Hazrat Ibn Abbaas R.A. reports that Rasulullah Sal’am said to Makkah: “What a wonderful city you are and how I love you. Had my people not forced me out of you, I would never have settled in any other city save you.”
As a result of the contents of this hadith as well as those expounding the increased reward for righteous deeds in Makkah, the majority of ulama believe that Makkah is the most virtuous (afdhal) of all towns, and to stay there permanently or in a temporary as capacity, is most virtuous. Who would not like to be able to settle there when one salaat is rewarded one hundred thousand times? Yet in spite of all this many of our saintly elders did not advocate residence in Makkah (for longer than necessary).
Hazrat Mullah Ali Qari R.A. wrote that according to Hazrat Imaam Muhammad R.A. and Hazrat Imaam Abu Yousuf R.A. it is Mustahab to accept permanent residence in Makkah. This is also the Hanafi fatwa, and coincides with the religious decree of some Sahfi’ee and Hambali Imaams. However Hazrat Imaam Abu Hanifa R.A. and Hazrat Imaam Maalik R.A. considered permanent residence Makrooh. This view is upheld by many who have a careful attitude, fearing that one may become used to the place that he becomes bored, losing the conception of the dignity and honor or Makkah. This would lead to indifference, which would also lead to sin. And as already said; in the same way as good deeds are magnified, so also sins are magnified.
As for those sincere ones, avoiding sins, there can be no better place on the surface of the globe than Makkah. Unfortunately those ones are few in number today. They are few in number as the kings among men. Many are the ones who claim to be able to uphold the dignity and honor of Makkah. It is very easy to claim but very difficult to fulfil.
Mullah Ali Qari says that: ‘Hazrat Imaam Abu Hanifa R.A. disliked permanent residence in Makkah, having considered the religious condition of the people of his time. If he should be alive today he would say it is haraam.” This Mulla Ali Qari is one of the greatest Ulama of Islam and he passed away in the year 1014 Hijri. He wrote in the above quotation about his time. We are now in the 14th century after the Hijrat. So much more has condition deteriorated that the condition in which we find ourselves today needs no comment. What would he say today?
Hazrat Imaam Ghazali R.A. explains the three reasons why some Ulama calls it makrooh to reside permanently in Makkah. They fear that through excess contact and familiarity, this great desire, enthusiasm and zeal for the Ka’ba will decrease (and familiarity may breed contempt).
They fear that the sad occasion of parting with the Ka’ba and the zeal for returning to it will be lost. Hence some elders have said that it is so much better that you should stay in another place while the heart desires to be in Makkah, then that you should stay in Makkah, with a heart longing for another place. It has been related from pious persons, that there are many people of Kharasaan who have stronger attachment with Makkah than those who are performing tawaaf in Makkah itself.
They fear that sin will be committed, which is a great crime calling for Allah’s anger.