Why people swallow Kiswah? The cover of Holy Kaaba

As reported by Makkah daily, many Hajj and Umrah pilgrims are observed swallowing the thread of Kiswah (The cover of Holy Kaaba). In the course of performing Hajj, many pilgrims attempt to cut and remove the threads of the Kiswah using their rings and scissors based on the peculiar misconception, that the strands taken out from the Kiswah would bring good luck and prosperity. The useless act of swallowing the Kiswah thread has led to disfiguration of the Kiswah.[irp]

The Holy Kaaba is covered with new Kiswah cover every year on 10th DhulHijjah, which coincides with Hajj. The old Kiswah cloth, when removed, is cut into small pieces and gifted to individuals, organization and to foreigners coming from far-off countries.

The Kiswah is covered all around four sides of the Kaaba and is strongly fixed with the ground using copper rings. Golden and Silver thread is used for the embroidery on the Kaaba Kiswa. The material is basically silk which is black in color to which a golden embroidered band is sewn at three-fourth of the distance from the bottom. Muhammad Bajoudah, the director of the factory manufacturing the Kaaba Kiswah said that a huge number of pilgrims especially the Umrah performers pluck the threads of the Kiswah in a disrespectful manner.

They swallow the thread due to misconception and self-created beliefs which do not exist in reality. It is just a mere act of ignorance that leads to disfiguration of the Kiswa. People don’t realize that the Kiswah is designed to cover Kaaba (The house of Allah) and is not associated with good luck or blessing.

He added that he can only pray Allah to show the mislead people the right way. There is no evidence of carrying out the pointless practice of cutting the Kiswah cloth anywhere. The act of cutting Kiswah cloth is becoming a tradition for many people. He further added that there is a special department that monitors the Kiswah to be newly covered around the Kaaba.

The team of workers keeps a vigilant eye on the Kiswah, and mends it time to time. But it is very difficult to keep check and balance of the cloth all the time. The team members and workers fix the problems that occur on daily basis.

Despite the non-entry of the pilgrims near the Kaaba (House of Allah) many pilgrims and worshippers easily get a chance and cut the threads leaving the Kaaba Kiswah in unequal proportions.

The committee for the promotion of the virtue and prevention of the Vice (HAIA) is being also aware of this problem that takes place every year. The committee is working on an action plan that can help to minimize this issue. Carrying any sort of cutlery especially knives and scissors will be strictly prohibited.[irp]

The other idea is to either add a proper plastic transparent sheet or cover the Kaaba Kiswah with a translucent cover that can stop the pilgrims to actually get hold of the original Kiswah cloth layered under the transparent plastic cover.

Source: Al Arabiya