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Keyholder and caretaker of Ka’ba in Makkah, Sheikh Al-Shaibi passes away

Sheikh Saleh Al Shaibi

Sheikh Saleh Al Shaibi, the chief key holder and caretaker of the holy Ka’ba in Makkah, Saudi Arabia has passed away.

Al-Shaibi passed away on Saturday after a prolonged illness.

He was the 109th successor in a line that dates back to Uthman bin Talha, a companion Prophet Mohammed, to whom the key of the Ka’ba was originally entrusted.

Death

The burial took place at the Al Mu’alla Cemetery in Makkah.

Al-Shaibi son, Abdulrahman Saleh Al-Shaibi, told Arab News that saying farewell to his father was one of the hardest and saddest moments of his life.

The General Presidency for the Affairs of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque mourned the death of Al-Shaibi.

“With hearts content with God’s decree, the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque and all its employees extend their deepest condolences to the family of the deceased, Sheikh Dr. Saleh bin Zain Al-Abidin Al-Shaibi, the senior caretaker of the Holy Kaaba.”

Al-Shaibi, who held a doctorate in Islamic studies, was a university professor and an author of several works on creed and history.

His responsibilities included opening and closing the Ka’ba, cleaning, washing, repairing its Kiswa (covering), and welcoming visitors. He took over the guardianship after the death of his uncle, Abdulqader Taha Al-Shaibi, in 2013.

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Hajj

Al-Shaibi’s passing comes just a week after the annual Hajj in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Hajj and Umrah Minister Tawfiq bin Fawzan al-Rabiah said more than 1.83 million Muslims performed Hajj in 2024.

Delivering Hajj sermon at Masjid-e-Nimrah in Arafat, which reached a staggering one billion listeners worldwide, Makkah Imam, Sheikh Maher Al Muaiqly called Muslims to forge unity, saying it would surely lead to salvation of the Ummah (Muslim community)  in addition to averting any discords or divisions.

Sheikh Muaiqly also prayed for peace in Palestine.

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