Rumi’s Garden, founded as an online Islamic store, has been blessed to carry the Kiswah from the Holy Kaaba and the Holy Chamber of the Prophet ﷺ (Kiswah al-Saadat). It has been our aim, with the support of various Islamic scholars and collectors, to make the Kiswah available to as many potential caretakers as possible for safekeeping and in order to spread the barakah of these beautiful relics to communities all around the world.
For us, what is most important, is that people remember God - whether it be through these blessed relics or in any other way. For one person to mention the salawat upon looking at one of the blessed Kiswahs we offer, makes all our efforts worthwhile.
That said, we have found that there are many misconceptions about the blessed Kiswah. While many recognise the inherent barakah in it - bestowed by God - many questions arise concerning the history, its powers, its symbolism, how it is made and how to verify its authenticity.
Rumi's Garden partially donates Kiswahs and qandeels to The Virtues Tour in the UK.
Before delving into the above mentioned issues, let us define the term ‘Kiswah’. In Arabic kiswah means ‘a cloth made for covering’. The term now mainly applies to the textiles which cover the four walls of the Holy Ka’aba from top to bottom, although it can be commonly used to describe the Kiswah al-Saadat, which is the curtain inside the Holy Chamber of the Prophet in the Masjid an-Nabawi and the covering inside the Holy Ka’aba itself.
In a series of articles we will aim to cover various issues concerning the blessed Kiswah. Our starting point will be about the fascinating, and sometimes obscure, history of the Blessed Ka’aba kiswah.
16 Facts You Never Knew About the Holy Ka’aba Kiswah
۩ The covering of the Holy Ka’aba with a Kiswah predates Islam. It began with a ruler from Yemen, named Karb Ibn Asad, who while passing by Mecca with his army, brought along a huge woven textile which he presented to the caretakers of the Holy Ka’aba. During these early days, different tribes of Mecca would take turns to bring forth the larger covering of the Holy Kaaba. Various tribal leaders would also contribute to the Kiswah by using small cloth pieces to cover the walls of the sanctuary.
۩ During the reign of Umar ibn al-Khattab, once the Hajj pilgrimage was over, the blessed Kiswah was cut and distributed to pilgrims. The reason for this was threefold: 1. The pilgrims used the blessed Kiswah as shelter against the scorching heat of Mecca 2. It was given as a keepsake to remember their pilgrimage 3. It was given for its blessings (barakah); a barakah transferred by God, upon the cloth covering, because of its placement on one of the first sanctuary in the world initially built by Prophet Adam and then Prophet Ibrahim. For Adam, God had ordered him to build a holy site in the shape of a House in Heaven called Baitul Ma’amur; This is the heavenly house that contains the divine throne in which the angels circumambulate. This ritual, of the angels, is reenacted by pilgrims during the Hajj and symbolizes the pilgrims entry into the divine presence. As Muslims, we believe that Adam's Kaaba was destroyed by the neglect of believers and the flood, and according to the Quran (2:127) Abraham and his son, Ismail, rebuilt the holy house.
۩ The grandmother of Prophet Mohammed ﷺ had once offered a white Kiswah to cover the Holy Ka’aba. Prophet Mohammed ﷺ used Kiswah made of Yemeni cloth and the Companions of the Prophet ﷺ and Caliphs, Umar ibn al-Khattab and Uthman ibn Affan would cover the Holy Ka’aba with an Egyptian white cloth called Qubati. Haroon Al-Rasheed used a white blessed Kiswah as well.
۩ The Holy Ka’aba covers came in different colors during different periods of Islam. The 34th Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad, Caliph Al-Nasir li-Din Allah (reign from 1180-1225), first had the Holy Ka’aba covered with a green Kiswah, but later changed the it to a black covering starting in 1224. This is the starting date of the long tradition of the black blessed Kiswah.
۩ In 1923, the relationship between the Sheriff of Mecca and Egypt was fractured and Egypt called back the Kiswah that was made for the Holy Ka’aba although it had reached Jeddah at the time. In haste, the Istanbul Kiswa lying that was left in Medina previously was used. This incident and other from following year, had Ibn Saud use Kiswahs made in Iraq for the Holy Ka’aba.
ConclusionThe history of the Holy Ka'aba is a fascinating one. However, more importantly, the symbolism and meaning behind the veiled Ka'aba is what each of us as seekers aim to understand. It is the key to our whole spiritual life. As Nifari writes:
'Once you have seen me, unveiling and the veil will be equal. You will not stand in vision until you see my veil as vision and my vision as veil. There is a veil that is not unveiled, and an unveiling that is not veiled. The veil that is not unveiled is knowledge through me, and the unveiling that is not veiled is knowledge through me. No veil remains: Then I saw all the eyes gazing at his face, staring. They see him in everything through which he veils himself. He said to me: They see me, and I veil them through their vision of me from me.’
To visit Rumi's Garden online Islamic store click here.
We sell replicas of the Prophet Muhammads' (PBUH) blessed footprint, Kaaba kiswahs, kiswahs from the Prophet Muhammed's holy chamber in Medina, carpets from Riad al Jannah, bakhoor, incense burners, Muslim prayer beads and much more!