Islamic Research Foundation International, Inc.
Seeking Advancement of Knowledge through Spiritual and Intellectual Growth

International ConferenceAbout IRFIIRFI CommitteesRamadan CalendarQur'anic InspirationsWith Your Help

Articles 1 - 1000 | Articles 1001-2000 | Articles 2001 - 3000 | Articles 3001 - 4000 | Articles 4001 - 5000 | Articles 5001 - 6000 |  All Articles

Family and Children | Hadith | Health | Hijab | Islam and Christianity | Islam and Medicine | Islamic Personalities | Other | Personal Growth | Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) | Qur'an | Ramadan | Science | Social Issues | Women in Islam |

Islamic Articles
Islamic Links
Islamic Cemetery
Islamic Books
Women in Islam
Aalim Newsletter
Date Conversion
Prayer Schedule
Q & A
Contact Info


Al-Hajar al-Aswad (The Holy Black Stone)
Dr. Pervaiz Habibullah

The Black Stone (called al-Hajar-al-Aswad in Arabic) is a Muslim holy relict It is one of the cornerstones of the kaaba sharif, the ancient stone building towards which all Muslims pray. The kaaba sharif is located in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, where it is surrounded by the enormous masjid-al-Haram, the grand mosque. The black stone (al-hajar al-aswad) is fixed into the kaaba sharif wall, at the eastern corner of the kaaba sharif, about 5ft above the ground level, not very far from the door of the, kaaba sharif. It (now) consists of 3 large pieces and several small fragments (in which it was formerly broken) stuck together and surrounded by a large ring of stone, which in turn is held together by a silver band.

After the completion of the kaaba sharif Jibrael (A.S) taught Adam (A.S) the rites of hajj and tawaaf. Then Jibrael (A.S) took him to the mountain in arafaat and made him perform the hajj. When Adam (A.S) was performing the hajj rites, Hawwaa (A.S) in her wandering; happened to come to that place and participated in the hajj rites. As Adam (A.S) and Hawwaa (A.S) recognized each other on this mountain, it became known as the mount of arafaat. From arafaat, Adam (A.S) and Hawwaa (A.S) proceeded to Muzdalifah and passed the night over there. After that they came to Minaa, and from there to Mecca where they performed tawaaf of kaaba. This practice is followed by hajj pilgrims upto this time.

The Black Stone's Origin [1]

Just as there are various viewpoints regarding the religious significance of the stone, there are also various opinions as to its history and nature. 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 sharif. They recognized its worth and made it one of the building's corner stones. Secular historians point to the history of meteorite worship, in pre-islamic Arabia, and say it is likely that the stone is a meteorite or possibly impact glass, from the meteorite impact crater at Wabar, about 1100 km from Mecca. There is no way to test this hypothesis without removing and examining the stone, which would not be permitted by Muslims.

Material [11]

The material of the black stone has not been precisely determined. It is sometimes classified as lava and sometimes as basalt. The reason for this difficulty is that its visible surface is worn smooth by hand touching, etc. its estimated diameter is approximately 12". Its colour is reddish black with red and yellow particles. It is reported that when the prophet suffices, moreover, that the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) said that it is the right hand of God on earth.




Box No. 1    Miracle: Story of Floating - experiment of Abd -AHaah ibn 'Ukaym [13]


There is only one stone on earth that floats on water. It is the black stone that had been fixed in the south-east corner of the holy Ka'bah in the sanctuary of Mecca al-mukarramah. Jalaal al-Suyooti said: When Al-mutee; lillaah brought the black stone from Abu Taahir al-qarmati, the hadeeth scholar 'Abd -Allaah ibn 'Ukaym came and said: "We have two signs in our stone: it floats on water and it does not get hot in the fire." So he brought a stone that had been rubbed with perfume and wrapped in brocade to make him think that this was the black stone. They placed it in water and it sank; then they put it in the fire and it cracked. Then he brought another stone and did likewise to it, and the same things happened. Then he brought the black stone and put it in water, and it floated; then he put it in the fire and it did not get hot. 'Abd-Allah said: "This is our stone." Abu Taahir al-Qarmati was amazed by this and said: "How did you know that?" 'Abd-Allaah said: "It was narrated that the messenger of Allah (Peace Be Upon Him) said: 'The black stone is Allah's right hand on his earth. It will come on the day of resurrection with a tongue with which it will testify about those who kissed it in sincerity or otherwise. It does not sink in water and it does not get hot in fire."




The single most important reasons for kissing the stone is that Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) did so. No devotional significance whatsoever is attached to the stone. Kissing or touching the black stone is a reverential act of acknowledgement that God's hand directed its placement and construction. That Abraham and Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), God's blessing upon them, had touched and kissed the stone and an acknowledgement that God had entrusted the corner stone of his religious central focus for man upon that hollowed and sacred place.

Is kissing of holy stone is essential?

Every Muslim has knowledge of the working procedure of the tawaf, it consists of circling around the kaaba seven times. Each circle begins by kissing the black stone, or by caressing it, which is its normal procedure. But /mm/'is not a one-man business, hundreds, even thousands, are circling the kaaba at one and the same time. How could each person kiss the black stone separately? Naturally, when so over crowded, the kissing will have to be dispensed with by some or many of them. At such times it is quite enough therefore, to face the black stone from any distance, and only point at it by one's right hand, at the start of each round. .

Could a stone be God?

