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Open Thread Sunday + Special Photo Feature

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alt=”Open Thread” width=”128″ height=”77″ />New Muslim Cool: A documentary about Muslim rappers has been released in San Francisco, following the journey of Hamza Perez, a Puerty Rican convert. Have any MM readers seen it? Click here for the film's official website.

A special treat for MM readers: exclusive pictures from the Museum of Islamic Artifacts in Mecca (actually, I don't know what the museum's real name is, but this will do). As some of you know, my family and I were able to go for 'Umrah in March, and as part of our trip we were able to visit both the Kiswah factory, and the museum, al-Hamdulillaah.

Below are pics of the Haramain, the Kiswah factory (where they make the covering for the Ka'bah, from beginning to end), and artifacts from the museum in Mecca.

Edit: Amatullah has added her pictures as well, including Mount Uhud, masjid Nabawi, the Qur'an Arc bridge and the Kiswah Factory.

Part One: masjid Quba, The Haramain, and a Camel at 'Arafah

Part Two: The Kiswah factory.

  • This is where they make the covering of the Ka'bah, from beginning to end. The first two pictures of machines show the silk being spun and woven into cloth (the silk is bought raw, and dyed, spun, and woven at the factory in Mecca).
  • The design is then drawn upon the cloth and the outline is embroidered. The more heavily embroidered sections are raised by laying thick white cord over the outlines and sewn on with yellow thread.
  • The embroidery continues, with the final layers being sewn with thread of pure gold and silver.
  • Although not shown, a special machine is used to embroider the rest of the Kiswah – what looks like plain black cloth is, upon closer inspection, actually decorated with black-on-black silk thread. The Name of Allāh is repeatedly embroidered all around.
  • Facts: In previous times, the Kiswah used to be made in other lands, including China and India (famed for the quality of their silk and textiles), and transported to Mecca. It used to come in other colours as well, including red and green. Nowadays, everything is done within the one factory in Mecca, from beginning to end.

Part Three: The Museum

  • The museum is an amazing place, containing rare photos and ancient artifacts from the Haramain that go back to the time of the Khulafaa' ar-Rashidoon. Unfortunately most of the pictures my brothers took came out quite blurred, so I was able to salvage only a few to show here. Nonetheless, it was amazing to see how each ruler of the Ummah, throughout Islamic history, made their mark through contributions to the architecture and decor of the masājid.

Picture descriptions, in order:

  • A tiny scaled model of the Haram in Mecca, depicting its latest expansion. Older models showed how previous Kings of Saudi added to the construction and changes (for example, people are now unable to go down to the Well of ZamZam).
  • An illustration of the interior of the Ka'bah. An old teak staircase mounted on wheels, to allow it to roll up to the side of the Ka'bah.
  • A spiffy gate thing. I don't remember when it was made and used, or what it was even for. Sorry!
  • An old covering of the Black Stone. An old Kiswa weaving machine.
  • Three ancient tiles, commissioned by various rulers. A couple of the tiles were records of the sultans' lineages and titles.
  • An original copy of one of the Uthmani masaahif. Finally, one of the old covers of the ZamZam Well.

About Zainab (AnonyMouse)

Zainab bint Younus (AnonyMouse) is a young Canadian Muslimah, originally from the West Coast of Canada. She writes about whatever concerns her about the state of the Muslim Ummah, drawing upon her experiences and observations within her own local community. You may contact her at anonymouse@muslimmatters.org She is is no longer a writer for MuslimMatters.org.

23 comments

  1. These pictures are gorgeous!

    One of my friends translated this story of what it was like to enter the Chamber housing the grave of our Beloved Prophet salallahu alayhi wasalam. Its a very rare account of what its like to be in the presence of the Best of Creation and is definitely one of the more memorable pieces you’ll come across online: http://riyada.hadithuna.com/secrets-of-the-prophetic-chamber/

    I suggest EVERYONE read it!

    P.S. No comment on the New Muslim Cool film…last time I did that, things didn’t go so well… :/

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  2. wow great pictures mashaAllah!

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  3. awesome pics mashallah.

    Ok so I’m not sure what I think about New Muslim Cool – what do the shuyookh say?

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  4. Mash’Allah amazing pics sis! :)

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  5. I added my pictures at the bottom as well, starting after the well of ZamZam pic :)

    An interesting fact about the Kiswah: They change it every year, and it is about $2 million to make.

