A new Kiswa (the black cloth covering the Holy Ka`bah) has been changed early on Monday, July 19 on the Day of Arafat, as stringent health protocols were followed to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Kiswa has been prepared by over 200 weaving experts at the Dar-ul-Kiswa factory and it costs 20 million Saudi riyals (nearly Rs540 million), Khaleej Times reported.
The ritual started after Fajr (dawn) prayers, early Monday morning, the 9th day of the Islamic month of Dhul-Hijjah.
The ‘Kiswa’ is woven from pure silk and embellished by gold-plated thread illustrating verses from the Qur’an. It is classified as a work of Islamic art produced by top-skilled craftsmen.
The covering of the Ka`bah signifies the start of the Hajj season.
As many as 60,000 pilgrims are performing Hajj this year. The number has been reduced because of the coronavirus pandemic.