Makkah is a Sacred Area
[وَإِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَهِيمُ رَبِّ اجْعَلْ هَـذَا بَلَدًا آمِنًا وَارْزُقْ أَهْلَهُ مِنَ الثَّمَرَتِ مَنْ ءَامَنَ مِنْهُم بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الاٌّخِرِ]
(And (remember) when Ibrahim said, "My Lord, make this city (Makkah) a place of security and provide its people with fruits, such of them as believe in Allah and the Last Day.'')
Imam Abu Ja`far bin Jarir At-Tabari narrated that Jabir bin `Abdullah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
«إِنَّ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَرَّمَ بَيْتَ اللهِ وَأَمَّنَهُ وَإِنِّي حَرَّمْتُ الْمَدِينَةَ مَا بَيْنَ لَابَتَيْهَا، فَلَا يُصَادُ صَيْدُهَا وَلَا يُقْطَعُ عِضَاهُهَا»
(Ibrahim made Allah's House a Sacred Area and a safe refuge. I have made what is between the two sides of Al-Madinah a Sacred Area. Therefore, its game should not be hunted, and its trees should not be cut.) An-Nasa'i and Muslim also recorded this Hadith.
There are several other Hadiths that indicate that Allah made Makkah a sacred area before He created the heavens and earth. The Two Sahihs recorded `Abdullah bin `Abbas saying that the Messenger of Allah said,
«إِنَّ هَذَا الْبَلَدَ حَرَّمَهُ اللهُ يَوْمَ خَلَقَ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ، فَهُوَ حَرَامٌ بِحُرْمَةِ اللهِ إِلى يَومِ الْقِيَامَةِ وَإِنَّهُ لَمْ يَحِلَّ الْقِتَالُ فِيهِ لِأَحَدٍ قَبْلِي وَلَمْ يَحِلَّ لِي إِلَّا سَاعَةً مِنْ نَهَارٍ، فَهُوَ حَرَامٌ بِحُرْمَةِ اللهِ إِلى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ لَا يُعْضَدُ شَوْكُهُ وَلَا يُنَفَّرُ صَيْدُهُ،وَلَا يَلْتَقِطُ لُقَطَتَهُ إِلَّا مَنْ عَرَّفَهَا وَلَا يُخْتَلى خَلَاهَا»
«يَا رَسُولَ اللهِ: إِلّا الْإذْخِرَ فَإِنَّهُ لِقَيْنِهِمْ وَلِبُيُوتِهِمْ فَقَالَ:
(Allah has made this city a sanctuary (sacred place) the Day He created the heavens and earth. Therefore, it is a sanctuary until the Day of Resurrection because Allah made it a sanctuary. It was not legal for anyone to fight in it before me, and it was legal for me for a few hours of one day. Therefore, it is a sanctuary until the Day of Resurrection, because Allah made it a sanctuary. None is allowed to uproot its thorny shrubs, or to chase its game, or to pick up something that has fallen, except by a person who announces it publicly, nor should any of its trees be cut.) Al-`Abbas said, `O Messenger of Allah! Except the lemon-grass, for our goldsmiths and for our graves.' The Prophet added, (Except lemon-grass.)
This is the wording of Muslim. The Two Sahihs also recorded Abu Hurayrah narrating a similar Hadith, while Al-Bukhari recorded a similar Hadith from Safiyyah bint Shaybah who narrated it from the Prophet .
Abu Shurayh Al-`Adawi said that he said to `Amr bin Sa`id while he was sending armies to Makkah, "O Commander! Let me narrate a Hadith that the Messenger of Allah said the day that followed the victory of Makkah. My ears heard the Hadith, my heart comprehended it, and my eyes saw the Prophet when he said it. He thanked Allah and praised him and then said,
«إِنَّ مَكَّةَ حَرَّمَهَا اللهُ وَلَمْ يُحَرِّمْهَا النَّاسُ فَلَا يَحِلُّ لِامْرِىءٍ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللهِ وَالْيَومِ الْآخِرِ أَنْ يَسْفِكَ بِهَا دَمًا وَلَا يَعْضِدَ بِهَا شَجَرَةً،فَإِنْ أَحَدٌ تَرَخَّصَ بِقِتَالِ رَسُولِ اللهِصلى الله عليه وسلّم فَقُولُوا: إِنَّ اللهَ أَذِنَ لِرَسُولِهِ وَلَمْ يَأْذَنْ لَكُمْ، وَإِنَّمَا أَذِنَ لِي فِيهَا سَاعَةً مِنْ نَهَارٍ وَقَدْ عَادَتْ حُرْمَتُهَا الْيَومَ كَحُرْمَتِهَا بِالْأَمْسِ فَلْيُبَلِّغِ الشَّاهِدُ الْغَائِب»
(Allah, not the people, made Makkah a sanctuary, so any person who has belief in Allah and the Last Day, should neither shed blood in it nor should he cut down its trees. If anybody argues that fighting in it is permissible on the basis that Allah's Messenger fought in Makkah, say to him, `Allah allowed His Messenger and did not allow you.' Allah allowed me only for a few hours on that day (of the Conquest), and today its sanctity is valid as it was before. So, those who are present should inform those who are absent (concerning this fact).)
Abu Shurayh was asked, `What did `Amr reply' He said, (`Amr said) `O Abu Shurayh! I know better than you about this, the Sacred House does not give protection to a sinner, a murderer or a thief.' This Hadith was collected by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.
After this, there is no contradiction between the Hadiths that stated that Allah made Makkah a sanctuary when He created the heavens and earth and the Hadiths that Ibrahim made it a sanctuary, since Ibrahim conveyed Allah's decree that Makkah is a sanctuary, before he built the House. Similarly, the Messenger of Allah was written as the Final Prophet when Adam was still clay. Yet, Ibrahim said,
[رَبَّنَا وَابْعَثْ فِيهِمْ رَسُولاً مِّنْهُمْ]
(Our Lord! Send amongst them a Messenger of their own) (2: 129).
Allah accepted Ibrahim's supplication, although He had full knowledge beforehand that it will occur by His decree. To further elaborate on this subject, we should mention the Hadith about what the Messenger of Allah said when he was asked, "O Messenger of Allah! Tell us about how your prophethood started.'' He said,
«دَعْوَةُ أَبِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ، عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ، وَبُشْرَى عِيسَى ابْنِ مَرْيَمَ، وَرَأَتْ أُمِّي كَأَنَّهُ خَرَجَ مِنْهَا نُورٌ أَضَاءَتْ لَهُ قُصُورُ الشَّام»
(I am the supplication of my father Ibrahim, the good news of Jesus, the son of Mary, and my mother saw a light that radiated from her which illuminated the castles of Ash-Sham (Syria).)
In this Hadith, the Companions asked the Messenger about the beginning of his prophethood. We will explain this matter later, if Allah wills.