Friday Mosque of Kandahar - Afghanistan

 

Friday Mosque of Kandahar - Afghanistan

Shrine of the Cloak (Pashto: Kerqa Sharif) is located adjacent to the main mosque in Kandahar, Afghanistan. It contains the Kerqa, a cloak believed to have been worn by Islam's Prophet Muhammad. It is therefore widely held to be one of the holiest Islamic sites in Afghanistan, and even considered by some as the "heart of Afghanistan"

The building's exteriors are of green marble from Lashkar Gah, with tiled surfaces and gilded archways. The cloak itself is locked away inside the mosque and is rarely seen. It has been guarded by the same family for over 250 years. Its guardians have traditionally only shown the cloak to recognized leaders of Afghanistan, although in times of great crisis such as natural disasters, it has been publicly displayed as a means of reassurance.

The cloak was given to Amir Ahmad Shah Durrani by Amir Murad Beg of Bukhara in 1768 in order to solidify a treaty between the two leaders. An alternate account states that when Ahmad Shah had traveled to Bukhara, he saw the cloak of Muhammad. He then decided to take the artifact with him to Kandahar, and asked whether he could "borrow" the cloak from its keepers. They, worrying that he might try to remove it from Bukhara, told him it could not be taken from the city. Ahmad Shah then is said to have pointed to a heavy stela of stone firmly planted in the ground, saying that he would never take the cloak far from the stone. The keepers, gratified at his answer, handed him the cloak. Ahmad Shah then took the cloak, ordered the stone slab to be dug up carried them both back with him to Kandahar, where the stone now stands near his mazar (tomb).;

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Map for Shrine of the Cloak

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