Ghilaf-e-Kaaba: Annual Ritual of Changing Kiswah

The annual practice of changing the Kiswah (Ghilaf-e-Kaaba) takes place at Saudi Arabia’s Masjid al-Haram.

The Kiswah, a large piece of black silk with golden designs embroidered on it, is draped above the Kaaba to mark the start of the Hajj season.

Hajj is one of Islam’s five pillars and consists of a pilgrimage to Makkah to execute religious rituals outlined in the Holy Quran.

Throughout history, the Kiswah have undergone significant transformations. It has been covered in red, white, green, and black brocade at different times.

The 14-meter-tall garment is made of pure silk fiber with gold and silver-plated thread and designs depicting verses from the Holy Quran.


Hundreds of weaving experts at a specific factory dedicated just to the fabrication of the Kiswah spent an estimated — million riyals on the preparation of the Ghilaf-e-Kaaba.

Foreign dignitaries will receive pieces of the gold Ghilaf, which covers four walls and the Kaaba’s entryway.


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One comment on “Ghilaf-e-Kaaba: Annual Ritual of Changing Kiswah

[…] There are only three pillars supporting the roof and a few hung silver and gold lighting in the interior. During most of the year the Kaaba is covered with an enormous cloth of black brocade, the kiswah. […]

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