Ka'aba (the)

Q313 :You have mentioned in the past that we kiss the Black Stone only because the Prophet kissed it. There is another place, Rukn Al-Yamani, which some people kiss when they do the tawaf. Could you please explain the background for their doing so and what is the proper ruling concerning that. May I also ask what is the proper name of the semicircular place next to the Ka'aba where many people offer prayers?

A313 : You may realize that the Ka'aba was rebuilt by Quraish shortly before the beginning of Islamic revelations, after its foundation had weakened due to floods. The story is well known of how the Makkah chiefs disputed among themselves as to who of them had the right to replace the Black Stone. Eventually, they agreed to arbitration, appointing the first man to enter by a certain door to be the arbiter. It was Muhammad (peace be upon him), who had not yet received his revelations, who entered and they all agreed that he should arbitrate on their dispute. His ruling was pleasing to everyone. He called for a dress to be placed on the floor, and he placed the Black Stone on it, asking each tribe to appoint a representative. All these representatives lifted the dress with the Black Stone in it until they brought it very close to its position, when Muhammad (peace be upon him) took over and placed it in its correct position. The Ka'aba was rebuilt several times, whenever its structure showed need for strengthening or rebuilding. Abdullah ibn Az-Zubair and Abdulmalik ibn Marwan, were two people, close to the time of the Prophet, who rebuilt it. It is believed that the semicircle area next to the Ka'aba was originally part of it. It is reported that Abdullah ibn Az-Zubair, a companion of the Prophet, included that semicircle in the building of the Ka'aba, but then the semicircle was kept out of it and was rebuilt again by Abdulmalik who belonged to the generation of successors to the companions of the Prophet. It is, indeed, because this semicircle was originally a part of the Ka'aba that we do tawaf outside it, rather than inside. However, the Ka'aba was originally of rectangular shape. The exact position of the two corners on the side of the semicircle is not known now for certain. However, we are absolutely certain that the other two corners, are in the original place when Ibrahim built it. As I have mentioned earlier, we kiss the Black Stone because the Prophet kissed it. We do not kiss Rukn Al-Yamani, because the Prophet did not kiss it. It is recommended, however, to touch it with one's hands and offer a supplication. The preferred supplication is: "My Lord, forgive me and have mercy on me." The semicircle area is best known by the name of Hijr Ismail. Another name of it is Al-Hateem. Both names are used in Arabic literature.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )