Masjid-ul -Haram : Sacred and forbidden

Q376 :In Islam, forbidden things are called "haram", but the holiest place in Makkah is also called Masjidul Haram. What is the real meaning of the term "haram"?

A376 : Arabic dictionaries define haram as the opposite of halal; which [i.e. halal] means permissible. Hence, haram means not allowed, prohibited or forbidden. The Holy Mosque in Makkah is called Al-Masjid Al-Haram, because it is forbidden for non-Muslims to enter. It is a sanctuary where people may have refuge. When they are inside it, they enjoy the safety associated with the fact that Allah has forbidden the use of force or violence against anyone in it. Allah states in the Qur'an: "Whoever enters it enjoys security." The fact that certain restrictions apply in the mosque and its surrounding area makes the name "Al-Haram" or Al-Masjid Al-Haram, most appropriate. It is a place where Allah's authority is inviolable. No one may violate it without being punished.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )