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In keeping with tradition, the lower part of the kiswa — the black cloth covering the Kaaba in Makkah — has been raised about three meters and the area beneath has been covered with white cotton fabric, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday.
The same procedure is repeated annually before Hajj season in order to protect the kiswa, as some pilgrims touch it when circling the Kaaba.
Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, was present when the kiswa was raised.
Sultan Al-Qurashi, assistant to the president general for the affairs of the King Abdulaziz Complex for Holy Kaaba Kiswa, exhibitions, engineering, technical, and operational affairs, said that “raising the lower part of the kiswa serves to preserve its cleanliness and (integrity) and preventing tampering.” He added that the kiswa is also raised to prevent some pilgrims’ practices “based on false beliefs.”
Every year, on the ninth day of the Islamic month of Dul Hijjah, the black silk cloth is removed and a new kiswa is draped in its place.
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