A Complete Kiswah for the Maqam Ibrahim

Location: Cairo, Egypt

Materials: black silk, with green and red silk appliqués, embroidered in silver and silver-gilt wire over cotton thread padding

Dimensions: 235 x 130 x 130cm

Accession Number: TXT 531


This cover was commissioned by Sultan Abdulmajid I and presented by Muhammad Sa‘id Pasha, the wali of Egypt. It was made for the small structure that houses the stone Abraham and Isma‘il are believed to have stood on while building the Ka‘bah (the Maqam Ibrahim). It is referred to in the Qur’an, ‘and take ye the Station of Abraham as a place of prayer’ (Surat al-Baqarah, verse 125). Its kiswah, like that of the Ka‘bah, had been supplied annually by Egypt since Mamluk times. It consisted of four wall panels, 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 refer to the building of the Ka‘bah, to the Station of Abraham and to the duty men owe God in performing their Pilgrimage.