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Why do Muslims kiss the black stone in the kaaba when they do hajj or umra?

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Praise be to Allah.

The Prophet (saw) explained the wisdom behind tawaaf when he said:

"Circumambulation of the Ka'bah (tawaaf), going between as-Safa and al-Marwah (sa'i), and stoning the Jamaraat have only been ordained to establish the remembrance of Allah."
The one who circumambulates the kabah, does so whilst feeling awe of Allah in his heart. Thus he is in a state of remembrance of Allah and all his movements – walking, kissing or touching the Black Stone and the Yemeni Corner, or pointing to the Black Stone – all come under the heading of remembering Allah, because they are all acts of worship, and all acts of worship are remembrance of Allah, in general terms.

As for the words that he utters of takbeer, dhikr and du'aa', they come under the heading of remembering Allah.

As for kissing the Black Stone, it is an act of worship in which a person kisses a stone to which he has no connection except worshipping Allah, by venerating it and following the Messenger (saw) by doing that, as it is proven Umar ibn al-Khattaab (ra) said, when he kissed the Black Stone:

I know you are a stone and have no power to harm or benefit; were it not that I saw the Prophet (saw) kissing you, I would not have kissed you.
With regard to what some think, that the purpose behind that is to seek blessing (barakah) from it, there is no basis for that, so it is invalid.

With regard to what some heretics have said, circumambulating the Ka'bah is like circumambulating the graves of their saints, and that it is tantamount to idolatry, this is part of their heresy. The believers only circumambulate it in compliance with the command of Allah, and whatever is done in compliance with the command of Allah, doing it is an act of worship of Allah.

Prostrating to other than Allah is major shirk (shirk akbar), but when Allah commanded the angels to prostrate to Adam, prostration to Adam was an act of worship to Allah and refusing to do so, an act of disbelief (kufr).

Circumambulation of the ka'bah is one of the greatest acts of worship; it is the foundation of the Hajj, one of the pillars of Islam.

Hence when the mataaf (place of tawaaf) is calm, the one who does tawaaf experiences the joy of tawaaf and feels in his heart that he is close to his Lord, which confirms the virtue and high status of the House of Allah.

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him).

Fataawa al-'Aqeedah (pp. 28-29).

Source: islamqa.info

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