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Correct Way of Making Istilām (Touching, Kissing or Gesturing) to the ‘Black Stone’ and ‘Yemenī Corner’ During Ṭawāf

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Mathabah.org
Answered by Shaykh Yūsuf Badāt


What is the correct way of making Istilām of the ‘Ḥajr al-Aswad’ and ‘Rukn al-Yamānīy’?


Jazākumullāh Khayr/ Thank you for your question.

Istilām of the Black Stone

Regarding the Black Stone, the pilgrim making ṭawāf (circumambulating) should do one of the below mentioned during each circuit, while facing it, in order of merit, what ever is easily possible. One should not be a means to crowd and or push people:

  • Touch and kiss it
  • Gesture with a hand-wave pointing at it, thereafter kiss the hands
  • Gesture or wave pointing at it, without kissing the hands afterwards
  • Point at it with some item (the item can be kissed but not necessary)

While doing istilām of the ‘Black Stone’, one should recite ‘takbīr’ [saying Allāh Akbar] and or ‘tahlīl’ [saying Lā Ilā ha Illallāh] or ‘Bismillāh Wallāh Akbar’ and or a similar dhikr (words of praise to the Almighty) or supplication.

Istilām of the Yemeni Corner

As far as the Yemeni Corner is concerned, the pilgrim should touch it during each circuit, if one can do so comfortably without crowding or pushing fellow pilgrims. There is no reliable prophetic evidence of kissing it neither to point at it from a distance if one is unable to touch it, even though few have recommended it.

While doing istilām of the ‘Yemeni Corner’ or passing it during the ṭawāf, one should recite,  “Rabbanā ātinā fī al-dunyā ḥasanatan wa  fī al akhirati ḥasanatan wa qinā adhāb al-nār”. (see Musnad Aḥmad and Abū Dāwūd)

“Indeed touching the Black Stone and the Yemeni Corner remove sin.” (Musnad Aḥmad)

Omar bin Khaṭṭāb (may Allāh be pleased with him) said,

“I saw Allāh’s Messenger (peace and blessings upon him) kissing the Black Stone.” (Saḥīḥ Muslim)

“The Messenger of Allāh (peace and blessings upon him) made istilām of the [Black] Stone.” (Saḥīḥ Muslim)

“O Omar, you are a strong man, do not crowd the Stone thereby inconveniencing the weak. If you do find space, make the istilām [by touching and kissing] otherwise face it and say, ‘Allāh Akbar and Lā Ilā ha Illallāh‘.” (Musnad Aḥmad and Bayhaqī)

When Ibn ‘Omar (may Allāh be pleased with him) made istilām he said.

Bismillāh Wallāh Akbar” (Bayhaqī, Ṭabrānī)

Ibn ‘Omar (may Allāh be pleased with him) would recite, “Allāhumma īmānan bika wa taṣdiqan bikitābika wa iṭṭiba’an li sunnati nabīyyika” thereafter he would recite ṣalawāt and make istilām. (AlWāqidi)

When ‘Alī would see crowds around the Black Stone, he would face in its direction and make takbīr. (Al-Talkhīṣ)

Imam Ibrāhīm Al Nakha’ie (may Allāh’s mercy be upon him) said, “Hands are raised in seven places, the beginning of ritual prayer, during the takbīr of qunūt in witr, in the two ‘Eīd prayers, at the istilām of the Stone, on Ṣafā and Marwah, at the gathering of ‘Arafah and at the two Jamarāt posts.” (Āthār Al-Sunan, Ṭahāwī)

Nāfi’ says, “I saw Ibn ‘Omar (may Allāh be pleased with him) make istilām with [the wave of] his hand thereafter he kissed his hand. He then said, “I have never left this practice since the time I observed the Messenger of Allāh doing this.” (Bukhārī and Muslim)

Abū al Ṭufayl (may Allāh be pleased with him) said,

“I saw the Messenger of Allāh making ṭawāf around the [Sacred] House. He made istilām of the Stone with a staff that was with him, thereafter kissed it.” (Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim)

Shaykh Zafar Uthmānī (may Allāh’s mercy be upon him) writes the following about how the istilām of the Black Stone is done from a distance,

“Face in its direction, recite the words of praise to God thereafter raise both hands up to the ears and say the takbīr. The outer part of the hands are to be in the direction of one’s face and the palms toward the Stone, pointed towards it. Kiss them after the pointing.” (I’elā Al Sunan, Al-Ghunyah)

And Allāh Knows Best

This answer was collected from Mathabah.org. It’s an Islamic educational institute based in Canada. The questions are generally answered by Sheikh Yusuf Badat and Sheikh Omar Subedar.

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