Sitarah for the door of the Ka‘bah, embroidered on kiswah fabric presented by King Fahd on Collections Sphere from Khalili Collections
The kiswah and its asociated textiles have been woven and embroidered in Mecca since 1962. The design of the curtain for the door of the Ka‘bah, of which this is an example, generally followed those that had been made in Egypt since 1909, although the choice of Qur’anic verses and their placement on the curtain differed.
The two cartouches at the very top enclose surah al-Baqarah,II, part of verse 144, which mentions the qiblah. Below is surah Al ‘Imran, III, verse 133, followed by a panel with four cartouches each with the opening of Ayat al-Nur (‘Verse of Light’) from surah al-Nur, XXIV, verse 35. The large silver panel below that has part of surah al-Fath, XLVIII, verse 27 with the verse of Ayat al-Kursi above and below it. The two roundels below enclose the verse of surah al-Ikhlas, LXII (on the right) and surah al-Fath, XLVIII, part of verse 29 (on the left). Between them is surah al-Zumar, part of verse 53 and below them, ‘There is no god but God, the King, the Truth, who makes all things manifest’ and ‘Muhammad is the Prophet of God, true to what he promised, worthy of all trust. The verses of surah Quraysh, CVI, are in the four panels that follow. surah al-Fatihah, I, is in the border.
The dedication, which is in the two panels within the arabesque-decorated lower section, reads, ‘This sitarah was made in Mecca the venerable and it was presented to the honourable Ka‘bah by the servant of the two noble sanctuaries Fahd bin ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Al Saud, may God accept his gift.’
The inscriptions on the sitarah were designed by the calligrapher ‘Abd al-Rahim Amin, whose signature can be seen in the large silver panel with the date 1424 AH (2003–4 AD).