Every year, Muslim pilgrims from around the globe visit the Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, to perform Hajj or Umra.
During a pilgrim’s ritual, many tend to seek the Black Stone situated in the eastern corner of the Kaaba.
While the Black Stone is thought to be a whole, which can be seen placed in a silver encasement, it is actually comprised of eight small rocks but molded together using Arabic frankincense.
The smallest stone is no bigger than 1 cm, while the biggest does not exceed 2 cm. The encasement, made out of pure silver, only serves as a protection mechanism for the stone.
History books on the Black Stone recall how it was placed in the Kaaba by Prophet Abraham, after it was presented to him by the angel Gabriel. The stone is recognized as to have come from heaven.
It is permissible for a pilgrim to begin their tawaaf, or circumambulation around the Kaaba, by kissing the black stone or pointing to it if they are not able to reach it. It has been noted in several prophetic testaments that the black stone was commonly kissed.
The fracturing and small size of the black stone is attributed to when the Qarmatians took it off in 339 AH. The stone was then transferred to al-Ahsa and Iraq where it ultimately broke. The fractured pieces where then moved back to their original place in the Kaaba.
Assessed measurements indicate that the black stone as a whole measured 110cm before it was crushed by the Qarmatians. The estimated measures reflect the condition the stone was in when placed by Prophet Mohammed himself in the Kaaba incident prior to the dawn of Islam.
Painter and calligrapher Mohammed al-Kurdi described the black stone in the mid-14th century AH as saying: “What we can learn from the Black Stone in our time, it is comprised of eight small pieces each of a different size. The biggest piece of the stone is no larger than a single date. The small stones are as a result of the aggressions on the stone by ignorant individuals years ago. Fifty years ago, it appears that the stone was comprised of 12 pieces, but the numbers went down after the reforms made to Black Stone’s frame.”
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