I know that I have an attachment to the Kaba, because when I’m away from it for too long, I miss it and yearn to look at it-despite the crowds. But I don’t think that I am doing justice to my invitation from Allah to be here.
When I see how others react to the Kaba-how they want to physically be up against it, touch it all the time, how they push and hurt each other to get to the black stone, I cannot fathom it at all. I don’t have that kind of emotional attachment to the Kaba.
The first time I got an opportunity to touch the Kaba one night, all I could do was touch it lightly and pull my hand back. I was too overwhelmed by the people around me who were hanging onto it, crying and pushing to rub themselves against it.
All I could do was stand there and think: “It’s only stone.” The way the hujaaj touch each item of significance and kiss their hands reminds me of the time when the Kaba was surrounded by idols and people were tawaafing around these idols. Not to say that these people are idol-worshippers, Astaghfirullah, no, but their actions are reminiscent of that kind of worship.
I cannot understand how people can hurt each other to kiss the black stone and to hang onto the multazam. Today at supper however, I got a glimpse into the emotion behind these acts: An old aunty who has travelled with me and whom I have likened to my mom, told me about her experience.
She managed to hang onto the door of the Kaba, touch the Multazam and make 2 rakaats right infront of the Kaba. She said that she made her niyaat to do these things when we first arrived at the Kaba and that she wanted to be close to Allah’s house as when will she get the opportunity to be back here?
This was such an emotional experience for her, one that I could not understand no matter how hard I tried. Maybe it had to do with her age, that this was the first time she was here and that she doubted she would be back. Maybe her love for Allah is so much stronger than mine or maybe these tangible objects made her belief stronger. I don’t know. All I know is that I would not do that, so there might be something wrong with me.
I have no wish to touch the black stone if it involves pushing up against men. I keep playing in my mind a narration of Bukhaari that states that as Aishah RA was making tawaaf, a woman said to her, “come kiss the Hajar Aswad, O Ummul Mu’mineen.” She refused to do so (because of the crowds). And: Abdullah bin Abbaas RA said to never crowd the Hajar Aswad, never harm anyone and never be the target of harm.
I guess it’s different for everyone. It’s true what people say: everyone has a different experience of the Kaba. We are all unique with regards to our relationship with Allah. While that aunty felt comfortable pushing her way to perform those acts that meant so much to her, I am not even comfortable making tawaaf so close up against men.
Despite our differences though, we are all here for the same reason: to seek the pleasure and forgiveness of The Almighty Allah, and that’s the beauty of Makkah.