Although so reverently kissed and caressed during the tawaf, the black stone, in one of the corners of the kaaba sharif, is no graven image for the pilgrims to worship. That is the last thing any muwahhid could ever imagine. For a stone is just a mere stone after all. It has no power whatsoever to do good or inflict harm to any one, apart from Allah, the sole deity of mankind. That is a thing cherished either knowingly, ignorantly or figuratively - by those who take to stone worship instead of God-worship, a belief and practice as unholy as it is senseless. This is why the black stone becomes a mystery to such people, and so, some out of ignorance openly charge that Muhammad (peace Be Upon Him) did break every idol in Islam except one - meaning the kaaba or the black stone. Why, even unwitting Muslims get easily confused about the black stone. It was hence that Hz Umar (R.A.T.A) second caliph did well to remove this hidden doubt from the mind. So when he came to kiss the stone, he cried out publicly to it: Narrated Abis bin rabia: Hz Umar (R.A.T.A) came near the black stone and kissed it and said, no doubt, I know that you are a stone and can neither harm anyone nor benefit anyone. Had I not seen Allah's messenger (Peace Be Upon Him) kissing you, I would not have kissed you. [Summarized Sahih Al-bukhari, al-hajj, p 2396 No. 808 on the black stone].

Stone kissing and idolatry [12, 17]

There are also varying traditions about the black stone, which muslims on the pilgrimage cither kiss or touch. One legend, widely diffused, states that the black stone was a precious jewel taken out of paradise by Adam (A.S) and put into the corner of the Ka'bah when he made the first pilgrimage. Another, noted by al-Araqi. the oldest historian of Mecca, says, that the stone was given to Hz Ishmael (A.S) by the angel Gabriel (A.S).

Because of such stories, westerners frequently misinterpret and overemphasize the significance of the stone. To quote Muhammad Asad: "This Black Stone... has been the cause of much misunderstanding among non-Muslims, who believe it to be a fetish taken over by Muhammad as a concession to the pagan Meccans. Nothing could be further from the truth, .lust as the Ka'bah is an object of reverence but not of worship, so too is the black stone. It is revered as the only remnant of Abraham's original building; and because the lips of Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) touched it on his farewell pilgrimage, all pilgrims have done the same ever- since."

The misunderstanding is not new. In the year 929 the Carmathians, an heretical sect based in al-Hasa, in eastern Arabia, sacked Mecca and carried the stone off with them in hope of attracting pilgrims to al-Hasa rather than Mecca. But although they held the stone more than 20 years, the attempt failed, as orthodox Muslims attached little significance to the black stone itself.

The Quran rejects idolatry, Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) rejected idolatry and his wife (r.a.t.a) rejected idolatry and testified to his prophet hood.

The edicts contained in the Quran as amplified and exemplified by the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) are meant to guide humans to develop themselves to be as perfect as possible with maximum Godly qualities so that a society is established which at the very least (a) Comprises of people who fully utilize the faculties of learning and reasoning by acquiring knowledge for the purpose of making the world to be a better place to live in and not for its destruction, (b) Is peaceful, just and ensures equal justice for all. (c) Cares for the needy and oppressed, (d) Preserves and protects mutual rights and obligations, (e) Ensures that there is no exploitation, (f) Ensures equality of opportunity for all. (g) Ensures that the resources of the universe arc employed to the best advantage and well being of the society equitably and without harming or damaging the resources but in fact maintaining a perfect balance. The teaching of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) is based on the Quran alone; the edicts were exemplified as guidance for mankind:

He is the only example where all the excellences have been blended into one personality. Me is a philosopher and a seer and also a living embodiment of his own teachings. He is a great statesman as well as a military genius. He is a legislator and also a teacher of morals. He is a spiritual luminary as well as a religious guide. His vision penetrates every-aspect of life and there is nothing which he touches and docs not adorn. His orders and commandments cover a vast Held from the regulation of international relations down to the habits "of everyday life like eating, drinking, and cleanliness of the body. On the foundations of his theories he established a civilization and a culture and produced such a fine equilibrium in the conflicting aspects of life that there is to be found not even the slightest trace of any flaw, deficiency, or incompleteness. Can anyone out any other example of such a perfect and all-round personality? (Mawdudi A. A, Towards Understanding Islam ) The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) rejected the worship of idols before the Quran was revealed.

The entire nation calls him "Al-Ameen"(the truthful -and the trustworthy). Even his enemies deposit their costly belongings with him for safe custody and he scrupulously fulfils their trust. He is the very embodiment of midst of a society which is immodest to the core. Born and bred among a people who regard drunkenness and gambling as virtues, he never touches alcohol and never indulges in gambling. His people arc uncouth, uncultured and unclean, but he personifies in himself the highest culture and the most refined aesthetic outlook. Surrounded on all sides by heartless people, he himself has a heart overflowing with the human kindness. He helps the orphans and widows. He is hospitable to travellers. He harms no one; rather, he goes all out to suffer hardships for others' sake. Living among those for whom war is bread and butter, he is such a lover of peace that, his heart melts for them when they take up arms and cut each other's throats. He keeps aloof from the feuds of his tribe, and is foremost in bringing about reconciliation. Bred up in an idolatrous race, he is so clear-minded and possesses such a pure soul that he regards nothing in the heavens and the earth worth worshipping except the One True God. He does not bow before any created thing and does not partake of the offerings made to idols. Instinctively he hates all kinds of worship of all creatures and beings besides God. In brief, the towering and radiant personality of this complete man (insan kamil) in the midst of such a benighted and dark environment, may be likened to a beacon-light illumining a pitch-dark night or to a diamond shining in a heap of dead stones.

It is clearly established from various sources that in Arabia, particularly in Mecca and Medina there were many who had revolted against idol-worship and were thirsting for the faith of Abraham (A.S). This was because the time for the appearance of the renovator of Abraham's faith had come near. The existence of these seekers after Truth in Arabia leads the European writers to hold that pure monotheism had been fairly popular amongst the Arabs even before the propagation of Islam. (Shibli Numani, A Biography of the Prophet, 1995, p. 113) '

The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) kissed the black stone to show respect, not worship, and the black stone was never defied even to this day, the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) kissed the stone because it's an object from heaven, and it was given to Abraham (A.S) by God Himself.

Because Muslims kiss that stone, some observers hastily conclude that Muslims worship it. A kiss, however, is not an act of worship unless it is accompanied by an intention to worship. If you kiss your child, for instance, that does not mean you worship your child. Some may find it strange that Muslims should treat a stone with respect. But this is not just any old stone. It is an item out of paradise.

The act of fixing a stone to mark a place of worship is as old as history. In the Bible we are told that Jacob (A.S), had fixed a stone at a place where he saw a vision. He poured oil on it and ailed it Bethel meaning 'house of God (sec Genesis 28:18). He did this again upon God's instruction (see Genesis 35:1, 14, 15). No one should understand from this that God instructed Jacob (A.S) to worship the stone. (Shabir Ally, Common Questions People Ask About Islam, p. 46) [17]

The black stone is not worshipped by the pilgrims: They kiss, touch or point at the stone only as a token of respect or a symbol of love for Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), who laid the stone at. the foundation of the Ka'bah when it was reconstructed.

Discussing the details of objections and queries concerning kissing of al-hajr al-aswad by the muslims, Abdullah Smith replies the objections raised by a western orientalist Shamoun [17] He says, "Shamoun is ignorant of the following verse:

"Such (is the pilgrimage): whoever honours the sacred rites of Allah, for him it is good in the sight of his Lord. Lawful to you (for food in pilgrimage) are cattle, except those mentioned to you (as exception): but shun the abomination of idols, and shun the word that is false,- (Al-Quran 22:20)".

"Verily, you unbelievers and the false gods that you worship besides Allah are bu fuel for Hell! To it will you surely come!" (Al-Quran 21:98)"

"For ye do worship idol’s besides Allah, and ye invent falsehood. The things that ye worship besides Allah have no power to give you sustenance: then seek yc sustenance from Allah, serve Him, and be grateful to Him: to Him will be your return. (Al-Quran 29:17)

"And rehearse to them (something of) Abraham's story. Behold, he said to his father and his people: "What worship yc?" They said: "We worship idols, and we remain constantly in attendance on them.." He said: "Do they listen to you when ye call (on them), or do you good or harm?" Or do you good or harm They said: "Nay, but we found our fathers doing thus (what we do)." He said: "Do ye then see whom ye have been worshipping,- "Ye and your fathers before you?- "For they are enemies to me; not so the Lord and Cherisher of the Worlds; "Who created me, and it is He Who guides me; "Who gives me food and drink, "And when I am ill, it is He Who cures me; "Who will cause me to die, and then to life (again); "And who, 1 hope, will forgive me my faults on the day of Judgment. "O my Lord! bestow wisdom on me, and join me with the righteous; (Al-Quran 26:69-80)

This should answer those claims because even a false prophet would never worship anything except God!

Logically, if the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) was an idolater, it doesn't make, sense that he would write so bluntly against idol worship. The Quran was revealed to him, and he was commanded to say; unbelievers and the false gods that you worship besides Allah are but fuel for Hell!" (21:98)

This act troubled some of his own companions such as Umar bin al-Khattab (r.a.t.a) narrated 'Abis bin Rabia:

"Umar came near the black stone and kissed it and said, "No doubt, I know that you are a stone and je verses are self-explanatory, Jacob never worshipped the pillar which he made with his own hands, yet he poured oil and made a "drink offering". The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) respected the Black stone because God gave it as a gift to mark the place of Tawaaf; he never glorified the stone by pouring oil. So these Prophets are not guilty of idolatry, only a fool would believe that.

The Bible clarifies that kissing is not worship:

The Lord said to Aaron, "Go into the desert to meet Moses." So he met Moses at the mountain of God and kissed him. (Exodus 4:27)

So Moses went out to meet his father-in-law and bowed down and kissed him. They greeted each other and then went into the tent. (Exodus 18:7)

So all the people crossed the Jordan, and then the king crossed over. The king kissed Barzillai and gave him his blessing, and Barzillai returned to his horrte. (2 Samuel 19:39)

The Bible shows that even bowing is not worship.

After the boy had gone, David got up from the south side of the stone and bowed down before Jonathan three times, with his face to the ground. Then they kissed each, other and wept together— but David wept the most. (1 Samuel 20:41)

Me put the maidservants and their children in front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph in the rear. He himself went on ahead and bowed down to the ground seven times as he approached his brother. But Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him: he threw his arms around his neck and kissed him. And they wept.(Genesis 3,3:2-4)

When Joseph came home, they presented to him the gifts they had brought into the house, and they bowed down before him to the ground. (Genesis 43:26)

He asked them how they were, and then he said, "How is your aged father you told me about? Is he still living?" They replied, "Your servant our father is still alive and well." And they bowed low to pay him honor. (Genesis 43:27-28)

Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the girls. I have told the men not to touch you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled." At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She exclaimed. "Why have 1 found such favor in your eyes that you notice me—a foreigner (Ruth 2:9-10)

All of these examples prove Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him)   kissing of the Black stone is a form of respect, not worship.

