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The Blessed Kiswah (Ghilaf Shareef) & Islamic Relics: Questions & Answers

Purchase a Blessed Kiswah (Ghilaf Shareef) From Rumi's Garden, an online Islamic store
 
Purchase Islamic relics, relics replicas, art & crafts from Rumi's Garden.

 

Rumi’s Garden, an Islamic store, makes available to the public, sacred Islamic relics (tabarukat) and relic replicas such as the Kiswah (Ghilaf), the Rawdah carpet (from Masjid an-Nabawi in Medina), and the Blessed Footprint & Handprint of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. It is important to mention that all the sacred relics we have come in a variety of price ranges, starting as low as £50 GBP for a large pendant containing an authentic Blessed Kiswah. Our aim is really to spread these beautiful relics to as many households as possible.
 
By the grace of God, Rumi’s Garden has received immense blessings and endorsements from various Islamic figures including the mashayakh of  the Shadhili, Naqshbandi, Ba'Alawi, Chishtī, Tijaniyya and Qadiri orders. We are also indebted to the Sayyids of the House of Al-Naqib Al-Refa'i family of Basra and Kuwait and the Islamic Antiquities Museum of Kuwait, the later that does all our authentication checks.
 
Furthermore, Shaykh al-Azhar, Shaykh Ahmed el-Tayeb, and the former Mufti of Egypt, Shaykh Ali Gomaa, have given their kind approval and commendation to spread the Blessed Footprint of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ as far and wide as we can. For this reason, it has become a 0% profit item, and whenever you buy a Blessed Footprint package - that includes the bronze Footprint replica, a box made by Syrian refugees, amber incense and roses - an exact copy is donated to a mosque, a zawiya/ dargah, an Islamic university, a madrassah or an orphanage.
 
Replica of Blessed Footprint of Prophet Muhammad, donated by Rumi's Garden, to an orphanage in Indonesia.
 
Replica of Blessed Footprint of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ donated to an orphanage in Indonesia. 50,000 people came to celebrate the arrival of the Blessed Footprint. You can purchase a replica at here. A 0% interest installment plan is also available.

 
With our experiences, Rumi’s Garden has encountered many questions surrounding Sacred Relics, most often because there is very little accessible information about these blessed items. We therefore hope to further answer a few of these questions in forthcoming articles. Older articles that are available here
  
 

6 Question About the Blessed Kiswah & Islamic Relics

  

Question 1: Is is spiritual benefits to becoming a caretaker of a sacred relic such as Blessed Kiswah or Prophet’s ﷺ Footprint?

 
In an interpretation of Rumi, Coleman barks writes:

You've no idea how hard I've looked for a gift to bring You.
Nothing seemed right.
What's the point of bringing gold to the gold mine, or water to the Ocean.
Everything I came up with was like taking spices to the Orient.
It's no good giving my heart and my soul because you already have these
So, I've brought you a mirror.
Look at yourself and remember me.

(Rumi)

We always have to keep in sight that there is no god but God and that the aim of any spiritual seeker, essentially, is to put the ego to sleep and to awaken the immortal soul. We must withdraw our hearts and minds from the surface movement of images and tendencies which we constantly find ourselves in; restlessness, capriciousness, whimsicalness; fancifulness; inconsistency, confusion, indecisiveness, uncontrollability.

With the sleeping of our ego, the depths of our being must be awakened in the consciousness of God. Like a mirror, to whatever capacity God allows, we must reflect something of God's Divine attributes.

This awakening can only happen on the condition that we remember God much. Through this remembrance, the ego sleeps turning it into a ‘nothingness’. This is how we can comprehend a more in-depth meaning of the Shahada, not simply with our minds, but with our hearts.

So what supports can we have to remember God much? As Muslims, it is a major assistance to our faith to create an environment in our homes that allows us to remember God and His Beloved Prophet ﷺ wherever we look; a Holy Quran, a prayer mat, a calligraphy piece, a taweez. When our eyes gaze at these items, our minds are often transported, even for a moment without realizing it, to the remembrance of Him.  

The case of the Blessed Kiswah or any other relic/ relic replica, can be such an effective support. Not only does it serve as a simple reminder, but it can existentially transport our hearts and mind into the presence of God since it is such a powerful symbol that contains so much barakah (Blessings placed into it by God).
 
Donations of relics made to Mashaykh including the Blessed Kiswah and the Blessed Footprint. Purchase these beautiful relics from www.RumisGarden.co.uk.
 
Donations of relics made to Mashaykh including the Blessed Kiswah and the Blessed Footprint. Purchase these beautiful relics from www.RumisGarden.co.uk.
 

Question 2: Has the Holy Ka’aba Kiswah always been made in Saudi Arabia?


No! The Holy Ka’aba Kiswah started to be made in Saudi Arabia in 1926 for a brief period of time and then the Kingdom resumed making it in 1962.

For the most part, historically, the Holy Ka’aba Kiswah was most often made in Egypt although there had been exceptions to this rule because of political turmoil. The Kiswah was brought from Egypt to Mecca via caravan and there was much celebration surrounding this event.

The Holy Ka’aba kiswah were also rarely made in Baghdad, Cairo, Istanbul and Yemen amongst other places.
 
Left: The Blessed Kiswah Caravan Celebration from Egypt. Right: A 1 x 1 meter Blessed Kiswah sold at Rumi's Garden. The Kiswah piece is unwashed and still has the dust of Mecca on it. Purchase from www.RumisGarden.co.uk. A 0% installment plan is available.
  
Left: The Blessed Kiswah Caravan Celebration from Egypt. Right: A 1 x 1 meter Blessed Kiswah sold at Rumi's Garden. The Kiswah piece is unwashed and still has the dust of Mecca on it. Purchase from www.RumisGarden.co.uk. A 0% installment plan is available.

 

Question 3: What is a Qandeel?


A qandeel is the golden embroidered calligraphy on the Holy Ka'aba that is a rectangle. There are several different Qandeels on the Holy Ka’aba all written in Thuluth script.

The first reads 'Ya Rahman, Ya Raheem' which translates to 'O the Infinitely Good, O the Ever-Merciful’. The second reads ‘'Ya Hayyu Ya Qayyum' which translates to 'O Living, O Sustaining'. The fourth reads ‘Allah Akbar' which translates to 'Allah is Greater'. All these pieces are approximately 55 x 65 cm.

The last qandeel is larger than the rest. It reads 'al hamdu l'Allah Rab al-alamein' which translates to 'Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds'. Its dimensions are 60 x 75 cm and is more intricate in design.

    

Question 4: How many Ka’aba Belts are there on the Holy Ka’aba? What are they made of?

 

The embroidered belt pieces are made of plain black silk, embroidered with silver threads plated with gold. There are 16 belts in total; 4 on each side of the Holy Ka’aba. The belt that surround the Ka’aba is approximately 47 meters long and 95 cm wide. The belt is attached to the Holy Ka’aba 9 meters from the ground.

The contemporary Ka’aba belts contain Quranic verses written in beautiful Thuluth script. These verses were written by the master calligrapher Shaykh Abdul Rahman Amin Bukhary. He was the oldest workman to have participated in the making of Ka’aba covering since the era of King Abdul Aziz al-Saud.

 

Question 4: How many Ka’aba Belts are there on the Holy Ka’aba? What are they made of?

 

The embroidered belt pieces are made of plain black silk, embroidered with silver threads plated with gold. There are 16 belts in total; 4 on each side of the Holy Ka’aba. The belt that surround the Ka’aba is approximately 47 meters long and 95 cm wide. The belt is attached to the Holy Ka’aba 9 meters from the ground.

The contemporary Ka’aba belts contain Quranic verses written in beautiful Thuluth script. These verses were written by the master calligrapher Shaykh Abdul Rahman Amin Bukhary. He was the oldest workman to have participated in the making of Ka’aba covering since the era of King Abdul Aziz al-Saud.
   
www.Rumisgarden.co.uk
  

Question 5: Do replicas of the Blessed Kiswah of the Holy Ka’aba and the Holy Chamber of the Prophet ﷺ exist? What about replicas of Qandeels and the Samadiyya?

  
Yes, they do! They are most commonly made in Pakistan, India, Egypt and Turkey.
Some of the makers of these replica Kiswahs, such as those made in Egypt, are very clear that what they make are not authentic Kiswahs. However, some ‘collectors’ have abused these replicas by selling them to people at extortionate prices on the basis of them being real. Unfortunately, there is much corruption in the field of Islamic relics. To understand the extent of the corruption, only 4 Samadiyyas exist on the Holy Ka’aba every year. However, hundreds are sold as authentic on the internet and through personal dealings.
 
