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Al-Haram al-Makki, the most important haram for Muslims; the green line shows the boundaries of al-Haram al-Makki

Ḥaram (Arabic: حَرَم, Holy Site), is the area surrounding a holy place with a special holiness due to its association with an Islamic sacred concept and therefore is treated differently.

The most important haram for Muslims is al-Haram al-Makki in which al-Masjid al-Haram and Ka'ba are located. The next important haram is al-Haram al-Madani which houses the Prophet (s)'s burial place (al-Masjid al-Nabawi) and his house. These two are called al-Haramayn al-Sharifayn (the two sanctuaries) among Muslims.

In a broad sense of the term, haram is also used for the holy shrines of Imams (a) and even for the descendants of Imams (a). The terms al-haram al-'Alawi, al-haram al-Husayni are used in accordance with this broad meaning. Haram, among Shi'a, is used for the Masjid or building which is built around a tomb.

One of the special rulings of al-Masjid al-Haram, the shrine of the Prophet (s), shrine of Imam al-Husayn, and Mosque of Kufa is that pilgrims coming from other places are allowed and even recommended to do their prayers in the complete form, even though travelers normally have to do their prayers in short form.

Contents

Literal Meaning

The Arabic word "حرم" (Haram) is derived from the root form "ح ر م" (ḥ r m). It means one's household or their residence that he protects from any harm.[1] In Islamic texts, this word is applied to the area surrounding the Islamic holy sites that entering and attending there requires observation of certain rules. For example, the words "Haram", "Haram Allah" or "al-Haram al-Makki" usually refer to a specific area around Mecca.[2] Some believe that calling such an area "Haram", is because some acts are ḥarām (forbidden) in that area.[3]

Usage

Titles such as "Haram al-Rasul" or "al-Haram al-Nabawi" refer to the shrine of the Prophet (s) in Medina.

Also, the title "al-Haramayn al-Sharifayn" either refers to al-Masjid al-Haram and the shrine of the Prophet (s), respectively in Mecca and Medina, or the Shirne of Imam Ali (a) and Shrine of Imam al-Husayn, or the two holy sites of al-Aqsa Mosque in Bayt al-Maqdis and al-Haram al-Ibrahimi in al-Khalil.

It is to note that sometimes the word "haram" is used more specifically for al-Masjid al-Haram or Masjid al-Nabawi, and sometimes used more generally for the two cities of Mecca and Medina. Also, this word frequently is used for the shrines of Shi'a Imams (a) such as al-Ha'ir al-Husayni which is a title for the shrine of Imam al-Husayn (a) and al-Haram al-Radawi which is the title for the Holy shrine of Imam al-Rida (a).[4]

Al-Haram al-Makki

Main article: Al-Haram al-Makki

Al-Haram al-Makki is the most famous example of the word "haram". People who belong to this area are called Hirmi (people of Haram) and those who enter this place and put on ihram are called muhrim. The area outside of haram is called hill.[5] Holiness of the Haram of Mecca has a very long history. According to a hadith by the Prophet (s), this area has become haram since the creation of skies and the earth and according to another hadith, Dahw al-Ard (expansion of earth) began from the place of al-Haram al-Makki.[6]

Al-Haram al-Madani

Main article: Al-Haram al-Madani
Al-Haram al-Nabawi in Medina

This is another important haram for which there are special rulings according to hadiths and jurisprudential laws. According to Sunni hadith sources, the noble Prophet (s) has guaranteed his intercession for the people of Medina on the Day of Judgment.[7] There are different views regarding the expanse of al-Haram al-Nabawi.

Al-Haram al-Husayni

Main article: al-Ha'ir al-Husayni

Haram (holy shrine) of Imam al-Husayn (a) is greatly venerated by Shi'a. Shi'a faqihs have different opinions about the expanse of the Haram for which there are certain rulings. For example, some of them include Imam al-Husayn's (a) grave and his family members and companions except al-'Abbas (a) in the Haram,[8] while some others believe that the whole city of Karbala including Imam al-Husayn's (a) holy darih is Haram.[9] There is even a hadith quoted from Imam Ali (a) in which Kufa is also called his Haram.[10]

Specific Rulings

According to most Shi'a faqihs, one of the rulings specific to al-Haramayn (al-Haram al-Makki and al-Haram al-Nabawi), Masjid al-Kufa and al-Ha'ir al-Husayni is the permission and even recommendation of performing prayer in the complete form for pilgrims coming from other places (passengers), although as pilgrims, they normally have to perform their prayers in the short form (al-Qasr prayer).[11]

Religious authorities regard these rulings as the conclusion of two different groups of hadiths; one which indicates that performing prayer in short or complete form in the four mentioned places are optional. And the other group which recommends the complete form of prayer in these places.[12] In some of these hadiths, the terms "al-Haramayn al-Sharifayn", Mecca and Medina, "al-Masjidayn" (the two mosques) are used;[13] thus, some scholars consider only al-Masjid al-Haram and Masjid al-Nabawi the subject to the mentioned rulings, not the whole expanses of al-Haram al-Makki and al-Haram al-Nabawi.[14]

