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New Muslims Pilgrimage

All about the Ihram’s Locations for Hajj in Islam

By Dr. Salih Al-Fawzan

There are certain times for Hajj, and certain locations for entering the state of ihram.

First: The Fixed Times of Hajj

The times specified for Hajj are mentioned by Allah, Exalted be He, when He says:

“Hajj is [during} well-known months, so whoever has made Hajj obligatory upon himself therein [by entering the state of ihram, there is [to be for him] no sexual relations and no disobedience and no disputing during Hajj…” (Quran: Al-Baqarah: 197)

These months are: Shawwal, Dhul-Qa’dah, and the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. Therefore, anyone who enters the state of ihram in these months with the intention to perform Hajj must avoid offensive words and deeds which contradict the purity of that act of worship, and should also be preoccupied with good deeds and abide by piety.

Second: The Locations for Entering the State of Ihram

A Muslim should be aware of Miqats and never pass them without being in a state of ihram.

They are the specific places where a pilgrim must not exceed and head for Mecca without entering the state of ihram (a state of ritual consecration during Hajj or ‘Umrah) at them, declaring his intention to perform Hajj. These places were pointed out by the Prophet (peace be upon him) as mentioned in the narration of ‘Abdullah lbn ‘Abbas who said:

“Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) specified Dhul-Hulaifah (as a site for ihram) for the people of Medina, Al-Juhfah for the people of Ash-Sham(the Levant; the region covering Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine), Qarn Al-Manazil for the people of Najd, and Yalamlam for the people of Yemen, saying, ‘They are (sites for ihram) for those people and for any other people coming through them (i.e. those sites) with the intention of performing Hajj and ‘Umrah (Lesser Pilgrimage). And whoever is living within these boundaries can assume ihram from the place he starts from, and the people of Mecca can assume ihram from Mecca! ” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Moreover, Imam Muslim related on the authority of Jabir that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said; “. . The muhall (the site for entering the state of ihram) of the people of Iraq is Dhat- ‘Irq.” (Muslim)

The wisdom of setting such Miqats

The idea behind setting such miqats (the sites for entering the state of ihram) for Hajj is as follows: The House of Allah (the Ka’bah), being so glorified and honored by Allah, is fortified by Allah through Mecca and protected by the Sanctuary of Mecca which, in turn, is glorified by those miqats beyond which one cannot pass without being in the state of ihram as a sign of honor and glorification to the House of Allah.

Third: The Locations of Ihram

1. Dhul-Hulaifah (Abyar `Ali Mosque)

The farthest of these sites for entering ihram is Dhul-Hulaifah, a place southwest of Madinah and 18 km from its mosque. It is the miqat for the people coming from Madinah and beyond.

2. Al-Juhfah

As for the people of Ash-Sham (the Levant; the region covering Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine), Egypt and Morocco, the site for ihram is Al-Juhfah which is 187 km to the northwest of Makkah.

It was on the eastern coast of the Red Sea, but it has completely disappeared and Rabigh (to the north of Al-Juhfah) is used as the substitute for this miqat now.

3. Yalamlam

Yalamlam, 54 km to the south of Makkah. It is the miqat for those coming from Yemen and the pilgrims who pass by it.

4. Qarn Al-Manazil

The site for ihram (a state of ritual consecration during Hajj or ‘Umrah) for the people of Najd and the pilgrims who pass by it is Qarn Al-Manazil – now known as As-Sayl – which is 94 km to the east of Makkah.

5. Dhat-`Irq

As regards the people of Iraq and those of the East, the site for ihram is Dhat-‘ Irq which is 94 km to the northeast of Makkah.

These are the sites for entering ihram for the people of the aforesaid places and those passing through them with the intention of performing Hajj or “Umrah.

E-Da`wah Committee presents this map as an illustrated guide to explain the different places of Ihram.

The place of Ihram for the people of Makka (Mecca)

Regarding those who dwell in places that are nearer to Mecca than the aforementioned places, they assume ihram for Hajj or ” Umrah from their places. As mentioned above, the residents of Mecca, however, enter ihram for Hajj from their own residence, i.e. from places at Mecca itself; they do not have to get out of Mecca to assume ihram from there. However, when it comes to ‘ Ummh, they have to get out of Mecca to the nearest precincts wherefrom they can assume ihram.

As for those who do not pass by any of the aforesaid sites of ihram on their way to perform Hajj, they have to assume ihram once they know they are at the nearest place opposite to any of these sites.

Al-Bukhari related that ‘Umar Ibnul-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said to the people of Iraq:

“Make your site for ihram a place situated opposite to it (i.e. opposite to Qarn Al-Manazil, the place of ihram for the people of Najd) on your usual way.” (Al-Bukhari)

Fourth: How to Enter the State of Ihram while on a Plane?

