What is the declaration of Medina as a sanctuary? What is the declaration of Medina?
The Contract was followed by determining the borders of the Haram, or the sanctuary, of Medina, in the following words of the Noble Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-:
“Ibrahim –-upon him peace– had declared Mecca a haram, and so do I declare between the two hilltops of Medina haram.” (Ahmad, IV, 141)
By erecting stones in the prescribed hilltops, the borders of the sanctuary of Medina were thus established. Medina, as determined between these borders, was thereafter the called al-Haram’ur-Rasul, the Sanctuary of the Prophet -upon him blessings and peace-. Each corner of the three farsah area between the hills of Ayr and Sawr was made into a grove. (Bukhari, Fadail’ul-Medina, 1; Muslim, Hajj, 471-472)
After proclaiming Medina a sanctuary, the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- then added:
“Neither shall a tree be cut down, nor a sin committed within these borders. Whoever commits a deed contrary to the Book and Sunnah shall incur the curse of Allah, the angels and the entire humankind.” (Bukhari, Fadail’ul-Medina, 1)
Lifting his hands aloft, the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- then prayed for the wellbeing of the town, owing to the grace of which Medina has since been a haven of peace, serenity and mercy for entire Believers and a town of happiness, effectively the pulse of the Muslim world.
The Companions considerately observed the distinct status of Medina throughout, as verified by the sensitivity of Abu Hurayra -Allah be well-pleased with him- below:
“If I saw a deer grazing by the pastures of Medina, there is no way I would disturb it, for I heard the Messenger of Allah declare the area between the stony places of Medina a sanctuary.” (Muslim, Hajj, 471)
Not only that, the Companions would not even tolerate their children behaving in a manner inappropriate to the essence of Medina, as vividly recounted by Abdullah ibn Ubada -Allah be well-pleased with him-:
“I was once hunting birds near the Abu Ihab Well. My father saw me and immediately made me release the bird I had caught, saying, ‘the Messenger of Allah -upon him blessings and peace- has declared the area between the stony spots of Medina a sanctuary, just as Ibrahim -upon him peace- had declared Mecca.’” (Ibn Asir, Usdu’l-Ghaba, III, 159)
 This is the area that falls between mount Ayr near Dhulhulayfa and Sawr, the small hilltop to the north of Uhud. This Sawr Hill should not be confused with Mount Sawr near Mecca.