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 Virtues of Makkah and Madinah.

There is no land in the universe that is sacred (haram) except these two Sacred Sites: The Haram of Makkah, and the Haram of Madinah. (See: Ash-Sharh al-Mumti`, 7/215).

The Excellence of Makkah and its Sacredness:

Makkah is distinct from other cities because of a number of virtues, some of which are as follows:

* Within Makkah is the Ancient House (Al-Bayt Al-`Ateeq) for the worship of Allaah alone. It was the first place of monotheistic worship built for mankind. Allah says:

{إِنَّ أَوَّلَ بَيْتٍ وُضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ لَلَّذِي بِبَكَّةَ مُبَارَكًا وَهُدًى لِّلْعَالَمِينَ}.

{Verily, the first House of worship appointed for mankind was that at Bakkah (Makkah), full of blessing, and a guidance for all the creations}. (Qur’an 3:96).

One prayer in al-Masjid al-Haraam in Makkah is better than one hundred thousand prayers offered in any other mosque, except al-Masjid an-Nabawi, in which one prayer is better than a thousand prayers offered elsewhere.

Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

[سَأَلْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَيُّ مَسْجِدٍ وُضِعَ أَوَّلاً؟ قَالَ: ‏"‏الْمَسْجِدُ الْحَرَامُ"‏ ‏.‏ قُلْتُ: ثُمَّ أَيُّ؟ قَالَ: ‏"‏الْمَسْجِدُ الأَقْصَى‏"‏.‏ قُلْتُ: وَكَمْ بَيْنَهُمَا؟ قَالَ: ‏"‏أَرْبَعُونَ عَامًا وَالأَرْضُ لَكَ مَسْجِدٌ فَحَيْثُمَا أَدْرَكْتَ الصَّلاَةَ فَصَلِّ].

[I asked the Messenger (peace be upon him) regarding the first Masjid that was made in the world?” So he said: “The Masjid al-Haraam.” I asked: “Then which one after that?” He said: “Masjid al-Aqsaa.” I asked: “What was the time period between them?” He replied: “Forty years]. (Recorded by Al-Bukhaari, No:3366 and Muslim, No520).

* Allah made it a Haram (a sanctity) wherein it is not permitted to shed blood; not permitted to cut a tree; not permitted to chase or scare game animals; not permitted to cut shrubs; it is not permitted to pick up a lost item not belonging to you except with the intent of announcing that one has found it, seeking its owner.

Abu Shuraih (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said:

[إنَّ مَكَّةَ حَرّمَهَا اللَّهُ وَلَمْ يُحَرِّمْهَا النَّاسُ وَلاَ يَحِلُّ لاِمْرِئ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ أَنْ يَسْفِكَ فِيهَا دَمًا أَوْ يَعْضِدَ بِهَا شَجَرَةً فَإِنْ أَحَدٌ تَرَخّصَ بِقِتَالِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فِيهَا فَقُولُوا لَهُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ أَذِنَ لِرَسُولِهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَلَمْ يَأْذَنْ لَكَ وَإِنَّمَا أَذِنَ لِي فِيهِ سَاعَةً مِنَ النَّهَارِ وَقَدْ عَادَتْ حُرْمَتُهَا الْيَوْمَ كَحُرْمَتِهَا بِالأَمْسِ وَلْيُبَلِّغِ الشَّاهِدُ الْغَائِبَ].

[Allah made Makkah a sanctity and it was not the people who did that. So it is not permitted for a person who believes in Allah and the Last Day to spill blood therein [i.e. kill another person] or to cut down a tree. If anybody argues that fighting is allowed in Makkah as Allah’s Messenger did fight in Makkah. Tell them that Allah gave permission to His Messenger, but He did not give it to you. Allah allowed it for me only for a few hours on that one day [of the conquest] – and today its sanctity is the same as it was before. So let the one who is present convey that to the one who is absent]. (Recorded by Al-Bukhaari, No:104 and Muslim, No:1354).

* That which is narrated concerning the virtue of praying in the Masjid al-Haraam.

Maymuunah, the prophet's wife narrated (may Allah be pleased with her) said that she heard the prophet(peace be upon him) says:

[صَلاَةٌ فِي مَسْجِدِي هَذَا أَفْضَلُ مِنْ أَلْفِ صَلاَةٍ فِيمَا سِوَاهُ مِنَ الْمَسَاجِدِ إِلاَّ الْمَسْجِدَ الْكَعْبَةَ].

