Having sinful thoughts in the Haram of Makkah
Fatwa No: 333610

Question

Assalaamu alaykum. Recently, I have heard in a Bayaan that in Hudood Al Haram (Makkah), if we think of a sin, then it will be written as a bad deed. I want to know the authenticity of this because it is a very important issue that while in the Haram, if something sinful crosses our mind, then we will be held accountable for it. So please clarify this. May Allaah reward you.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

First of all, it is useful to know, my dear brother, that the sinful thoughts that cross the mind are divided by the scholars into five categories, and they clarified the consequences of each:

1) Haajis: the thought that occurs to the mind.

2) Khaatir: the thought that one dwells upon.

3) Hadeeth An-Nafs: internal discourse with one's self; hesitation as to whether or not to do the action.

4) Hamm: intention; favoring doing the action.

5) 'Azm: determination; the strength of that intention and having the decisive determination to do the action.

According to the consensus of the scholars, a person is not held accountable for the Haajis because he did not choose it as it is something that occurred to him involuntarily (beyond his control); the same goes for the Khaatir and Hadeeth An-Nafs, even if he is able to repel them, because Allaah forgives them, as has been mentioned in the authentic hadeeth, “Allaah has forgiven for my Ummah (nation) its internal discourse with itself (Hadeeth An-Nafs)."

As regards Hamm, or intending (which is favoring doing the action), then the hadeeth states that if someone intends to do a good deed, it will be written for him as a good deed, and if he intends to do a bad deed, it is not written for him as a bad deed, and then it is looked at; if he leaves it for the sake of Allaah, it will be written for him as a good deed, and if he does it, it will be written for him as one evil deed (sin).

Regarding 'Azm, or the decisive determination to do the action, then the scholars are of the view that one is held accountable for it… [excerpted from Sharh Sunan Ibn Maajah, Injaah Al-Haajah, by Muhammad Abdul Ghani Al-Mujaddidi, of the Hanafi School of jurisprudence (d. 1296H)]

With regard to Hamm, or intending, to commit a sin in Makkah, then it is different, as the Quran stipulates that a person is punished for intending to commit a sin in Makkah due to its sacredness and status in the sight of Allaah, and because it is a place for purifying oneself from sins; so if a person indents to sin in it, then he deserves a painful punishment. Allaah says (what means): {…and [also] whoever intends [a deed] therein of deviation [in religion] or wrongdoing - We will make him taste of a painful punishment.} [Quran 22:25]

Ash-Shinqeeti  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in Adhwaa’ Al-Bayaan:

Whoever intends to commit a sin in Makkah, Allaah will make him taste a painful punishment because of him intending to do it, even if he did not do it, unlike places other than the Haram of Makkah, wherein a person is not punished due to intending it. 'Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated, 'If a man intends to do a deed of deviation [in religion] or wrongdoing in Makkah while he is in Aden Abyan (a region in Yemen), then Allaah will make him taste a painful punishment...' According to what Ibn Mas’ood and others said, then this verse specifies the general saying of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) 'Whoever intends to do an evil deed and does not do it, then it will be written for him as a good deed...' This specification is a stern warning against committing a violation in the Haram of Makkah. It is also probable that intention in the verse {…and [also] whoever intends [a deed] therein of deviation [in religion]...} means 'Azm (decisive determination) to commit a sin in Makkah.” [abridged]

Allaah knows best.

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