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Relic and Relic Replicas

What are Islamic Relics?

Historically, throughout the Islamic world from Andalusia, North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa to Historic Syria, Iraq, Persia, and India the common veneration of the ‘traces’ (i.e. footprints and handprints) of the prophets and other holy persons became widespread.
 
Moreover, talismanic objects were an essential feature of medieval Islamic villages, towns, and cities. Many sites containing portable objects and talismanic designs associated with the Holy Ka'aba, prophets and holy men existed at places of worship, city gates, near sacred trees and springs. Teaching colleges for the religious sciences (madrasas) and mosques became repositories for sacred objects. Furthermore, the appearance of relics and relic replicas in mosques had caused a revival in these places of worship because crowds wanted to view the relic.
 
Of course, in Islam, the exemplar par excellence of sanctity is the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ whom Muslims seek to emulate in their daily lives. Objects associated with him were imbued with and came to embody the sacrality of his person. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ became the object of veneration precisely because his teachings, sayings and silent affirmations were meticulously preserved by his Companions, and transmitted to subsequent generations, who in turn preserved and employed his relics, seeking to derive blessings (baraka) from them even after his death.

Source with minor changes: Meri, Joseph W. “Relics of Piety and Power in Medieval Islam.” Past and Present 205:S5 (2010): 97-120
 

Is there evidence for Islamic relics in Islamic theology?

Ibn Sirin said: ‘I said to Ubida [as-Salmani], ‘‘I have some of the hair of the Prophet, may peace be upon him, which I got from Anas or Anas’s family’’.’ He replied, ‘If I had a single one of those hairs, it would be dearer to me than this world and everything in it.'
 
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Thumama related that Anas said, ‘Umm Sulaym used to spread a leather mat for the Prophet, peace be upon him, and he would have a midday nap on that mat at her home’. He said, ‘When he slept, [Umm Sulaym] would collect some of his sweat and hair and put it in a bottle and added it to perfume (sukk).’ [Thumama] said, ‘When Anas ibn Malik was dying, he told me to put some of that perfume in his embalming scent (hanut),  and that was done.’

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Abu Jafar Ahmad b. Abd al-Majid said: “I cut the pattern [of the Prophets sandal] for one of my students. [He came to me one day] and said: ‘Yesterday I saw a wonder from the baraka of this sandal. My wife was suffering from a pain which almost took her life. I placed the [image of the] sandal on the spot of her pain and said: O God, show me the blessing (baraka) of the owner of this sandal. God cured her instantly.’"

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During the 9th/15th century the pious itinerant scholar Muhammad b. al-Zaman (d. 897/1492) met up during his peregrinations with a holy man who gave him a strand of hair purportedly belonging to the Prophet, an impression of the Prophet’s footprint in rock, and a letter in the handwriting of Shurahbil b. Hasana, one of the scribes of inspiration who wrote down the Qur’an after its revelation to the Prophet. These relics were stored in a teaching college which Ibn al-Zaman founded in Cairo.

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The right and left sandals were housed in two teaching colleges in Damascus until Tamerlane’s siege of the city in 803/1401.61 Al-Nu6aym; mentions a second sandal in the Damaghiya teaching college which was endowed for the Shafie; and Hanafi; schools of Islamic jurisprudence in the year 638/1240 by the wife of a friend of the Ayyubid ruler of Damascus al- Malik al-Adil (r. 592/1196–615/1218). The teaching colleges did not compete with each other to acquire relics. Nevertheless possessing the relic conferred baraka and prestige to the teaching college or mosque that housed it, thus attracting pupils and scholars from faraway lands. The chronicles are vague about the sandals’ fate except that it is commonly believed that when the Mongol ruler Timur (Tamerlane) besieged Damascus in 803/1401 he carried away the right and left sandals.

