LONDON – Arsenal Muslim midfielder Mesut Özil has revealed a special gift from Kaaba’s Kiswa, a rare and priceless gift for any Muslim.
“Honoured and privileged to have this special piece of the Kiswa that covers the Kaaba in Mecca at my home in London. ? Incredibly blessed to have received this priceless gift. Alhamdulillah,” he wrote on Instagram.
The ‘Kiswa’ is woven from pure silk and embellished by gold-plated thread illustrating verses from the Quran. It is classified as a work of Islamic art produced by top-skilled craftsmen.
Manufactured in Egypt until 1962, there have been red, green or white Kiswa coverings in centuries past, but now it is always black with embroidered gold calligraphy.
Nearly 670 kg (1,477 pounds) of silk, enough to cover a structure estimated to measure about 50 feet (15 meters) high and 35 to 40 feet long, is imported from Italy. Silver and gold-plated thread come from Germany.
At the end of Hajj, the used cloth will be cut into pieces to be distributed to dignitaries and religious organizations.
Becoming a star from a young age, Özil has been a youth national team member since 2006, and a member of the German national team since 2009.
He gained international attention during the 2010 FIFA World Cup and was nominated for the Golden Ball Award, awarded to the tournament’s best player.
In 2013, the Berlin branch of Madame Tussauds museum unveiled a waxwork version of Özil.
At the age of 24 at that time, Özil became the youngest sportsman to figure in the Berlin museum.
The German Muslim star is known for offering a dua (supplication) or prayer during football matches – especially after scoring a goal or a victory.