You behold the enormous throngs of people circulating religiously around the grand mystical Black Square in Mecca Saudi Arabia. These throngs consist of the Muslim pilgrims who gather at their holiest Islamic land of Mecca to perform their two inevitably significant events named Hajj and Umrah.
The Muslims in their immense religious fervour circulate the Black Square. This Holy Black Square is known as the Holy Kaaba. It is extremely revered and auspicious for the Muslims. It has a long history of construction and spiritual significance.
The Covering of Kaaba and its Interesting Facts
There are various speculations about this Square building and its construction in the whole world. It’s not a mere Muslim’s Epicenter but a magnet for the entire world as well. This holy Kaaba terms as the direction of prayer for the Muslims which is called Qibla by them.
This Holy Square appears Black because of the Black covering cloth. This Black cloth enveloping the Kaaba is known as Kiswah.
Kaaba wasn’t a Cube of Black Color
It is a super interesting fact that the Kaaba was neither a Cube nor Black. This now world-famed Cube was started in rectangular shape which was reconstructed later into the Square shaped building.
Moreover, instead of the Black trademark cloth Kiswah Kaaba cloth, the Kaaba was covered in multi-colours including Green, Red and even White. The tradition of Black coloured covering was started at the time of Abbasid Caliphate in Arab which is still present today.
Kaaba Clothing Tradition- An Emblem of Immense Respect
The Arabs regarded the service of Kaaba adorning as a matter of immense respect. They took great pride in beautifying it even before the Prophet’s ( SAW) time. They merrily used to drape it with a super fine type of cloth.
However, it must be noted that there is no religious connection with the clothing and colour of the Kaaba. This Black clothing only signifies the continued Saudi tradition.
Postmodern Tradition of Kiswah Kaaba Clothing
Today, the Kiswah Kaaba Cloth is changed every year during the days of Hajj and the pieces of the old cloth are said to be distributed as gifts around the world often to the VIPs and guests of Saudi Arabia.
Kiswah Factory- A Government Owned Building
It is said that It was either the Prophet Ismail or a grandfather of the Prophet Mohammad ( SAW) who first placed the Kiswah cloth curtain upon this holy building.
The work on Kaaba curtain continued with religious zeal after the Holy Prophet ( SAW) in the period of Umayyad, Abbasid, Mamluk, and Ottoman rules. Long before Saudi Arabia, Kiswa was Egyptian souvenir,
Afterwards, this sacred duty had been lifted by the Government-owned superb factory named as Kiswah factory in Makkah. The Saudi Kingdom took serious initiatives for making the Kiswah by bringing in the expert craftsmen and importing the highest quality of durable silk which is dyed black.
It is written that the late King Abdul Aziz issued the orders for the first time for the grand manufacture of Kiswah in Makkah. The exact date of the foundation of this Kaaba Cloth factory varies with varied stances.
Location of Kiswah Factory
This Kaaba curtain manufacturing cloth is about 17km drive west of the central Makkah. This factory is worth and must visit to observe how the skilled artisans are engrossed in sewing the Golden calligraphy into the silk Black cloth. This Kiswah factory is 10 min away from the Masjid e Haram. Adjacent to this factory, A worth eying museum known as the Exhibition on Buildings of the two Harams. It is highly recommended to consult with a trusted tour company for the proper visit to this laudable place.
Time of Preparation
The Kiswah curtain is changed annually on 9th Dhul Hajj as per every Hijri year. The process of Kiswah making takes around 8 to 10 months in its completion. Once completed, the new Kiswah is handed over to Masjid e Haram.
Process of Making Kiswah
The Kiswah factory has various divisions and sections working in a decent and disciplined way. These separate divisions are specialized in dyeing, weaving, embroidery and assembly. The Kiswah manufacturing passes through different commendable stages, starting with testing the quality of silk which is followed by the process of dying. It is then weaved manually and automatically when the process of dying is completed. After this, the cloth is printed and embroidered and then finally assembled.
This factory employs around 200 craftsmen as well as management. Moreover, the whole manufacturing staff is offered private housing, which is one of the several facilities provided to the craftsmen by the Saudi authority. The sight of this awe-inspiring process of Kiswah manufacturing is surely a delight for the touristic world.
The Components of the Kiswah Cloth
The Kabah curtain Kiswah constitutes about 700 kg of Silk and 120 kg of gold and silver threads. The massive charismatic cloth is the product of 47 pieces of top quality cloth pieces. Kiswah is attached firmly to the ground around the Kaaba with copper rings. The specialists keenly observe the measurements of its length, size, and dimensions to ensure the accuracy and all-perfection before handing it over to Masjid e Haram.
Pre-Requisites of the Visit
This place is a worth-watch for adults, young adults and senior citizens. However, it must be noted that it is mandatory to obtain a special Saudi permit to visit this beautiful place. The timings of your visit would be allotted to you by the Govt. officials. However, the general official visiting timings are said to be Saturdays, Mondays, and Wednesdays from 9 am until 12 pm.
Article by: Hajj and Umrah