Reward for prayers in Haram and in the Prophet's Mosque

Q574 :I have read a Hadith which states that prayer in the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah is equal to one thousand prayers elsewhere, with the exception of the Haram in Makkah. It is also stated that prayer in the Haram in Makkah is equal to one hundred prayers in the Prophet's Mosque. That makes it equivalent to a hundred thousand prayers anywhere else. Does this apply to the whole Haram area of Makkah? Are sins also punished at one hundred thousand times their punishment elsewhere?

A574 : The Hadith you have mentioned is authentic. It is true that the reward we receive for a single prayer in the Prophet's Mosque is equivalent to the reward of one thousand prayers elsewhere. Similarly, a prayer in the Haram in Makkah earns a reward equivalent to one hundred thousand prayers elsewhere. That is one aspect of Allah's grace and limitless bounty with which He favors His servants. Some scholars say that this high reward is applicable throughout the Haram area, but perhaps it is more correct to say that it applies to the Grand Mosque itself, i.e. the Haram. [This is] because the Hadith mentions "Al-Masjid al-Haraam" which refers to the mosque itself. Perhaps it is important to add that this generous reward does not exempt the worshipper from offering his obligatory prayers at their times every single day of his life. Suppose a person stays in Makkah for a month and offers all his five daily prayers throughout the month in the Haram Mosque before returning home. He has earned the reward of prayers in one hundred thousand months. It may occur to him that he will not live for 8,000 years, so he need not offer any more prayers. This is a totally mistaken notion. If he deliberately omits to offer one obligatory prayer, he commits a sin. Punishment for sins committed in the Haram area are not multiplied by the same figure. Allah states in the Qur'an that whoever is guilty of a bad deed will not incur any punishment more than which is equal to his bad deed. It is indeed a manifestation of the grace of Allah that we are rewarded generously for the good we do, but we earn no more punishment except what is equal to our misdeeds. Moreover, even these are forgiven when we repent having committed them.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )