Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 5: Sacred precincts of Makkah and Madinah (HaramMakkah wa Madinah)
The Sacred Precincts of Makkah include the area around Makkah, marked bystones a meter high, on all roads leading to, or from Makkah.
On the northern side Haram Makkah extends to Tan'im, six kilometers from theSacred Mosque, and on the southern side to Adah, twelve kilometers from Makkah.On its eastern side, sixteen kilometers away, lies al-Ji'ranah, while on itsnortheastern border lies the valley of Nakhlah, which is fourteen kilometersfrom Makkah. On the western border lies Al-Shmaisi, (This place used to becalled Al-Hudaibiya. It was here that the Prophet (peace be upon him) took thefamous pledge - bai 'at ridwan - from his Companions. The Battle ofAl-Hudaibiya is named after it) fifteen kilometers from Makkah.
Muhibbuddin At-Tabari reported from Az-Zuhari from Obaidullah bin Abdullahbin 'Utba and said: "Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) put up markersfor the Sacred Precincts as shown to him by Gabriel (peace be upon him)."These markers were undisturbed until the time of Qusaiy, who renewed them.After that the Prophet (peace be upon him), in the year of the conquest ofMakkah, sent Tamim bin Osaid al-Khozai'i to refurbish them. Later 'Umarappointed four men from Quraish, Muhrama bin Nawfal, Sa'id bin Yarbu', Howaitebbin Abdil-Uzza, and Azhar bin Abd-Auf, to renew these markers. Subsequently,first Mu'awiyah and then Abdul-Malik refurbished them.
In the Sacred Precincts of Madinah killing a game and cutting its trees isprohibited as it is in the case of Haram Makkah. Jabir bin Abdullah reportedthat Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: "Ibrahim (peace be uponhim) made Makkah Haram (sacred), and I declare Madinah and what lies betweenits two black tracts Haram. No game (within this area) is to be killed, nor anyadah - a thorny plant - growing therein is to be cut." (Muslim)
Ali reported that concerning Madinah the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:"Its plants must not be cut, its game must not be frightened, articleslost in it must not be picked up except by someone making announcement to findthe owner, nor is any man to bear arms for fighting in it. Its trees must notbe cut, except when (required for) feeding one's camels." (Reported byAhmad and Abu Dawud) Both Bukhari and Muslim report that the Prophet (peace beupon him) said, "Madinah is Haram (Sacred) and its Sacred Precincts extendfrom 'Eer to Thowr." (Eer is a mountain at the miqat for Madinah, andThowr is a mountain near Uhud on the north) Another agreed upon hadith reportedfrom Abu Hurairah says, "The Prophet (peace be upon him) declared the areabetween the two black tracts of Madinah as sacred and then extended it to abouttwelve miles around Madinah." The Prophet (peace be upon him) permittedthe residents of Madinah to cut trees for making plows, carts and othernecessary tools and equipment. He also permitted them to cut its grass to feed theiranimals. Ahmad reported from Jabir bin Abdullah that the Prophet (peace be uponhim) said: "The area between two black tracts of Madinah is a Haram (asanctuary). No tree must be cut (within this area) except for use as fodder foranimals."
Unlike this the residents of Makkah, who have sufficient supply for theiranimal feed, are not permitted to cut even the grass to feed their animals. Theresidents of Madinah are not self-sufficient and are therefore allowed to usetrees and grass for their animals.
But killing the game or cutting off the trees in the sanctuary of Madinahcarries no penalty nor requires any compensation, although doing so is a sinfulact.
Anas reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Madinah is asanctuary from such and such a place to such and such a place, and (within thisarea) its trees shall not be cut, nor any (unlawful) act committed, and whosodoes so on him shall rest the curse of Allah, His angels and the entiremankind." (Bukhari)
It is permissible to pick up and use branches of a fallen tree within thissanctuary. Sa'ad bin Abi Waqqas reported that while on his way to his palace at'Aqiq he found a slave cutting off a tree or hitting and shaking it for leaves.Sa'ad seized whatever the slave had gathered. The owners of the slave went toSa'ad and asked him to return to them what he had seized from the slave. Sa'adsaid, "Allah forbid that I should return something which Allah's Messengerhas given me as a gift." And saying this he refused to return it to them.(Muslim)
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "If you find anyone hunting awild game within the sacred bounds of Madinah you may seize it from him."(Abu Dawud, and Al-Hakim, who considers it a sound hadith) This is reported byAbu Daw'ud, and Al-Hakim, who considers it a sound hadith.
Ibn Taimiyyah said, "There is no other sanctuary in the whole worldbesides these two, not even the Al-Aqsa Mosque of Jerusalem, nor any other,even though some ignorant people call them Haram al-Maqdis and Haram al-Khalil.By consensus Haram Makkah is the only Haram (sanctuary). About Madinah there isno such consensus. A majority of scholars, however, hold that Madinah is also asanctuary, as mentioned in ahadith on this subject.