Ibn Babawayh believed in obligation of performing prayer in short form in the mentioned places and did not consider any higher value for them.[15] Apparently, his opinion is based on general reasons for the obligation of performing prayer in short form for passengers and the hadiths which have regarded it obligatory to perform prayer in short form in the mentioned places.[16] However, other faqihs have considered these hadiths as cases of taqiyya[17] and referring to some other reasons, have rejected the mentioned conclusion.[18] There are also some other faqihs who have believed out of caution, in necessity of performing the short form of prayer in the mentioned Harams.[19]

Some earlier scholars including Ibn al-Junayd al-Iskafi and 'Alam al-Huda have considered it obligatory for passengers to perform their prayers in complete form in the four mentioned places and even Harams (the holy shrines) of all Imams (a) of Shi'a.[20] Ibn Idris al-Hilli have only added the shrine of Imam al-Husayn (a) to al-Haram al-Makki and al-Haram al-Nabawi for this ruling. Shi'a faqihs have also discussed whether the above mentioned optionality in choosing short or complete form of prayer is only about the Masjid al-Kufa and the shrine of Imam al-Husayn (a) or it also includes the two whole cities of Kufa and Karbala.[21] Hanafis, who considered it obligatory to perform the prayer in short form while travelling like Twelver Shi'a, have regarded performing the prayer in complete form in al-Haram al-Makki as following the noble Prophet (s). They have considered it better than performing the prayer in short form due to multiplicity of rewards for good deeds in Haram.[22]

Other Rulings and Manners

Other rulings and manners are mentioned for these Harams and holy shrines of Shi'a Imams (a) in Shi'a jurisprudential references, such as:

  • Prohibition of entering menstruating women or junub to these places[23]
  • Prohibition of making these places najis (religiously unclean) and obligation of cleaning off them[24]
  • Recommendation of doing ghusl (ritual bath) before entering these places
  • Kiraha of moving dead people elsewhere for burial, except to one of these places.[25]
  • Prohibition of performing punishments or retributions in these harams.[26]

Notes

  1. Ibn Athir. al-Nihaya. under the word "دعمص"; Ibn Manzur. Lisan al-'Arab. under the word "حرم"; Al-Jabarti, 'Abd al-Rahman. Tarikh 'aja'ib al-athar. vol. 2. p. 143
  2. Al-Jawhari. al-Sihah. under the word "حرم"; Al-Zubaydi, Muhammad b. Muhammad al-Murtada. Taj al-'arus. under the word "حرم"
  3. Al-Kurdi, Muhammad Tahir. al-Tarikh al-qawim li-makka wa bayt Allah al-karim. vol. 1. p. 101; Burujirdi, Murtada. Mustanad al-'urwat al-wuthqa. vol. 8. p. 423
  4. Al-Bahrani, Yusuf b. Ahmad. al-Hada'iq al-nadira fi ahkam al-'itrat al-tahira. vol. 7. p. 317-318 & vol. 11. p. 455; Al-Baghdadi, Isma'il. Hadiyat al-'arifin. vol. 2. column. 541; Agha Buzurg, Tihrani. al-Dhari'a ila tasanif al-Shi'a. vol. 6. p. 194 & vol. 8. p. 224 & vol. 21. p. 299
  5. Al-Farahidi, Khalil b. Ahmad. Kitab al-'ayn. under the word "حرم"; Ibn Athir. al-Nihaya. under the word "حرم"
  6. Al-Fakihi, Muhammad b. Ishaq. Akhbar Makka fi qadim al-dahr wa hadithiha. vol. 2. p. 270; Al-Saduq, Muhammad b. 'Ali b. Babawayh. Man la yahduruh al-faqih. vol. 2. p. 241; Al-Hurr al-'Amili. Wasa'il al-Shi'a. vol. 13. p. 241-242
  7. Ahmad b. Hanbal. Musnad Ahmad. vol. 6. p. 370; Muslim b. al-Hajjaj. Sahih Muslim. vol. 4. p. 113
  8. Al-Mufid, Muhammad b. Muhammad. al-Muqni'a. p. 126; Al-Hilli, Ibn Idris. al-Sara'ir al-hawi li-tahrir al-fatawa. vol. 1. p. 342
  9. Yahya b. Sa'id. al-Jami' li-l-Shara'i'. p. 93; Al-Bahrani, Yusuf b. Ahmad. al-Hada'iq al-nadira fi ahkam al-'itrat al-tahira. vol. 11. p. 436; Naraqi, Ahmad b. Muhammad Mahdi. Mustanad al-Shi'a fi ahkam al-shari'a. vol. 8. p. 316
  10. Al-Kulayni, Muhammad b. Ya'qub. al-Kafi. vol. 4. p. 563
  11. Al-Tusi, Muhammad b. al-Hasan. al-Nihaya fi mujarad al-fiqh wa al-fatawa. p. 124; Al-Hilli, al-Hasan b. Yusuf. Mukhtalaf al-Shi'a fi ahkam al-shari'a. vol. 1. p. 333; Al-Shahid al-Thani, Zayn al-Din. al-Rawdat al-Bahiyya. vol. 1. p. 787-788
  12. Al-Kulayni, Muhammad b. Ya'qub. al-Kafi. vol. p. 542; Al-Tusi, Muhammad b. al-Hasan. Tahdhib al-ahkam. vol. 5. p. 470-475
  13. Al-Bahrani, Yusuf b. Ahmad. al-Hada'iq al-nadira fi ahkam al-'itrat al-tahira. vol. 11. p. 456-459
  14. Al-Hilli, al-Hasan b. Yusuf. Mukhtalaf al-Shi'a fi ahkam al-shari'a. vol. 3. p. 132; Al-Shahid al-Thani, Zayn al-Din. al-Rawdat al-Bahiyya. vol. 1. p. 787; Burujirdi, Murtada. Mustanad al-'urwat al-wuthqa. vol. 8. p. 411-412
  15. Al-Saduq, Muhammad b. 'Ali b. Babawayh. al-Muqni'. p. 262
  16. Naraqi, Ahmad b. Muhammad Mahdi. Mustanad al-Shi'a fi ahkam al-shari'a . vol. 8. p. 309
  17. Al-Bahrani, Yusuf b. Ahmad. al-Hada'iq al-nadira fi ahkam al-'itrat al-tahira. vol. 2. p. 441, 448, 452; Naraqi, Ahmad b. Muhammad Mahdi. Mustanad al-Shi'a fi ahkam al-shari'a . vol. 8. p. 310; Burujirdi, Murtada. Mustanad al-'urwat al-wuthqa. vol. 8. p. 406-410
  18. Muqaddas Ardabili, Ahmad b. Muhammad. Majma' al-fa'idat wa l-burhan. vol. 3. p. 424-425; Al-Bahrani, Yusuf b. Ahmad. al-Hada'iq al-nadira fi ahkam al-'itrat al-tahira. vol. 11. p. 440-442; Al-Najafi, Muhammad Hasan b. Baqir. Jawahir al-kalam fi sharh shara'i' al-Islam. vol. 14. p. 336
  19. Musawi 'Amili, Sayyid Muhammad. Madarik al-ahkam fi sharh shara'i' al-Islam. vol. 4. p. 468; Mirza-yi Qumi, Abu l-Qasim b. Muhammad Hasan. Jami' al-shitat. vol. 1. p. 73; Al-Najafi, Muhammad Hasan b. Baqir. Jawahir al-kalam fi sharh shara'i' al-Islam. vol. 14 p. 337; Bahjat, Muhammad Taqi. Jami' al-masa'il p. 599
  20. Ibn al-Junayd al-Iskafi, Majmu'at fatawa Ibn al-Junayd p. 89-90; Al-Sharif al-Murtada, 'Ali b. al-Husayn. Rasa'il al-Sharif al-Murtada. vol. 3. p. 47; Al-Bahrani, Yusuf b. Ahmad. al-Hada'iq al-nadira fi ahkam al-'itrat al-tahira. vol. 11. p. 438, 465
  21. Burujirdi, Murtada. Mustanad al-'urwat al-wuthqa. vol. 8. p. 414-420; Ruhani, Muhammad Sadiq. Fiqh al-sadiq. vol. 6. p. 427-428
  22. Al-Kasani, Abu Bakr b. Mas'ud. Badayi' al-sanaye' fi tartib al-sharayi'. vol. 1. p. 91-92; Ibn Qudama. al-Mughni. vol. 2. p. 107
  23. Musawi 'Amili, Sayyid Muhammad. Madarik al-ahkam fi sharh shara'i' al-Islam. vol. 1. p. 282; cf: Naraqi, Ahmad b. Muhammad Mahdi. Mustanad al-Shi'a fi ahkam al-shari'a. vol. 2. p. 292
  24. Tabataba'i Yazdi, Muhammad Kazim. al-'Urwat al-wuthqa. vol. 1. p. 89-90
  25. Musawi 'Amili, Sayyid Muhammad. Madarik al-ahkam fi sharh shara'i' al-Islam. vol. 2. p. 152; Tabataba'i Yazdi, Muhammad Kazim. al-'Urwat al-wuthqa. vol. 1. p. 447
  26. Al-Hilli, Ibn Idris. al-Sara'ir al-hawi li-tahrir al-fatawa. vol. 3. p. 363-364; cf: al-Khoei, Abu l-Qasim. Mabani takmilat al-minhaj. vol. 2. p. 184-185

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