Description of Kiswah al-Saadat (The Curtain of Bliss)
In 632 CE, the Seal of the Prophets ﷺ took his last breath and passed in the room (Hujra) of his wife, Aiesha (RAA), where he was buried. Some years later, his two companions, Sayidna Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq (RAA) and Sayidna Umar ibn Al-Khattab (RAA), were also laid to rest in the same area. Today, this room is called The Sacred Chamber, or Honored Room, and forms part of the Rawdah ash-Sharifah (The Noble Garden) in Al-Masjid an-Nabawi in Al Madinah Al Munawwarah.
The Sacred Chamber is surrounded by a wall and curtains known as 'The Curtain of Bliss" (Kiswah al-Saadat).
Description of Holy Ka'aba Kiswah
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 kiswah as a shelter against the scorching heat of Mecca 2. It was given as a keepsake to remember their pilgrimage 3. The kiswah was considered to have barakah; a blessing transferred by God, upon the cloth covering, because of its placement on one of the first sanctuaries 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 pilgrim's entry into the Divine Presence. As Muslims, we believe that Adam's Kaaba was destroyed by the neglect of believers, and according to the Quran (2:127) Abraham and his son, Ismail, rebuilt the holy house.
According to our rich Islamic tradition, it has been said that the angels submit to Allah’s ﷻ commands while singing His praise. They guard His Throne, and visit the heavenly Ka’aba, while we Muslims visit the earthly one in Mecca. The profound meaning of this image leaves us with much to reflect on concerning The Sacred House (ٱلْبَيْت ٱلْحَرَام) of Allah and the blessed black cloth (Kiswah, Ghilaf) that covers it.
Throughout history, the blessed kiswah of the Holy Ka’aba was changed during different dates depending on the reigns of different caliphs and sultans. Originally, it was replaced on the 10th of Muharram, but this was shifted to the 10th of Dhul Hijjah. Muawiyah I, the companion of the Prophet ﷺ and fifth caliph, replaced the covering of the Holy Ka’aba both on 10th Muharram and on Eid ul-Fitr.
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