By Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy upon him)
Question: What is the ruling on clinging on to the Ka’bah, wiping the face and cheeks on it, licking it with the tongue, and wiping it with the hands then rubbing on the chest?
Answer: This is an inappropriate Bid’ah (innovation) and it is close to complete forbiddance because it is not reported from the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) (that he did this), and the purpose of the reports (from the Sunnah) in the likes of this matter, is to adhere to what has been reported.
It is not reported from the Sunnah for people to place their chest, cheeks and hands on the Ka’bah: (whether that is) between the black stone and the door (of the Ka’bah) or any of the sides of the Ka’bah, as many ignorant pilgrims do nowadays. As for licking with the tongue, and wiping the Ka’bah, and rubbing one’s chest or body, then this is an innovation in all cases, as this was not reported from the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) .
In regards to this, I would like to point out to the pilgrims that the purpose of wiping the black stone and the Yemeni corner, is an act of worship of Allaah, and not an act of seeking blessings, as opposed to what many ignorant people perceive, as they perceive the purpose to seek blessings. For this reason, you see some of them wiping the Yemeni corner or the black stone, then wiping their hands over their chests, or over their faces, or on the head and chest of their child. This is not legislated, rather it is a belief that has no foundation (in Islam), for there is a difference between worship and seeking blessings.
And the evidence that the purpose is for pure worship and not to seek blessings, is that Umer (may Allaah be pleased with him) said, when he came to the black stone:
“I know that you are just a stone, you do not harm nor do you benefit, and had I not seen the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) kiss you, I would not have kissed you.” (Bukhaari and Muslim)
In relation to this, I would also like to make clear that which many ignorant people do: such as wiping all the walls and corners of the Ka’bah, for all this has no foundation in the Sunnah, and it is a Bid’ah (innovation) that is warned against.
‘Abdullaah Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) saw Mu’aawiyah (may Allaah be pleased with him) touching and kissing all the corners of the Ka’bah, so he rebuked him. Mu’awiyah said to him: “There is nothing from the house (of Allaah) that is abandoned” (i.e. there is nothing wrong with his actions). So Ibn ‘Abbaas responded by saying:
- “There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allaah an excellent example.” (Ahzaab:21)
- “Verily, I saw the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) touch the Yemeni corner (only).”
So Mu’aawiyah accepted his statement.
(May Allaah be pleased with them both.)
This gives evidence that the touching of the Ka’bah or worshiping Allaah by wiping it’s corners, it is nothing but worship thus it is compulsory that it is in accordance to only what the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) did.
(Fataawaa Noor ‘ala ad-Darb of Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen, Book of ‘Aqeedah: Fatwa 845)
(Translation and additional comments by Ibn Hussain for Markazus-Sunnah Leicester, 1435)