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Azamgarh artisans embroider Ka’aba cover

Mubarakpur (Azamgarh): Uttar Pradesh’s Azamgarh district has earned name and fame for many of its characteristics. Among many things that have brought fame to it, one is the beautiful and priceless embroidery work on the cover (ghilaaf) of Holy Ka’aba in Makkah, credit for which goes to Haji Sufian of Mubarakpur town of Azamgarh district which is famous, along with Mau, for cotton and silk cloths and artistic work.
The project of embroidery work on Ka’ba’s cover was first given to Haji Sufian. After his death about 3 years ago, his two sons Imran and Waseem are doing this stupendous artistic work efficiently. It may be stated in this connection that the silk, gold and silver studed cover of Ka’aba is changd every year. Prepared from pure silk, gold and silver threads, about 700 kilos of pure silk and approximately 120 kilos of gold and silver threads are used for this purpose. The cover or ghalaf consists of 47 pieces and every piece is 14 metres long and 101 centimetres or about one metre wide.
The entire work is completed in about 10 months and is done skilfully by the expert artisans of Mubarakpur’s neighbouring villages under the close supervision of Imran and Waseem whose father Sufian did this great job for 35 years. The process of changing the cover of Ka’aba starts immediately after the Fajr Namaaz of 9 Zil Hijj i.e. one day before Eiduzzuha and according to pre-determined plan, is completed by the ‘Asr (afternoon or evening) namaz. During the period of Haj, the cover is kept 3 ft above the ground. 

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 December 2016 on page no. 14

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