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Holy Ka`bah Gets New Kiswa

A new Kiswa (the black cloth covering the Holy Ka`bah) has been changed to commemorate the Day of Arafat on the eve of `Eid Al-Adha, Asharq Al-Awsat reported.

A total of 160 technicians and artisans have been deployed to change the Kiswah of the Ka`bah, in a ritual which started after Fajr (dawn) prayers, early Saturday morning, which coincides with the 9th day of the Islamic month of Dhul-Hijjah.

The Kiswa is made of 670 kilograms of silk that is dyed black. It takes up 120 kilograms of gold-plated thread and 100 kilograms of silver-plated thread.

The ‘Kiswa’ is woven from pure silk and embellished by gold-plated thread illustrating verses from the Quran. It is classified as a work of Islamic art produced by top-skilled craftsmen.

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The covering of the Kaaba signifies the start of the Hajj season.

Muslims from around the world pour into Makkah every year to perform Hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam.

Hajj consists of several rituals, which are meant to symbolize the essential concepts of the Islamic faith, and to commemorate the trials of Prophet Abraham and his family, may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon them.

Every able-bodied adult Muslim who can financially afford the trip must perform Hajj at least once in a lifetime.