Those who travel by plane should assume ihram once they know that they are parallel to any of the sites for ihram during the flight. However, they should be prepared before getting on board the plane by ritual bathing and cleaning. Afterwards, whenever the plane reaches a place that is parallel to any of the aforesaid sites for ihram, they should declare the intention of ihram and chant talbiyah in the plane.

It is impermissible for one to delay ihram until the plane lands in the airport of Jeddah as some pilgrims mistakenly do, as both Jeddah and Bahrah are not sites for ihram except for their own people or anyone who intends to perform Hajj or ‘Umrah while being there. Otherwise, it is impermissible to assume ihram from Jeddah, as it will be regarded as negligence of one of the rites of Hajj, namely assuming ihram from one of its decreed sites, and one in this case will be obliged to slaughter a sacrificial animal in expiation.

A common mistake

Here is a common mistake made by many people and it has to be pointed out; some people mistakenly believe that they have to take a ritual bath before assuming ihram, arguing that this is not possible while being in a plane and so on. Therefore, it is important to point out that ihram means declaring the intention to perform the rites of Hajj or ‘Umrah, avoiding the acts prohibited to be done while being in a state of ihram as much as possible. As for washing, wearing perfumes, and the like, they are acts of the Sunnah which a Muslim can do before getting on board the plane, and assuming ihram without observing them is permissible. So, a plane passenger can make the intention to assume ihram and recite talbiyah while being in his/her seat once the plane is over any of the known sites for ihram or just before it.

This is known by asking the pilots or the hostesses of the plane, or trying to find it out independently through investigation and estimation. Thus, one would have done ones utmost in this regard. However, if one does not care, it will be considered an inexcusable negligence and indifference regarding one of the prerequisites of Hajj and ‘Umrafi, namely ihram, which may invalidate them.

Fifth: What to Do if You Miss the Location of Ihram?

As for those who pass by their site of ihram without assuming it, they have to return to that site and assume ihram, for it is a manageable obligation that should never be neglected. So, if one does not go back and assume ihram from the right site – as some mistakenly do from Jeddah and the like – one in this case will be obliged to slaughter a sacrificial animal in expiation, i.e. to slaughter a sheep or to get one-seventh of a camel or one-seventh of a cow and divide it among the residents of the Sanctuary of Mecca, provided one (the pilgrim who sacrifices) should eat nothing from it.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, Muslims should take an interest in their religious matters so as to perform all acts of worship properly and perfectly as legally enjoined.

Among these religious matters is the ihram for Hajj and ‘Umrah; it has to be assumed from the sites for ihram specified by the Prophet (PBUH). Therefore, a Muslim should be aware of these sites and never pass them without being in a state of ihram.


The article is an excerpt from the author’s book “A Summary of Islamic Jurisprudence” with some modifications.

Dr. Salih Al-Fawzan is a Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence, Member of the Board of Senior Ulema & Member of the Permanent Committee for Fatwa and Research.

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New Muslims Pilgrimage

The Prohibited Acts of Ihram for Hajj or Umrah

By Editorial Staff

After setting off to Makkah (Mecca), the pilgrim carries out the first rite of pilgrimage, namely, ihram, which is a state of ritual consecration. There are certain places just outside Makkah called the miqats (entry stations to the Hajj or ‘Umrah), where the pilgrim must not exceed without being in a state of Ihram. You can take a ritual bath there and put on the ihram (the special plain clothing worn by Muslims on pilgrimage). In case it is not easy to do that at the miqat because you are travelling by plane, you can do that at home or before boarding the plane. The next step which must be done at the miqat is to make the intention for Hajj or ‘Umrah and begin reciting the Talbiyah.

Here I am at Your service, O Allah, here I am at your service! Here I am at your service!  You have no partner. Here I am at your service. All praise and blessings belong to you. All dominion is yours and You have no partner.

Once you have done this, you have to observe the regulations of Ihram.

Prohibited acts during ihram:

1. Men may not wear clothes with stitching or anything else made exactly to fit a part of the body

This includes trousers (except in case of necessity), shirts, socks, gloves, etc. The male pilgrims are also prohibited to cover their heads with anything that touches the head such as turbans, hats, caps, etc.

Ibn ‘Umar (RAA) narrated, ‘The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) was asked about what the person who is in a state of Ihram (Muhrim) should wear. He answered, “A person in the state of Ihram is not allowed to wear a sewn shirt, a turban, trousers, a hooded cloak, shoes or sewn slippers (Khuff), unless one is unable to find unsewn slippers, then he may wear his Khuff or shoes provided one cuts them below the ankles, and you must not wear clothing that has been dyed with sweet smelling fragrance (such as saffron and wars (a dye plant)).” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

In case one forgets to buy the ihram clothing and he is on a plane, he can take off his clothes except for the trousers. He can get one when he arrives at Makkah.

