Al-Ḥaram al-Madanī (Arabic: الحرم المدني; meaning: the holy site of Medina) or Al-Ḥaram al-Nabawī (Arabic: الحرم النبوي; literally meaning: the holy site of the prophet) is the second sacred holy site (haram) of Muslims after the holy site of Mecca. The mosque of the prophet (s) and al-Baqi' cemetery are located in this area. In some sources special rulings are mentioned for the area.
There are different reports about the expanse of al-Haram al-Nabawi. Shi'a authorities have defined the expanse of the holy site of Medina from the mount Ayr (عَیر) [or (Ayir) (عایِر)] to the mount Wa'ir (وَعير), according to a hadith. But some Sunni authorities have referred to another hadith and have defined this expanse from the mount Ayr to the mount Thawr which is twelve "Mils" (twelve mils equals four farsakhs, which is 21.5 kilometers). They have considered the mount Ayr in Miqat and Thawr behind the mount Uhud.
Regarding the location of the mount Thawr in Mecca, some others have interpreted the mentioned hadiths differently and considered it possible that narrators have mistaken the mount Thawr with the mount Uhud or maybe the previous name of Uhud has been Thawr. It is also possible that the Prophet (s) actually meant the distance between the two mounts of Ayr and Thawr in Mecca or that the Prophet (s) figuratively called the two mountains around Medina Ayr and Thawr.
The holy site of Medina is the second important haram for Muslims. There are special rulings according to hadiths and jurisprudential laws. According to Sunni hadith sources, the Prophet (s) has guaranteed his intercession for the people of Medina on the Day of Judgement.
Hanafis do not consider Medina to hold a Haram with its specific rulings. Some contemporary Shi'a authorities have also doubted Medina to be considered a Haram the same way as Mecca. They interpret the famous hadith from the Prophet (s) which ascribes the Haram of Medina to himself and the Haram of Mecca to Abraham (a) referring only to the necessity of respecting this city and the Prophet's (s) holy grave.
However, such jurists have considered some rulings of Haram for Medina too. Malik b. Anas and some Shafi'is refer to the mentioned hadith and as a new reason, added the fact that Medina has been the destination for Immigrants (Muhajirun) and Helpers (Ansar). He concluded that al-Haram al-Nabawi is more important than al-Haram al-Makki; however, most religious authorities have regarded al-Haram al-Makki higher than Medina, other than the Prophet's (s) grave which has been introduced in hadiths as the best of all tombs in the world.
Important places of the Haram
The most important places that are located in this area are as follows:
- Al-Masjid al-Nabawi: Al-Masjid al-Nabawi is among the most important shrines for Muslims, which is highly revered by Shi'as. Second to al-Masjid al-Haram, al-Masjid al-Nabawi is the holiest mosque in the world of Islam which was built by Prophet Muhammad (s) in the first year after Hijra. Prophet Muhammad (s) is buried in this mosque. The houses of Prophet Muhammad (s) and 'Ali b. Abi Talib (a) and Lady Fatima (a) were built next to this mosque, which were later added to the mosque.
- Al-Baqi' cemetry: al-Baqi' is the first and oldest Islamic cemetery of Madina where four Shi'a Imams (a) and many other noble ones among the companions of the prophet (s) are buried.
- Quba mosque: Quba mosque was the first mosque which was built by Prophet Muhammad (s). This mosque was mentioned in Qur'an 9:108-109.
- Mount Uhud: The Battle of Uhud occurred beside this mountain. Graves of Hamza, the prophet's uncle, and other martyrs of the Battle of Uhud is beside the mountain and is a visiting site.
Manners and Rulings
Most important manners and rulings of al-Haram al-Nabawi are:
- Recommendation of performing ritual bath (ghusl) before entering
- Recommendation of residing in Medina
- Recommendation of fasting some days of the week
- Prohibition of damaging plants and cutting trees specially saplings, except for animals' feeding.
- Prohibition of hunting animals.
- In some narrations, the expanse of al-Haram al-Nabawi has been defined as one Barid (In Arabia, a unit of distance which equals four farsakhs, and about 21.5 kilometers) to each of four directions. Ṭūsī, Tahdhīb al-aḥkām, vol. 6 p. 13; Haythamī, Majmaʿ al-zawāʾid. vol. 2, p. 54. According to another hadith, narrated by both Shi'a and Sunni, al-Haram al-Nabawi is located between two lands of black stones in the East and the West of Medina. Nawawī, al-Majmūʿ: sharḥ al-muhadhdhab, vol. 7, p. 489. Kulaynī, al-Kāfī. vol. 4. p. 564. Ṭabarī, al-Qira li-qāṣid umm al-qurā. p. 670-671.
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