Robes and Fabrics -As-Samadiyah الصمدية
Decoration of the Kiswa Kaaba (Covering of the Kaaba)
Size: 95 x 95 cm
Loaned by Dr. Nadeem Elyas and exhibited at the Islamic Centre of Vienna
The Kiswa Kaaba or Covering of the Kaaba is considered one of the most exquisite pieces of Islamic art. It is made of approximately 670 kilograms of pure white silk and 150 kg of gold and silver. The 658-square metre long black dyed cloth is engraved with verses from the Quran and richly embroidered with gold and silver threads, especially on the belt and the Kaaba door curtain.
Today, the Kaaba covering manufactured at the factory of Kiswa at Ummal-Joud, a suburb of Mekka, is changed each year on the 10th of Dhul Hijjah, coinciding with the Hajj. The old Kiswa is cut into pieces and gifted to leaders of Muslim countries, diplomats or major institutions around the world. One such rare piece, loaned by Dr. Nadeem Elyas, was exhibited at the Islamic Center of Vienna.
This piece, belonging to the Kaaba covering of the year 2004, and exhibited in Europe for the first time, shows embroidered inscriptions reading in the centre:
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In the name of Allah, the most Gracious, the most Merciful
And on the outside ring Sura 112 Al-Ikhlas (Sincerity):
قُل هُوَ ٱللَّهُ أَحَدٌ
لَم يَلِد وَلَم يُولَد
7وَلَم يَكُن لَّهُ ۥ ڪُفُوًا أَحَدٌ
Say: He is Allah, the One!
Allah, the eternally Besought of all!
He begetteth not nor was begotten.
And there is none comparable unto Him.
Translation: Muhammad Marmaduke William Pickthall, The Meaning of the Glorious Qur'an