‘Abdullaah ibn Zaid ibn ‘Aasim (Radia-Allaahu ’anhu) narrated that Allaah’s Messenger (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Ibraheem declared Makkah sacred and made supplication for its people, and I declare Al-Madinah to be sacred, as Ibraheem declared Makkah sacred, and I make supplication for its Saa’ and Mudd (its sustenance to be blessed) twice as much as Ibraheem made supplication for the people of Makkah.” [Agreed upon]
1- The statement of the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), ‘Ibraheem declared Makkah sacred’ does not contradict what is affirmed in the two Saheehs (Al-Bukhaari and Muslim) from the statement of the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam): “Verily Allaah made Makkah sacred on the day He created the Heavens and the Earth” because Allaah is in fact the One Who makes things sacred, whilst Ibraheem [Abraham (‘Alayhis-salaam)] was just a conveyer. The sacredness of Makkah is thus attributed to Ibraheem (‘Alayhis-salaam) in respect of conveying the message, and attributed to Allaah as He is the Lawmaker. Ibraheem (‘Alayhis-salaam) announced the sacredness which had already been affirmed before.
2- Ibraheem (‘Alayhis-salaam) supplicated for its people to have blessings, as is mentioned in Surat al-Baqarah (2:126):
وَإِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ رَبِّ اجْعَلْ هَٰذَا بَلَدًا آمِنًا وَارْزُقْ أَهْلَهُ مِنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ مَنْ آمَنَ مِنْهُم بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ۖ
“And (remember) when Ibraheem (Abraham) said: ‘My Lord, make this city (Makkah) a place of security and provide its people with fruits, such of them as believe in Allaah and the Last Day.’”
And in Surat Ibraheem (14:37):
رَّبَّنَا إِنِّي أَسْكَنتُ مِن ذُرِّيَّتِي بِوَادٍ غَيْرِ ذِي زَرْعٍ عِندَ بَيْتِكَ الْمُحَرَّمِ رَبَّنَا لِيُقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ فَاجْعَلْ أَفْئِدَةً مِّنَ النَّاسِ تَهْوِي إِلَيْهِمْ وَارْزُقْهُم مِّنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَشْكُرُونَ
“O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring to dwell in an uncultivable valley by Your Sacred House (the Ka’bah at Makkah); in order, O our Lord, that they may perform As-Salaat (Iqaamat-as-Salaat), so fill some hearts among men with love towards them, and (O Allaah) provide them with fruits so that they may give thanks.”
And Allaah granted Ibraheem (‘Alayhis-salaam) his request.
3- Allaah’s Messenger (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) made Al-Madinah sacred and that is in accordance with what Allaah inspired him. He (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) supplicated to Allaah to bless the fruits and grains of the people of Al-Madinah. The Prophet Ibraheem (‘Alayhis-salaam) pronounced Makkah a sanctified place and prayed for its sustenance and livelihood. Similarly, the Prophet Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) pronounced the sanctity of Al-Madinah and prayed for the sustenance and livelihood of its residents.
4- The borders of the sanctuary of Al-Madinah:
‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (Radia-Allaahu ’anhu) narrated that Allaah’s Messenger (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Al-Madinah is sacred from ‘Air to Thawr.” [Muslim]
‘Air and Thawr are two mountains surrounding Al-Madinah. ‘Air is a well-known mountain south of Al-Madinah and southwest of the Qubaa’ mosque; and Thawr is a mountain in the lower part of Makkah.