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A contemporary of Ibn Rushayd, the Maliki jurisprudent, Abu Hafs al- Fakihani (d. 734/1334) visited the sandal seeking its baraka. The ahadath scholar Jamal al-Din Ibn Hadida al-Ansari narrates from a sufi disciple of al-Fakihani’s: 'I was with him. When he saw the most honoured sandal, he bared his head (hashasra an ra'sihi) and began to kiss it (yuqabbiluhu) and rub (yamragh) his face in it. His tears flowed. Then he recited:

‘If it were said to Layla’s Madman: Is it Layla and her relation
you wish, or the world and all that it contains?
is dearer to my soul and more healing of its ills!’
He would reply: Dust from the dirt of her sandals 
 

What is a relic replica?

Relic replicas are exact copies of an original relic. As an example, Rumi's Garden has been blessed to receive an exact mold taken from an original Footprint our Beloved's ﷺ in the Ayup Sultan mosque in Turkey. From that mold, we proceeded to create casts.  We state very clearly, within item descriptions, whether an item is a relic or a relic replica.
 

Why does Rumi’s Garden sell relics and relic replicas?

It's very hard for a regular Muslim to come across relics and relic replicas and if she/ he does, they are often extremely expensive.  

As an example, authentic kiswah are often given to diplomats and to people with connections either by Saudi royalty or The Kiswah Factory. When they are sold, they often cost thousands and prices are exaggerated by middle men.

Furthermore, there is often the problem of verifying authenticity. Commonly, replicas are sold as authentic pieces to a well-meaning buyers. Even when sellers have may have good intentions in terms of selling authentic kiswahs, because the appropriate checks are not taken, they are unable to guarantee authenticity.

It is with these two things in mind that Rumi's Garden aimed to tackle when it came to making relics and relic replicas available to the public.

We at Rumi’s Garden feel that this is a good opportunity for any Muslim to simply have something from our Beloved Prophet ﷺ or the Holy Kaaba at a fair price that is often much lower than prices set by middle men. We do this because we understand that these relics serve as a support for the remembrance of God. We are meticulous in doing our homework to ensure that each item sent to you is authentic and a reflection of the beautiful spirit of Islam.
 

Are the relics and relic replicas sold on Rumi's Garden authentic?

Yes! We receive all relics and relic replicas from leading Islamic collectors from around the world with an expertise in the field. We have established a broad network of reliable sources and we do not carry any relics that are fake or inauthentic. We realize that there are sellers in the market who scam people for extortionate amounts of money for fake products and this is something we are attempting to fight. It is our job to provide you with only authentic relics and replicas that true copies of the original.
 
Our process of authentication is the following:

۩ To begin with, we only receive relics from reliable collectors who specialize in collecting Islamic relics and replicas.

۩ We at Rumi's Garden personally examine the relics and replicas we receive. The sanad and background story of the relic/ replica is of interest to us.

۩ We communicate with experts in Islamic art and/ or textiles who contextualize the relics historically, via existing research and information, and compare it to the collectors sanad and backstory

۩ We communicate with experts who collect Islamic relics who compare the relics we have to their own collection and who can critically assess the relics.

۩ We send the relic to the The Islamic Antiquities Museum of Kuwait so that they can further investigate the relic and provide an in depth examination.
 

What kind of relics and relic replicas can be obtained from Rumi's Garden?

The relics on Rumi's Garden are limited to what has always been accessible to Muslims living in traditional Islamic societies.
 
۩ Blessed Kiswah from the Holy Ka'aba and the Chamber of Prophet Muhammad in Medina al-Munawara: In the time of Sayidna Umar Ibn al-Khatab, a piece of the kiswah was given as a memorabilia to pilgrims after they had completed their Hajj. Of course, this is no longer the case and now only a select few have access to the kiswah. Others who attempt to buy them, often pay extortionate amounts of money and they make these purchases without being certain where the kiswah is sourced from. However, as a service to those who are lovers of Mecca and Medina, we, with the permission of our Mashayakh, have made the kiswah available for the regular Muslim so it may support his or her faith. Our selection includes small and larger sized cutouts to fit a variety of budgets.
 
