French consul general visits factory in Makkah where Kaaba cover is made

Source: Arab News

Kiswa cloth is made of more than 670 kilograms of raw silk, dyed black inside the complex, 120 kilograms of gold threads and 100 kilograms of silver threads

About 200 craftsmen and administrators, all trained and qualified Saudi nationals, are engaged in producing the majestic black cover

MAKKAH: The consul general of France, Mostafa Mihraje, visited the King Abdul Aziz Complex for Holy Kaaba Kiswa in Makkah on Wednesday, and was received by the director of the complex, Hisham Alaa Al-Din.

During the visit, Mihraje was briefed on stages of manufacturing the Holy Kaaba Kiswa and the capabilities of the modern equipment in the complex.

The making of the Kaaba Kiswa receives great care and attention from the wise leadership, with the follow-up from the president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, Sheikh Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, to provide the best services to the Two Holy Mosques and their visitors.

The Kiswa consists of five pieces of cloth — four of them cover the sides of the Kaaba and the fifth is the burqa, the door curtain. All the pieces are sewn together.

The Kiswa is embellished with inscriptions woven in black fabric threads, bearing specific verses from the Holy Qur’an.
It is made of more than 670 kilograms of raw silk, dyed black inside the complex, 120 kilograms of gold threads and 100 kilograms of silver threads.

The cost of the Kiswa is approximately SR22 million ($5.9 million).

About 200 craftsmen and administrators, all trained and qualified Saudi nationals, are engaged in producing the majestic black cover. The complex includes a vast 16-meter long weaving machine.

At the end of the visit, the consul general expressed his admiration for the care he had seen bestowed on the King Abdul Aziz Complex for Holy Kaaba Kiswa and the great developments in the service of the Two Holy Mosques, enabling pilgrims and visitors to perform their rituals in comfort

Reference

Suggested reading and viewing: Hajj: The Best Symbol for Our Universal Brotherhood! and  Video: Malcolm X’s Letter from Hajj 

3 replies

  1. I’ve wondered always if this is a tradition that comes down to present time from the time of the prophet (saw), or is it an innovation by the present day Saudi govt.?

    If it is an innovation, then all that money that is spent on the kiswa can better used in the service of mankind than for show…

    Can someone answer this question, please?

    • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiswah (source)

      History[edit]
      King Tubba Abu Karab As’ad of the Himyarite Kingdom clothed Kaaba for the first time, during the rule of the Jurhum tribe of Mecca.[1]
      The Kiswah in the reign of Muhammad[edit]
      Muhammad and the Muslims in Mecca did not participate in the draping of the Kaaba until the conquest of the city at 630 AD (7 AH), as the ruling tribe, Quraish, did not allow them to do so. When Mecca was taken by the Muslims, they decided to leave the Kiswah as it was until a woman lighting incense in the Kaaba accidentally set fire to the Kiswah. Muhammad then draped it with a white Yemeni cloth.[1]
      Under the Caliphs[edit]
      Many notable Caliphs have had their share of ruling over the Kiswah. Muawiyah I used to drape the Kaaba twice a year, along with the help of Abd-Allah ibn al-Zubayr, and Abd al-Malik. They brought the traditional silk covering into effect.
      Al-Nasir, the Abbasid Caliph, established the current practise of dressing the Kaaba with only one Kiswah at a time, superseding the former custom of allowing old Kiswah to accumulate one over the other. When Al-Nasir performed Hajj in 160 AH, he saw that the accumulated Kiswah could cause damage to the Kaaba itself, and therefore decreed that only one Kiswah should drape the Kaaba at any one time.
      The Caliph Al-Ma’mun, draped the Kaaba three times a year, each time with a different colour: red on the eighth of Dhu al-Hijjah, white gabati on the first of Rajab, and another red brocade on the twenty-ninth of Ramadan. Later on, Al-Nasir draped the Kaaba with green; both he and Al-Ma’mun disagreed on the frequent colour changes and switched to black, the only colour that has since been used for Kiswah. Black Kiswah supported by Tradition of Prophet to Mourning, some associated it with Battle of Karbala however saying of Prophet to wrap Kaaba with black cloth after 100 Years or before when events of Sorrow took start.

      • Jazak’Allah, Rafiq sb, for this detailed enlightenment on the history of the kiswa. And I am personally of the opinion that all expense of using gold n silver thread in embroidering it is a waste of money and also changing it every year!

        Instead, all that no ey n effort and be used for the betterment of the the needy, etc., which would be more meritorious in Allah’s eyes, don’t you think so?

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