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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Makkah al-Mukarramah

Makkah al-Mukarramah (Mecca or مكة‎ Makkah or مكة المكرمة Makkah al-Mukarramah)

Being the destination of all Muslims, the Holy Mosque of مكة المكرمة Makkah al-Mukarramah is the most revered place of worship for Muslims around the world. At the center of the Holy Mosque lays the Kaaba (the small black cube-shaped building), the ‘first House of worship established for mankind’ as Allah the Almighty describes it in the Holy Qur’an, “Indeed, the first House of worship established for mankind was that at مكة المكرمة Makkah al-Mukarramah – blessed and a guidance for the worlds” (3:96). The phrase “the Holy Mosque of مكة المكرمة Makkah al-Mukarramah” has four meanings in the Holy Qur’an. It could mean the Kaaba itself; the Kaaba and its surroundings; the whole city of مكة المكرمة Makkah al-Mukarramah; or both مكة المكرمة Makkah al-Mukarramah and the Holy Mosque in مكة المكرمة Makkah al-Mukarramah.

The boundaries of مكة المكرمة Makkah al-Mukarramah distinguish between the sanctuary and the area outside of the sanctuary. Under Archangel Gabriel’s guidance, Prophet Abraham, peace be upon him, defined the sacred boundaries of the Holy Mosque. Following the victory at the Battle of مكة المكرمة Makkah al-Mukarramah, Prophet Mohammad, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, asked Tamim bin Asad Al-Khuza’ee to go to مكة المكرمة Makkah al-Mukarramah and redefine the same sacred area of the Holy Mosque. Caliphs and Emirs followed suit. It was narrated on the authority of Abu Saeed Al-Khudri that Prophet Mohammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “O Lord! Abraham made مكة المكرمة Makkah al-Mukarramah into a sanctuary and I do the same for Madinah.”

Allah the Almighty has made special rulings which pertain to the Holy Mosque of مكة المكرمة Makkah al-Mukarramah. Inside the Holy Mosque, a Muslim is not allowed to fight, hunt birds or animals, cut off grown plants and flowers, or pick up something not his/hers unless he/she can ascertain the ownership of the object. One of the greatest merits of praying in the Holy Mosque is that a Muslim will have his/her reward multiplied. Prophet Mohammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “One prayer in my mosque (the Mosque of Madinah) equals 1000 prayers elsewhere except the Holy Mosque of مكة المكرمة Makkah al-Mukarramah; one prayer in the Holy Mosque of مكة المكرمة Makkah al-Mukarramah equals 100 prayers in the Mosque of Madinah.” That is to say, one prayer in the Holy Mosque of مكة المكرمة Makkah al-Mukarramah equals 100,000 prayers, and its reward is 100 times greater than if performed in the Mosque of Madinah.

Muslim scholars disagreed on whether the multiplied reward for prayer includes prayer performed in the Holy Mosque of مكة المكرمة Makkah al-Mukarramah or only the space surrounding the Kaaba. According to most authentic proofs from the Holy Qur’an and Prophet’s sayings, the multiplied reward also includes praying in the Holy Mosque of مكة المكرمة Makkah al-Mukarramah, a matter which most Muslim scholars unanimously agree on. For example, His Eminence the late Sheik Abdulaziz bin Baz concurred with the above, “Most Muslim scholars agree that the multiplied reward includes any prayer performed in the area surrounding the Kaaba.” Although considered the third Holiest Mosque in Islam, Bayt Al-Maqdis (Jerusalem) does not have the same status in terms of multiplied reward for prayer.

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