The Origin of Hajar al-Aswad (the Black Stone)
Question: Where did Hajar al-Aswad come from?
Answer: Hajar al-Aswad is arguably the holiest stone that exists in the universe. It was placed on the Holy Ka’bah by Prophet Abraham (a) and is highly recommended for Muslims to touch. According to traditions, this stone has descended from heaven. The following traditions describe further characteristics of Hajar al-Aswad:
Imam Baqir (a): “There are three stones that have descended upon the earth from heaven: Maqam Ibrahim, the stone of the Israelites (the stone that Prophet Moses struck releasing water), and Hajar al-Aswad which was given to Abraham from Allah when it was white. It has then turned black due to the sins of people who have touched it.” (Bihar al-Anwar, v.12, p.84)
Imam Sadiq (a) said: “Allah ordained the Hajar al-Aswad, which was a jewel of heaven, for Adam (a) as a pledge…Allah has taken a pledge in this place as long as humans have been existent.” (Kafi, v.4, pp.184-5)
Imam Ali (a) said: “What are you saying bin Khattab…Allah will bring this stone [Hajar al-Aswad] to life on the Day of Judgment and it will have a tongue and two lips. It will testify for those who remained firm to their pledge. This stone is of the station of Allah’s right hand with which the creation pledges allegiance to him with.” (Wasa’il al-Shia, v.13, pp.320-321)
Imam Baqir (a): “Allah ordered Abraham (a) to build the Ka’bah and raise its walls…Then, Abraham (a) and Ishmael (a) would build one segment of the wall each day until it reached the place of Hajar al-Aswad. At this point a noise came from the mountain stating that it was holding something for them. Hajar al-Aswad reached Abraham and he put there…” (Kafi, v.4, p.205)
These traditions are not contradictory to each other. There are other traditions that state that Prophet Adam (a) treasured the stone when he was in paradise, before being sent to earth. The stone was then sent to him on earth as a reminder of the pledge that he took with Allah in paradise. Then, it is possible, that when the flood of Noah (a) struck, the stone was lost and lodged in a mountain. When Abraham (a) rebuilt the Ka’bah, Allah miraculously revealed the location of the stone to him so he could put it in its original place. And Allah knows best.
Answered by: Shaykh Hamid Waqar