Mecca, Saudi Arabia is a place where Muslims go on pilgrimage every year. This pilgrimage, called Hajj, is one of the five sacred pillars of Islam.
Located in the center of the holy site is the Grand Mosque of Al-Masjid al-Haram.
On the white background of the church stands out a giant cube-shaped stone structure covered with kiswa black silk fabric embroidered with elaborate gold threads.
This special building is called Kaaba, built of granite, 15.2 m high, 10.7 m wide, 12.2 m long with only one gate made of pure gold in the southeast.
Inside, the floor is marble and limestone, and there are three pillars. The Holy Black Stone is located 1.5 m above the ground in the southeast corner of the sacred Kaaba.
The Black Stone block is about 61 cm long, dark black and has a smooth surface.
Muslims believe that Allah ordered the construction of the Kaaba and the Prophet Mohammed placed the stone in the wall of the building in 605. It is said that the Prophet Mohammed kissed the stone, so the followers were thirsty. longing at least once in my life to make a pilgrimage to the Kaaba and kiss the Black Stone.
Hajj pilgrims circle the Kaaba seven times counterclockwise at the beginning and end of the Hajj – in a ritual called “tawaf”. They also often went back and forth between the two hills (Al-Marwa and Al-Safa) seven times. The famous seven-digit number is associated with God in many religions, including Christianity and Judaism.
In fact, Hajj is meant to commemorate the life of the prophet Ibrahim or Abraham, who played a key role in both Christianity and Judaism.
He was the one who rebuilt the Kaaba with his son Ismael. The Hajj ritual largely follows the struggle between Ibrahim, his wife Hajar, and his son in offering his will to God.
Hajj pilgrims circle the Kaaba 7 times counterclockwise at the beginning and end of the Hajj – in a ritual called “tawaf”.
The Black Stone was first described in 19th-century Western literature. A Swiss tourist, Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, visited Mecca in 1814 and described the Blackstone in detail in his 1829 book titled The Black Stone. titled “Travels in Arabia”.
“It has an irregular oval shape, nearly 18 cm in diameter, with a rough top surface due to a dozen different sizes of crushed stone joined by a small amount of silky smooth cement; the rock was as if it had been broken and then put back together.”
Over time, the rock is much damaged. During the Umayyad siege of Mecca in 683, it is said to have been broken into pieces by a stone bullet. In 930, the stone was removed and brought to Hajar – present-day Bharain island nation, then returned to Mecca.
Simulation of Black Stone (Image: Wikimedia Commons)
Today, the stone block still has traces of fragments, estimated at 7-15 pieces. They were held together by a silver frame, nailed with silver nails to secure the rock.
Muslims believe that Blackstone is part of the heavenly rock. There are many legends about it such as when Adam was expelled from the Garden of Eden, he felt extremely guilty. The Black Stone was given to Adam to help wash away his sins and allow him to return to heaven. Others believe that the rock was taken from a nearby mountain by the archangel Gabriel and possesses some supernatural powers, such as having the power to purify believers by absorbing their sins. them into itself, so it used to be pure white and brilliant but has become black because of the sins it has absorbed over the years.
There are many stories of people being convicted of intentionally communicating with rocks.
In the 11th century, a man allegedly intended to break the rock and was killed on the spot, leaving the rock slightly damaged.
Theories about the origin and composition of the rock mass
It is theorized that Kaaba’s Blackstone may have been a meteorite that first appeared around 1850.
Over time, this hypothesis gained more support and is by far the most popular science-based hypothesis. Most proponents of that theory believe it to be a fragment of a meteorite that fell to Earth about 6,000 years ago at Wabar.
The theory is that the stone was the meteorite worshiped by the pre-Islamic Arabs.
Black Stone is surrounded by a silver frame (Photo: Habermonitor)
Since it is not allowed to study the rock directly, scientists can only conjecture about its composition.
According to Anthony Hampton and a team of geologists at the University of Oxford (UK):
“The rock is covered with a fog, as its custodians do not allow any scientific experimentation on it, for cultural and religious reasons.”
However, this hypothesis is not without foundation.
For example, sand samples taken from a two-kilometer radius of the rock show that the amount of iridium, a metal commonly found in meteorites, is much more than the average amount of iridium in the Earth’s crust.
Blackstone may be of extraterrestrial origin (Artwork)
In addition, there are many broken cones – a rare geological feature that only forms in the bedrock of craters when meteorites collide with the ground, or underground nuclear explosions.
Elsebeth Thomsen of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, proposed another hypothesis in 1980.
She suggested that the rock could be a piece of glass formed from the impact of a fragmented meteorite that fell at Wabar, a site in the Rub’ al Khali desert 1,100 kilometers east of Mecca.
Is the ability of the stone block real?
Is Black Stone really a heavenly stone that has the power to dispel all human sins? If that’s true, won’t all sins be washed away by just touching the stone?
Looking at it from the Buddhist point of view, we can have some interpretations.
According to the law of cause and effect, “good is rewarded with good, evil is rewarded with evil.” evil deeds must be repaid by themselves. If we consider the ancient Muslim pilgrimage, we see that this is indeed the case.
The ancients needed several arduous months to reach Mecca, but today it’s only a few hours’ flight (Image: TTV)
When the means of transport were not yet developed, pilgrims had to go through a long, arduous, and dangerous journey, some people had to save many years to pay for the journey.
In the midst of difficulties, they still maintain their absolute unwavering faith towards the Holy Lord. They have really cultivated their minds, they have suffered, so that their sins can be eliminated.
Today, when the means of transportation are convenient, the standard of living is also gradually raised. One can reach Mecca in just a few hours on modern planes. In addition, a part of Muslims today no longer strictly adhere to the precepts written in the Koran. So, when suffering and reverence are gone, the power of the stone block on modern day pilgrims may not be the same as it was in the past.