🌿The Characteristics of the Sanctuary of Makkah
Abu Hurairah (Radia-Allaahu ’anhu) narrated: “When Allaah, the Most High, granted His Messenger (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) victory at the Conquest of Makkah, the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) addressed the people. He praised and glorified Allaah, and said: ‘Allaah withheld the elephant from Makkah and empowered His Messenger (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and the believers over it. It has not been made lawful (i.e. fighting in it) for anyone before me, but it had been lawful for me for only one hour (between sunrise and ‘Asr) on that day (of the Conquest), and it will not be made lawful to anyone after me (to enter it fighting). Its wild game must not be frightened, its thorns are not to be cut. No one is allowed to pick up lost articles (Luqatah) unless he announces it (what he has found) publicly (in order to return it to the owner). If a person is killed inside its boundaries, then he (the closest relative) has the choice of the best of two options, i.e. either to accept compensation, (blood money) or to retaliate. Al-‘Abbaas (Radia-Allaahu ’anhu) then said: ‘Except for the (tree called) Al-Idhkhir, O Messenger of Allaah (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), because we use it in our graves and houses.’ he (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘Except Al-Idhkhir.’” [Agreed upon]
1/ The Prohibition of Fighting in it
Fighting in the sanctuary of Makkah is forbidden according to the Qur’anic text and the consensus of the ‘Ulamaa’ (council of Islamic scholars), except for fighting in defense, which is lawful even inside the Ka’bah. The evidence for this is Allaah’s Statement in Surat al-Baqarah (2:191):
وَلَا تُقَاتِلُوهُمْ عِندَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ حَتَّىٰ يُقَاتِلُوكُمْ فِيهِ فَإِن قَاتَلُوكُمْ فَاقْتُلُوهُمْ ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ جَزَاءُۖ الْكَافِرِينَ
“And fight not with them at Al-Masjid al-Haraam (the sanctuary at Makkah), unless they (first) fight you there. But if they attack you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.”
Commencing a fight is forbidden, and had only once been made lawful for the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) for a necessity. It became permissible for a short period during the day; between sunrise until the time of ‘Asr Prayer, when he (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) entered and conquered Makkah, and then it became unlawful again until the establishment of the Day of Judgment.
None of the Prophets and their nations were allowed to fight in Makkah, due to its sanctity and greatness. If trees are honored in Makkah, then what about the sons of Adam?
- Is this characteristic applicable to Al-Madinah as well?
- No, fighting was not made forbidden in the sanctuary of Al-Madinah. Unlike the people of Makkah, if it happened that the people of Al-Madinah deserved to be fought for abandoning a command, they would be fought for that.
2/ The Prohibition of cutting down trees (even if they are thorny), mowing grass, or uprooting thorny shrubs in the sanctuary of Makkah, except for Al-Idhkhir
Al-Idhkhir is a kind of grass which is used in the process of melting metals. It was also laid down on the roofs and floors of houses and is used in levelling graves.
This means that if one needs to open a road, and there is a tree in the middle, he should not cut it, except in the case of dire need. This ruling applies to trees which grow naturally (by Allaah’s action). As for the plants which people cultivate (e.g. in their homes), they belong to them and they have full authority in disposing them. So if one plants a palm tree in Makkah, he can uproot it, and if one cultivates any kind of plant, he can harvest it. As for plants besides these, they are honored, and are thus impermissible to cut.
This is also forbidden in the sanctuary of Al-Madinah. The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Al-Madinah is a sanctuary from that place to that. Its trees should not be cut, and no heresy should be innovated nor should any sin be committed in it; and whoever innovates a heresy or commits sins (bad deeds) in it, then he will incur the curse of Allaah, the angels, and all the people.” [Al-Bukhaari]
However, this prohibition is less in gravity than it is in Makkah. It is forbidden to cut any tree in Al-Madinah except if needed, such as cutting grass for the cattle, cutting trees to make use of the wood, and in order to plough the land, etc. The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) allowed all that. This is similar to the permissibility of cutting Al-Idhkhir in Makkah.
3/ The Prohibition of hunting game in the sanctuary of Makkah
This ruling applies to hunting game in the sanctuary of Al-Madinah as well, however it differs from the prohibition in Makkah in the following aspects:
- If a game is hunted in Al-Madinah, there is no penalty. As for hunting in Makkah, the penalty for the one who does so is similar to that of the Muhrim (the person in the state of Ihraam) who kills (hunts) game. Allaah says in Surat al-Ma’idah (5:95):
فَجَزَاءٌ مِّثْلُ مَا قَتَلَ مِنَ النَّعَمِ
“…the penalty is an offering, brought to the Ka’bah, of an edible animal (i.e. sheep, goat, cow, etc.) equivalent to the one he killed.”
Hunting in Al-Madinah is forbidden, and the person who hunts is considered a sinner, but there is no penalty on him.
- If a person kills an animal (game) in the sanctuary of Makkah, it is forbidden for him to eat its meat, just as it is forbidden for the Muhrim who does so. However, in Al-Madinah, he is not forbidden from eating it, although he is considered a sinner.
4/ It is forbidden for a Kaafir (disbeliever) or Mushrik (polytheist) to enter Makkah
Allaah (Ta’ala) says in Surat at-Tawbah (9:28):
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنَّمَا الْمُشْرِكُونَ نَجَسٌ فَلَا يَقْرَبُوا الْمَسْجِدَ الْحَرَامَ بَعْدَ عَامِهِمْ هَٰذَا
“O you who believe (in Allaah’s Oneness and in His Messenger [Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)]! Verily, the Mushrikun [polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allaah, and in the Message of Muhammad (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)] are Najasun (impure). So let them not come near Al-Masjid al-Haraam (at Makkah) after this year.”
This is in contrast to Al-Madinah, where it is permissible for a Kaafir to enter. This is because when the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) passed away, his sword was bonded (being held as collateral) by a Jewish man in Al-Madinah.
5/The Prohibition of picking up a fallen object with the intention of owning it
If one is walking and comes upon a wallet, money, or any fallen item, it is not allowed for him to pick it up, unless he picks it up with the intention of making an announcement for that item publicly for his whole life or restoring the same to its rightful owner. This is not like the fallen items of anywhere else, where one has to announce it for one year. After a year passes, one is allowed to own it. In Makkah, there is no way one can ever own it.
If one fears that the object will be taken by others who will keep it for themselves, then one can pick it up and give it to the authorities. This is in the case where one does not know its rightful owner; however, if he knows who owns it, he can give it to him.
6/The Permissibility of killing with a just right
Based on the statement of the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam): “If somebody is murdered (in Makkah), his closest relative has the right to choose the best of two options; either he accepts Diyah (blood money) or retaliation by having the killer killed (legal retribution for those who murder).”
If a married person commits Zina (adultery) in Makkah, he/ she is to be stoned to death, even if he/ she is in the sacred place. Similarly, if one apostatizes in Makkah, abandons prayers, and refuses to repent, he/ she should be killed, and so on. This is because when anyone violates the sanctity of the place, they lose their sanctity.
7/The Prohibition of chasing or frightening its game
If a game (e.g. game bird) is sitting under a tree or shade, it is impermissible to chase it away from the shade; and it is impermissible to kill it. If it is forbidden to chase it away, then it is more deserving of being prohibited from being killed.
However, if it is driven out without being chased, such as when a person is walking and a pigeon perceives his movement and flies away, he is not considered a sinner, because he neither chased nor drove it away intentionally.
8/ The General Prohibition of committing evil actions in the Haram
Ibn Katheer said in his Tafseer regarding the statement of Allaah in Surat al-Hajj (22:25):
وَمَن يُرِدْ فِيهِ بِإِلْحَادٍ بِظُلْمٍ نُّذِقْهُ مِنْ عَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ
“And whoever inclines to evil actions therein or to do wrong, We shall make him taste a painful torment.”
“Ibn ‘Abbaas (Radia-Allaahu ’anhuma) said: ‘This means someone whose actions are intentional.’
He also said: ‘The evil action is allowing in the Haram what Allaah has forbidden, such as mistreating and killing, whereby you do wrong to those who have done you no wrong and you kill who have not fought you. If a person does this, then he deserves to suffer a painful torment.’ [At-Tabari]
Mujaahid said: ‘It is one of the unique features of Al-Haram, that the person who is about to do some evil action should be punished if this is his intention, even if he has not yet commenced the action.’
Ibn Mas’ood (Radia-Allaahu ’anhu) said, commenting about the aforementioned verse: ‘If a man intends to do some evil action therein, Allaah will make him taste a painful torment.’ [At-Tabari]
Sa’eid ibn Jubair (Rahimahullaah) said: ‘Insulting a servant and anything more than that is counted as a wrongdoing.’” [Tafseer Ibn Katheer]
📚Fat-h Dhil-Jalaali wal-Ikraam bi Sharh Bulugh al-Maraam, by Shaikh Ibn
📚Tafseer Ibn Katheer
📚 Bulugh al-Maraam by Darus-Salaam
- The Best Days of the Worldly Life
- Noble Goals of Hajj (Part 1)
- Khutbah of the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) at ‘Arafaat
- Noble Goals of Hajj (Part 2)