Another piece of evidence is that the temple of Solomon is made of stone, is worshipping towards the temple idolatry?

At the king's command they removed from the quarry large blocks of quality stone to provide a foundation of dressed stone for the temple. The craftsmen of Solomon and Hiram and the men of Gebal cut and prepared the timber and stone for the building of the temple. (1 Kings 5:17-18) Now read this:

"I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word. (Psalm 1 38:2)


Bowing towards the temple is not idolatry, bowing towards the Holy Kaaba is not idolatry, and kissing the Black stone is not idolatry. All of these substances arc made of stone, dust particles, they are basically the same! (Deuteronomy 4:28, 29:17)

History Unfolds A Rare Aspect

Assuming that the black stone is missing for one reason or another, does it render the tawaf and pilgrimage invalid and void on such account? Absolutely not. This is exactly what has already happened in the history of Islam. The Karamathians (Arabic: al-Qaramitab the most un-islamic sect in Islam, had removed the Black Stone during their mad merrymaking in the year 317 AH/980-AD. They carried it away with them to their territory in Al-Ahsa (in the Arabian Gulf)- After keeping it there for twenty years, they had returned it to Makkah in the year 339 AH (shorter Encyclopedia Leiden 1953, p. 219). In such an event, the shariah (law) maintains that the pilgrim shall perform his tawaf without the black stone. Instead of the black stone, the pilgrim shall touch its place at the corner of the Ka'bah, or point at its spot, and continue his tawaf. Thus the total absence of the stone itself makes no difference in the validity of the tawaf and the pilgrimage.

International gathering i.e. hajj

Kissing or pointing with the hands towards black stone during tawaf is an obligatory act in performing hajj which is considered the annual international gathering of muslims. On the whole, the hajj is a unique annual gathering of its own kind. Herein, true muslims from all over the world come together on the basis of one God worship, that is pure monotheism and true Islam. Forgetting their mutual differences of caste, color and social status, they assemble in this international city of Mecca to glorify the one Lord of all creation. Incidentally, they get a rare opportunity here to discuss together all sorts of communal religious, economic, social and political problems on an all-world scale, after which no better or more beneficial gathering could be imagined. Such a high, all-embracing congregation has been held every year in the house of Allah for thousands of years now. All these manifold benefits are hinted at in the words. "That they may witness things that are of benefit to them" Quran 22:28. Pilgrimage, therefore is never a pagan rite, but rather the fulfillment of an incumbent duty concerning one God worship.

This is the legacy left behind by prophet Ibrahm (A.S) for all posterity to accept and follow and no people of any country or nation, are an exception to that posterity. Instead of regarding the pilgrimage duty as a pagan rite, people ought to reflect upon their own age old idolatry, and accept and follow the religion of our father Abraham (A.S). The hour has come for these very people to proclaim of their own accord. There is no God worthy of worship except Allah" May they perform the pilgrimage to the house of God at Mecca and may they, offer their prayers regularly facing towards that same house.

Some eminent concerned hadis mubarik

1.         Bukhari, vol 2 book 26, No. 667

Narrated 'Abis bin Rabia: Umar came near the black stone and kissed it and said "no doubt, I know that you are a stone and can neither benefit anyone nor harm anyone. Had I not seen Allah's apostle kissing you I would not have kissed you"

Narrated Zaid bin Aslam from his father who said: "Umar bin al-Khattab addressed the corner (black stone) saying, "by Allah! I know that you are a stone and can neither benefit nor harm. Had I not seen the prophet (Peace Bt Upon Him) touching (and kissing) you, I would never have touched (and kissed) you. Then he kissed it and said, There is no reason for us to do ramal (in tawaf) except that we wanted to show off before the pagans, and now Allah has destroyed them. "Umar added, (Nevertheless), the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) did that and we do not want to leave it (i.e. ramal)"


2.         Muslim Book 007, No. 2914:

Abdullah b. Sarjis reported: I saw the bald one, i.e. Umar bin Khattib (Allah be pleased with him), kissing the Stone and saying: by Allah. I am kissing with full consciousness of the fact that you are a stone and that you can neither do any harm nor good; and if I had not seen Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) kissing you. I would not have kissed you".


3.         Hadis of Umar (may Allah be pleased with him)

Regarding the black stone, Hajar Aswad, there is a hadis (tradition), attributed to the illustrious companion of the Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him), Umar (may Allah be pleased with him)


4.         AI-Tirmidhi related on the authority of Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them), that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) said, "The Black Stone descended from paradise much whiter than milk, but it was turned black by the sins committed by mankind." (5, v. 2, p. 112) Al-tirmidhi said it was a good and sound hadis. It is sunnah that one touches the black stone and kisses it.


5.         Ibn Khuzaima and Ibn Habban, in their two sahihs, related that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) said that the black stone would be resurrected on the day of judgement with two eyes and a tongue, and would be a witness to those who sincerely touched and kissed it. (8, v. 2, p. 193) Al-tirmidhi related that it was a good and sound hadis.


