It is forbidden for both a muhrim and a non-muhrim to kill the game in the sacred precincts of Haram, or to frighten it, or to cut its trees that are not planted by the people, or to cut tender plants, including thorns, except for the plants called Izhkher and Sana which may be cut, pulled or weeded out.
Ibn ‘Abbas reported that on the day of the conquest of Makkah the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Verily, this is a Sacred City, its thorns and its plants must not be cut, its wild game must not be frightened, and none is allowed to pick up lost articles unless one knows its owner (in order to return it to him).”‘ ‘Abbas added, “Except (for the plant) Izhkher” which is used by blacksmiths and burned in households.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) excluded this plant, saying, “Except izhkher.” (Bukhari)
Ash-Shawkani said: “Qurtubi said: ‘Jurists hold that the trees forbidden to be cut are the wild trees or plants that are not planted or grown by people. As to the trees grown by men there is disagreement among scholars. The majority holds it permissible to cut trees grown by men.
Ash-Shafi’i said: “Cutting any tree or plant is punishable.” Ibn Qudamah also holds this view. There is also disagreement on punishment for cutting the first kind of trees.
Malik holds there is no penalty for it, although one who does this commits a sin. ‘Ata opined: “Such a person should seek Allah’s forgiveness.” Abu Hanifah is of the opinion that such a person must compensate for it by sacrificing an animal equivalent in value to the damage caused by him. Ash-Shafi’i said: “For cutting a big tree one must slaughter a cow in compensation, and for a smaller tree a sheep.”
The scholars, however, make an exception in making use of broken branches, fallen trees, or leaves. It is permissible to use these. Ibn Qudamah said: “There is agreement on the permissibility of using herbs, flowers, grass and tender plants grown by men within the sacred precincts of Haram.”
The author of Al Rawdah al-Nadiyyah says: “The dwellers of the Haram, who are not in the state of ihram, incur sin, but no penalty for killing a game or cutting a tree within the Sacred Precincts.” As for those who are in the state of ihram, they must pay the penalty prescribed by Allah for killing a game. But for cutting a tree in Makkah they incur no penalty, because the evidence in this regard is not strong enough. The hadith which states “If one cuts a big tree, he must slaughter a cow in compensation” is not a sound hadith. What is related from earlier scholars and their opinions on this issue, cannot be taken as conclusive by themselves.
The author continues: “In short, there is no connection between prohibition of killing game and cutting trees, and the obligation of paying a penalty or giving away an amount of equivalent value in atonement. Prohibition, however, is clear from what is forbidden. The penalty or equivalent value can be applied only when there is clear evidence to establish it. But the only evidence we have in this matter is the words of Allah “…Kill no game while in the Sacred Precincts or in pilgrim garb…” In this verse only penalty is mentioned; nothing else is essential (wajib).