Change of Ghilaf-e-Kaaba, an annual ritual during Haj pilgrimag

Known as the kiswa, the cloth is woven from silk and cotton and adorned with verses from the Koran. A new one is made each year to be placed on the Kaaba in Mecca’s Grand Mosque Muslim Haj pilgrimage. Photo: Reuters.

This year, around 2 million faithful, from around the globe, are performing Hajj. They will leave for Waqoof-e-Arafat today, which is the Rukan-e-Azam of Hajj.

The pilgrims spent Wednesday night at Mina, under the open sky, before moving to the rocky hill where Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him) gave his final sermon 14 centuries ago.


The pilgrims will gather to hear the Hajj sermon, delivered by the grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, at Masjid-e-Nimra. After sunset, the pilgrims will leave for Muzdalifah (located halfway between Arafat and Mina) where they will stay for a night and offer prayers.

One hundred thousand police have been deployed to secure pilgrimage sites. Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, and every capable Muslim must perform it at least once in their lifetime.