Kiswa To Be Changed On 1st Muharram 1446 [2024]

The covering of Ka’bah, the Kiswah will be replaced on the 1st of Muharram 1446. The month of Muharram marks the beginning of the Islamic year.
Annual Ceremony to Replace Kiswah on 1st Muharram 1446
Photo: CNN Indonesia

The ceremony involves the removal of the old Kiswah and replacing it with a new one.

The annual ceremony to replace the Kiswah, the sacred cloth covering the Ka’bah, is set to take place on the 1st of Muharram 1446. This revered tradition, which historically occurred on the day of Arafah during the Hajj pilgrimage, has seen a recent shift in its scheduling.

The Kiswah, an intricate and beautifully embroidered black silk cloth adorned with Quranic verses in gold thread, is a symbol of the Ka’bah’s sanctity. The process of replacing it is a meticulously planned event, reflecting the deep respect and reverence held for the Ka’bah, the most sacred site in Islam.

In previous years, the ceremony was held on the day of Arafah, the ninth day of Dhu al-Hijjah, coinciding with the pinnacle of the Hajj pilgrimage. This timing was symbolic, aligning with the day when millions of pilgrims gathered on the plain of Arafah in prayer and reflection. However, recent adjustments have moved the ceremony to the 1st of Muharram, the first day of the Islamic New Year.

This change allows the event to stand alone, free from the logistical challenges of the Hajj pilgrimage, ensuring a focused and dignified ceremony. It also symbolizes a new beginning, aligning the renewal of the Kiswah with the start of the Islamic calendar year.

The process of changing the Kiswah involves a dedicated team from the King Abdulaziz Complex to Manufacturing the Ka’bah’s Kiswah. This facility, located in Makkah, is responsible for the intricate task of creating the Kiswah, which requires months of preparation and craftsmanship. The fabric is woven, dyed, and embroidered with great care, using around 670 kilograms of pure silk and 120 kilograms of gold and silver threads.

On the day of the ceremony, the old Kiswah is carefully removed and replaced with the new one. This process takes several hours and involves precision and respect. The old Kiswah is then cut into pieces and distributed as gifts to dignitaries and religious organizations around the world, continuing the legacy of the sacred cloth.

The ceremony is attended by officials from the Saudi Arabian government, religious leaders, and dignitaries from various Muslim countries. It is a moment of deep spiritual significance, marking the continuity of tradition and the unwavering reverence for the Ka’bah.

The decision to shift the ceremony to the 1st of Muharram also aligns with the broader efforts to streamline the organization of Hajj and Umrah, ensuring the safety and comfort of pilgrims. By separating the Kiswah replacement from the Hajj activities, authorities can better manage both events, providing a more serene experience for pilgrims and a dignified ceremony for the Kiswah replacement.

As the 1st of Muharram 1446 approaches, Muslims worldwide anticipate this revered tradition, reflecting on its spiritual significance and the timeless connection it fosters with their faith. The renewal of the Kiswah stands as a symbol of devotion, continuity, and the sacred bond between the Ka’bah and the global Muslim community.

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