Every step taken here is rewarded. Every effort made to come here is recorded. Every prayer offered therein is multiplied immensely. The blessed sanctity of Masjid AlHaram has a special place in the heart of every Muslim. It is the center of the earth, the heartbeat of this Ummah, the key image of Islam and its followers. No Muslim is ignorant of its sanctity nor is he unaware of the many ayaat and ahadith signifying its unparalleled status. So much so that certain permissible actions are made forbidden in its sacred vicinity and exceptional rules are laid down to preserve its purity.
إِنَّ أَوَّلَ بَيۡتٍ۬ وُضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ لَلَّذِى بِبَكَّةَ مُبَارَكً۬ا وَهُدً۬ى لِّلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ
Verily, the first House (of worship) appointed for mankind was that at Bakkah (Makkah), full of blessing, and a guidance to Al-‘Alamin (the mankind and jinns). Aal Imran
Rasulullah (S) said, “One Salaah in my Masjid is better than one thousand Salaah anywhere else except al-Masjid al-Haraam. One Salaah in al-Masjid al-Haraam is better than one hundred thousand Salaah anywhere else.” [Collected by Ahmad, Ibn Maajah; graded saheeh by al-Albaanee in Saheeh al-Jaami‘]
I find it shocking and heartbreaking at times to see Muslims taking this immense blessing for granted. I’ve seen people deliberately throw their trash on the ground while trash cans could be found at every two feet. Others enjoy their delicious iftars and leave the mess for the cleaners to worry about. Some prefer to push, shove, and injure others to get through the crowds rather than exercising patience. Is it their ignorance that causes them to behave so childishly? Or is it their countless trips that have made them so immune to this divine blessing? If it weren’t for the diligent Haram Cleaning Crew on their heels around the clock, with their splashing buckets of water, zooming wipers and huge machine sweepers, we would all be held accountable for the disrespect shown towards the purest land on the face of this earth.
While it is worth mentioning the throngs of people that volunteer to pick up trash on the ground and assist those in need, those who do otherwise need to be reminded.
وَذَكِّرۡ فَإِنَّ ٱلذِّكۡرَىٰ تَنفَعُ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ
“And remind, for verily the reminding profits the believers.” Surah Al Dhariyat
This is a kind reminder to all of us to grab the opportunity of frequenting the Haram while it lasts; before we are taken away from it or it taken away from us. Residents of Makkah have a huge burden on their shoulders to teach their children the rulings of living in the Haram boundary. Others living in Makkah’s outskirts and cities like Jeddah are blessed with an advantage that Muslims all around the world envy- the ease of perfoming Umrah and Hajj from their homes with barely an hour’s travel. Allahumma laka alhamdu wa laka ash-shukr.
وَطَهِّرۡ بَيۡتِىَ لِلطَّآٮِٕفِينَ وَٱلۡقَآٮِٕمِينَ وَٱلرُّڪَّعِ ٱلسُّجُودِ
“And sanctify My House for those who circumambulate it, and those who stand up for prayer, and those who bow, and make prostration.” Surah Al Hajj
Some of the exclusive rulings within the Haram boundary and their benefits:
1. Prohibition of carrying weapons without reason to ensure the safety of the people.
2. Prohibition of non-Muslims from entering the sacred city
3. Prohibition of picking up lost items unless done by someone who will announce it publicly.
4. Protection of its animals and plantation as mentioned in the Hadith:
5. Prohibition from committing any acts of evil, disobedience or Kufr.
Rasulullah (S) said, “This Ummah will remain in good as long as they venerate this sanctity as it rightly deserves. If they abandon and neglect it, they will be destroyed.”
قول عمر بن الخطاب -رضي الله عنه-: يا أهل مكة: اتقوا الله في حرم الله، أتدرون من كان ساكن هذا البيت ؟ كان به بنو فلان فأحلّوا حَرمَه فأهلكوا، وكان به بنو فلان فأحلوا حَرَمَه فأهلكوا، حتى ذكر ما شاء الله من قبائل العرب أن يذكر، ثم قال: لأن أعمل عشر خطايا في غيره أحب إلي من أن أعمل هاهنا خطيئة واحدة.
Umar ibn Khattab RA would say: O dwellers of Makkah! Fear of Allah in His sanctuary. Do you know who used to dwell here? It was home to so-and-so tribe but they violated His sanctuary until they were destroyed. And it was home to so-and-so tribe but they violated His sanctuary until they were destroyed…” until he mentioned what Allah willed for him to mention from the tribes of the Arabs, and then he would say: “It is more beloved to me to commit 10 minor sins elsewhere than to commit a single sin in its vicinity.”
-The Sahara Blogges (Niqabinja)
-Rulings translated from the website of a Makkan organization “The Project for Venerating the Sacred City” (مشروع تعظيم البلد الحرام) May Allah reward them for their efforts. http://www.makkah.org.sa