Shrine of the Cloak believed to have been worn by Prophet Muhammad

 Kandhar,Kandahar Province, Afghanistan


Located adjacent to the main mosque of Afghanistan’s Kandahar city, the shrine contains a cloak believed to have been worn by Prophet Hazrat Muhammad. For Afghans, the site is not only one of the holiest and they also consider it as ‘Heart of Afghanistan’, outside world largely remains unaware of Kerqa Sharif.
History reveals that Amir Murad Beg of Bukhara had given the cloak to Amir Ahmad Shah Durrani in 1768 to promote goodwill between the two leaders. Another legend however says that Ahmad Shah had seen the cloak during his visit to Bukhara. He thought of taking the relic with him to Afghanistan and asked the keepers as to whether he could borrow the cloak for some time. Apprehending that Ahmad Shah might take the relic with him, the keepers refuse to accede to his request. Then, Ahmad Shah is stated to have pointed to a heavy stone firmly planted in the ground and assured the keepers that he would never take the cloak far from the stone. Satisfied with the assurance, the keepers handed over the sacred relic to Ahmad Shah. The Afghan ruler then ordered the stone to be dug up. He carried cloak and stone back with him to Kandahar.

Since then, the relic has been guarded by a family and it is rarely shown. The cloak has traditionally been displayed by its keepers to recognized leaders of Afghanistan in times of natural calamities. It is displayed at the time of any great crisis as a means of assurance to the worried people. It was shown to the public few decades ago when cholera swept Kandahar, leaving hundreds of its citizens dead. After display of the cloak, the disease disappeared from the city.

The relic is conserved inside a small silver box, itself protected by two wooden chests. The legendary relic is guarded by Akhundzada family. Ever since Afghanistan's founder, Ahmed Shah Durrani brought the relic, the family has held the sacred responsibility of protecting the cloak in its shrine that stands at clean square with a lavishly decorated building. The box was opened for King Muhammed Zahir Shah, last monarch of Afghanistan. He had wished to see the relic but changed his mind at the last minute and decided not to look at it.

Additional Info

In 1996, Mullah Mohammed Omar took the cloak out of its box and displayed it to a large crowd. That symbolic act is commonly considered a key point in the rise of the Taliban, and Mullah Omar himself, associating him with both Ahmed Shah Durrani and the Prophet of Islam. Upon donning the cloak, the crowd began to shout "Amir al-Mu'minin" (Commander of the Faithful), a title that Ayman al-Zawahiri still occasionally uses to refer to Mullah Omar in his radio addresses. The silver box then remained closed until Mr. Gul Agha Shirzai seized power in Kandahar with a team of U.S. Special Forces in 2001 as Governor.He viewed the cloak with his few senior officials. The keeper who took out the relic for Mr.Shirzai had later told the people that the relic is very soft, like silk. Its color can’t be described as many people saw in different colors during displays. It is said to be made with hair from the camels in Paradise.The exteriors of the shrine are of green marble from Lashkar Gah with tiled surfaces and gilded archways. The stone brought with cloak also stands nearby.

  How to Reach: From Kandahar International Airport the shrine is 24 Km. There is no railway station in Kandahar. From Chaman Railway Station (Pakistan) it is 1 Km. From Kabul Ada it is 3.8 Km. Private taxis are the best option to go to the shrine. Sharing taxis and private buses also operate from Kandahar to the shrine.,

Nearest City : Kandahar
Nearest Bus Stop : Kabul Ada
Nearest Airport : Kandahar International Airport
Nearest Railway Station : Chaman Railway Station Pakistan
Contact Person Name : Not Available
Contact Person Phone: Not Available
Website : Not Available
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