Some people question our kissing of the Black Stone. Let us be clear about this. We know for certain that the Black Stone has no function other than being a mark for the beginning of the tawaf. No Muslim believes that it can cause him any harm or good. If anyone entertains such a belief, he is not a Muslim. He is guilty of polytheism. We simply kiss it because the Prophet kissed it. In our acts of worship we follow the Prophet’s example because God has commanded us to do so. Al-Bukhari relates that Umar ibn Al-Khattab, one of the most learned of the Prophet’s companions, said to the Black Stone after kissing it: “By God, I know that you are a stone that cannot cause any harm or good. Had it not been for the fact that I saw the Prophet kissing you, I would not have kissed you.” This is the proper attitude of a Muslim. The Prophet’s worship of God was the most complete. There was nothing superfluous in it. We cannot discard anything the Prophet did in matters of worship. We follow his footsteps without hesitation.

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