200-year-old Ka’aba shroud goes on display in UAE

August 7th, 2011 - 10:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Abu Dhabi, Aug 7 (IANS/WAM) The Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) has brought a 200-year-old Kiswah, the shroud that covers the Ka’aba in Mecca, to the country to mark the holy month of Ramadan this year, it was announced Sunday.

The Kiswah, one of the most sacred Islamic artefacts, is open to public viewing at the dome in the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi this month.

Muslim pilgrims from across the globe visit Mecca in Saudi Arabia during Hajj.

Tirad Mahmoud, CEO of ADIB, said: “It is a great honour to be able to present this Kiswah to people of the UAE. We are delighted to serve our community during the holy month and allow them to view a piece of our history.”

This initiative aims to educate the UAE community about Islamic art and showcases Islamic history.

The displayed Kiswah was commissioned by Sultan Selim III (1789-1807 AD), in the Hijri year 1219 (1804-05 AD), and is historically important as it is the last Kiswah to be produced in the colourful and rich design of the imperial Ottoman Turks before a conservative style was adopted.

Muslims began draping the Ka’aba, the holiest site among the Muslims, in the 9th Hijri year (630 AD). This continues to date with the Kiswah being replaced every year.

It was customary to change the Kiswa, Hizam, and Burqa annually on the 25th of the month of Dhu’l Qa’da. The plain black cloth was cut up in pieces and given as presents to dignitaries performing the annual pilgrimage.

–IANS/WAM
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