, and accompanied by the following wordings:

  • The one who is performing Hajj or Umrah on behalf of someone else should say: “Labbayka an Fulaan” (I am here at the service of so and so) and if he has forgotten their name, he can say “for the one who assigned me.”
  1. If one fears that he or she will not complete the Umrah or Hajj due to illness, he should say:

Allaahumma mahillee haithu habastanee.

O Allah, my place is wherever you prevent me.

  • The benefit of making this condition upon entering the state of Ihram is that if the person is unable to complete his Hajj then he can discontinue (leave the state of Ihram) and he does not have to expiate for it, there is no recommendatory sacrifice due upon him and there is no sin on him.
  • It is not lawful for the pilgrim to make a condition unless he fears that something will prevent him from completing the ritual
  • Making a condition is done when entering the state of Ihram and it must be uttered, as merely having the intention does not suffice.
  • It is not permissible to make the condition a long period after entering the state of Ihram.
  1. Then he should stand facing the Qiblah and say

اللَّهُمَّ حِجَّةٌ لاَ رِيَاءَ فِيهَا وَلاَ سُمْعَة ‏‏
“Allaahumma haadhihi hijjah laa riyaa’a fiha wa la sum’ah
(O Allah, this is a pilgrimage in which there is no showing off or seeking reputation).”

The Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon Him), was reciting this: “O Allah make this Hajj one that has no show or fame.”

  1. Then he should chant the Talbiyah.
  • The virtue of saying the talbiyah is indeed great as we derive form the following hadith:

Sahl bin Sa’d narrated that: The Messenger of Allah said:
“There is no Muslim who says the Talbiyah except that – on his right and left, until the end of the land, from here to there – the rocks, or trees, or mud say the Talbiyah.”

It will be chanted by everything on his right and his left, especially when he ascends or descends somewhere

  • What the Talbiyah means is responding to Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, because the word “labbayk” means: I am responding to You. He should continue reciting the Talbiyah until he begins the tawaaf of umrah
  • And the one saying the Talbiyah is ORDERED to raise his voice with it, as the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon Him) said:

“Jibreel came to me and ordered me to order my companions and those with me to raise their voices with Talbiyah

A woman should recite in such a manner that those who are beside her can hear it, unless there is a man beside her who is not one of her mahrams, in which case she should recite it silently.

  • The muhrim (person who has entered Ihram) should recite the Talbiyah a great deal, especially when circumstances and times change, such as when going up to a high place or going down to a low place, or when night or day begin
  • The one performing Umrah should discontinue the Talbiyah when starting Tawaaf (circumambulating the Ka’bah) and the pilgrim should stop before throwing pebbles at Jamrat Al-‘Aqabah.

The Talbiyah is:

Labbaik allaahumma labbaik labbaika laa shareeka laka labbaik innal hamda wan ni’mata laka wal mulka laa shareeka laka

Here I am O Allah, here I am, there is no partner for You, here I am, Verily all praise is for You, and every bounty is from You, and all dominion is Yours – You have no partner.

And now finally to the last topic of this article. I am aware that this article was extremely long, but Ihram is a long topic, so please be patient and may Allah reward you in quest of knowledge.

The last thing that we shall be talking about are the acts that are forbidden in Ihram,

Abstaining from the actions that are unlawful during Ihram is a form of honoring Allah’s sacred ordinances, some of these include:

And with this we come to our long awaited conclusion

I applaud all those who have reached it till here and pray to Allah that he rewards you abundantly for your patience and earnestness.

Watch out for the next article in the Hajj series.