Was the Ka'bah clad with a covering at the time of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him)?

Question:

Was the Ka’bah clad with a covering at the time of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him)? When did this practice begin? Who was the first person to clothe the Ka’bah with such covering? Why? This question was raised when elaborating on the definition of Bid’ah (innovation in religion)? I replied to him with the Messenger’s Hadith: “Anyone who does a deed which is not congruent with our affair (Islam), that (deed) is to be rejected.1 He again asked: Was the covering of the Ka’bah provided by the order of the Prophet or during later times?

Answer:

The covering of the Ka’bah is a well known practice centuries before the Mission of the Prophet (peace be upon him). However, the historians differed concerning the first to have done that. Some people said it was the tribe of Tubba’, others said that Isma’il was the first to clothe it, and others said it was ‘Adnan and there are many other views. Nevertheless, knowing such a matter does not entail any legal benefit. When the Din (religion) of Islam spread, the Prophet (peace be upon him) approved of the act of covering the Ka’bah.

On the day of the Liberation of Makkah when it was mentioned before the Prophet that Sa’d ibn ‘Ubadah said to Abu Sufyan: “O Abu Sufyan! Today is the day of the massacre; today there will be sacrilege of the Ka’bah’, the Prophet (peace be upon him) denied that and said: “Sa’d lied, as today is a day in which Allah will honor and glorify the Ka’bah and it will be covered on this day.” (Related by Al-Bukhari in his Sahih as Hadith Mursal (a Hadith with no Companion of the Prophet in the chain of narration) 2. Al-Hafizh Ibn Hajar said in his commentary: “The prophet (peace be upon him) pointed out with his hand that he will be the one to provide it with a covering this year and he did.

The same was done by the Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet), and later Muslims to the extent that the Caliphs and Kings of Islam became keen on honoring the Ka’bah and providing it with its covering each year until our present time. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.


  1. Muslim, Sahih, Book on judicial decisions, no. 1718; and Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 6, p. 180. 

  2. Al-Bukhari, Sahih, Book on expeditions, no. 4280. 

May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet, his family and Companions