Makkah: Governor of Makkah Prince Khaled Al-Faisal washed the holy Kaaba and Maqam Ibrahim in the Grand Holy Mosque using scented Zamzam water on Sunday morning.
Representing King Salman, Prince Khaled led the ceremony of washing Kaaba with Zamzam water mixed with rose water. A number of princes, ministers, officials, members of Islamic diplomatic corps accredited to the Kingdom, and citizens took part in the washing ceremony.
The Kaaba washing is a customary tradition which takes place twice a year.
“We washed the Kaaba from the inside using 45 liters of scented Zamzam water,” said the main caretaker of the Kaaba, Sheikh Saleh Bin Zainalabdeen Al-Shaibi, who opens the door of the Kaaba for the washing right after dawn prayers.
“It took us two hours to fully wash the inside of the Kaaba. Praying inside the Kaaba is a great honor as Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) himself had prayed inside,” said Al-Shaibi.
Giving details of the inside walls of the Kaaba are three meters high and the ceiling is covered with green silken cloth.
“We also washed the Maqam Ibrahim, where the footprints of Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh) are imprinted. We cleaned the Maqam using scented Zamzam water. It took us four hours to clean it from inside and outside,” said Al-Shaibi.
“Taking care of the Kaaba has been a family tradition for many decades. Most of the caretakers are from Al-Shaibi family and we consider it as an honor that has been granted to us,” said Al-Shaibi.
Stating that he has the key to the gate of the Kaaba, Al-Shaibi said, “The key is 25-cm long. I am the only one authorized to open the Kaaba for washing and then to close it after the washing is over and the King has performed his prayers.
"Sometimes we have Muslim diplomatic guests coming from different countries. We let them pray inside the Kaaba,” said Al-Shaibi.