Muslim scholars disagree about a third sanctuary, namely, Wuja, a valley ofAl-Ta'if. Ash-Shafi'i regards it a sanctuary. Ash-Shawkani agrees with him, butthe majority of the scholars disagree and do not consider it a sanctuary."
The majority of scholars believes Makkah has preference over Madinah.
Abdullah bin 'Adi bin Al-Hamra reported that he heard Allah's Messenger(peace be upon him) saying, "By Allah ! You (O Makkah) are the best ofAllah' s land, and most beloved to Him. Had I not been driven away from you, Iwould have never departed (from you)." (Ahmad, Ibn Majah and Tirmizhi) Ibn'Abbas said: "Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) addressed Makkahsaying, 'How nice a place you are! You are the most beloved place to me! If mypeople had not driven me away from you I would have never departed (from here)to live somewhere else."(Tirmizhi considers it a sound hadith)
One may enter Makkah without putting on a garb of ihram if one does notintend to make Hajj or 'Umrah. One may be a frequent visitor to Makkah as awood-cutter, a grass cutter, a water carrier, or a hunter, etc., or not afrequent visitor such as a merchant or a visitor. Regardless of whether oneenters it in a state of security or fear, all such people may enter Makkahwithout ihram if they do not intend to perform Hajj or 'Umrah. This isAsh-Shafi'i's opinion which, of his two views, is the more accurate one, and isalso supported by his companions.
Muslim reported that Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) entered Makkahwearing a black turban and without an ihram. It is said about Ibn 'Umar that hereturned after travelling part of the way and entered Makkah without ihram.
Both Ibn Shihab and Ibn Hazm hold entering Makkah without the ihram garbpermissible. The Prophet (peace be upon him) set the markers (Mawaqit) aroundMakkah only for those who intended to perform Hajj or 'Umrah.
Wearing ihram is not compulsory for those who pass these markers if they donot intend Hajj or 'Umrah. Allah and His Prophet (peace be upon him) did notforbid entering Makkah without ihram. To insist on it is obligating people towhich they are not obligated by Shari'ah.
It is desirable for those intending to visit Makkah to do the following:
-1- To take a bath. It is reported that Ibn 'Umar used to take a bath beforeentering Makkah.
-2- To spend the night at Zhi Tuwa, a valley in the direction of Al-Zaher.The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to spend the night there. Nafi' said:"Ibn 'Umar used to do the same.'' (Reported by Bukhari and Muslim)
-3- To enter Makkah from the upper hill called "Koda". The Prophet(peace be upon him) entered Makkah from the direction of Al-Mu'allah. Whoeveris able to follow this path, should do so, but one commits no sin if one doesnot do it.
-4- To hurry to the Sacred Mosque as soon as one deposits one's belongingsin a safe place. One must enter the Sacred Mosque from the gate known as BabBani Shayba - Bab us-Salam - and say humbly and sincerely: "A'uzhubillahil azeem wa biwajihil kareem wa sultanihil qadeem , minash shaltanirrajeem. Bismillah allahumma salli 'ala muhammadin wa alihi wa salam, Allahummaghifirli zunubi waftah li abwaba rahmatika (I seek refuge with Allah theSupreme, I seek refuge with His Honor and Eternal Glory, with His EverlastingAuthority, from the cursed devil. O Allah, Bless Muhammad and the family ofMuhammad! O Allah! Forgive my sins and open Your doors of mercy for me)."
-5- To raise one's hands on first sight of the Ka'bah and say:"Allahumma zid hazhal bayti tashrifan wa ta 'zeeman wa takriman wamuhabatan wa zid min sharfihi wa karamihi mimman hajjahu au 'itamarahutashrifan wa takriman wa ta'zeeman wa birran (O Allah! increase this House'shonor, dignity, respect and grant all those who come to it for Hajj or 'Umrahhonor, dignity, respect and righteousness.)" And say, "Allahummaantas salam, wa minkas salam, fahayyina rabbana bis-salam (O Allah! You are thePeace, from You is the Peace. O Allah! Greet us with the Peace)."
-6- Then head to the Black Stone and kiss it quietly. If kissing is notpossible, then one may touch it with a hand and kiss the hand, and if even thisis not possible then one may just point to it with a hand.
-7- Then begin tawaf (circumambulation) starting from the Black Stone.
-8- One does not have to perform salutation prayer to the Sacred Mosque.because tawafof Ka'bah is its salutation. If, however, it is time for theprescribed daily prayers, then one must offer them with the congregation. TheProphet (peace be upon him) said, "When a prescribed prayer is in progressthen no other prayer except the prescribed prayer is valid." Similarly, ifone is afraid to miss a prescribed prayer then one must offer it first beforeanything else.