The White Stone


حَدَّثَنَا ‏ ‏قُتَيْبَةُ ‏ ‏حَدَّثَنَا ‏ ‏جَرِيرٌ ‏ ‏عَنْ ‏ ‏عَطَاءِ بْنِ السَّائِبِ ‏ ‏عَنْ ‏ ‏سَعِيدِ بْنِ جُبَيْرٍ ‏ ‏عَنْ ‏ ‏ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ ‏ ‏قَالَ

قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ‏ ‏صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ‏ ‏نَزَلَ الْحَجَرُ الْأَسْوَدُ مِنْ الْجَنَّةِ وَهُوَ أَشَدُّ بَيَاضًا مِنْ اللَّبَنِ فَسَوَّدَتْهُ خَطَايَا بَنِي ‏ ‏آدَمَ ‏

‘Abdullâh Ibn-‘Abbâs said, “The Messenger of Allah said, ‘The Black Stone descended from Paradise whiter than milk; the sins of the Children of Aadam then blackened it.‘”

(Sunan al-Tirmidhi)

The phenomenon mentioned in this hadith is a reflection of what happens to our hearts. Know that sins have consequences and that one of them is the darkening of the heart. When someone sins his heart is marked with a black spot; and when he sins again, it is marked with another black spot [1]. It continues in this manner until his entire heart becomes black – he then becomes one of those concerning whom it is related: “Kallaa bal – raana ‘alaa quloobihim maa kaanoo yaksiboon – No indeed! There is a raan upon their hearts due to what they have earned.” (al-Mutaffifeen: 14)

A question arises: If the sins of the mushrikoon blacken the Stone, then why do the acts of obedience of the people of Tawhid not whiten it? The reply is that if Allah ta’ala wills it to be, then that is how it is. So we do not reject the hadith based on this line of reasoning, as some have done.

And in it’s remaining black there is a lesson [‘ibrah] for those who have vision and insight [baseerah]. For if this is the effect of sins on hard stone, then their effect on the heart is far worse!

(This is taken from the sharh of the hadith by al-Mubarakfuri in ‘Tuhfatul Ahwadhi‘)

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[1] Mentioned in a hadith recorded in Sahih Muslim.

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