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Meet Sheikh Saleh Al Shaiba: The Key Holder Of Makkah’s Holy Kaaba

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Ever wondered who holds the key to one of the most famous places in the world and the most visited place by muslims? Well, meet Sheikh Saleh Al Shaiba

Sheikh Saleh is a descendant of the Shaiba tribe, who are the designated key-holders for the Holy Kaaba. The Bani Shaiba or the sons of Shaiba are the tribe that hold the keys to the holy site. By this it doesn’t just mean holding the keys, it quite litereally translates to taking care of the Kaaba. This includes opening, cleaning and washing it, and re-placing the cloth. He is in charge of making sure the Kaaba is washed twice a year with ONLY rose water and Zamzam.

The key is plated with 18-carat gold and is a whole 35 centimeters long

Officials have stated that the shape of the key often changes, as a over 40 keys have been used over the years. While Saudi holds 2 replicas of the key, a museum in Turkey houses around 49 previously used keys.

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