World Bulletin / News Desk
A long queue of men and women standing in separate lines extends from an Istanbul mosque to see a centuries-old garment pressed down flat inside an glass exhibition case: the Prophet Mohammed's (Peace be upon Him) sacred cloak made of linen, cotton and silk.
Every year, during the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, the cloak is put on special display at the Hirka-i Serif mosque in Istanbul, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors.
"I was here last year. God willing, I will be here next year as long as I am alive," 78-year-old Nimet Sahin said, as caretakers warned visitors selfies were not appropriate.
Neziha Polat, 76, said she felt as if she was in Mecca, the holy Islamic city to which all Muslims are required to make a pilgrimage in their lifetimes.
"I come here every year and have the same feeling. Let God not diminish this feeling in our heart," she said in tears.
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The Hirka-i Serif (the Noble Cloak) was brought to Istanbul in the seventeenth century, at a time when the Ottoman Empire controlled much of the Islamic world deep into today's Saudi Arabia.
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