If you believe in the ancient astronaut theory of creation, you have to wonder if the Black Stone is an alien artifact.
The Black Stone of Mecca, or Kaaba Stone, is a Muslim relic, which according to Islamic tradition dates back to the time of Adam and Eve. It is the eastern cornerstone of the Kaaba, the ancient sacred stone building towards which Muslims pray, in the center of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.The Stone is a dark rock, polished smooth by the hands of millions of pilgrims, that has been broken into a number of fragments cemented into a silver frame in the side of the Kaaba. Although it has often been described as a meteorite, this hypothesis is still under consideration.
The Black Stone is a Muslim object of reverence, which according to Islamic tradition dates back to the time of Adam and Eve. Many consider it to be a Tektite. It is the eastern cornerstone of the Kaaba, the ancient sacred stone building towards which Muslims pray, in the center of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
The Stone is roughly 30 cm (12 in.) in diameter, and 1.5 meters (5 ft.) above the ground. When pilgrims circle the Kaaba as part of the Tawaf ritual of the Hajj, many of them try, if possible, to stop and kiss the Black Stone, emulating the kiss that it received from the Islamic prophet Muhammad. If they cannot reach it, they are to point to it on each of their seven circuits around the Kaaba. The Stone is broken into a number of pieces from damage which was inflicted during the Middle Ages. The pieces are held together by a silver frame, which is fastened by silver nails to the Stone.
The Black Stone of Kaaba or Mecca in Arabic, is called Al-hajar Al-aswad. The word Kaaba - Ka'ba - Ka'bah - means Cube.
Sacred Geometry Creation
The Hajj is the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is currently the largest annual pilgrimage in the world, and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so. The Hajj is a demonstration of the solidarity of the Muslim people, and their submission to God (Allah in the Arabic language).
The pilgrimage occurs from the 8th to 12th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the 12th and last month of the Islamic calendar. Because the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, eleven days shorter than the Gregorian calendar used in the Western world, the Gregorian date of the Hajj changes from year to year. Ihram is the name given to the special state in which Muslims live while on the pilgrimage.
The Hajj is associated with the life of Islamic prophet Muhammad from the 7th century, but the ritual of pilgrimage to Mecca is considered by Muslims to stretch back thousands of years to the time of Abraham (Ibrahim). Pilgrims join processions of hundreds of thousands of people, who simultaneously converge on Mecca for the week of the Hajj, and perform a series of rituals: Each person walks counter-clockwise seven times about the Kaaba, the cube-shaped building which acts as the Muslim direction of prayer, runs back and forth between the hills of Al-Safa and Al-Marwah, drinks from the Zamzam Well, goes to the plains of Mount Arafat to stand in vigil, and throws stones in a ritual Stoning of the Devil. The pilgrims then shave their heads, perform a ritual of animal sacrifice, and celebrate the three day global festival of Eid al-Adha.
As of 2009, about two million pilgrims participate in this annual pilgrimage. Crowd-control techniques have become critical, and because of the large numbers of people, many of the rituals have become more stylized. It is not necessary to kiss the Black Stone, but merely to point at it on each circuit around the Kaaba. Throwing pebbles was done at large pillars, which for safety reasons in 2004 were changed to long walls with catch basins below to catch the stones. The slaughter of an animal can be done either personally, or by appointing someone else to do it, and so forth. But even with the crowd control techniques, there are still many incidents during the Hajj, as pilgrims are trampled in a crush, or ramps collapse under the weight of the many visitors, causing hundreds of deaths. Pilgrims can also go to Mecca to perform the rituals at other times of the year. This is sometimes called the "lesser pilgrimage", or Umrah. However, even if one chooses to perform the Umrah, they are still obligated to perform the Hajj at some other point in their lifetime if they have the means to do so.
Mecca Metro National Geographic - November 18, 2010
One of the new Mashair Railway light-rail trains runs in Mecca, Saudia Arabia, the holiest city of Islam, in early November. The 11-mile (18-kilometer) railway will transport some of the millions of pilgrims who travel to Islamic holy sites during the annual four-day hajj. The train is open only to Saudi Arabians and other Persian Gulf-state nationals until the system becomes fully operational in 2011.
There are various opinions as to what the Black Stone actually is. Muslims say that the Stone was found by Abraham (Ibrahim) and his son Ishmael (Ismail) when they were searching for stones with which to build the Kaaba. They recognized its worth and made it one of the building's cornerstones.
Secular historians point to the history of stone worship, and especially meteorite worship, in pre-Islamic Arabia, and say that it is likely that the Stone is a meteorite. There is no way to test this hypothesis without removing and examining the Stone, which would not be permitted by its guardians.
There is no indication as to where this stone originated, but since it pre-dates the revelation of the Holy Qur'an and Muhammad's prophethood, and even kissed, it must stem from the time of Abraham since the Hajj traditions are traceable to the patriarch of monotheism.
The Ka'bah at Mecca describes the shape of the black stone structure on a marble base which stands in the centre court of the Great Mosque, Masjidul Haram, at the centre of Mecca. It stands about 50 feet high by about 35 feet wide. Set into the eastern corner is the sacred stone. This Ka'ba is a cubed shaped temple rebuilt by Abraham and his son Ishmael. Reverently draped in black cloth throughout the year, it beckons to every Muslim of the world to come to its sacred ground.
