Praise be to Allaah.
previously explained that it is a mistake to call al-Hijr “Hijr Ismaa‘eel”,
because this Hijr only became a Hijr a long time after the time of Ismaa‘eel
(peace be upon him). The correct form is to call it al-Hijr only, without
attributing it to anyone.
The Hijr is
part of the Ka‘bah, so whoever prays in it has prayed in the Ka‘bah, and
praying in the Ka‘bah is permissible with regard to naafil prayers only, as
the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) did. Al-Bukhaari
(505) and Muslim (1329) narrated from ‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Umar that the
Messenger of Allaah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) entered the
Ka’bah, accompanied by Usaamah, Bilaal and ‘Uthmaan ibn Talhah al-Hajabi. He
closed the door and remained inside. Ibn ‘Umar said: I asked Bilaal when he
came out: What did the Messenger of Allaah (blessings and peace of Allah be
upon him) do? He said: He put two pillars on his left, one pillar on his
right, and three pillars behind him – and at that time the House was built
on six pillars – then he prayed.
(2028), al-Tirmidhi (876) and al-Nasaa’i (2912) narrated from ‘Aa’ishah that
she said: I wanted to enter the House (the Ka‘bah) and pray inside it, but
the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) took me by
the hand and led me into al-Hijr and said: “Pray in al-Hijr if you want to
enter the House, for it is a part of the House, but your people ran out of
funds when they (re)built the Ka‘bah, so they left it outside the House.”
(may Allah have mercy on him) said: Obligatory (fard) prayers are not valid
inside the Ka‘bah or on its roof, but they were regarded as permissible by
al-Shaafa‘i and Abu Haneefah, because it is a mosque and because it is a
place for naafil praying, so it should be a place for obligatory prayers
too, just like the area outside it. But Allah says (interpretation of the
meaning): “And from wheresoever you start forth (for prayers), turn your
face in the direction of Al-Masjid Al-Haraam (at Makkah)” [al-Baqarah 2:149].
The worshipper who is inside it or on its roof is not facing towards it. But
the basic principle with regard to naafil prayers is that the rulings on
them are less stringent, based on the fact that they may be prayed whilst
seated, facing a direction other than the qiblah, and, when travelling, on
Then he said:
Naafil prayers are valid if offered inside the Ka‘bah or on its roof, and we
do not know of any difference of opinion concerning that, because the
Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) prayed two rak‘ahs inside
End quote from
Baaz (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked about praying inside it, and
whether there is any advantage in doing so.
Praying inside Hijr Ismaa‘eel is mustahabb, because it is part of the
Ka‘bah, and it is narrated in a saheeh report from the Prophet (blessings
and peace of Allah be upon him) that he entered the Ka‘bah during the year
of the conquest (of Makkah) and prayed two rak‘ahs inside it. The soundness
of this hadith is agreed upon; the hadeeth was narrated from Ibn ‘Umar and
Bilaal (may Allah be pleased with them).
It is proven
that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said to
‘Aa’ishah when she wanted to enter the Ka‘bah: “Pray in al-Hijr,” because it
is part of the House (the Ka‘bah).
With regard to
obligatory prayers, it is better not to offer them inside the Ka‘bah or in
Hijr Ismaa‘eel, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon
him) did not do that, and because some of the scholars said that it
(obligatory prayer) is not valid inside the Ka‘bah or in al-Hijr, because
al-Hijr is part of the Ka‘bah.
Thus it is
known that what is prescribed is to offer obligatory prayers outside the
Ka‘bah and outside al-Hijr, following the example of the Prophet (blessings
and peace of Allah be upon him), and so as to avoid differing from those
scholars who say that obligatory prayer offered inside the Ka‘bah or in
al-Hijr is not valid.
And Allah is
the source of strength.
End quote from
Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz (11/389)
To sum up:
prayer inside al-Hijr is mustahabb, but it should be limited to naafil
And Allah knows best.