[Prayer in this Masjid of mine [in Madinah] is more excellent than a 1000 prayers in any other place except for the Masjid al-Haraam [in Makkah]. (Sunan An-nasai, No:2898).

The Excellence of Madinah and its Sacredness:

* It is the location of hijrah (migration), the place where the Muhaajireen and Ansaar came together. And it is the Centre of jihad, from which the armies marched forth and campaigns were launched, from which lands were conquered, the religion spread, and shirk and its people were defeated.

In it most of the verses on rulings and laws were revealed. When the Prophet (peace be upon him) conquered Makkah, he did not settle there; rather he returned to Madinah, the city to which he had migrated, and lived there until he died and was buried in that city.

Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

[لَمَّا كَانَ يَوْمَ فَتْحِ مَكَّةَ قَسَمَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم غَنَائِمَ بَيْنَ قُرَيْشٍ‏.‏ فَغَضِبَتِ الأَنْصَارُ قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم: ‏"‏ أَمَا تَرْضَوْنَ أَنْ يَذْهَبَ النَّاسُ بِالدُّنْيَا، وَتَذْهَبُونَ بِرَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم؟‏"‏‏.‏ قَالُوا بَلَى‏.‏ قَالَ ‏"‏ لَوْ سَلَكَ النَّاسُ وَادِيًا أَوْ شِعْبًا لَسَلَكْتُ وَادِيَ الأَنْصَارِ أَوْ شِعْبَهُمْ].

[When it was the day of the Conquest (of Mecca) Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) distributed the war booty amongst the people of Quraish which caused the Ansar to become angry. So the Prophet (peace be upon him)  said, "Won't you be pleased that the people take the worldly things and you take Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him)  with you? "They said, "Yes." The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "If the people took their way through a valley or mountain pass, I would take my way through the Ansar's valley or mountain pass]. (Recorded by Al-Bukhaari, 4332).

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:

[أُمِرْتُ بِقَرْيَةٍ تَأْكُلُ الْقُرَى يَقُولُونَ يَثْرِبُ.‏ وَهِيَ الْمَدِينَةُ تَنْفِي النَّاسَ كَمَا يَنْفِي الْكِيرُ خَبَثَ الْحَدِيدِ].

[I have been enjoined (to go to) a city which supersedes other cities. They(the people) say Yathrib, but it is Madinah. It purifies people as the bellows eliminates the impurities of iron]. (Recorded by Al-Bukhaari, No:1871 and Muslim, No:1382).

An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: With regards to it superseding all other cities, they mentioned two meanings, the first of which is that it was the center for the armies of Islam in the beginning, and from it other cities were conquered and their wealth and captives seized. The second meaning is that it superseded them and its food and provisions came to it from the conquered cities, from which booty was brought to it". (Sharh an-Nawawi ‘ala Muslim, 9/154).

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

[إن الإيمان ليَأْرِزُ (أي: يَلجَأُ) إلى المدينة، كما تَأْرِزُ الحيَّةُ إلى جُحرها].

[Faith will retreat to Madinah as a snake retreats to its hole]. (Recorded by Al-Bukhaari, No:1876 and Muslim, No:147).

* Madinah is the gathering-place of the Muslims in the beginning and at the end.

An-Nawawi said: "Faith will retreat to Madinah” – what is meant is that this is how faith is in the beginning and at the end, because at the beginning of Islam, everyone whose faith was sincere and whose Islam was valid came to Madinah, either as a muhaajir (migrant) coming to settle there, or out of a longing to see the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and to learn from him and be near to him; then after that, at the time of the caliphs, people did the same, so they came to learn about the straight path from them and follow the example of the majority of the Sahaabah (may Allah be pleased with them) living there; then after that, they came to learn from the scholars of Madinah who were a shining lamp of that era, and the imams of guidance, to learn Islam and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) that the Sahaabah narrated to subsequent generations... Therefore everyone who was steadfast in faith and at ease with it would travel there".(Sharh an-Nawawi ‘ala Muslim, 2/177).

* No one intends ill towards the people of Madinah except Allah will destroy him.

Sa‘d (may Allah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) say:

[لاَ يَكِيدُ أَهْلَ الْمَدِينَةِ أَحَدٌ إِلاَّ انْمَاعَ كَمَا يَنْمَاعُ الْمِلْحُ فِي الْمَاءِ].

[No one plots against the people of Madinah but Allah will cause him to dissolve as salt dissolves in water].(Recorded by Al-Bukhaari, No:1877).

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