Virtues of Madina
by Sh. G. F. Haddad

Is it true that in Madinah all good deeds are mulitiplied by 1000 while bad deeds are not multiplied? Is it more of a sin to sin in Madinah than elsewhere (like Makkah's sins being multiplied by 100,000)? Does the one who sleeps in Madinah get the reward of the one who prays elsewhere?

It was said by analogy with the hadith on prayer and fasting that all deeds are multiplied, both the good ones and the bad.

Al-Samhudi in Wafa' al-Wafa (1:77), in the seventh section, entitled: "List of the countless exclusive characteristics of al-Madina," 29th characteristic, said:

"A hadith states: 'Fasting the month of Ramadan in al-Madina is like the fasting of one thousand months elsewhere, and praying the Jumuʿa prayer in al-Madina is like one thousand prayers elsewhere' [al-Tabarani in al-Kabir]. Hence, all good deeds are likewise, just as it was said about Makka. Abu Sulayman Dawud al-Shadhili said this explicitly in al-Intisar. Then I saw it in the Ihya' [1:243] in which he [al-Ghazzali] said: Deeds in Madina are multiplied; the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, said: 'A prayer in this, my mosque, is better than a thousand prayers in any other mosque' [in the Nine Books except Abu Dawud]. Then he said: 'Likewise, every deed in al-Madina is multiplied by a thousand.'"

Al-Ghazzali's ruling that all deeds are multiplied was reiterated by al-Salihi in his Fada'il al-Madina (p. 120) and al-Zabidi in Ithaf al-Sadat al-Muttaqin (4:285), his massive commentary on the Ihya', without further sourcing or commentary than to say "It was said..."

Further, the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, said that he made al-Madina a sanctuary "just as Ibrahim, upon him peace, made Makka a sanctuary" [Ahmad through the narrators of the Sahih according to al-Haythami]. So, if deeds are multiplied in one, they are multiplied in the other as well.

Also, the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, said: "Al-Madina is a sanctuary from ʿA'ir [a locality] to such-and-such. Whoever innovates something in it or abets someone who does, upon him is the curse of Allah, the angels, and that of all the people! There shall be accepted from him neither barter (sarf) nor balance (ʿadal)" [Sahihayn, Sunan, and Musnad]. Imam Malik took this literally and had no less than ʿAbd al-Rahman ibn Mahdi arrested for spreading his cloak on the ground in the mosque, which he deemed an unprecedented innovation. This illustrates the emphasized gravity of transgressions in al-Madina. Al-Salihi said in his Fada'il al-Madina (p. 114) that this hadith refers to minor and grave sins undifferentiated, as, he said, the minor sins become grave ones in Madina!

As for the third question I could not find anything explicit, but there is definitely more merit in sleeping in Madina than elsewhere, based on the two hadiths: "Whoever among you can die in Madina, let him do so" (Tirmidhi, Ahmad and others) and "Sleep is the brother of death" (al-Bazzar, al-tabarani in al-Awsat, and Bayhaqi in al-Baʿth with a chain whose narrators are those of the Sahih according to al-Haythami while al-Suyuti declared it sound in al-Durr al-Manthur).

GF Haddad
[SP 2007-07-29]

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