One tactic that these crooks use, is to send the inquiring client authentic photos of real Kiswahs, Qandeels and Samadiyyas, and then send a replica instead. We personally have caught quite a few sellers who use Rumi’s Garden photos to sell their own replica stock.
 
To a trained eye, the difference between an authentic Kiswah and a replica is extremely obvious and differences can be seen from design - although minor design changes happen once in a while - and the material used to make the Kiswah piece. For one not trained, this is more difficult but what can easily be spotted in quality of stitch-work.
 
I will write more about the authenticity process in future articles, but the bottom line is that the best checks for authenticity are done by an authentication service in qualified museums (not auction houses or home museums). Some home museums do burn tests (I write about this here), but this is not a full-proof test and it is not respectful way to handle a Kiswah.

       

Al hamdu l'Allah rab al-alamein qandeel sold at Rumi's Garden

Left: The flawless stitching of the embroidery is a major factor in differentiating a replica from an authentic Qandeel. Here is an example of one of our authentic Qandeels. Right: Al hamdu l'Allah rab al-alamein qandeel is now available at Rumi's Garden. 

 

Question 6: What is the Kiswah al-Saadat?

   


The Kiswah al-Saadat, translates to ‘The Curtain of Bliss’ and is located in the Hujra al-Nabawi (Chamber of the Holy Prophet ﷺ) in the Blessed Mosque of Medina.
 
The curtain surrounds the walls of the graves of our Beloved Prophet ﷺ, Sayidna Abu Bakr and Sayidna Umar, who are buried beside him ﷺ.
 
The curtain consists of two halves that are green and white in design. It is made up of a series of panels, set side by side, that each approximately measure approximately 33 x 86 cm. The panels are embroidered and not printed on like many of its replicas.
 
On the curtain closest to the peephole, where one can look into the Blessed Chamber, are 2 red belts embroidered with silver gold plated thread. The one that is most visible is the the Shahadah (There is no god but God, and Muhammad is His Apostle). Beside it is another belt which states the month of Rajjab which is when the curtain is placed inside the Blessed Tomb. This is the main belt of the Holy Chamber and the one closest to the opening where the entrance is to the actual burial site.
 
As for the other half of the curtain, they contain the names of the Prophet ﷺ, Sayidna Abu Bakr and Sayidna Umar in this respective order as they are buried.
The belts measure 180 x 80 cm.
 
The last belt is a long belt on the top of the curtain which contains Quranic verses.
    
Shahada belt from the Blessed Chamber of Prophet Muhammad and Kiswah pendant sold at Rumi's Garden
  
Left: Shahada belt from the Blessed Chamber of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ recently sold to a caretaker of a mosque in Canada. Right: Large Blessed Kiswah pendant, containing an authentic piece of the Kiswah al-Saadat, sold at Rumi's Garden.
       

Question 6: Is it not good to always look at a sacred relic or relic replica such as the Blessed Footprint of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ?

  
It is only natural for people to get caught up on the issue of adab (manners & etiquette) towards a relic since these objects are sacred and give us a perfume of the barakah.

from where they came. However, this can become greatly exaggerated and common sense should be involved.I would just suggest that since relics and relic replicas are extremely powerful objects, that it may be best to keep in a box, or a prayer area, and not have them constantly be in sight. The reason for this is that psychologically, when a person consistently sees something she/ he begin to not notice it and take it for granted. This said, a relic is meant to be loved and enjoyed. It should be seen, touched and smelled. Most importantly it should remind one of God and His Beloved Prophet  ﷺ.When you see the relic you are a caretaker of, involve ritual! Make it a point for your household to read the Fatiha or salawat. Gather the family around it and tell stories of our Beloved Prophet ﷺ. Give it the respect it deserves.The Blessed Footprint, available at Rumi’s Garden, comes with a beautiful box that desperate refugees have created for your enjoyment. Make it a point to clean the bronze Footprint with water (even Zamzam) and put some perfume oil on it. Clean and polish the box.

Also included in your box-set are dried roses which the Prophet ﷺ dearly loved. Depending on the humidity in your area, change the dried rose petals every few months.Remember God judges us by our intentions.
  
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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! 

 

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