6.         Muslim related on the authority of Ibn Jabir Ibn Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with them), that they arrived at Makkah at noon when the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) made his camel kneel down at the door of the mosque. He entered the Mosque and started tawafat the black stone. When he touched it, the tears came down his cheeks. He mentioned the hadis and said, "He did ramal in three rounds and walked the remaining four. After finishing tawaf, he kissed the black stone and put his hands on it and then rubbed his face with them." Ibn Khuzaima said it was a good and sound hadis.


Box No 2      Other historical cultures and deities [3]

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 latters most ancient sculpture was, it is said, carved from a black meteorite [3].

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 2500 BGE 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;4he object, of veneration at her temple, was used.


Geological consideration

A number of scientists and researchers are researching about geology of this holy relic, independently what is written about it, in our holy books. It has been confirmed that this is an igneous rock and it has been also observed that top of the mountains around khana ka'ba and Makka are made of granite which is an igneous rock.

Western half of Saudi Arabia, in geological terms, represents the so called 'shield area' where the basement, consisting of igneous and metamorphic rocks, is exposed which; at places, is overlain by lava flows. However, the eastern half represents world's most prolific sedimentary basin containing 25% of the global oil reserves which is extremely cheap to exploit too.-.Deserts generally represent the saudi terrain whereas in the western part low relief mountains rise from the flat desert. At places batholiths of acidic / intermediate rocks penetrate these hills, which being resistant to weathering, stand out and occupy the highest point. Holy Ka'aba in Makka is located in a depression surrounded by hills composed of igneous rocks.

Jabl al-noor is one of such mountains. Here ghar-e-hira, the holy cave, where the last Prophet (peace be upon him) used to go for meditation and solace and where he eventual received God's first revelation (wahi) in 610 AD, is situated.

A Pakistani geologist* who climbed on it and visited ghar-e-hira writes about jabl al-noor. "The mountain is located about 5 km northern-east of the Ka'aba, which was barren 14 centuries ago. Only in the mid 20l century A.D, after the oil boom, the development in the region had started and now the residential areas have reached the foothills. The mountain top Ts about 550-600m above sea level with a local rehef of about 200m. The mountain can be reached by following the al-sail road which goes towards Riyadh".


[By email from*Siddique N.K., visit to ghar-e-hira (the holy cave near makkah) a unique

fieldwork of my life!]

(e-mail:, nkalddique@hotmail.corn)

The  holy  black stone  is thought  by secular historians, likely to be a meteorite! [24| |25| |27| |28] [32] [38| |40|

The holy black stone in the wall of the Kaaba in Mecca is thought likely to be a meteorite, by secular historians [40]. It will be interesting Jo give a brief account of meteorites, meteoroid, falls and finds.

A meteorite is a natural object originating in outer space that survives an impact with the earths surface without being destroyed. While in space it is called a meteoroid. When it enters the atmosphere, air resistance causes the body to heal up and emit light, thus forming a fireball, also known as a meteor or shooting star. More generally, a meteorite on the surface of any celestial body is an object that has come from elsewhere in space. Meteorites have also been found on the moon and mars.

Meteor dust particles left by falling meteoroids can persist in the atmosphere for up to several months. These particles might affect climate, both by scattering electromagnetic radiation and by catalyzing chemical reactions in the upper atmosphere.

During the entry of a meteoroid into the upper atmosphere, an ionization trail is created, where the molecules in the upper atmosphere are ionized by the passage of the meteor. Such ionization trails can lasl up to 45 minutes at a time. Small, sand-grain sized meteoroids are entering the atmosphere constantly, essentially every few seconds in a given region, and thus ionization trails can be found in the upper atmosphere more or less continuously. When radio waves are bounced off these trails, it is called meteor scatter communication.

Sixty-five million years ago, about 70 percent of all species then living on earth disappeared within a very short period in what is termed the cretaceous-tertiary mass extinction—commonly known as the K-T event (K is used to denote the cretaceous period rather than C to avoid confusion with other periods such as the Cambrian.) Among the species that disappeared were the last of the dinosaurs, the cause of this and other sudden species extinctions has long been an important and controversial topic.

The meteorites are also found in deserts. Certain expeditions [24] carried out by the researchers have found meteorites in Libyan desert. Mauritanian and western Sahara. The creators by meteorites have also been found. Mars meteorites have been found in Algeria, Morocco and Antarctica.

Types 131] |37]

Iron : preliminary contains iron and nickel;

Stony iron: mixtures of iron and stony material

Chondrite: by far the largest number of meteorites fall into this class. Similar in

composition to the mantles and crusts of the terrestrial planets.

Carbonaceous chondrite: very similar in composition to the sun less volatiles;

Achondrite: similar to terrestrial basalts; the meteorites believed to have originated

on the moon and mars are achondrites.

Meteorite classifications |34]

Stone chondrite            =         85.7%

Stone achondrite          =         7.1%

Stony-Iron                   =          1.5%

Iron                              =         5.7%

Properties [39]

Most meteorites contain at least some iron metal (actually an alloy of iron and nickel). You can see the metal shining on a broken surface. Iron meteorites are all metals, stony iron meteorites are about half metal, half stone, and stone meteorites contain small flecks of metal.


Many meteorites, particularly iron meteorites, are very dense and feel heavier than most rocks found on earth. The density of iron metal is about 8 grams per cubic centimeter so that most meteorites containing metal have densities greater than 3.3 grams per cubic centimeter. Few terrestrial rocks have densities higher than this value, with the exception of iron ores, which are typically iron oxides such as magnetite or hematite.


