Indeed those who disbelieve and who (now) hinder people from the way of Allah and from the Holy Mosque which We have set up (as a place of worship) for all people, equally for those who dwell therein and for those who come from outside (they surely deserve punishment). Whosoever deviates in the Holy Mosque from the Right Way and acts with iniquity, We shall cause him to tastes a painful chastisement.”

(Al-Qur’ān – 22:25)

This verse refers to the unbelievers of Makkah, who rejected the truth and prevented Muhammad ﷺ and his Companions from performing Hajj and Umrah.

The Holy Mosque is not the property of any individual, family or tribe. It is meant instead for everyone and, hence, no one can bar others from visiting it. The ‘Holy Mosque’ denotes the sacred precincts of Makkah rather than the Mosque itself. Here, the equality is not limited to the Mosque itself; rather, it embraces the entire precincts. Furthermore, it is not limited to matters pertaining to worship or to acts relating to sanctity and reverence. The land of Makkah falls into the category of common waqf, i.e. endowment on behalf of God; hence, none has any property rights over its land or its buildings.

Here zulm does not signify a specific act, but rather embraces all acts that do not conform with righteousness and share the attribute of ‘wrong-doing’. Such acts are sinful regardless of the place where they are committed. However, to commit them within the sacred precincts of the Haram is all the more iniquitous.

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