Mecca authorities have removed the lower part of Kaaba’s Kiswa cover as the Muslim world observes Dhu al-Hijjah ‘s new Islamic month, ahead of this year’s annual Hajj pilgrimage in a restricted capacity due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The process of lifting the lower part of the kiswa covering was done during the first minutes of the Dhu al-Hajjah month marked on Wednesday. The process is usually done days ahead of the Hajj before pilgrims make their way to the Holy sites to begin their pilgrimage.
More than fifty men from the King Abdul Aziz Complex for the Kaaba were accompanied by the General President for the Holy Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque, Dr. Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, on Wednesday to change the lower part of the covering of the Kaaba.
Every year, the gatekeepers of the Kaaba carry a delicate and precise task to change the silky black cloth embroidered with gold draped that makes up the Kiswa over the holy structure.
The process of changing the Kiswa will take place on the second day of Hajj under the supervision of the President of the Holy Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque Sheikh Dr. Abdulrahman bin Abdulaziz Al-Sudais.
The Kiswa is made from about 670 kilograms of raw silk dyed black, 120 kilograms of gold thread, and 100 kilograms of silver thread. Quranic verses are sewn onto the black cloth with gold-plated threads.
Authorities in Mecca have set several health and safety guidelines in preparation for the upcoming Hajj pilgrimage being held in a limited capacity this year given the coronavirus pandemic, according to Al Arabiya sources.
Due to the continuing risk of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Saudi Arabia will allow a restricted Hajj pilgrimage this year. Authorities also stated that they have reduced the number of pilgrims on this year’s Hajj to 10,000 in line with security concerns about the ongoing pandemic COVID-19.