Most meteorites contains some iron nickel metal and attract a magnet easily. You can use an ordinary magnet to test this property. A magnet will stick to the meteorite if it contains much metal. Some meteorites, such as stony meteorites, contain only a small amount of metal, but will attract a magnet hanging on a string.

In addition to meteorites containing iron, there are man-made and naturally occurring materials that are magnetic and are easily confused with meteorites. Magnetite  and hematite both of these minerals can occur as large masses with smooth surfaces which are heavier than typical rocks, but have some features which resemble meteorites. Magnetite especially is very magnetic (hence its name) and hematite is mildly magnetic.



Granite is an igneous rock that is composed of four minerals. These minerals are quartz, feldspar, mica, and usually hornblende. Granite forms as magma cools far under the earth's surface. Because it hardens deep underground it cools very slowly. This allows crystals of the four minerals to grow large enough to be easily seen by the naked eye. Formation

Granite rocks are formed by slowly cooling pockets of magma that were trapped beneath the earths surface. Granite is used for long lasting monuments and for trim and decoration on buildings

Outcrops of granite tend to form tors, rounded massifs, and terrains of rounded boulders cropping out of flat, sandy soil. Granites sometimes occur in circular depressions surrounded by a range of hills, formed by the metamorphic aureqle or hornfels. Granite is nearly always massive, hard and tough, and it is for this reason it has gained widespread use as a construction. The average density of granite is 2.75 with a range of 1.74 to


SiO2     =          72.04%

A1203   =          14.42%

K20      =          4.12%

Na2O   =          3.69%

CaO     =          1.82%

FeO     =          1.68%

Fe2O3   =          1.22%

MgO    =          0.71%

TiO2     =          0.30%

P205     =          0.12%

MnO    =          0.05%

This distinctive pink granite forms most of pikes peak, Colorado. Its major constituent is pink-organic potassium feldspar. The gray, clear mineral is quarts, which is diagnostic of granite-that is, a rock without quarts, no matter what else is in it, cannot be called granite. There are also a few rare white grains of plagioclase feldspar, and also a darker mineral, the brown mica phlogopite.

Researches: Are human and atmospheric pollutants deteriorating holy relic!?


Muslims kiss or point towards the holy black stone during visit to khana ka 'aba. The kissing of holy black stone is associated with following phenomena (1) deposition of saliva on this holy relic (2) deposition of sweat (3) contact of skin with holy relic during touching (4) transmission of body temperature (5) dropping of tears on this holy relic. Beside these, CC>2 accumulates in large quantity during hajj and umrah around holy relic, some other gases such as H2S, SO2, Methane and other hydrocarbons etc. may also affect the surface quality of this holy relic. Author have studied these phenomena with special reference of effect of human and atmospheric pollutants on this relic.

Recent researches [22] have shown that saliva contained in the mouth has natural disinfectants, which leads people to believe that it is not harmful and does not deteriorate the surface quality of this relic.

Saliva [21-25]

Saliva is the principal secretion of the mouth and contains enzymes that play an important role in digestion. Saliva also lubricates the mouth and upper digestive tract. Contact with saliva assures that food is softer and moister, and therefore, more able to be swallowed and less irritating to the esophageal mucosa (the lining of the esophagus). The secretion of saliva is under the control of the autonomic nervous system. Salivation controlled by parasympathetic stimulation from the brain.

In contrast to the acidic contents of the stomach, saliva is alkaline, and provides a protective coating from acid reflux from the stomach. Because saliva contains an antibacterial lysozyme that lyses bacteria (ruptures bacterial cells), adequate amounts of saliva in the mouth also reduce the amount of bacteria in the oral cavity.

Saliva is secreted by a number of glands including the salivary glands that include mucous glands, parotid, sub maxillary (mandibular), and sublingual glands. More specifically, saliva is secreted from specialized clusters of cells termed acini.

The formation of saliva is a multi-step process. Initially formed of an aqueous solution (water based solution) of electrolytes, proteins (mostly enzymes), and mucus, saliva undergoes several chemical changes before it is release from the glandular collecting ducts into the oral cavity. The sodium content is reduced and potassium levels increase along with the addition of bicarbonate ions that make the saliva alkaline.

Depending on their particular histophysiology, the paired salivary glands each produce subtle variations on the compositional mixture of the components of saliva. The differences depend on the amount of serous or mucosal cells present in each gland. Adequate amounts of saliva are also needed to facilitate taste sensations because moist substances provide greater amounts of soluble molecules that can bind to taste receptors.

Contents of Saliva

In animals, saliva is produced in and secreted from the salivary glands. It is a fluid containing:

           Electrolytes (2-21 mmol/L sodium, 10-36 mmol/L potassium, 1.2-2.8 mmol/L calcium, 0.08-0.5 mmol/L magnesium, 5-40 mmol/L chloride, 2-13 mmol/L bicarbonate, 1.4-39 mmol/L phosphate)

           Mucus. Mucus in saliva mainly consists of: mucopolysaccharides and glycoproteins;

           Antibacterial compounds (thiocyantes, hydrogen peroxide, and secretatory immunoglobulin A)

           Various enzymes. The major enzymes found in human saliva are alpha-amylase, lysozyme, and lingual lipase. Amylase starts the digestion of starch and lipase fat before the food is even swallowed. It has a pH optima of 7.4. Lingual lipase has a pH optimum ~4.0 so it is not activated till entering an acidic environment. Lysozyme acts to lyse bacteria. Human saliva contains also salivary acid phosphatas.

There has been some disagreement regarding the daily salivary output in a healthy individual. Today, it is believed that the average person produces about 700mL of saliva per day-much less than originally thought.

