Dubai: In preparation for the upcoming Hajj season, the General Presidency of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque embarked on the annual custom of raising the lower part of the Kaaba Kiswa on Friday.
This process involved lifting the black silk curtain of the Kaaba, inscribed with verses from the Quran, about three metres from its base. The raised part of the Kiswa was then covered with a two-metre wide white cotton cloth on all four sides.
The ceremony was performed by a team of specialists from the King Abdul Aziz Complex responsible for the Kaaba’s upkeep. Their duties include folding the Kiswa upwards, keeping it free from potential damage, and providing pilgrims the opportunity to witness the elevated Kiswa - an eagerly anticipated sight for the Hajj season.
Fahd Al Jabri, director of the maintenance department for the Kiswa, highlighted the meticulous preparations required for this event, including setting up barriers and equipment to lift the Kiswa. He added that a team of 32 from the King Abdul Aziz Complex, specialising in this field, took part in the activity.
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The raising of the Kaaba’s Kiswa is a tradition dating to the old days. Using a white cloth symbolises the beginning of Hajj and a period of asceticism. It served as a signal indicating the commencement of the Hajj season, considering it was the only means of communication during those times. Moreover, it also serves to protect the Kiswa during the busy season of pilgrimage.
The Kiswa, the black silk cloth covering the Kaaba, is traditionally replaced once a year, during the Islamic month of Dhu Al Hijjah. This happens on the day of Arafat, which is the 9th day of Dhu Al Hijjah, right before the start of the Hajj pilgrimage.
The process is carried out by a team of technicians from the King Abdul Aziz Complex. The old Kiswa is replaced with the new one.
The Kiswa is made of pure silk and is hand-embroidered with verses from the Quran in gold-plated thread.
After being replaced, the old Kiswa is cut into small pieces and given to dignitaries, foreign Muslim officials, organisations, and individuals as a token of goodwill and blessing.
The process is meticulously planned and carefully carried out due to the sacredness and significance of the Kaaba in Islam.