The Kaaba will receive a new Kiswa to commemorate Day of Arafat, Eid al-Adha
Following the Fajr dawn prayers on Saturday, the ninth day of the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah, the Kiswa (the cloth cover) of the Kaaba will be changed to commemorate the Day of Arafat and the start of Eid al-Adha, according to Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
The process of changing the Kiswa occurs annually on the second day of Hajj under the supervision of the President of the Holy Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque Sheikh Dr. Abdulrahman bin Abdulaziz Al-Sudais.
The Kiswa is made from about 670 kilograms of raw silk dyed black, 120 kilograms of gold thread, and 100 kilograms of silver thread. Quranic verses are sewn onto the black cloth with gold-plated threads.
It covers the Kaaba, the cube-shaped building that Muslims believe was originally built by Prophet Ibrahim and his son Ismail, at the center of Mecca’s al-Masjid al-Haram (the Grand Mosque). Muslims face the qibla or direction of the Kaaba, which is considered the “house of God,” when performing prayer anywhere in the world.
Every year, the gatekeepers of the Kaaba carry out the task of changing the black cloth draped over the holy structure.
This year, 160 artisans and technicians will lift the cloth and deliver it to the King Abdulaziz Complex for the Manufacturing of the Kiswa in Mecca, where the gold and silver threads are removed from the old cloth, SPA reported.
The old Kiswa is then placed in a government warehouse where it undergoes a process to prevent any chemical reactions or bacteria from infiltrating and damaging the fabric.
Pieces of the cloth are then distributed to museums or are gifted.
The Kiswa was first used when the fourth century Yemeni King Tubba “instructed the leaders of (the) Jurhum tribe to maintain its purgation and make a door and a key for it,” according to ninth-century historian Muhammad ibn ’Abd Allah al-Azraqi. Since then it has become the Kaaba’s most distinguishable feature.