The Tareq Rajab Museum brings together an extensive private collection of Islamic art, illustrating different aspects of Islamic civilisation from its earliest periods to modern times. Since its inception in 1980, the Museum has been open to the general public, except for during the period of the occupation of Kuwait by Iraq (from 2nd August 1990 to 26th February 1991).
The Museum houses beautiful Qur’ans and manuscripts from around the world of Islam, including an extremely rare example of a Ma’il or Hijazi folio from the 1st century AH (7th century AD), as well as important works by famous calligraphers such as Yaqut al-Musta’simi.
On display, there are also fine examples of Islamic pottery and ceramics, glass, metalwork, arms and armour, scientific treatises by figures such as al-Kindi and al-Ba’albaki, and important ethnographic and cultural objects including jewellery, musical instruments, textiles, embroideries, and costumes. The objects represent the entirety of the Islamic world, spanning not just the affluent and the aristocracy, but also the hard-working villagers and nomadic peoples. This provides a unique insight into the culture and social fabric of the people, their everyday lives, and the important events surrounding them.
The Museum consists of two sites: The Tareq Rajab Museum (Jabriya, Block 12, Street 5, House 21), which houses an extensive sampling of all genres represented in the collection; and The Tareq Rajab Museum of Islamic Calligraphy (Jabriya, Block 12, Street 1), the home of an extensive collection of Islamic calligraphy, including the famous Kiswah, or Ka’aba coverings. This collections includes a vast span of representative calligraphy, from Andalucia to the Arabian Peninsula, and on to India, Indonesia and China.