22. Iznik 17th – Depiction of Kaaba in Mecca

Iznik 17th Mecca - Benaki Islamic Museum Greece

Iznik tiles panel with the depiction of the Kaaba, in the central courtyard of the vast Al-Haram Mosque in Mecca (Benaki Islamic Museum). Kaaba, the most sacred place on earth for Muslims, is a square shrine covered by a black silk and gold cloth known as the Kiswah. It is toward this place that Muslims turn five times a day in prayer and it is the goal of every devout Muslim to make a pilgrimage to the Kaaba at least once in his lifetime. Islamic tradition asserts that Abraham and Ishmael built the Kaaba as a copy of God’s house in heaven. It was around 1640 to 1675 when the Iznik potters began to produce Kaaba panels to meet the needs of the Muslim middle-classes.

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