11 Incredible Facts Of The Kiswa That Very Few Know About
A story that goes back millennia.
The Kiswa of the Ka’aba holds a special place in the hearts of all Muslims; after all the cloth drapes the holiest Site in Islam. Here are a few things that many know about it.
1. It is still unclear on who was the first person to drape the Ka’aba with the Kiswa
Some suggest that it was Prophet Ismail (A.S.) well as others credit it to Adnan the great-grandfather of Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.)
2. It wasn’t always black.
Various colors were used during different periods of time including white, green and even red.
3. Later during the reign of Al-Nasir Eldin, the 34th Abbasid caliph, it was decided to use a black Kiswa.
This tradition has continued to this day.
4. Over the centuries the Kiswa came from many countries including Egypt, Yemen and Iraq.
Sometimes accompanied by ceremonial caravans.
5. In 1927, King Abdulaziz established a factory in Saudi Arabia to produce the Kiswa.
Initially, most of the craftsmen were brought from India.
6. However, in just 10 years the factory was closed down.
And, was subsequently opened after a long gap in 1962.
7. The Kiswa of today is made of 670 kg of high-quality silk.
Threads of gold and silver are hand embroidered on it, which weigh a whopping 120 kg
8. The whole manufacturing process takes around eight months.
And costs around SR 23 million.
9. It carries many inscriptions mostly written in the thuluth script.
These include verses and Surahs of the Quran.
10. While there are many apparent inscriptions on different parts of the Kiswa, if one looks closely enough they’ll even see that the black cover carries inscriptions.
These include “0′ Allah”, “There is no God but Allah” and “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah” amongst others.
11. As the Kiswa is replaced on a yearly basis, pieces of the old Kiswa are presented as gifts to certain organizations, countries and diplomats.
It was Caliph Umar (RA) who introduced the practice of cutting the Kiswa into pieces and distributing it amongst pilgrims.