Believers moving around the black stone in Kaaba, wanting to kiss it
Due to the large crowd they can't kiss it, so thy are touching its wall
Idol worship has been denounced in Islam on the grounds that God is formless, and thus he cannot be living in stones. This belief itself makes the power of god limited, that he can't take a form. Further, it means that god is not present in any object around us. On the other hand, some philosophies believe that god exists in every single thing around us, big or small. Rather, nothing exists but god. Let's for the arguments sake agree that God can't take a form, and idol worship is wrong. Innumerable temples have been broken on this pretext, numerous idols vandalized and desecrated. If the hatred of idol would be running so deep, one would expect at least consistency in this belief. So recently when I found out about the black stone, the pilgrimage to Kabba and the rituals to be followed there, I was dumbstruck at the hypocrisy of it! Let me present you the relevant facts, and you can judge for yourself how much Idol worshiping the Islamists themselves are.
Kaaba is the most sacred place according Islam. One is expected to go to Kabba in his lifetime if he can afford it, and is 1 of the 5 pillars of Islam. But non-believers do not know much about the place. What exactly is one expected to do in Kabba?
At the heart of Kaaba lies nothing but a black stone. People on the Haj pilgrimage are required to go round the stone 7 times, and if the crowd permits, they are required to kiss the stone. But their belief mentions that only God is to be respected and loved. Why this generosity to a mere stone? Going all the way from the world to kiss a mere stone, can there be a stronger form of worship? Worship is a form of extreme reverence, when you associate something holy to the object of worship. If idol worship is blasphemous, so is kissing a mere stone. You cannot have one criteria for yourself and a different one for others.
I tried to find the reasons and defense for this idol ritual. Look for yourself and judge it on its merits.
I need not say much about the above words. Let us assume they are true. If a stone can have such a power and could be worthy of reverence, then so could be other stones as well. How is the idol worship by others wrong then?
A few others have provided these justifications for this practise :
Muslims believe that the Stone's role in hajj is simply representative and symbolic in nature, not related to belief in the stone itself as having any special power. A hadith records that, when the second Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab(580-644) came to kiss the Stone, he said in front of all assembled: "No doubt, I know that you are a stone and can neither harm anyone nor benefit anyone. Had I not seen Allah's Messenger [Muhammad] kissing you, I would not have kissed you." Most Muslims follow the example of Umar:they pay their respects to the Stone in a spirit of trust in Muhammad, not with any inherent belief in the Stone. This, however, does not indicate their disrespect to the Black Stone, but their belief that harm and benefit are in the hands of God, and nothing else. Muhammad Labib al-Batanuni, writing in 1911, commented that the pre-Islamic practice of venerating stones (including the Black Stone) arose not because such stones are "sacred for their own sake, but because of their relation to something holy and respected." (wiki)
All idol worship is representative and symbolic in nature. The idol makes us remember the aspect of god we revere. Just like a piece of paper with a photograph of our mother makes us remember our mother, similarly, an idol makes us remember the associated god with it. We pay the respect to the idol in a spirit of trust and worship to the god. The idol makes a devotee remember the god, and hence is an object of veneration. We are after all, what we believe.
Thus I completely fail to see the difference between idol worship as done by the muslims and by the non muslims. If one is consistent, it is impossible to justify kissing your own stones, and denouncing others for doing the same. It is nothing but the worst form of hypocrisy, and it makes them the worst form of idol worshipers.
All the religions have always thrived on symbols. You cant imagine about an unseen god without symbols. Muhammad is as much a symbol as much as are idols. People believe in Allah because they believe in Muhammad. Take away this belief or symbolism, and you will be left with nothing to believe to, and the religion will crumble.
If someone gives me a logical explanation that why kissing one stone is correct but not the other ones, I would be very happy to accept it. I would be waiting for such a Islamic scholar for a reply. Most of the people are completely clueless about their beliefs and just parrot a few memorized lines. I hope they apply their own mind and see the bizarre things they have been believing in with the hope of securing a position in heaven.