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Holy Kaaba to have new lock, key
Monday September 30, 2013 6:16 PM, IINA

The lock and key of the Holy Kaaba will be replaced with new ones during the customary washing of Islam's holiest shrine in the beginning of next Hijri year (early November), according to the Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques.

The new lock and key will be handed over formally to the keeper (Sadin) of the Kaaba and their installation will be done in his presence, said Ahmad Al-Mansouri, spokesman of the Presidency.

Al-Mansouri urged all Muslims not to believe in rumors as well as in exaggerated and incorrect reports with regard to changing of the lock.

"Everyone should believe only on confirmed reports from the reliable authorities in this matter," he said.

Referring to the steps taken to replace the old lock, Al-Mansouri said: The demand to replace the old lock with a new one first came from former senior Sadin the late Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Shaibi.

He wrote a letter to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah on Dhul Hijja 15, 1429, in which he had mentioned the difficulties faced in opening the door of the Kaaba for washing on Shaaban 1, 1429.

It was revealed that the lock, which was made more than 30 years ago, was rusting. As a result, the lock was taken to a specialized workshop for maintenance work. It returned to its position after the maintenance work that lasted for 12 hours was completed.

Subsequent to this, Al-Mansouri said, a Royal order was issued on Jamad Al-Thani 20, 1430, instructing King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) to carry out studies on the technical aspects of replacing the lock.

Accordingly, a scientific team carried out studies about the lock and its salient features so as to make a more durable lock keeping its unique features.

The team also considered Sadin's report that stressed the point that the lock's life expectancy was over and that the blade of the lock was not functioning properly. Apart from this, he also suggested replacing the lock with an 18-carat gold one.

The Presidency also took a copy of the old lock.

The new lock was manufactured in line with the Royal decree, and the design work of its prototype was done by KACST on the basis of the old locks and in line with the instructions from the Presidency. Then, KACST delivered a sample of the lockto the concerned agency to manufacture it.

The Presidency asked the scientific team to ensure that the new lock fulfills the required standards, he said.

According to Al-Mansouri, the team examined the new lock on Sept. 12 in the presence of the head of the Presidency and President of KACST.

The Presidency chief sent a request to the King on Sept. 16, seeking permission to install the new lock during the next washing ceremony of the Kaaba in the beginning of the next Hijri year in the presence of the Sadin, he added.

The Presidency reiterated that Allah designated Al-Shaibi family as the keeper of the Kaaba and as such the State is keen to continue this position in all occasions by calling the Sadin to open its door and take part in the washing ceremony.

The Presidency undertakes the responsibilities of supervising the cleaning work, replenishing the cans with Zamzam water and creating a serene atmosphere for pilgrims and visitors to the Grand Mosque.

It also noted that the leader of the nation preferred to use the title of serving the Two Holy Mosques that shows his utmost keenness in their guardianship. Usually the key of the Kaaba is used twice a year during its washing: Once in the month of Muharram and then on the first day of the month of Shaaban.

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