Fatwa: # 13381
Category: Misc. Fiqh
Country: South Africa
Date: 26th August 2005

Title

Why non-muslims are not allowed in MECCA and MADINA?

Question

Why non-muslims are not allowed in MECCA and MADINA?

I will be grateful if you give me a detailed reply of this question .

Answer

Allah Ta’ala states in the Qur’aan, ‘O who who believe! Verily, the Mushrikeen (idolaters) are impure, so let them not come near Musjidul Haraam after this year.’ (Surah Tawbah Aayat28)

According to the Hanafi Madhab, this verse refers to Hajj and Umrah only, i.e. they are prevented from performing Hajj and Umrah. From prior to Islam, the idolators used to perform Tawaaf, etc. After Islam and in the 9th year of the Hijrah, Allah Ta’ala commands that after this year no idolator may be allowed to perform Hajj or Umrah. The Aayat does not prevent the Kuffaar from entering the Haram or any one Musjid. (Tafseer Mazhari vol.5 pg.232; HM Saeed)

With regards specifically to your question, we understand that Makkah and Madinah are extremely virtuous and sacred places. However, even today there are many non-Muslims present at these places. The abovementioned verse only prohibits them from performing the sacred rituals of Hajj and Umrah. A simple way to understand this better will be that there are rules and regulations for person wishing to enter a foreign country. He has to go through procedures like visa applications, passport, etc. No country will simply accept anyone and everyone. Why then should it not be such with sacred places like Makkah and Madina.

and Allah Ta'ala Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

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