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Why Do We Walk Around A Stone in Makkah?

Questioner

Yasir Iliyas

Reply Date

Jan 04, 2017

Question

Assalamualaykum ,I feel great to be a follower of this page. Alhamdulillah. I'm getting benefited and answers for all the questions I used to ponder on. May Allah (swt) reward you for what you are doing. After knowing many things about Islam through this page, I'm now able to raise a few questions about the great religion. One question being, when Islam prohibits any kind of idol worship, worship of anything other than Allah Almighty, or let's say giving too much importance to things like trees, animal, nature, or any human being on earth (which is very much practiced by Hindu brothers in India), why do we walk around a stone in Makkah during Hajj rituals? Why do we give importance to a piece of stone? Please answer. Assalamualaykum warahmatullah.

Consultant

Answer


Peace be upon you our respected Reader,

Truly we are immensely pleased to receive your question. We are even more pleased and humbled that you have been following the page and benefiting from it.

This is a great source of joy and happiness because we ultimately hope to serve and aid the sincere seekers wherever they may be as much as we can.

Now, your question is absolutely great. First of all, we can sense the humbleness and sincerity in the way you posed your question, which is highly commendable.

Second of all, the question reflects that you are absolutely on the right track of knowing that human beings should only direct their worship to the All Powerful and Incomparable Creator and not to anything or anyone of the creations.

This is the proper fitrah (innate God given nature) to believe in the Supreme Being and not equate anything or anyone with Him.

This is exactly what the beautiful religion of Islam (which means submission to the Will of the Creator) is all about. We submit our hearts, minds, and souls to The One who created them in the first place.

Now, to respond to your question, do Muslims ‘worship’ a stone in Makkah or equate it in any way, shape, or form with their Creator? Absolutely Not!

Then why is it there? The answer is that the Kaaba in Makkah is only a direction towards which all people should pray. This is to emphasize on the unity of mankind in facing the same direction of worship.

Islam emphasizes the unity and equality of all mankind and The Oneness of their Creator.

This one direction is a reminder for us every day through the prayers we perform wherever we may be around the world that we are all united (rich or poor, black or white, men or women), all are equal before Allah, all facing the same direction, and facing the same destination eventually.

But do we worship it or does it benefit us in any way in and of itself? Absolutely Not.

The only One we pray to and the only One we worship is Allah alone, and He is with us wherever we may go.

{It is You alone we worship and You alone we ask for help.} (Quran 1:5)

{And to Allah belongs the east and the west. So wherever you [might] turn, there is the Face of Allah. Indeed, Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.} (Quran 2:115)

Now, why do people circumambulate the Kaaba during Hajj and Umrah?

If you reflect on it, you will find that the planets orbit (or circumambulate) around the sun. The solar system orbits around the center of the galaxy.

Even the electrons orbit around the atom … you’ll find the phenomenon of orbiting, moving around, circumambulating highlighted significantly in the cosmic law from the smallest atoms to the mighty galaxies, all are orbiting around one center.  

{And it is He who created the night and the day and the sun and the moon; all [heavenly bodies] in an orbit are swimming.} (Quran 21: 33)

The Kaaba, or stone you are referring to, is simply the one center around which people circumambulate. It is NOT an object of worship it itself.

Now it is in this location for a great wisdom. This same place is believed to be the place the first Man (Adam peace be upon him) prayed to The Creator on earth.

{Indeed, the first House [of worship] established for mankind was that at Makkah – blessed and a guidance for the worlds.} (Quran 3:96)

It is also the same place the father of the prophets (Abraham peace be upon him) built the Kaaba via an instruction from His Creator.

{And [mention, O Muhammad], when We designated for Abraham the site of the House, [saying], “Do not associate anything with Me and purify My House for those who perform Tawaf and those who stand [in prayer] and those who bow and prostrate.

And proclaim to the people the Hajj [pilgrimage]; they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every distant pass –} (Quran 22:26-27)

It is a place carefully chosen by the All Knowing Creator from Him Divine wisdom, and not something that follows the whims and desires of any human being on earth.

The harmony one feels while circumambulating this center of the universe is truly unrivaled. Maybe when you go one day you will witness this immensely powerful feeling.

All human beings, men and women, rich and poor, black and white, strong and weak … all united orbiting, in humility, the same center of all mankind.

The circumambulation starts and ends at the same point … and similarly we all come from the same Source and to Him we will all return.

{Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return.} (Quran 2:156)  

So, to wrap up, make no mistake thinking Islam in any way, shape, or form calls for associating anything or anyone with the Mighty Creator. This simply doesn’t make sense for us.

The One we worship is beyond His creation. His Throne alone extends over the entire heavens and the earth. We can call upon Him whenever and wherever we may be, as He said:

{And your Lord says, “Call upon Me; I will respond to you.} (Quran 40:60)

In His Infinite Wisdom He called us to direct ourselves in worship towards a unified one direction and to orbit the one and same center, and this is what we do out of submission and obedience to The Most High, The All Knowing.

We hope we helped answer your query a little bit. We are providing further resources here below that will definitely make matters even more clear. Please do not hesitate to send us your questions.

We ask Allah to strengthen you in faith and increase you in love and awe and sincerity to your Creator and service to this beautiful deen.

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

Ka’bah – The Sacred House of God

Zakir Naik | Do Muslims Worship the Kaaba?

Yusuf Estes l Do Muslims worship a black box in the desert?

Why Muslims perform tawaf I universe tawaf

The Black Stone… An Idol?

Worshiping God so Why a Stone?




About Dina Mohamed Basiony

Dina Mohamed Basiony is a writer based in Cairo, Egypt. She is the Chief Editor of ProductiveMuslim.com. She specializes in Islam and spirituality. Dina holds an MA and BA in Journalism and Mass Communication from the American University in Cairo.

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