Clarification regarding the narration on Madinah being a sanctuary

Question

Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“Madinah is a sanctuary from that place to that. Its trees should not be cut and no heresy should be innovated nor any sin should be committed in it, and whoever innovates in it an heresy or commits sins (bad deeds), then he will incur the curse of Allah, the angels, and all the people.” (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 1867)

Is this translation/understanding correct? Does this curse include sinners as well and not just innovators?

 

Answer

Imam Bukhari (rahimahullah) has recorded this narration on the authority of Sayyiduna Anas ibn Malik (radiyallahu ‘anhu).

The wording of the Hadith is as follows:

المدينة حرم من كذا إلى كذا، لا يقطع شجرها، ولا يحدث فيها حدث، من أحدث حدثا فعليه لعنة الله والملائكة والناس أجمعين

Sayyiduna Anas ibn Malik (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reported that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Madinah is a sanctuary from here to there. Its trees are not to be cut nor should any innovation be done in Madinah. The curse of Allah Ta’ala, the Angels and all people will be on anyone who innovates anything therein.”

(Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 1867)

 

The part in question is ‘لا يحدث فيها حدث’ which literally translates to ‘No act off innovation should be carried out therein.’ The primary meaning refers to innovations; acts which are not supported by Quran and Hadith.

Hafiz Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) has also mentioned that it could refer to oppression and the oppressor or more general than just oppression.

(والمراد بالحدث والمحدث الظلم والظالم على ما قيل أو ما هو أعم من ذلك)

‘Allamah Sibt ibnul ‘Ajami (rahimahullah) has mentioned that ‘حدث’ refers to sin. He further states that it could be referring to capital offences or innovations.

(الحدث: بفتح الحاء والدال المهملتين, وهو هنا الإثم وقيل: هو عام في الجنايات والحدث في الدين)

(Fathul Bari, Hadith: 1867, vol. 4 pg. 84, ‘Umdatul Qari, Hadith: 1867, Tuhfatul Bari of Shaykh Zakariyya Al Ansari, Hadith: 1867, At Talqih Li Fahmi Qari-is Sahih, Hadith: 1867)

 

From the above, it can be understood that general sinning in Madinah Munawwarah could also fall under this Hadith.

 

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.

 

Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala

 

Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar