Sunday, July 14, 2024

Who Holds the Key to the Holy Kaaba?

Although the Saudi government is in charge of managing Masjid al-Haram and the Holy Kaaba, the Al-Shaiba tribe holds the keys to the Kaaba.

Before Islam spread throughout the world, the grandsons of Qusai bin Kilab bin Murrah specialised in taking care of the Kaaba, including holding onto its keys, for more than 16 centuries.


One of the branches of the bin Murrah family was the al-Shaiba tribe, who were granted the keys to the holy place by Prophet Mohammed in the year of the conquest of Mecca. 

When Islam conquered Makkah in the eighth year of Hijrah, our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) attempted to enter the Kaaba but was unable to do so because the door was locked. The public saw it and suggested to the Prophet (PBUH) that the keys were with Uthman Ibn Talha, who was hiding on the top of the Kaaba.

Ali Ibn Abi Talib (AS) was then given the order by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to take the keys from Uthman Ibn Talha and open the Kaaba gate.


Uthman Ibn Talha refused to give Ali (AS) the keys when he asked for them. But after he denied giving the keys to anyone, Ali (AS) snatched them up for him. Then Ali (AS) opened the gate of the Kaaba.

Prophet (PBUH) entered and was offering the salah. At that time, Jibrael (AS) came with the revelation of the Holy Quran; the verses were: Give the key back to its rightful owner.

As soon as the Prophet (PBUH) heard these verses of the Holy Quran, he commanded Ali (AS) to give the keys back to Uthman Ibn Talha. Uthman Ibn Talha was shocked to see when Ali (AS) returned the keys after the Prophet’s (PBUH) command. He cannot believe the fact that the Prophet (PBUH), who has conquered Makkah, is returning the keys to him. Later, Ali (AS) explained that Allah (SWT) wanted Uthman Ibn Talha to have the keys to the Kaaba.

Uthman Ibn Talha accepted Islam. The Kaaba’s keys will remain in the possession of Uthman Ibn Talha’s family until the day of judgement, according to a second message from Allah that Jibril (AS) brought.

This story is indeed an astonishing thing to know as a Muslim. Until now, the keys are with the family of Uthman Ibn Talha (RA), and his family is protected by the Saudi authorities. 

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