New marks to help pilgrims performing Tawaf in Kaaba
The gilded four patches placed above the Black Stone will help pilgrims mark starting and ending points and ease movement
For the first time, the covering cloth of the holy Kaaba, also known as Kiswa, will have a new addition to indicate the starting and ending points of circumambulation – or Tawaf – around the sacred site.
This will not only help pilgrims count the number of Tawaf they have performed but also ease the flow of pilgrims around the holy site. The gilded four lantern shaped patches with Allah-u-Akbar (God is Great) sewn in its center, were placed above the Black Stone.
This new addition is the fourth directional signage that has been assembled recently to guide the pilgrims to where the circumnavigation starts and ends in a bid to prevent any confusion due to the huge size of the area and the pilgrims massing.
Prior to this change, there used to be other directional signage. A black circle with a star inside the holy shrine was removed during an earlier expansion project undertaken during the era of the late King Fahd. There also used to be a clear line adjacent to the Black Stone, which was scrapped as it was causing congestion for pilgrims.
(The article first appeared in the Arabic language website for Al Arabiya News Channel)