Friday, 2 March 2018

Shia Islam, Hajr e Aswad (The Black Stone) and Umar Khattab

Topic 46:

As you may be knowing, Hajr e Aswad (The Black Stone) is embedded on corner wall of the Holy Ka’aba near its door. Muslims regardless of being Shia or Sunni kiss the Hajr e Aswad when they circumbulate (Tawaaf) Holy Ka’ba after every circuit, if they can’t manage to kiss the Hajr e Aswad because of overcrowding, they at least make a kissing gesture with their hands.

Muslims differ on the status which Hajr e Aswad owns in the Islamic World. Shia opinion is also quiet aloof from Sunni stand on this issue. Shia many a times are accused as polytheists (Mushrik) by some Sunni, who consider themselves as very factual believers, that is they have reasons for whatever they do, while they think Shia have invalid practices.

Whenever it comes to the issue of Hajr e Aswad, Sunni would instantly talk about the declaration of Umar Khattab, the second Sunni Caliph. Though, Umar Khattab is not a divine authority in Sunni, unlike Imam Ali Murtada who is a divine authority in Shia Islam, yet Sunni project Umar Khattab as a reformist; but, with what authority, political or divine?

In Shia Islam, Imam Ali Murtada has every right to clarify and declare something valid or invalid in Islam, as in Shia Islam, Imam Ali Murtada is a divinely appointed leader with all authority to do so, Shia can’t question him. But in Sunni, since Umar Khattab is not a divinely appointed leader rather is a political head appointed by the Last-will of previous Caliph Abu Bakr, who too was elected, but never divinely appointed. So if divinely appointed Imam Ali Murtada says something, it becomes a religion for Shia, but can sayings of political head Umar Khattab become part of religion in Sunni?

So, opinions of Umar Khattab are worth to be questioned even in Sunni faith, then how can his opinions represent Islamic standpoints? This is where the issue of status of Hajr e Aswad (The Black Stone) arises. Many Sunni project Umar Khattab as reformist, even on issue of Hajr e Aswad. It is reported in Sunni Hadith that Umar Khattab during circumbulation (Tawaaf) of Holy Ka’aba came towards Hajr e Aswad, and before kissing clarified his stand, by saying: O Hajr e Aswad, you are just a stone, you can neither benefit nor harm, had I not seen Prophet Mohammed himself kissing you, I wouldn’t have kissed you.

Here, Sunni proudly clarify their two standpoints, first is that Hajr e Aswad is just a stone, which can’t benefit or harm anyone, second they say, the only reason Hajr e Aswad is to be kissed is solely because Prophet Mohammed had kissed it too. The thing which becomes clear here is that Umar Khattab or Sunni never do anything without any reason, they need solid reasons for them to do something as part of religion. Umar Khattab or Sunni need reason to kiss Hajr e Aswad, and their only reason is that Prophet Mohammed too kissed it.

Now, let us come to the action of Prophet Mohammed. If we go by Sunni logic, Umar Khattab or Sunni themselves have reason to kiss the stone; else Umar Khattab or Sunni wouldn’t have kissed it. So from action of Umar Khattab it could be said that, it is necessary to have a reason to do something, Umar Khattab does something Umar Khattab has reason! Concluding this, having reason is part of Islam.

Let analyze it further, Prophet Mohammed is better in all aspect than Umar Khattab, and if Umar Khattab is so sensitive that he never does anything foolishly and he needs a proper reason to do anything in religion, then Prophet Mohammed too would be knowing this requirement, and Prophet Mohammed too wouldn’t do anything foolishly.

Prophet Mohammed kissed Hajr e Aswad (The Black Stone), this is a fact. Shia Islam deny Umar Khattab’s whims and fancies that Hajr e Aswad is merely a normal stone with no powers in it, the reason Shia deny Umar’s stand is that because Prophet Mohammed had kissed it, it is really a disbelief (Kufr) to think that Prophet Mohammed had simply out of no valid reason kissed a normal stone which had no power to harm or benefit anyone.

If Umar Khattab doesn’t do anything without a reason, can anyone being a Muslim believe that Prophet Mohammed did things without any valid reasons? Umar Khattab himself says that for him the stone had no power to profit or harm someone, so can any Sunni on behalf of Umar Khattab explain to Shia as to why Prophet Mohammed kissed Hajr Aswad? Also can any Sunni on behalf of Umar Khattab explain to Shia as to why if Prophet Mohammed definitely had some undeclared reasons to kiss Hajr e Aswad, then how can Umar Khattab say those words which he had said?

Now, coming to Shia stand, Hajr e Aswad is a sign of God, and ought to be respected, it has spiritual powers too, no Shia ever says that it has spiritual power on its own accord, rather Shia believes that God has exalted the stone and God has put up spiritual powers in that stone, so there is no reason to put up pseudo verdicts of polytheism upon Shia.

Shia Islam states that Hajr e Aswad has such power that if a prophet or any divinely appointed leader approaches it, it will speak, greet and testify the authority. Shia have ahaadith (Hadiths) that Hajr e Aswad testified with voice the prophet-hood of Prophet Mohammed. Similarly, when any of the 12 Imam (Divinely appointed leader) approaches it with question, then too it will testify the divine authority bestowed upon the said Imam.

Shia ahaadith testify that when an issue started up as to who was to be the fourth Imam after the third Imam Husain, some miscreants declared that the fourth Imam must be the surviving son of first Imam Ali Murtada instead of Imam Zainul Aabideen, the son of third Imam Husain. These miscreants named Mohammed Hanafiya, the half-brother of third Imam Husain to be the fourth Imam. Mohammed Hanafiya denied their claim and remained loyal to real fourth Imam Zainul Aabideen, yet confusion prevailed among people. This prompted fourth Imam Zainul Abideen to ask people to gather in front of Hajr e Aswad, while Mohammed Hanafiya too stood beside fourth Imam Zainul Abideen.

There Fourth Imam Zainul Aabideen, asked his loyal half-brother Mohammed Hanafiya, who was victim of the propaganda to send salutation (As salam Alaykum/ Peace Be upon you) upon Hajr e Aswad, which he did, since, he was not the real Imam, Hajr e Aswad remained silent, fourth Imam Zainul Aabideen asked people to bear the coming miracle when he himself send the same salutation upon Hajr e Aswad, it miraculously spoke in voice and returned the proper greeting, when fourth Imam Zainul Aabideen questioned the Hajr e Aswad as to who the questioner is, it spoke and confirmed that the questioner is Imam (Divinely Appointed Leader) of the time. Thus, the matter was settled. Thus, for Shia, Hajr e Aswad is not simple stone with no powers in it, rather it is mean to confirm the true divinely appointed leader.

In conclusion, it must be said, Hajr e Aswad is a spiritual stone. Hajr Aswad affirms the Divinely appointed Leader that too in voice. Prophet Mohammed kissed it with valid reason. Umar Khattab didn’t knew or didn’t wanted to confirm the reason as to why Prophet Mohammed kissed it. This is a request to Sunni, that next time instead of professing words of Umar Khattab, and instead of thinking about why Umar Khattab kissed Hajr e Aswad, try to think about why would Prophet Mohammed kiss a normal stone out of no valid reasons? And when you get two reasons for kissing Hajr e Aswad, accept only the Prophet Mohammed's reason.

O Allah! Salutations be upon Prophet Mohammed and upon Family of Prophet Mohammed.

1 comment: