Changing of the Kiswah

The annual changing of the Kiswah.


The tradition of covering the Kaaba was started by the Quraysh in pre-Islamic times and was continued by the Muslims after the conquest of Makkah in 630 AD.The Kiswah, or covering, of the Kaaba, is probably the most visually stunning element of the structure. A pure black and gold cloth covering the cube in the center of the shining area, the Kiswah draws the eye and enhances the intense spiritual effects of seeing the Kaaba for the first time.

In early Islamic history, many different colours and styles of the Kiswah were used, with different Caliphs replacing the Kiswah at different times and frequencies. The current tradition of a simple black Kiswah being replaced annually was established by the 34th Abbasid caliph al-Nasir.

From the 12th century onwards, the Kiswah was manufactured in Egypt and transported to Makkah by the traditional main Hajj caravan which departed from Cairo. In 1927, the manufacturing moved to a factory in Makkah.

With 670kg of pure silk, as well as Qur’anic verses and supplications being handwoven with 120kg of the gold-covered silver thread, this covering does not come cheap. It takes 8 months to prepare, and the price tag of 20 million Saudi riyals (6.7 million AUD) is donated by the Saudi royal family every year.

White Coats Safehouse

The White Coats Safehouse

Bilal Islam started the Homeless Run almost four years ago with his last $100 and with the support of his wife, cooking hot meals for the homeless people living across Sydney. He wanted to make a difference to the way Muslims were perceived in Australia and most importantly to the people who needed the help most.

With the support of volunteers, the team began providing food and necessities for the homeless people. Next, they took a stand against domestic violence and opened a ‘safe house’ for all women that have experienced domestic violence, whether it’s from their husband or family. In this house, the women can live without worrying about getting access to basic necessities. Also female counsellors and domestic violence experts are available. They intend to expand their program and support any men experiencing domestic violence.

They support families in need, the homeless and mentor the youth

The White Coats have a prominent Facebook presence with over 31,000 followers and completely run by a group of extremely active volunteers.

The White Coats Safehouse
The White Coats Safehouse

The Messenger of Allah said:

“None of you will truly believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself

Sunan Ibn Majah

May Allah reward them immensely for all their efforts.

To support their cause, become a volunteer or donate, visit their website:

http://www.thewhitecoats.org.au/homelessrun/

What is the Black Stone?

What is the Black Stone?

The black stone is the remaining fragments of a rock placed in the Kaabah by Abraham under the command of Allah to serve as the cornerstone of Allah’s sacred House.

According to the Prophet Muhammad, the black stone is from Paradise (an-Nisa’i) and was originally whiter than milk, but soon blackened due to the sins of the people who kissed it (al-Tirmidhi).

The black stone has had a long history of difficult preservation. In 64AH, the black stone broke into three pieces. The companion Abullah Ibn Zubair (R.A) melded them together with silver. It was then stolen in 317 AH by the Qarmatians, an extreme Ismaili sect. They held it for 22 years, in complete disrespect to its sanctity. It was later returned in pieces and severely damaged.

60 years ago there were only 15 pieces left of it. Today, there are only 8. They are roughly the size of dates, held together in black clay with amber, wax, and musk.

It is perfumed daily and goes through frequent maintenance, as it plays a central role in the ritual circumambulation of the Kaabah, known as tawaaf. Pilgrims are required to circle the Kaabah 7 times, and at the end of each to kiss the black stone, or simply to point and greet it, if kissing it is too difficult.

May Allah allow us all to see it one day!

10 Days of Dhul-Hijjah

Dhul Hijjah is the 12th and final month of the Islamic Lunar Calendar. It literally translates to ‘Month of Pilgrimage’, as it is the month in which millions of Muslims from all over the world perform the worship of Hajj. The first 10 days of Dhul Hijjah are of specific importance to Muslims.

Allah (SW) made an oath by the first 10 Days of Dhul-Hijjah, showing its sacredness, in the following verses:
“By the dawn. And by the ten nights” Surah Al Fajr, Verse 1-2

The sacredness of these days is further revealed in the Hadith of ibn ‘Abbas, where he narrates that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
There are no days during which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these days (first ten days of Dhul- Hijjah). They said: “O Messenger of Allah! Not even Jihad in the cause of Allah?” He said: “Not even Jihad in the cause of Allah, unless a man goes out with himself and his wealth and does not bring anything back.

This Hadith highlights the greatness of worship done during the blessed days. So what are some of the worships that can be completed during these days?

  1. Fasting

Fasting is one the main worships that bring a believer closer to his lord. Muslims are recommended to fast the first 9 days of the month, especially on the 9th of Dhul Hijjah, which is known as the Day of Arafah. The prophet of Allah mentioned an amazing reward specifically for the one who fasts on the day of Arafah:

Fasting on the Day of ‘Arafah absolves the sins for two years: the previous year and the coming year, and fasting on ‘Ashura, (the tenth day of Muharram) atones for the sins of previous years.

NB: One should not fast on the 10th of Dhul Hijjah, as this is the day of Eid, a day of celebration for the Muslims.

Dhul Hijjah
The Mountain of Arafat on the 9th of Dhul Hijjah

2. Qurban Sacrifice

The Qurban (‘Udhiya) is the slaughter of a sacrificial animal on the 10th, 11th or 12th of Dhul Hijjah.

3.  Increase in Good Deeds

Try to pray all Sunnah prayers, increase in recitation of the Quran, say your morning and afternoon athkar (supplications) and give in Charity.

These 10 days are an excellent opportunity to get into good habits and earn massive rewards.

______________