The historic 200-year old Kiswah, covering of “Ka’aba”
Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), a top-tier Islamic financial services group, announced today that it had brought a historic 200-year old Kiswah (covering of “Ka’aba”) to the UAE to mark the Holy Month of Ramadan this year. The Kiswah Exhibition is open to public viewing at the Dome, Emirates Palace Hotel, Abu Dhabi, throughout the whole month of Ramadan.
The Kiswah is considered among the most sacred of Islamic artefacts and guards the final destination for all Muslim pilgrims making the journey of faith to Mecca for the Hajj.
Visitors and viewers (from 6 pm – 12 midnight) can also get their pictures taken with the Kiswah on the spot for free. Visitors to the display can also enter ADIB’s Kiswah competition and win a weekend’s stay for two at Emirates Palace hotel, Abu Dhabi.
Says Tirad Mahmoud, CEO of ADIB: “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. We are giving back to our community in the month of giving and living the spirit of Ramadan while attempting to bridge the gap between different cultures. A visit to view the Kiswah promises to be a memorable experience for all and lends special importance to their fasting spirits”
This initiative aims to educate the UAE community about Islamic art and showcases an important icon of 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 in the 9th Hijri year (630 AD). This continues to today 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.