Makkah: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman led the Holy Kaaba washing ceremony Sunday as part of an annual customary tradition before the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan.
After entering the Kaaba, the King performed two rakaa of voluntary prayers and washed the Kaaba’s wall. Then, he came out to kiss the Black Stone (Hajar Al-Aswad) and rub the Yamani corner.
King Salman was accompanied by Crown Prince Muhammad bin Naif, deputy premier and minister of interior, Governor of Makkah Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, Jeddah Governor Prince Mishal bin Majed, Sheikh Abdul Rahmal Al-Sudais, head of the Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, and several other princes, scholars and officials.
During his visit, the King reviewed the ongoing largest ever expansion in the history of the Grand Mosque as well as other major development projects in Makkah.
The King said that the move comes to respect the commandments of the late King Abdullah.
He also inspected the third phase of the mataf (circumambulation area around the Holy Kaaba).
The King tasked Prince Khaled to follow up speedy implementation of all projects in Makkah on time.
Earlier in the ongoing month, Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, head of the Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques had said that the ceremonial washing of the Holy Kaaba will be conducted only once a year and will be performed during the first Hijri month of Muharram.
His statement came days before the Holy Kaaba washing ceremony was to be held on Shaaban 1 - about two weeks ago.
Saleh Al-Shaibi, keeper of the Kaaba, said the move was aimed at ensuring the safety and security of worshippers.
He added that some onlookers sustained injuries after falling from structures last year.