Ghilaf-e-Kaaba changed as pilgrims surge to Arafat for Hajj sermon
MAKKAH: The annual ceremony of changing Ghilaf-e-Kaaba was held at the Grand Mosque of Makkah (Masjid-A-Haram) early this morning as more than two million faithfuls began gathering at Mount Arafat to listen the Hajj Sermon.
The new Ghilaf has been prepared at a cost of two hundred thousand riyal as six hundred seventy kilogram pure silk, 120 kilogram gold and one hundred kilogram silver have been used in it.
This ritual had started in the age of Hazrat Ismail AS and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) ordered change of Ghilaf-e-Kaaba after the conquest of Makkatul Mukarramah.
Imam Masjid ul Haram Dr. Abd ur Rahman Assudais and Governor Makka Khalid Faisal participated in the ritual.
Today, the pilgrims will move to Arafat, where they will listen the sermon to be delivered at Namira Mosque. They will perform Dhuhr and Asr prayers together at Arafat.
The pilgrims will spend the time in Arafat with prayers for acceptance of their pilgrimage and recitation of Qur’anic verses until sunset.
After sunset, they will head to Muzdalifah where they will stay until midnight and offer Maghreb and Isha prayers.
Every Muslim is required to complete the hajj at least once in their lifetime if they have the means to do so.
Tens of thousands of security personnel have been deployed for security of the pilgrimage, which was struck by its worst ever disaster three years ago when around 2,300 worshippers were crushed to death in a deadly stampede.
This year, the Saudis have launched a “smart hajj” initiative, with apps to help pilgrims with everything from travel plans to medical care.