Non-Muslim tourists entering the mosque, is it allowed?
Shafis, Hanbalis and Mohammed ibn al-Hassan from Hanafis held that non-Muslims are allowed to enter all mosques except for the Sacred Mosque (the Ka’bah).
However, according to the soundest opinion of Shafis and Hanbalis, allowing non-Muslims in the mosque is contingent upon the existence of permission, whether or not the person is ritually pure.
Hanafis generally hold that it is allowed for non-Muslims to enter both the Sacred Mosque and others. They believe that the mere presence of non-Muslims inside the mosque does not contaminate it. It was reported that the Prophet [peace and blessings be upon him] allowed the non-Muslim delegation of Thaqeef into the mosque and said: ‘Nothing causes the earth to become impure’.
Malikis and according to an opinion of Hanbalis maintain that it is undesirable for non-Muslims to enter the mosque except when there is a necessity, such as a non-Muslim professional architect who is fit for constructing the mosque in a better way than a Muslim does.
As for the Qur’an verse that reads, “Indeed the polytheists are filthy so do not let them near the Sacred mosque after this year” (Qur’an 9:28), it means if they approach the mosque to usurp it, come with pride or to circumambulate it while completely naked as they used to do during the pre-Islamic era [Jahiliyyah]. But it does not refer to prevent non-Muslims from entering the mosque.
It was proved that the Prophet [peace and blessings be upon him] allowed non-Muslims to enter his mosque after the revelation of the Qur’an chapter At-Tawbah. This chapter was revealed in year 9 A.H and he received non-Muslim delegation in the following year. The Prophet [peace and blessings be upon him] received the Christian delegation of Najran in year 10 A.H and allowed them into his mosque. They were the first to impose jizyah upon them and they exchanged discussions on the issue of the Christ and others inside the mosque.
Therefore there is no legal impediment against non- Muslims whether they are tourists or not to enter mosques as long as they wear proper attire that does not desecrate the sanctity of the holy premises.