Touching or possessing a piece of Kiswa, the Holy Kaaba’s covering garment, is regarded as a tremendous honour and blessing among Muslims.
Typically, the Kiswa, as the fabric is known in Arabic, is replaced during the Hajj pilgrimage.
However, it was changed this year in an elaborate ceremony after Saudi Arabia marked the beginning of the new Islamic year, 1445 Hijri, today (Wednesday), according to Al Arabiya News.
Thousands of craftsmen hand-make the gold-laced black cloth that shrouds the Holy Kaaba with much effort and affection. It is constructed of dyed silk with 120 kilogrammes of gold and 100 kilogrammes of silver wires sewn on it.
The preparation takes months, but pilgrims from all around the world can participate by stitching in the gorgeous embroidery that incorporates words from the Holy Quran.
However, there was a time in Pakistan’s history when the country was given the honour of preparing the holy cover of the Kaaba at home.
According to Urdu News, a Saudi committee visited various workshops in Pakistan in 1962 and handed the sacred assignment to Karachi’s Waheed-ud-Din Ansari.
Ansari owned a fabric store in the Saddar neighbourhood that sold silk cloth.
The Saudi authorities had instructed the silk house to make a sample first, which Shah Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the then-Saudi monarch, liked so much that he entrusted the manufacturing of Kiswa to Ansari and his staff. The fabric, on the other hand, was sent from Saudi Arabia.
Rizwan Ullah Ansari, Ansari’s son, told Urdu News that 34 employees were hired for the job and that the Kiswa was completed in three months under Ansari’s supervision.
According to the account, the then-Pakistani president, General Ayub Khan, also took part in the holy activity.
The Kiswa was presented to thousands of people at Karachi’s Polo Ground before being returned to Saudi Arabia.