The Making of Kiswa

The Making of Kiswa

Throughout Islamic history, it has been considered a great honor to be able to perform a service to the Ka`bah, in the Sacred Mosque in Makkah. One of these services, performed by both kings and commoners, is to be able to contribute towards the covering of the Ka’bah with the Kiswa – its drape. Helping to do this can be done in many ways: from funding the making of the Kiswa to sewing it.

Kiswa

The Kiswa is made of pure natural silk dyed in black. The cloth is fourteen meters high. On the top third of the cloth, there is the Kiswa belt which is ninety-five centimeters wide and fourty five meters long. It consists of sixteen pieces and surrounds the Kiswa from all sides. The belt is embroidered with protruding designs that are enameled with silver threads covered with gold. Some Quranic verses are written on it in Ath-Thuluth style of Arabic calligraphy.

Under the belt, at each corner of the Ka’aba, Surah of Ikhlas (Purity of Faith) is written inside a circle surrounded by a square shape of Islamic embellishment. At the same height, also under the belt, there are six verses of the Holy Quran. Each of these verses is written in a separate frame. On the areas separating these frames there is a shape of a lamp on which either of the following Phrases is written:”O’ you The Alive The Self Subsisting”. “The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful”, or “Praise be to Allah”. All that is written under the belt is in Ath- Thuluth style of handwriting, embroidered in protruding designs and interwoven with silver threads covered with gold. These designs were introduced during the Saudi reign. Each separate side of the Ka’aba has certain Quranic verses written on it. The four sides are: the side of Al-Multazam, the side of Al Hijr, the side facing the Door of Abraham, and the side between the Two Corners.

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Source: Islamic-Arts

 

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