I consider myself fortunate enough to live near Makkah city for several years. I have visited Masjid al Haram multiple times but it was not long ago when I read the complete text written on the black cover of Kaaba.
Many of you could be familiar with the script written in gold on cover of Kaaba but perhaps, like me, it could be the first time that you would be noticing text on black cover of Kaaba?
The cover of Kaaba is called Kiswa in Arabic and it is draped annually on 9th of Islamic month Dhul hajj. It is made by stitching 47 strips of cloths together where each strip is approximately 14m long and 101cm wide. There are total three horizontal rows of repeated text on these strips and complete script is in Arabic language.
The first row reads YA ALLAH with two of Allah’s name YA HANNAN on right side and YA MANNAN on left side of it. HANNAN means “One who is merciful to His servants” and MANNAN means “One who is tremendous in giving”.
In the following row, the basic belief of Islam is written i.e. LA ILLA HA ILLALA MUAMMAD UR RASUL ULLAH which means “There is no God but Allah (and) Muhammad (PBUH) is messenger of Allah”.
In the last row, Allah is praised as SUBHAN ALLAHI WA BI HAMDAHI SUBHAN ALLAHIL AZEEM which means “Allah is free from imperfection and all praise is to Him. Allah is free from imperfection, the Greatest”.