With advances in instrumentation, it has been predicted that the number of serum proteins identified in saliva will increase significantly, although it will probably never match the number found in blood, mainly because serum proteins are only a tiny part of saliva, described as a dilute, watery-solution containing electrolytes, minerals, buffers, as well as proteins.

Using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis in combination with mass spectrometry, other researchers were able to identify up to 28 proteins in saliva, including 19 proteins only found in saliva and nine proteins also present in blood serum. Using a single saliva sample from a healthy, nonsmoking male subject, the researchers were able to identify 102 proteins, including 35 salivary proteins and 67 common proteins. [23].


It is an active secretion of sweat gland. Sweat gland is a tubular structure, consisting of: (1) Deep sub-dermal coiled portion and (2) Duct portion passing outward thru dermis and epidermis.

Mechanisms of sweat secretion: (1) Coiled portion secretes primary or precursor secretion (2) Duct portion modifies cone, of constituents in primary or precursor fluid. Acclimatization of sweating mechanism: Normal person can produce 700ml sweat/hr. But when exposed to hot weather sweating capability progressively inc. to 1.5-2 lit/hr. This is called acclimatization of sweating. Due to increase in sweating in hot weather excess heat from body is removed. It conserves Na+ in body due to increase of secretion of aldosterone. Kinds of sweat glands: (1) Eccrine sweat glands: These are present in all over the body. It is innervated by cholinergic sympathetic fibers. It partakes in body-temp, regulation. Secrete dilutes sweat containing NaCl, urea, uric acid, lactate, creatinine, ammonia, amino acid, etc. (2) Apocrine sweat glands: Present in axilla, areola, mons pubis and labia majora. Derived from hair follicles and include ceruminal glands of ear, and eyelid, and mammary giand. Respond to circulating adrenalin. Before puberty, secrete viscid, milky and odorless secretion but after puberty secretion gets characteristics odor.

Kinds of sweating: (1) Thermal or hot sweating; due to rise of external temp, or fever (2) emotional or mental or cold sweating; due to direct stimulation of sweat center from higher centers is emotional states (3) Gustatory sweating; due to stimulation of pain nerve endings in mouth by spicy food.

Sebum: It is the oily secretion of sebaceous gland.

Sebaceous glands: These are pear shaped bodies opening into root of hair follicles or directly to free surface of skin.

Function of sebum: (1) Acts as baceteriostatic agent; so, inhibits bacterial growth (2) Acts as lubricant (3) Prevents damage of epidermis during hot season (4) Conserves heat during cold season. (5) Conserves water.

Cerumen: It is a yellow, pasty substance secreted by ceruminal glands of external auditory canal.


It is the limiting membrane between body and environment. Structure: Skin is composed of:

1)         Epidermis; superficial layer

2)         Dennis; deeper layer

3)         Hypbdermis; a connective tissue layer beneath dermis


1)         Maintains water balance

2)         Exertion of salts and metabolites

3)         Regulation of body temp.

4)         General sensations, e.g. touch, pain, temp. etc.

5)         Acid-base balance

6)        Absorption of lipid-soluble vit. & drugs topically applied.

7)         Synthesis of v it. D

8)         Secretion of sweat, sebum and milk

9)         Storage of (a) fats (b) salts (c) glucose (d) water, etc.

10)       Protects internal structures of body from external injury and bacterial invasion.

Body temperature

Types of body temperature

1)         Core temp. Temp, of deep tissues (i.e. core) of body, is called core temp. It remains constant despite changes in temp, of surroundings.

2)        Surface temp. Temp, of body surface (i.e. skin), is called surface temp. It rises and falls with temp, of surrounding

Normal body temperature

(1) Oral = 98°F to 98.6°F (2) Rectal = 99°F to 99.6°F (3) Axillary = 97°F to 97.6°F)

Means of heat loss

1)   Radiation: In form of infra-red rays

2)   Conduction: It occurs directly from body surface to other objects of body's contact.

3)  Convection: It occurs by moving air currents surrounding body

4)  Evaporation: it occurs along with water that insensibly evaporates from body surface. Cooling effect of wind: When  body is exposed to wind, layer of air immediately adjacent to skin is replaced by new air and heat loss by convection is enhanced. So, a cooling effect is produced.

(Summarized from the book on basic physiology)

Tears of gratitude

Tears flow from tear glands into your eyes through tiny tear ducts. The tear glands are located under your upper lids, and when stimulated, produce tears to form a thin film over your eyeballs. Every time you blink the film spreads over your eyes to keep them moist and free of dust and other irritants. Whether you are awake or asleep, happy or sad, this salty fluid is always flowing from the tear glands. Besides protecting your eyes, the tear glands produce more fluid when your eyes are irritated. These extra tears are called reflex or irritant tears. And, when something makes you happy or sad, your tear glands will produce emotional tears. Reflex tears: Also called irritant tears, these are extra tears which the tear glands produce when your eyes are irritated.

Emotional tears: Extra tears that the tear glands produce in response to an emotional reaction. Crying or weeping (physic tears): The third category, generally referred to as crying or weeping, is increased lacrimation due to strong emotional stress, depression or physical pain. This practice is not restricted to negative emotion; many people have been known to cry when extremely happy or when they are laughing. In humans, emotional tears can be accompanied by reddening of the face and sobbing-sough-like, convulsive breathing, sometimes involving spasms of the whole upper body.

