Saturday, August 13, 2011

200 year-old Kiswa on display in Abu Dhabi

Two hundred-year-old imperial Kiswa displayed at Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi.

ABU DHABI: A Kiswa exhibition will be open to the public at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi throughout the whole month of Ramadan.

Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) announced on Sunday that it had brought a historic 200-year-old Kiswa (covering of Holy Kaaba) to the UAE to mark the holy month this year.

This initiative aims to educate the UAE community about Islamic art and showcases an important icon of Islamic history.

The displayed Kiswa 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 Kiswa to be produced in the colorful and rich design of the imperial Ottoman Turks.

The Kiswa is considered among the most sacred of Islamic artifacts as it covers the holy Kaaba to which Muslims all over the world turn for prayers.

Muslims began draping the Kaaba in the ninth Hijri year (630 AD). This tradition has continued until today with the Kiswa being replaced every year.

It was customary to change the Kiswa, Hizam, and Burqa annually on the 25th day of the month of Dhul Qaada. The plain black cloth was cut up in pieces and given as presents to dignitaries performing the annual pilgrimage.

Visitors and viewers can also get their pictures taken with the Kiswa on the spot for free in the evening. They can also enter a draw for a weekend’s stay for two at the Emirates Palace.

“It is a great honor to be able to present this Kiswa 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,” said Tirad Mahmoud, CEO of ADIB.

“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 Kiswa promises to be a memorable experience for all and lends special importance to their fasting spirits.”

Courtesy & Source : ARAB NEWS, Aug 8, 2011