How is a person’s Muslim faith verified before entering Mecca?

Mudassir Ali
Feb 01, 2020 02:46 PM 0 Answers
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Mudassir Ali
- Feb 01, 2020 02:46 PM

Well, if you are a resident in the kingdom, your religion is written in your resident ID (Iqama). Here is an answer that I wrote for the question “Can a non-Muslim visit Mecca” and it answers all the questions you have.

For non-Muslims, it’s not allowed both religiously and legally to enter Mecca or Madinah and the areas around them. In the past, like maybe 100 years ago, it was a bit easier for non-Muslims to sneak into Mecca but in the modern time because of all the advancements in this issue, it’s almost impossible to enter.

Legally, Mecca and Madinah and the areas around them are not allowed for non-Muslims to enter. In Saudi Arabia, intentionally attempting to even enter Mecca or Madinah can result in many severe punishments like direct deportation from the kingdom and a permanent ban from Saudi Arabia along with a big fine and many times it can be getting whipped. The highway was deliberately built 50 miles away from Mecca to keep non-Muslims far away. Plus, even before that, if you’re a foreigner you have to get a Visa to the kingdom and part of the Visa process is knowing the places you’re going to visit in the kingdom. For non-Muslims, it’s very hard to get a Visa to Saudi Arabia and usually, it will be accepted if you were coming for work reasons or business and stuff like that. But if you applied for a tourist Visa in Saudi Arabia (even though few people come for tourism in Saudi Arabia) it can be accepted but it’s a very long process and it’s not insured or guaranteed. For Muslims, it’s much easier to get a Visa but if they’re going to Mecca sometimes if they have doubt in the person they’ll ask you for a certificate from an appointed Imam that they approve of. There are many checkpoints on the roads leading to Mecca or Madinah and usually, if they have doubt they’ll get you out and ask many questions and you’ll go through many checks. In 2016, there are 9 checkpoints in and out of Mecca and Madinah and the areas around them to ensure that people with no permits cannot enter.

Islam requires a person to be Muslim to enter Makkah and Madinah. It’s not because we’re afraid of something. It’s because Islam requires a person to be Muslim in order to enter those very holy places. The prophet Muhammad PBUH said this many times and God ordered that in the Quran too. The Quran says:

“O you who have believed, indeed the mushrikeen (non-Muslims) are impure, so let them not approach al-Masjid al-Haram (Makkah) after this, their [final] year (the year that the prophet Muhammad conquered Makkah from the pagans). And if you fear privation, Allah will enrich you from His bounty if He wills. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Wise”. [Quran 9:28]

By impure it’s meant spiritually impure, I just want to note that so that nobody gets this wrong.

I really need you guys the fellow non-Muslims reading this to look at this with an open mind. A place like Makkah is very very very crowded to an extent you guys out there can’t imagine. It’s the world’s largest gathering! I always have a hard time going there and trying to come close to the Ka’abah because of how crowded it is. Just last year, there were more than a million people in the Grand Mosque by itself, let alone all of Makkah. So even if Islam didn’t require a ban, I think it would’ve been good to put it anyways. I think it would be extremely hard to bring in tourists above the number that’s coming for religious obligations. It would be so much to handle. So please understand. The number of pilgrims is greatly and insanely increasing every single year.

So that’s why Mecca and Madinah are left for Muslims only. Coming for “tourism” is not something done in Mecca or Madinah. Muslims themselves don’t come to Makkah or Madinah for tourism. They come to do their religious obligations. Nobody comes to Makkah or Madinah for tourism. It’s just not the place where you can come and checkout, take pictures and then go back home.

Here is the 24/7 live stream of Makkah that you can watch at any time.

Greetings to all from Madinah.

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