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Even today in the Holy city of Makkah, a 4,000-year-old ritual is being practiced with complete enthusiasm. A new Kiswa (the cover of the Holy Kaaba) or Cover is placed on the Holy Kaaba every year on the 9th of Dhul Hijja, which is coinciding with the Hajj pilgrimage.
It was started by the Prophet Ismail (PBUH) around 4000 years prior to the origin of Islam spread by the Holy Prophet Mohammad (Peace be Upon Him). Here are a few facts you should know about the Kiswa (the cover of the Holy Kaaba);
1-Every year, the old cover or Kiswa (the cover of the Holy Kaaba) is carefully removed, cut into small pieces and then they are gifted to certain individuals, foreign Muslim dignitaries that are visiting the Kingdom and several organizations around the world.
Some of them even sell their share as a souvenir of the Hajj pilgrimage. In earlier times Umar bin Khattab would cut the Kiswa (the cover of the Holy Kaaba) into small pieces and then distribute them amongst the pilgrims who would then use it to shelter themselves from the elements.
2-Currently, the cost of making the whole Kiswa (the cover of the Holy Kaaba) is around SR 17 million. The entire cover is 658 sq. meters in length and is comprised of 670 kilograms of pure silk. For the embroidery 15 kilos of pure gold, the thread is used.
It comprises of 47 pieces of cloth and each of these pieces is 14 meters in length and 101 centimeters in breadth. The Kiswa (the cover of the Holy Kaaba) is wrapped around the Holy Kaaba and then it is fixed to the ground with the help of copper rings.
3-The colors of the cover or Kiswa (the cover of the Holy Kaaba) would keep changing during the reigns of various rulers and Caliphs. The Prophet Muhammad S.A.W and his Caliphs used White color, later in history, red green and black were used.
4-Asad Al Himairi, a man from Yemen was the first person ever to cover the Holy Kaaba. In the old days, the different clans of the city of Makkah would cover the Holy Kaaba in turns, one after the other. The tribal leaders would also bring some small drapes in order to cover the walls of the Kaaba.
5-Once long ago, the Grand Mother of the Holy Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) was offered the Kiswa (the cover of the Holy Kaaba) which was white in color. The Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) used Kiswa (the cover of the Holy Kaaba) in His time, which was made out of Yemeni cloth. The Caliphs Uthman and Umar used Kiswa (the cover of the Holy Kaaba) made out of Egyptian white cloth.
6-The cloth used in the creation of the Kiswa (the cover of the Holy Kaaba) used to come from Yemen, Baghdad, and Egypt, depending upon whose influence was most prevalent in Makkah. The Viceroy of Egypt, Mohd Ali Pasha, had made the process of making the Kiswa (the cover of the Holy Kaaba) as a state responsibility when they split from the Turkish Empire.
7-Different Quranic verses have been written on the Kiswa. Ever wondered what are these verses?
8-In the earlier days, the Kiswa (the cover of the Holy Kaaba) used to be changed on the 10th of Muharram; however, it shifted to the 9th of Dhul Hijja.
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