MAKKAH — The ceremony of handing over the keys of the Holy Kaaba and the Maqam Ibrahim (Shrine of Prophet Ibrahim’s standing place) was held in Makkah on Monday. Sheikh Abdul Rahman bin Saleh Al-Shaibi, son of Sheikh Saleh Al-Shaibi, handed over the keys to Sheikh Abdul Wahhab bin Zain Al-Abidin Al-Shaibi, the 78th caretaker of the Kaaba.

Sheikh Abdul Wahhab, the oldest member of Al-Shaiba family, was named as successor of Sheikh Saleh Al-Shaibi, senior caretaker of Kaaba who died last Friday. It is customary to hand over the keys of the Kaaba and Maqam Ibrahim to the oldest member of the Al-Shaiba family.

After receiving the key of the Kaaba, Sheikh Abdul-Wahhab said: “May God grant me success in carrying out this duty under the government of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman.” Sheikh Abdul-Wahhab will open the Kaaba to facilitate the annual ceremonial washing on Muharram 15, 1446.

The caretaker of the Kaaba (sadin) is the only person who holds the key of the Kaaba, and is responsible for everything related to the affairs of the House of God, including changing its kiswa (cover), washing it, perfuming it, and opening and closing it. Since the time of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the Bani Shaiba family has been entrusted with the task of guarding the Kaaba, holding its key, and taking care of its affairs.

The Shaiba family continues to honor the tradition of the Prophet (PBUH) by handing down the position of keeper (sadin) of the Kaaba to its oldest member. When the Prophet (PBUH) entered the Kaaba after conquering Makkah, he smashed all the idols inside it, washed it, closed its gate and then called Othman Bin Talha of Bani Shaiba family and gave him the key saying, “These keys will remain with you until the Day of Judgment. No one can take it away from you except an oppressor.”

Al-Shaiba family has been the keepers of Kaaba since then as God desired so by revealing the only verse that was revealed inside the Kaaba. “Indeed, Allah commands you to render trusts to whom they belong to .....”

Dr. Saleh Al-Shaibi, who was a great scholar, academic and author, served as senior keeper of the Kaaba, spanning over a decade. He assumed the position as the 77th key holder of the Kaaba after the death of his uncle Sheikh Abdul Qadir Al-Shaibi in October 2014 and remained in this position until his death.

Al-Shaibi was the 10th senior keeper during the modern Saudi era, and he accompanied Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman a number of times when the King led the ceremonial Kaaba washing ceremony. Sheikh Saleh Al-Shaibi was succeeded by Sheikh Abdul Wahhab Al-Shaibi, the eldest member of the family

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