A new Kiswa (the black cloth covering the Holy Ka`bah) has been changed early on Thursday, July 30 on the Day of Arafat, as stringent health protocols were followed to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
More than 150 technicians and artisans have been deployed to change the Kiswah of the Ka`bah.
The ritual started after Fajr (dawn) prayers, early Thursday 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.
Ka`bah caretaking is an old profession. It consists of opening, closing, cleaning, washing, cladding and repairing this cloth if it is damaged.
More than 110 Ka`bah caretakers have been honored through history with the caretaking of the Grand Mosque.
“Our grandfather, Qusai bin Kilab, who was also the Prophet’s grandfather, was responsible for the caretaking of the Ka`bah. [He] passed it on to his oldest son Abd Al-Dar, who in his turn passed it on to his children,” Anas Al-Shaibi, one of the Grand Mosque’s caretakers, told Arab News.
“The commandments of the fathers to their children were the fear of God, in addition to preserving the great principles of Islam,” Al-Shaibi added.