After news that the Ministry of Haj and Umrah has stopped receiving applications for Umrah visas, the latest update is that the Holy Kaaba is actually going through periodic maintenance. The building is open twice every year for “the cleaning of the Kaaba” ceremony.
This ceremony takes place around thirty days before the start of Ramadan and thirty days before the start of Hajj. In case you’re wondering, the keys to the Kaaba are held by the Banī Shaiba tribe.
Maintenance work had already begun on 17 June. This crucial project is under the supervision of the Ministry of Finance, and the Presidency of the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques.
The washing ritual of the Kaaba was done earlier in April. The process started off by completing two raka’ah of voluntary prayers inside the black cuboidal structure. The interior walls are then cleansed with rose, oud and musk perfumes using a white cloth. Zamzam water infused with rose perfume is then splashed on the floor and wiped with bare hands using palm leaves.
After the cleaning process is complete, the floor and walls are dried again with white cloth and tissues. Later, the walls are perfumed using large quantities of rose perfume and oud. The holy Kaaba is also incensed.
The ceremonial washing of Kaaba is done in accordance with the example of Prophet Muhammad PBUH, who washed it after entering the Kaaba at the time of the conquest of Makkah.