Ambassadors leave Riyadh for Kaaba washing

Updated 09 November 2014

Ambassadors leave Riyadh for Kaaba washing

A number of Muslim ambassadors based in the capital left for Makkah on Friday to take part in the ceremonial washing of the Kaaba on Saturday morning. Aside from the Muslim members of the diplomatic group, top Saudi officials including several ministers, Islamic scholars, Muslim diplomats, as well as citizens and visitors to the Grand Mosque are expected to attend the washing ceremony.
The scheduled washing ceremony will be led by Makkah Gov. Prince Mishaal bin Abdullah, on behalf of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah. The Kaaba is given a new Kiswa (covering) on the 9th of Dul Hijjah when pilgrims proceed to Arafat for the main event of the Haj.
The ceremonial washing of Kaaba is held following the example of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), who washed it after entering it at the time of the conquest of Makkah. The sacred event takes place twice a year on the 15th of Shabaan (the month preceding the fasting month of Ramadan) and in mid-Muharram (the month after Dul Hijjah when Muslims perform Haj).
South African Ambassador Mohammad Sadiq Jaafar said he deemed it a great honor to participate in the washing of the Kaaba. “This is the fifth time I am fortunate enough to get this honor,” the envoy added.
Sri Lankan Senior Minister for Urban Affairs Abdul Hameed Mohamed Fowzie, who has come to Makkah on invitation from Haj Minister Bandar Hajjar, said it is a wonderful opportunity to take part in the ceremony. He thanked the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and his government for rendering a yeoman's service to the Islamic Ummah through his magnanimity. Fowzie is also the chairman of the island's Haj committee in Colombo.
Bangladesh Ambassador Mohammed Shahidul Islam said that he is going to participate in the ceremony for the ninth time consecutively. “I am really proud and happy that the Haj Ministry has given me this opportunity once more,” he added.
The washing ritual begins with the performance of two raka’hs of Nafl prayer inside the Kaaba. The interior walls are then cleaned with rose, oud and musk perfumes using white cloth. Zamzam water mixed with rose perfume is then splashed on the floor and wiped with bare hands and palm leaves.
Before entering the Kaaba to do the washing, the governor is slated to circle the Kaaba seven times (Tawaf) during which he will touch the Black Stone.


All-female Saudi tourist group explores wonders of Tabuk

Updated 21 October 2019

All-female Saudi tourist group explores wonders of Tabuk

  • About 20 women from different parts of the Kingdom took part in the sightseeing trip to the province bordering the Red Sea

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s first all-female tourist group has explored the environmental and archaeological wonders of Tabuk in the northwest of the Kingdom.

About 20 women from different parts of the Kingdom took part in the sightseeing trip to the province bordering the Red Sea.

“They were astonished to see such sights in their country, especially the area of Ras Al-Sheikh Humaid,” said Heba Al-Aidai, a tour guide in Tabuk who organized the trip.

“They did not expect to see such a place in Saudi Arabia. They looked speechless while standing close to the turquoise water of the sea. It is a truly breathtaking view.”

Al-Aidai and her colleague Nafla Al-Anazi promoted the trip on social media and attracted a group of homemakers, teachers and staff workers from all over the Kingdom, aged from 22 to over 50.

The tour was educational, too, and the women were told about the history of the places they visited. “They were taken to the Caves of Shuaib (Magha’er Shuaib), the place where Prophet Moses fled after leaving Egypt, and where he got married to one of the daughters of Prophet Shuaib, according to some historians. It was really a positive experience,” Al-Aidai said.

The visitors also explored Tayeb Ism, a small town in northwestern Tabuk, where there is a well-known gap in the towering mountains through which water runs throughout the year.

Al-Aidai said such trips aim to encourage tourism in Tabuk, and introduce Saudi tourists and other visitors to the landmarks of the region.