When discussing the colour black, history has shown us that people will fall into one of these two camps – it’s either cool, brooding and sophisticated; or it’s the colour of evil, death, mourning, and bad luck.
Today, we’re gonna explore an unfamiliar concept – linking black to purity.
It might sound absurd at first, but when you think about it, it actually makes a lot of sense. Before there was light, there was…? Before we embraced consciousness and existence, what was there for us? When we rest (both temporarily, and permanently), what do we return to? In fact, for Muslims, the colour black is also synonymous with finding the right path.
The Kaabah is an imagery that is very much tied to the Muslim culture and identity. To those unfamiliar with the faith, Muslims from all over the world direct their prayers towards Makkah, specifically to the Kaabah. Let it be clear that the structure is NOT worshipped by Muslims, but rather serves as a channeling point of sorts (there’s a whole longer discussion about the Kaabah’s function in the Muslim faith…talk to your nearest Islamic expert).
Let it also be clear that the structure of the Kaabah itself is not black, but rather draped over by a black cloth, known as the Kiswah. The tradition of draping the Kaabah with the Kiswa was practiced long before Rasulullah S.A.W. entered this world.
Unsurprisingly, black wasn’t the default original colour either. Red, green and white Kiswahs had been used throughout history by different governments and Caliphates that held the honour of looking after the holy city. However, after years of different materials, colours and even methods of draping the Kiswah (at one point, new Kiswah’s were simply draped over existing ones, which nearly caused structural damage to the Kaabah – which is why Kiswah’s are now replaced annually…we’ll get to that in a bit), a standard was set and have been followed since. Hence, to most of human civilization, the gold and black imagery remains consistent when one mentions Makkah or the Kaabah.
So, what does the Kiswah have to do with our topic of purity? Well, if you think about it, the very image of the mostly black Kaabah also happens to represent salvation and solace to Muslims all around the world. It represents a sense of direction – a direction which many Muslims aim towards; literally, every time they pray; and figuratively, as able Muslims work towards realizing their dream of fulfilling the fifth pillar of Islam, the Hajj pilgrimage.
Historically, the Kiswah also serves another purpose besides protecting the structure of the Kaabah. On the 9th of Zulhijjah, the replacing of the old Kiswah for the new one takes place, in which the structure itself is washed and temporarily draped in white covering. The removed Kiswah is then cut up and distributed among pilgrims. These days it is mainly given to foreign dignitaries, but back during the days of the Caliphate, Umar Al-Khattab would distribute it to visiting pilgrims to be used as shelter against the harsh desert environment as they perform their Hajj. So, even when it was cut up, it still helped bring Muslims closer to the Almighty.
Inspired by the purity of the black Kiswah, Nubex is honoured to present to you our 2018 / 1439H Hajj silver Dirham coin. A splash of black adorns the depiction of the Kaabah on the coin, tying it closer to its inspiration. Continuing Nubex’s concept of preservation of wealth, and the rejection of Riba via precious metals, the 2018 / 1439H Hajj silver Dirham coin is but another one of our efforts to bring the concept of money back to its purest, unadulterated form. Black is indeed pure.
You can purchase the new 2018 / 1439H Hajj silver Dirham coin here.