Sjortgen's syndrome: Also called dry eye syndrome is caused when the tear glands are damaged and produce an inadequate amount of tears. This also affects saliva glands.


In human, the tear film coating the eye has three distinct layers, from the most outer surface:

1.         The lipid layer contains oils secreted by the meibomain glands. The outer-most layer of the tear film, it coats the aqueous layer to provide a hydrophobic barrier that retards evaporation and prevents tears spilling onto the check.

2.       The aqueous layer contains water and other substances such as proteins (e.g. tear lipocalin, lactoferrin, lysozyme and lacritin) secreted by the glands of kraus and wolfring and the lacrimal glands. The aqueous layer serves to promote spreading of the tear film, control of infectious agents and osmotic regulation.

3.       The mucous layer contains mucin secreted by the conjunctival goblet cells. The inner­most layer of the tear film, it coats the cornea to provide a hydrophobic layer that allows for ever distribution of the tear film, as well as mucus covering of the cornea epithelium to prevent abrasion.

Analysis of secretions in tears

Sodium in tears is about equal to that in plasma and has been found to correlate with it, suggesting a passive secretion into the tears. Potassium, with an average value of about 20 mmol/1 is much higher than the corresponding plasma concentration of about 5 mmol/I. This indicates an active secretion into the tears", (van Haeringen 1981:92)

The manganese concentration of emotional tears (25.2 ± 6.6 mg/ml) was not significantly different from that of irritant-induced tears (34.2 ± 8.8 mg/ml) obtained from the same healthy female subjects. (Frey et al. 1981:564). The manganese concentration of emotional tears from women exceeded that of serum (0.98 ± 0.09 mg/ml) obtained from the same subjects by about 30-fold. (Frey et al. 1981:564)

Paired samples from 25 women also showed that the protein concentration of emotional tears was 24% greater than that of irritant-induced tears. "We found a higher protein concentration for emotional tears from men as well, although we obtained paired samples from only four subjects".

The only higher concentrations that Frey and his colleagues found being excreted in emotional tears as contrasted to irritant-induced tears were higher concentrations of proteins. Frey feels that the process of crying helps in emotional release through eliminating substances such as prolactin, ACTH, Leucine-Enkephalin, and manganese. He also feels that the levels of prolactin in one's system provide a threshold effect, affecting how easily emotional tears are shed in response to a given stimulus. This, he thinks, accounts for his findings that women "shed tears more often and more readily than men". Adult women typically have much higher levels of prolactin than adult males, and these levels also rise during pregnancy, another period when emotional tears are known to be more easily shed.


Crying is not grief; it is a way of getting over your grief. Trembling isn't the same as fear. Rather it is part of a letting go of fear. In the same manner, embarrassed laughter, yawning, and even rapid, excited talking are parts of the healing process that get mistaken for symptoms of the problem. The simplest scientific explanations tend to link crying and tears to the earliest development of human infants, who use this form of emotional expression so that needs will be met and comfort will be offered. In their most basic form, tears triggered by emotional responses are a very visible form of communication that aren't easily overlooked. Some theories indicate that adult humans use crying and tears for similar though more sophisticated purposes as infants, both to communicated emotion and to ask for comfort.



Holy Black Stone & Lawrence of Arabia

Beside million of Muslims, some of the non-Muslims had seen and touched the holy black stone (most of them changed their names and entered in khana ka 'aba as pilgrims in Muslim dress (ahram) (See also summary in Urdu). One of them was Thomas E. Lawrence

British archaeological scholar, adventure, military strategist, and the writer of the "seven pillars of wisdom (1927)" T.E. Lawrence (1888-1935) was better known in his lifetime as Lawrence of Arabia because of the dashing role he played in helping the Arabs against the Turks during world war-I.

Lawrence was born in Tremadoc, Caernarvonshire, Wales, the illegitimate son of Thomas Chapman. His father left his wife, who had refused to allow a divorce. He set up a new home with Sarah Junner, a woman who had been governess in his household. Lawrence was the third son of this union. On May 13, 1935, Lawrence was in an motorcycle accident near his home. He died at Bovington Camp Hospital without regaining consciousness on May 19.

The seven pillars of wisdom: A triumph was first published in a limited edition, with illustrations by Eric Kennington. A shortened, popular version, Revolt in the Desert, appeared in 1927. The work has been praised as a literary masterpiece and condemned as an example of monstrous self-aggrandizement.

Some movies and plays have been made on T.E. Lawrence's lifetime struggle against Turks. One of them which was popularized in the masses was "Lawrence of Arabia" which got 1962 academy award. The film star Peter O'toole was in the title role. It was directed by David Lean from a script by Robert Bolt and Michael Wilson.

Being stationed in Saudi Arabia, T.E. Lawrence had the chance to visit khana ka'aba seeing and touching the holy relics. One of these was holy black stone. As mentioned his autobiography and also shown in the movies made on his life, he had touched and kissed the holy stone. Giving details of his entrance in khana ka'aba, he mentioned that he hided a magnifying glass in his dress (most probably ahram which is generally worn by Muslims during pilgrimage or umra and very tactfully examined the surface of holy stone with the help of the magnifying glass. Later on he confirmed that this relics was granite rock. It is abundantly found at top of the mountain around Mecca. It is an igneous rock generally dark gray in color. It is very resistance to weathering and erosion and is composed of mainly quartz, feldspars and mica.

Please report any broken links to Webmaster
Copyright © 1988-2012 All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer

free web tracker