Narrated Ibn `Abbas:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Whoever cannot get an Izar (the lower garment) can wear trousers, and whoever cannot wear sandals can wear Khuffs (socks made from thick fabric or leather).” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

As for women in a state of ihram, they must wear the clothes that covers the body except for the face and hands. Narrated Abdullah ibn ‘Umar:

The Ptophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “A woman in the state of Ihram may not wear a niqab or gloves.” (Al-Bukhari)

However, they are allowed to cover their face especially in presence of men. Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu’minin:

Riders would pass us when we accompanied the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) while we were in the sacred state (wearing ihram). When they came by us, one of us would let down her outer garment from her head over her face, and when they had passed on, we would uncover our faces. (Imam Ahmad and Abu Dawud)

Although this chain of narration of this hadith is not authentic, there is another narration related by ‘A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that supports this hadith to become authentic.

2. Putting on perfumes

After taking a bath, the pilgrim is recommended to put on perfume provided that this is done before making the intention or reciting the Talbiyah. Once a person has recited the Talbiyah, they may not put on perfumes any more. Although washing the head or taking a bath is allowed, using scented soap is not. ‘A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) reported:

“I used to scent Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) whenever he wanted to assume ihram and (also) on finishing ihram before circumambulating the House of Allah (i.e. before tawaf).  (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

In another hadith related by Al-Bukhary and Muslim, The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) commanded a man who was scented with perfume while in a state of ihram to wash the perfume off his body thrice. To reconcile these apparently contradictory hadiths, scholars interpret the perfume in the latter hadith to be of certain kinds called saffron and wars (a dye plant)

3. Marriage, proposals and marital relations

A person in a state of ihram is not allowed to marry, propose, have sexual intercourse, touch his or her spouse lustfully or speak about these things. Allah says,

The (time-frame of the) Hajj-Pilgrimage falls within the well-known months (at the end of the lunar year). So whoever determines to undertake the Hajj-Pilgrimage therein, then there shall be no sexual relations (rafath), nor ungodliness, nor disputation, during the Hajj-Pilgrimage. (Quran 2:197)

The word “rafath” here is general enough to include sexual relations and what leads to it such as fondling or kissing.

‘Uthman bin ’Affan (RAA) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

“A Muhrim (one in the state of Ihram) must neither marry himself, nor arrange the marriage of another one, nor should he make the proposal of marriage. (Muslim)

4. Using swear words and disputations

According to the above mentioned verse of the Quran, the pilgrim should not use swear words, fight or does anything that may be described as ungodly. Moreover, disputation is also not allowed except in cases of enjoining what is right and forbidding what is evil. However, this should also be done gently, wisely and with good admonition. Arguing with others for the sake of teaching them is also encouraged provided that this is done gently.

5. Shaving or cutting one’s nails

The pilgrim may not shave or remove hair from the head or the body without a legal excuse. The same legal ruling applies to cutting one’s fingernails or toenails. Allah says,

Yet you shall not (ritually) shave your heads until the charitable-offering reaches its destination (for sacrifice). As to whoever among you becomes sick, or has an ailment of the head (that requires shaving,) then the due redemption is fasting, or (giving) charity, or a (charitable-offering of) sacrifice. (Quran 2:196)

The following hadith of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) further explains this verse of the Quran. Ka’b b. ‘Ujra (Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be, upon him) stood near him and lice were falling from his head. Thereupon he (the Holy Prophet) said:

Do these vermins trouble you? I said: Yes. Thereupon he said: Then shave your head; and it was in connection with me that this verse was revealed:

“As to whoever among you becomes sick, or has an ailment of the head (that requires shaving,) then the due redemption is fasting, or (giving) charity, or a (charitable-offering of) sacrifice.” (Quran 2:196)

He (the Holy Prophet, therefore) said to me: Observe fast for three days or give a quantity of alms enough to feed six needy persons or offer sacrifice (of an animal) that is available. (Muslim)

6. Killing or hunting anything

The person in a state of ihram may not hunt or help anyone who is hunting. Allah says,

O you who believe! Do not kill any game while you are in (the state of) pilgrim sanctity. And whoever among you kills any (game therein) deliberately, then the recompense (for him) shall be the like of what he has killed in (a charitable sacrifice of) cattle as two just men from among you shall so judge. It shall be (treated as) a charitable-offering (of sacrifice to God) brought to the Ka’bah (for the poor). Or, in atonement, (one shall offer its value in) food for the indigent (of the Sacred Precincts); or (one shall) render the equivalent of this (measure) in fasting so that he may taste the grievous consequences of his action. God has pardoned (of this) what has already passed. Yet whoever (willfully) repeats this (violation), then God will take vengeance on him. And God is overpowering, all-avenging (of evildoing). (Quran 5:95)

This state of Ihram continues till the pilgrim who performs hajj tamattu’ (performs the ‘Umrah separately before the Hajj) finishes the rites of the ‘Umrah. On the other hand, the person who is performing only the Hajj (ifrad) or combining the Hajj with the ‘Umrah (qiran) remains in the state of ihram till the 10th day of Dhul-hijjah.

 

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