۩ Replica of the Prophets ﷺ Blessed Footprint and Handprint: Historically, there is evidence that some mosques that were completely empty, but then received a Blessed Footprint or Handprint of our Beloved ﷺ, were revived since the congregation wanted to get a glimpse of something from his Blessed being ﷺ. This is due to the tremendous amount of baraka of the Blessed Footprint  and Handprint that would attract any believers. Till this day, many visit the Ayup Sultan mosque, The Shaykh Ahmed Al-Badawi mosque and others, to pay their respects to these Blessed relics. Now, this baraka can be in your home via the replicas we have sources. It is a great Blessed object for you and your loved ones to gather around and remember our Beloved ﷺ.
 
۩ ​ ​Carpets from around the Ka'aba and Masjid al Nabawi: Unfortunately, many of the carpets that are located around the Ka'aba area and in Masjid al Nabawi are often simply thrown away after they are deemed old or in unfit condition. Some collectors end up taking these carpets and then sell them at extortionate prices. We have been lucky to find collectors who source to us for reasonable prices to make these carpets available to you. Our selection includes prayer size rugs and small cutouts to fit a variety of budgets.
 

Were the Ka'aba kiswahs, the kiswahs from the Blessed tomb of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, the Rawdah carpets and the Ka'aba carpets actually used in these respective places or are they made of extra material that was never used?

Yes! All our items have been used in the respective blessed places mentioned above and we do not supply, what some call 'extras', that weren't actually used in these sacred places.
 

What is the Authentication Process of The Islamic Antiquities Museum of Kuwait, the authentication body of Rumi's Garden's Blessed Kiswahs?

The Islamic Antiquities Museum of Kuwait has a large database of information that enables them to contextualize Islamic antiques and textiles and therefore check authenticity. The process involves analyzing design, composite materials, age period, ownership history, and making comparisons with already existing items. They further collaborate with various institutes and experts in various fields from around the world. Furthermore, The Islamic Antiquities Museum of Kuwait specializes particularly in relics from the Haramain.
 

Why doesn’t The Islamic Antiquities Museum of Kuwait always give an exact date for the Blessed Kiswah?

To give an exact date for when a textile is made most often requires carbon dating which is an incredibly accurate process but consists of two major restrictions which is why it is avoided with most textiles unless much of the material exists and the material is not considered sacred.

In order to radiocarbon date a textile, a significant amount of material that is to undergo the process will be completely destroyed. We do not have the heart nor the conscious to do this to anything belonging to the House of God or our Beloved Prophet ﷺ especially considering that there are other methods that are available to assess authenticity.

Another restriction to radiocarbon dating occurs with textiles belonging to periods between 1640 AD – 1950 AD. Due to minimum sun activity during the Maunder Minimum and later effects from fossil fuel emissions during industrialization it is not possible to give definite radiocarbon ages within this time period. Thus, if kiswahs were woven at any time during this time period, radiocarbon measurements will give imprecise date results.
 

What kind of relics does Rumi's Garden not source?

We absolutely do not source and never intend to source items such as the Blessed hair, teeth, clothing, blood, sweat and other intimate belongings of our Beloved Prophet ﷺ, his companions or the awliya. We find the sale of such relics to be obscene.

We also do not rent out relics as has shamefully been done by some collectors.
 

Do all relics and relic replicas come with a certificate?

In the description of each relic, we mention if it comes with a certificate and where the certificate comes from; these may be in-house or external certs. Do not expect a certificate if the item description does not mention that it comes with a certificate.
 

Does Rumi's Garden have a physical store so I can see the relics before purchasing?

No. All our work is done online and we are unable to meet clients, at this point, due to a lack of workspace.
 

Where does Rumi's Garden source relics from and does Rumi's Garden source relics out?

By the grace of God, Rumi's Garden has been granted the beautiful opportunity of forming a hub for reputable collectors from around the Islamic world. We are interested in facilitating exchanges between collectors of Islamic antiquities, such as museums and exhibitions, in order to make items accessible to the public.
 
Our process of verifying relics and relic replicas is rigorous.