CAIRO - After 30 years in its place, the lock of holy Ka`aba has been changed, replacing a rusty one that has not been working effectively recently, Arab News reported.
An order has been issued to King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology to make a technical study on the issue, the General Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques said in a statement.
After studies, it was found that the door needs a new lock from 18 Carat gold, it added.
The new lock was handed to the senior Sadin, the Ka`aba's key keeper, Shiekh Abdulqader Al-Shaibi.
The statement followed a controversy which erupted after Sheikh Abdulqader Al-Sheibi said that Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, head of the General Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques, inspected the new lock while the Sadin was away.
Though the change came at the request of the late senior Sadin Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Sheibi, the previous keeper of the Holy Ka`aba's door key, the new Ka`aba's key keeper said he should have been notified about the matter.
All affairs of the Ka`aba, such as the washing, changing the Kiswaa, the lock or the other affairs are usually notified by the Royal Court to the sadin, and not the general presidency, through the governor of Makkah, said the senior Sadin.
Usually the key is with the senior Sadin who is currently Shiekh Abdulqader Al-Shaibi.
The key is used twice a year: once in the month of Muharram and the second is in the first day of the month of Sha'ban.
Sadins are originally members of the Al-Shaibi family whose history can be traced to pre-Islamic period.
Since Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) handed over the key of the Ka`aba to Othman bin Talha, the Prophet's companion's lineage sons have been inheriting it and the title Sadin of the Ka`aba until today.
During the days of Prophet Muhammad, his companion Abdullah bin Abbas, who was responsible for Zamzam water, asked the Prophet to assign Ka`aba key-keeping to him, he said,
But the prophet told him that in Surah An Nisa, Allah ordered us to return the trusts to those to whom they are due (AllÃ¢h commands that you should render back the trusts to those to whom they are due), and then he took the key to our grandfather Talha.
Makkah is home to the holiest Muslim places, including Ka`aba, Al-Masjid Al-Haram and Mount `Arafat.
Muslims from around the world pour into Makkah every year to perform hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam.
Twelve million pilgrims visit the city every year with the numbers expected to increase to 17 million by 2025.