The Ka'ba - Kaaba - is the canonical center of the Islamic world and every pious act, particularly prayer, is directed toward it. Once a year it plays host to the greatest convention of religious believers and stands ready to sanctify the Umrah traveler through the balance of the year.
The official starting point of the walk around the Kaaba, that forms the core of the holy pilgrimage, is called the hajj. During the Tawaf pilgrims kiss or touch the black stone as they circumambulate the Ka'ba.
Pilgrims touching one of the walls of the Ka'bah.
Some Muslims are more willing to believe that the Stone itself has some supernatural powers. They believe that this stone fell from the sky during the time of Adam and Eve, and that it has the power to cleanse worshippers of their sins by absorbing them into itself. They say that the Black Stone was once a pure and dazzling white and it has turned black because of the sins it has absorbed over the years.
It is remarkable, however, that even though the temple contained 360 idols worshipped before Muhammad's Prophethood, the black stone was never kissed or made an idol of worship. In fact, the Ka'ba was never worshipped by the idolaters prior to Muhammad's Prophethood. The building contained idols of worship but the building itself was never an object of worship.
The fact that the Ka'ba was rebuilt by Abraham is a historical fact. Since the stone has been there ever since, it stands to reason that Abraham placed the stone in the Ka'ba. The Black Stone is in fact the cornerstone of the Ka'ba and is there as an emblem of the progeny of Abraham which was rejected by the Israelites and became the corner stone of the Kingdom of God.
The Psalms contains a clear reference to it:
While David referred to it as the stone which the builders refused, Jesus spoke of it more plainly in the parable of the husbandman, telling the Israelites that the vineyard, which in the parable stands for the Kingdom of God, would be taken away from them and given to other husbandmen.
That by the rejected stone in the prophecy (21:42) was meant a rejected nation (21:43) is made clear by Jesus Christ. That this rejected nation was none other than the Ishmaelites has been borne out by history.
The Black Stone, therefore, passes for the mithaq, the primordial covenant between the Creator and His created. And in the whole world there is only this unhewn stone, the stone, Cut out of the mountains without hands (Daniel 2:45), and that is the corner-stone of a building, which in point of importance, stands unique in the world.
Touching or kissing the stone has a profound impact on the faithful as it is suppose to count in their favor on judgment day. [Judgment Day is a metaphor for the return to balance with the duality of our reality - at Zero Point.]
The great Muslim traveler from Valencia, Ibn Jubayr (1145-1217) describes the emotion he felt on touching the stone, The stone, when one kisses it, has a softness and freshness which delights the mouth; so much so that he who places his lips upon it wishes never to remove them. It suffices, moreover, that the Prophet said that it is the Right Hand of God on Earth.
The single most important reason for kissing the stone is that Prophet Muhammad did so. No devotional significance whatsoever is attached to the stone. Kissing or touching the Black Stone is a reverential act of acknowledgment that God's hand directed its placement and construction. That Abraham and Muhammad, God's blessing upon them, had touched and kissed the stone and an acknowledgment that God had entrusted the 'corner stone' of His religious central focus for man upon that hollowed and sacred place.
Researchers have noted that the Ka'bah is accurately aligned on two heavenly phenomena - the cycles of the moon and the rising of Canopus, the brightest star after Sirius.
There are various other opinions as to what the Black Stone actually symbolizes. Many Muslims regard the Stone as 'just a stone'. When Umar ibn al-Khattab, the second Caliph, came to kiss the stone, he said, in front of all assembled: "No doubt, I know that you are a stone and can neither harm anyone nor benefit anyone. Had I not seen Allah's Messenger kissing you, I would not have kissed you." They pay their respects to the Black Stone in a spirit of trust in Muhammad, not with any belief in the Black Stone itself.
The earliest reference we have to a goddess worshipped as a cube-shaped stone is from neolithic Anatolia. Alternatively, 'Kubaba' may mean a hollow vessel or cave - which would still be a supreme image of the goddess. The ideograms for Kubaba in the Hittite alphabet are a lozenge or cube, a double-headed axe, a dove, a vase and a door or gate - all images of the goddess in neolithic Europe.
Deities of other cultures known to have been associated with black stones include Aphrodite at Paphos, Cybele at Pessinus and later Rome, Astarte at Byblos and the famous Artemis/Diana of Ephesus. The latter's most ancient sculpture was, it is said, carved from a black meteorite.
The earliest form of Cybele's name may have been Kubaba or Kumbaba which suggests Humbaba, who was the guardian of the forest in the Epic of Gilgamesh - the world's oldest recorded myth from Assyria of circa 2,500 BCE and, as scholars reveal more of the text as the source of most of the major mythological themes of later civilizations.
The origin of Kubaba may have been kube or kuba meaning 'cube'.
The stone associated with Cybele's worship was, originally, probably at Pessinus but perhaps at Pergamum or on Mount Ida. What is certain is that in 204 BCE it was taken to Rome, where Cybele became 'Mother' to the Romans. The ecstatic rites of her worship were alien to the Roman temperament, but nevertheless animated the streets of their city during the annual procession of the goddess's statue. Alongside Isis, Cybele retained prominence in the heart of the Empire until the fifth century BCE - when the stone was then lost. Her cult prospered throughout the Empire and it is said that every town or village remained true to the worship of Cybele.
The home of Aphrodite was at Paphos on Cyprus. Various Classical writers describe the rituals which went on her in her honor - in which a tapering black stone, the object of verneration at her temple, was used.
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