Who Holds the Key to the Holy Kaaba?

Although Masjid al-Haram and the Holy Kaaba 🕋 are being managed by the Saudi Government, the keys of the Holy Kaaba are with Al-Shaiba tribe.

Keys of Kaaba before Islam

Before the introduction of Islam, the custodian of the key of the Holy Kaaba is the grandsons of Qusai Bib Kilab Bin Murrah. 

After the conquest of Makkah, Ali Ibn Talib رضي الله عنه took the key to the Holy Kaaba from Othman ibn Talha, the non-Muslim keeper of the Kaaba. As soon as it happened, Allah revealed the following verse to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ with the order to give the key back to its rightful owner.

Indeed, Allah commands you to return trusts to their rightful owners; and when you judge between people, judge with fairness. – An-Nisa 4:58

Othman ibn Talha embraced Islam

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ ordered Ali Ibn Talib رضي الله عنه to return the keys to Othman ibn Talha and apologized for the misbehavior.

Othman ibn Talha was shocked to see how the conqueror of Makkah is returning the keys back to him while he is not even a Muslim. Ali Ibn Talib رضي الله عنه told him that Allah wanted him to keep the keys of the Holy Kaaba.

Upon this, Othman ibn Talha رضي الله عنه immediately embraced Islam. Till Today, Bani Shaiba is the guardian of the keys to the Holy Kaaba.

Thus, they are tasked to take complete care of this holy place, including opening and closing the door, cleaning and washing, and taking care of Kishwah.

Key to Kaaba and Tawba door

The video Featured Saleh Al Shaiba, the Sheikh of Shaiba tribe displaying the keys of the Holy Kaaba and Tawbah door. The Tawbah door grants access to the roof of the Kaaba.

How does the Key look like?

The keys of Holy Kaaba are made of nickel plated with 18-carat gold. The length id the key is 35 centimeters. They are kept in a green pouch with golden embroidery that marks “God tells you to perform your task for people.”

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