Is performing the prayer inside the Makah Sanctuary has the same reward of performing it inside the Sacred Mosque?
Muslim scholars held different interpretations regarding the multiplication of prayer’s reward mentioned in the following narration as Jabir Ibn Abdullah narrated, the Prophet (PBUH) said (What means):” One prayer in the Sacred Mosque is better than one thousand prayers elsewhere, [Related by Ahmad] in his book [Al-Mosnad vol.23 pp.415].
Some scholars stated: The multiplication of prayer’s reward mentioned in the above narration was meant for all the region of Mecca while some of them said it was meant for the Makah Sanctuary.
Other scholars are of the view that the above multiplication is allocated for the Sacred Mosque only not elsewhere. Further, the latter opinion was adopted by Ibn Hajar Al-Haythamy (May Allah have mercy on his soul) besides, the above narration allocated the multiplication of prayer’s reward performed only in the Sacred Mosque and if it was meant for all Mecca it would be mentioned in it i.e. (One prayer in Mecca or Makah Sanctuary). In addition, there is no Sharia evidence proves that Makah Sanctuary is to be meant in this regard, since some of the prophetic narrations called the Sacred Mosque “the Mosque of Kabbah” as mentioned in [Sahih Moslim] and this is an additional evidence clarifying that the above reward is meant for the Sacred Mosque only and not the whole region of Mecca.
Furthermore, Ibn Hajar Al-Haythamy (May Allah have mercy on his soul) said:” The most preponderant opinion based on many narrations in this regard is that the multiplication of prayer’s reward was meant only for performing prayers in Scared Mosque and including Makah Sanctuary was in comparison of prayer’s reward between any spot within it with the former Mosque.” [Tohfat Al-Mohtaj vol.4 pp.65].
Moreover, Al-Shrnawi reported from [Fatawa An-Nawawi] in his book [Hashyat As-Shrnawi] the opinion he adopted saying that the multiplication of prayer’s reward includes all the region of Makkah Sanctuary. Yet, we (Iftaa’ Dept.) found in An-Nawawi’s book [Al-Majmoo’a vol.3 pp.189-190] which states that the multiplication of prayers’ reward is allocated only for praying in the Sacred Mosque itself where he (May Allah have mercy on his soul) said: “The Sacred Mosque mentioned in the above narration held different interpretations such as: it might include the multiplication of prayers’ reward performed inside the Sacred Mosque itself, the Sacred Mosque and its surroundings or all the region of Makah Sanctuary.
Lastly, he reported the following narration where the Prophet (PBUH) said (What means):” "One prayer in my Mosque is better than one thousand prayers in any other mosque excepting Al-Masjid-AI-Haram." In addition, he (PBUH) said (What means):” Do not undertake a journey to visit any Mosque, but to three Mosques……etc”. For further information in this regard, kindly refer to [A’yaant At-Talibeen vol.2 pp.409] and [Al-Moso’aa Al-Fiqhia vol.37 pp.239-240]. And Allah knows best.