Viewing The Black Stone
By James Donahue
Of the world’s
surviving religious monuments, the Black Stone of Mecca in the Kabah, or simple square structure in the center court of the
Great Mosque, Hasjidul Haram, at the heart of the city, is perhaps the most significant.
Carefully protected and
concealed, this polished black egg-shaped stone, about two feet in width and embedded in a metal casing, is among the
most cherished of the monuments within the Moslem faith. Shrouded in mystery, it is said to have been placed there by Abraham
as a reminder of the great covenant after he fled Ur. Some
say the stone dates back to Adam.
Legend has it that the
stone was originally a pure and even radiant white, but that it has turned black over the years as it has absorbed the sins
Also to be found at the
site, in front of the Kabah, is another rock where the footprints of Abraham are said to be preserved.
The Kabah itself is beautifully
simple in its design. It is a square structure, about 13 meters in height, which rests on a marble slab. Much of the time
the Kabah is draped in black material that makes it appear as a monolith. It is said that the structure is supported by three
pillars. The interior surface is made of unpolished stone.
All Moslems are expected
to make a pilgrimage to Mecca, the birthplace of Mohammad,
at least once in their lifetime. That pilgrimage, known as the Hajj, culminates in a visit to the Kabah where each visitor
circles the structure seven times, trying to get close enough to the Black Stone to kiss it.
Only Moslems are allowed
to visit this sacred place, or even enter the City of Mecca.
Donahue said the Black
Stone rests at the temple.
He said he thought the stone to be a meteorite. It reminds you of the stars
. . . where we came from. This is something we are supposed to remember. The calling to Mecca
is a call to the covenant. This is an intensely important part of the spiritual journey.”
Donahue said Abraham
left Ur because the covenant was broken.
This covenant represents
the relationship between the Creator and that which is created. Knowing this relationship creates balance. In order to know
this relationship one must know thyself, one's place in the Universe, why we are here and where we should be in the future.
Those pilgrims that travel
to Mecca and experience this symbolic journey to the Black Stone are reminded of the Covenant outside of normal awareness.
The ritualistic journey
to Mecca is designed to remind the pilgrim of who he is, where he comes from, why he is here and where he must be in the future
and what relationship he has with his creator. This can be done most efficiently through ritual. Thus the kissing of the black
stone near the end of the journey signifies a favorable condition for the pilgrim emersed within the final hour of judgment.
Abraham left Ur because the people overpopulated and stripped the forests of the
trees, polluted the ground and water and turned the area from a rich, plush rainforest into a desert. It was a bitter lesson
and one that he took with him as he traveled.
This is part of the imbalance
that can occur if we don't know who we are.
What happened at Ur was a microcosm in comparison to the events that have occurred globally.
Not only have we broken our covenant with the Mother Earth, we did it so completely that our planet is experiencing a premature
death. Unlike Abraham, we have no place left to run.
The violent weather,
the volcanic eruptions, the earthquakes and impulsive and deadly behavior on the part of many humans are all part of the death
of the Earth. We are all living on a dying Earth because we forgot who we are and we forgot to keep the covenant.