Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Question: I was wondering about the permissibility of non-Muslims entering Mecca?
Answer: In the name of Allah, Most Merciful,
May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon His Messenger Muhammad, his folk, companions, and followers.
Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,
In the Hanafi school, it is permitted for non-Muslims to enter all mosques, including the Haram of Mecca.
The Qur’anic verse, “O you who believe! The idolaters only are unclean. So let them not come near the Inviolable Place of Worship after this their year,” [Qur’an 09:28] was interpreted by the Hanafi jurists to be a specific prohibition against the idolaters entering as they did before Islam in the Days of Jahiliyya, in which they entered with their idols, manifested their polytheistic worship, and engaged in reprehensible actions such as performing the rites of pilgrimage (tawaf) while naked. [Sarakhsi, Sharh al-Siyar al-Kabir, 1.134-135; Ibn al-Humam/Marghinani, Fath al-Qadir `ala al-Hidaya, 10.63]
As for the idolaters being unclean (najas), that refers to spiritual uncleanness due to their beliefs, rather than physical uncleanness. [Jassas, Ahkam al-Qur’an; Kasani, Bada’i` al-Sana’i`]
And Allah alone gives success.