Section from the belt of the Ka‘bah on Collections Sphere from Khalili Collections
The hizam (‘belt’) is an inscribed band that encircles the upper part of the Ka‘bah. During the Ottoman period, it was made up of eight sections – two on each wall – and this section would have been on the south side. It is embroidered with surah Al ‘Imran (III), verses 95–97. The text refers to ‘the religion of Abraham’; ‘the first house of worship that was in Mecca’; and ‘the Station of Abraham’.
The kiswah and its various components had been supplied yearly by authorities in Egypt, and with very few exceptions, since Fatimid times. An incident at Mina during the Hajj of 1926 led to a break in the relation between Egypt and Saudi Arabia. As the season of Hajj approached the following year, and with no kiswah arriving from Egypt, King ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Saud ordered one to be made in haste at Dar al-Kiswah in Mecca. Due to the shortness of time, the hizam, of which this is a section, had to be machine-embroidered.