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  6. Great pics! MashaAllah, that camel at ‘Arafah is ballin’ outta control.

    An interesting fact about the Kiswah: They change it every year, and it is about $2 million to make.

    $2 million? Man! But from the looks of its production process and its quality and sheer size, I guess it makes sense.

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    • Yea subhanAllah, the man giving us the tour told us how much it weighed but I cannot remember now…It’s very huge. We asked them what they do with the old kiswah each year and they put it in a secure place and some “important” people around the world receive pieces of it (some are not even Muslim). We tried to get a piece but it didn’t work :D

      Another thing they do is they dip it in some misk to make it smell nice. I remember when we were at the Yemeni corner that I brushed the Ka’bah and the smell of the perfume stayed on my hand for about 3 days! It was such a nice smell too.

      May Allah bless us all to visit His Blessed House, Ameen.

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      • I went to my friend’s house after her mom got back from Mecca. She told me that her uncle’s wife is from the klan who holds the keys to the Kaaba. Her aunt had given them a quran in which its cover was upholstered with a piece of the fabric from the old kiswah. I kept sniffing the fabric because it smelt incredible! Does anyone know the name of the fragrance they use?

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      • is there any significance behind the kiswah? as in, some people think that it has healing powers, or that we should be very reverent towards it, have wudhu when touching it etc. and be careful not to put it near our feet, keep it in a high place (I know someone who has a piece of the kiswah so i want to know)

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        • The Kiswah is just a covering for the Ka’bah. It has no significance or barakah or anything of that sort.

          There is a narration from Umar radi Allahu anhu when he went to kiss the black stone, he said, “I know that you are only a stone and can neither cause harm nor bring benefit. Were it not for the fact that the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam kissed you, I would not have kissed you.”

          Allahu a’lam.

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  7. I love the pictures masha’Allah! looking at them reminded me of everything i saw, smelled, heard and felt (physically and emotionally) during hajj and previous visits… I miss the haramain! May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala grant us the blessing of visiting the haramain often. ameen!

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  8. http://idp-relief.blogspot.com/

    Please donate generously to help the displaced refugees of northern Pakistan.

    DON’T FORGET THEM IN YOUR DU’AS EITHER!!

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  9. JazaakiAllahu khairan sis Amatullah for adding your pics! Beautiful, masha’Allah… I so remember the Quba sign!
    About the misk, do they do that only for Hajj or all the time? Because I touched the kiswa (current one) several times but I didn’t detect any perfume.
    With the old Kiswa, they cut it into pieces and distribute it not only amongst the ‘important people’ but also some ‘ordinary people’ too… my mum has a piece that she was given from a relative.

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    • wa iyyaki! Jazaaki Allahu khayran for posting yours :)

      I went there during Rajab and the misk was very strong, this was in 2006 so Allahu a’lam if it’s still done now or not.

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  10. Mashaallah.Great pictures.Jazakumallahu khairaa.

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  11. Dear brothers and sisters, assalamu alaikum,

    Remember that the covering of the Kaaba has no significance. Let us not be like the Irani women who take out their keys and rub them over the covering for barakat. The perfume on the covering is manufactured commercially and sold in Mecca shops.

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    • Wa alaikum assalam,

      Good point shahgul. The barakah is not in the covering at all. Reminds me of when I was there, and there were people trying to rub maqaam Ibraheem. The guard there was shooing them away, then my husband tried to explain things to them but obviously it wasn’t the time lol. It is a shame so much money is spent for this. This is israaf! The perfume itself is like 5,000 Riyals for a kg of it.. I have some of it given as a gift (would never buy something that expensive) .. it’s not a musk but rather a bukhoor. Let me tell you, it is strong! What is sold commercially is most likely a ‘knock-off’ version of it.

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  12. Very nice mashallah. Jazakumullah khayr for sharing.

    I’m curious, does the writing on the border of the Ka’aba include the whole Qur’an, or just a part of it?

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  13. Jesse Ventura talking about water boarding:

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  14. This one is for Obama worshippers, Rachel Maddow talking about Obama’s new plan for Gitmo

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  15. Assalamualaikum.w.w

    Alhamdulillah i have many pieces of the kiswah at home.

    I have also given many out.

    I am willing to auction but all the proceeds will go to the Musjid

    Jazakallah

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