As we all know and agree “there is a time and place for everything,” hence there are certain times for Hajj and certain sites for entering into Hajj.
In the previous article we have briefly outlined the steps of Hajj, in this and in the subsequent articles we shall go into depth and properly understand each step In Sha Allah.
Don’t worry, when I say depth I don’t mean a dive into the ocean, galore with is currents and tides, I shall to the best of my ability explain it in as a simplified a manner as possible In Sha Allah
The times specified for Hajj are: Shawwal, Dhul-Qa’dah and the first 10 days of Dhul-Hijjah.
The way for entering into Hajj is by assuming Ihram, now Ihram can’t be assumed just anywhere, there are specific places where Ihram can be assumed and these places are referred to as “Meeqats”
Now before a parasitic idea leads to a culmination of silly thoughts and you may start wondering why do such regulations exist and why can’t we assume Ihram just from anywhere, I will answer your question with a request.
Retrospection! I am going to ask you to “retrospect” on yourselves and pull from the well of your memories, your last recollection of a party or a marriage that you may have attended. Now I don’t really know about you, but back from where I am from, a marriage is celebrated nothing less than a banquet party to the imperial place of a King. Brand new clothes, oh! A shower is a must, and visits to beauty parlors more or less a necessity.
Just think of the extent to which we glorify such occasions and places, yet can there be any other place more glorified than the Ka’bah.
The House of Allah, being so glorified and honored by Allah, is fortified by Allah through Makkah and protected by the Sanctuary of Makkah, which in turn, is glorified by those Meeqats beyond which one cannot pass without being in a state of Ihram (when he wishes to perform Hajj and Umrah) as a sign of honor and glorification to the House of Allah.
Anyways, so that now we comprehend the reasons for the Meeqats, let us now finally promulgate the Meeqats
There are mainly 5 Meeqats for assuming Ihram
- Dhul-Hulayfah (now known as Abyar `Aly): It is the prescribed Meeqat for the people of Madinah and those who travel via the direction of Madinah.
- Al-Juhfah: It is the prescribed Meeqat for the people of the Levant (the region covering Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine), Egypt, Morocco and those who travel via their route.
- Yalamlam (Al-Sa`diyyah): It is the prescribed Meeqat for the people of Yemen and those who travel via their route.
- Qarn Al-Manazil (Al-Sayl Al-Kabir): It is the prescribed Meeqat for the people of Najd and the people of east and those who travel via their route.
- Dhat `Irq: It is the prescribed Meeqat for the people of Iraq and those who travel via their route
- Whoever passes by one of these meeqats, intending to do Hajj or Umrah has to enter Ihram from that point. If he lives within the boundary of the meeqats, then he should enter Ihram from where he is.
- It is important to mention that Muslims are required to assume Ihram from the proper site for Ihram for them, not specifically from the mosques therein. Many pilgrims mistakenly believe that they have to assume Ihram from the mosques in the Meeqats, as a result, many pilgrims from both the gender, hurry to such mosques, overcrowding and jamming them, this is completely baseless. The pilgrim can assume Ihram wherever is appropriate for them in the sites of the Meeqats. It should be pointed out that those mosques were not built during the lifetime of the Prophet, and that when built wasn’t built for the purpose of assuming Ihram solely
- The people of Makkah should enter Ihram for Hajj offered on its own or for Hajj and Umrah offered together (qiraan) from Makkah, and they do not have to go outside the Haram or to one of the other meeqaats mentioned
In the case of Umrah offered on its own, the one who wants to enter Ihram and is already in Makkah or within the boundaries of the Haram has to go outside the Haram – to al-Tan’eem or elsewhere – and enter Ihram from there. This was the view of the majority of scholars.
- Jeddah is not a meeqaat for Hajj or Umrah, except for its citizens and residents, and for those who come to it for a reason other than Hajj or Umrah, then decide to go for Hajj or Umrah.
- If there is no meeqaat on a person’s route, he should enter Ihram when he comes in line with the nearest place to it, whether he is coming by land, by sea or by air
The evidence for entering Ihram from a point that is in line with the meeqaat is the report narrated by al-Bukhaari (1458) from Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) who said:
When these two cities – meaning Kufa and Basrah – were conquered, they came to ‘Umar and said, “O Ameer al-Mu’mineen, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) defined the meeqaat for the people of Najd as being Qarn, but it is out of our way, and if we want to go to Qarn it is too difficult for us.” He said, “Look for a place on your route that is in line with it,” and he defined Dhaat ‘Irq for them (as their meeqaat).
“Look for a place that is in line with it” means find a place that is parallel with the meeqaat and make that your meeqaat.
- Airplane passengers should enter Ihram when they come in line with the meeqaat or, to be on the safe side, before they reach it, so that they will not pass it before entering Ihram. Whoever enters Ihram after passing the meeqaat has to offer a sacrifice, and Allah knows best.
It should be noted that it is not Sunnah to enter Ihram before reaching the meeqaat, because this is not what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did, and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). But if a person is in a plane and cannot stop at the place that is in line with the meeqaat, then he may do what he thinks is more on the safe side so that he will not pass the meeqaat without being in Ihram.
However, the passengers should be prepared before getting on board the plane by ritual bathing and cleaning, afterwards when the plane reaches a place that is parallel to any of the aforesaid sites for Ihram, they should declare the intention of Ihram ad chant the talbiyah in the plane.
- Whoever passes the meeqaat without entering Ihram has to go back and enter Ihram from that point.
If he got off the plane in Jeddah, then he has to take a car to the meeqaat of the people of Najd and enter Ihram from there. If he enters Ihram from Jeddah and he is intending to do Hajj or Umrah, then he has to offer a sacrifice as expiation for passing the meeqaat (without entering Ihram).
Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, please take an interest and be careful regarding your Meeqats, when we are already spending time, effort and money on our pilgrimage, why not try to the best of our efforts to do it perfectly, many Hajjis who travel from aboard wrongly assume Jeddah to be their meeqats, but this is completely false.
It is necessary that we all be aware of the sites of Meeqats and indeed ignorance and mistakes made due to ignorance can be battled by knowledge, so therefore it is essential that seek proper and correct knowledge
In Sha Allah, in our next article we shall study how to assume Ihram
Note: Although the pictures placed in the article are those of the mosques in the meeqats, it is important to note that pilgrims aren’t supposed to assume Ihram from only these mosques as explained above
Also further clarity regarding the meeqat for the people of Makkah read for https://islamqa.info/en/32845