Section from the internal kiswah of the Ka‘bah on Collections Sphere from Khalili Collections
This fragment comes from the internal kiswah of the Ka‘bah which was presented by the Ottoman sultan ‘Abdülaziz (r. 1861–1876) in his first regnal year. It was the last internal kiswah to be sent by the Ottomans. It remained inside the Ka‘bah until 1936, when it was replaced by an Indian-made one. Later internal kiswahs were woven in Mecca.
The section preserved in fragment represents almost half of the loom width and an almost complete vertical repeat. The latter is made up of four zigzag bands. In the first wide band is the shahadah, followed in a narrower band by phrases in praise of God. The third band has cartouches and roundels inscribed with invocations to God. The final narrow band has surah al-Baqarah, II, verse 144, in part, ‘We see the turning of thy face (for guidance) to the heavens: now shall We turn thee to a Qibla that shall please thee. Turn then thy face in the direction of the sacred Mosque’.