MAKKAH: The new keeper of keys of the Holy Kaaba has said the role is a great honor and responsibility.
“It is a trusteeship I treasure and hope I can reconcile with,” said Sheikh Saleh Al-Shaibi.
Al-Shaibi became the senior Kaaba keeper after the death of his predecessor, Sheikh Abdulqader Al-Shaibi, two weeks ago.
“The responsibility of keeping the Kaaba’s keys is usually transferred to the eldest male member of the Al-Shaibi family, who is not necessarily the son of the previous keeper,” he said. He added that this arrangement has always allowed for the smooth transfer of the Kaaba trusteeship among the Al-Shaibi family without conflict.
The Kaaba trusteeship has been with the Al-Shaibi family for centuries. When the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) conquered Makkah in 630 AD, he asked for the key of the Kaaba. The Prophet prayed inside the Kaaba, cleaned it and handed the key back to Shaibah Bin Al-Awqas, an ancestor of Al-Shaibi, and said the key will remain with the family until the Day of Resurrection