Section from the kiswah of the Ka‘bah on Collections Sphere from Khalili Collections
The pattern consists of zigzag bands alternately enclosing the shahada (‘There is no god but God, Muhammad is the Messenger of God’) and the invocation ‘O! God, May his Majesty be exalted’, the latter in mirrored script. It is possible that the calligraphy was designed by the master calligrapher, ‘Abdallah Zuhdi, who was known as katib al-haramayn (‘the calligrapher of the two holy sanctuaries’).
Egypt had been supplying the kiswah of the Ka‘bah on a yearly basis, and almost without interruption, since Fatimid times. Since the early 1970s, however, the kiswah has been woven in a special workshop in Mecca.