The Kiswah of the Ka'bah

Ka’bah has been the holiest site in Saudi Arabia and is central to the lives of Muslims around the world. Since the time of the Prophet Ibrahim its role has been a sanctuary. Retracing the early history of Islam, it is recorded that Ibrahim had left his wife Hajar and their infant son Ismail in the barren valley of Mecca, described in the Qur’an as “the valley without cultivation.” (Surah Ibrahim: 37)

Reflecting the sanctity of the Ka’bah, it has long been a tradition to cover the structure appropriately. Kiswah is a cloth that covers the Ka’bah in Mecca. Kiswah was first installed since pre-Islamic era. There is disagreement about the earliest makers of Kiswah between Prophet Ismail and Adnan bin Ad, the ancestor of Prophet Muhammad. Kiswah of the first woven fabric was made by the King of Yemen, called Tubba’ (As’ad Al-Himyari) 2,500 years ago after having tried and failed to destroy that ancient structure for three times.