Section from the Kiswah of Maqam Ibrahim

Location: Cairo, Egypt

Materials: black silk lampas, with satin ground and tabby pattern, deep pink and green silk appliqués (now faded),  embroidered in silver-gilt thread and finely drawn flat gold and silver wire over padding

Dimensions: 200 x 125cm

Accession Number: TXT 243

Other Notes:

Maqam Ibrahim (the Station of Abraham) is a small structure that houses the stone Abraham and Isma‘il are believed to have stood on while building the Ka‘bah. It is referred to in the Qur’an, ‘and take ye the Station of Abraham as a place of prayer’ (surah al-Baqarah, II, verse 125). Its kiswah, like the Ka‘bah’s,
had been supplied annually by Egypt since Mamluk times. It consisted of four wall panels, of which the present example is the last. They were embroidered with Qur’anic verses that read across from one to the other, in addition to the names of God, Muhammad, the four Orthodox caliphs, and the Prophet’s grandchildren, Hasan and Husayn. The verses, drawn from surahs al-Baqarah (II, verses 125, 127 and 260) and Al ‘Imran (III, verses 96–97), refer to the building of the Ka‘bah, to the Station of Abraham and to the duty men owe God in performing their Pilgrimage. This piece is embroidered on a section of the kiswah of the Ka‘bah.  


J.M. Rogers, The Arts of Islam. Masterpieces from the Khalili Collection, London 2010, cat.401, pp.338–9.