The Black Stone of Mecca is known as al-Hajar-ul-Aswad
in Arabic. The northern cornerstone of the holy Kaaba,
The Black Stone is one of the holiest objects of reverence for Muslims.
The Kaaba is housed in Al-Masjid al-Haram,
the largest mosque of the world. It is considered to be the most sacred spots
for Muslims and is the structure around which worshippers perform their rituals
during the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca.
The Black Stone is one of the four cornerstones of the Kaaba and is believed
to have been a remnant of a meteorite. About
30 centimeters in diameter, The Black Stone in Mecca can be easily recognized
by the large silver band that surrounds it. When pilgrims take rounds of the Kaaba
during the Hajj, they try to kiss The Black Stone as a mark of love and respect
to the Divine.
In the year 930, The Black Stone was stolen by Qarmatian
workers from Bahrain. When they returned it after 22 years, the stone got damaged
in the way. At present, it is broken into several pieces that are held together
by the huge silver band. This band is nailed to the main stone using numerous
For Muslims, there are different meanings of The
Black Stone in Mecca. Some take it as a marker used for counting the number of
ritual circumambulations, or tawafs, performed by them during the Hajj. For others,
it is to be respected as a mark of trust in Muhammad, the founder of Islam.
Some others believe that The Black Stone was originally white in color and had
fallen from the heavens. In due course, it has absorbed countless sins committed
by mankind, and has hence turned black. However, the true legend associated with
The Black Stone in Mecca is still debated amongst historians and religious groups.