Mawaaqeet (Times and Sites of Ihraam)

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Hajj is a main pillar of Islam to which Allah The Almighty Assigned a specific time and place where it should be performed. As such, Hajj takes place during special months as referred to in (what means): {…Hajj is [during] well-known months….} [Quran 2:197]. It also takes place in Holy Makkah, the Sacred City, as referred to in (what means): {Allah Has Made the Ka‘bah, the Sacred House, standing for the people…..} [Quran 5:97] Moreover, Allah The Almighty Assigned certain places for making Ihraam by those who seek the House for Hajj or ‘Umrah.

On his part, the Messenger of Allah gave a clear, detailed and specific account on such places and assigned to each direction a Meeqaat where Ihraam must be made.

As such, he assigned Thul Hulayfah, which is located north the Sacred House, as a Meeqaat for the people of Al-Madeenah. Thul Hulayfah is the farthest Meeqaat from Makkah, as it is four hundred kilometers from it, and it is nowadays known as Abyaar ‘Ali.

The Meeqaat of the people coming from Morocco, Egypt, Sudan and Africa in general is Al-Juhfah, which is an old town that was swept away by floods. Al-Juhfah suffered the epidemic which the Prophet supplicated Allah to transfer from Al-Madeenah to it. He was reported to have said: “O Allah, transfer the fever that is in it (i.e. Al-Madeenah) to Al-Juhfah.” [Al-Bukhari]

The Messenger of Allah supplicated to that effect because Al-Juhfah was a land of disbelief. When it was ruined and was no longer suitable for housing pilgrims, people shifted to another place called Raabigh, which until today is the place where pilgrims make Ihraam. Raabigh is nearer to Makkah and is almost one hundred and eighty-three kilometers from it. 

The Meeqaat of the people coming from the South and from relevant directions is Yalamlam, the designation of that area, which is still known and is nowadays called As-Sa‘diyyah. It is about one hundred and twenty kilometers from Makkah.

The Meeqaat of the people coming from the East is Thaatu ‘Irq, which is for the people of Iraq, Iran and other people coming from such directions. It is named as such because it is located near a small mountain that is two kilometers long and is almost one hundred kilometers to the east of Makkah. Thaatu ‘Irq is nowadays deserted as there is no routes leading to it, and next to it is Al-‘Aqeeq, a great valley that is twenty kilometers from Thaatu ‘Irq and is one hundred and twenty kilometers away from Makkah. People make Ihraam at Al-‘Aqeeq which is nowadays called Al-Khuraybaat.

For the people of Najd, the Prophet assigned Qarn Al-Manaazil as a Meeqaat, which is seventy-five kilometers from Makkah, and is nowadays called As-Sayl and is near At-Taa’if.

This having been mentioned, people who reside in the range of these places should make Ihraam from where they live, as it was narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbaas that he said: “The Prophet fixed Thul Hulayfah as a Meeqaat for the people of Al-Madeenah; Al-Juhfah for the people of Ash-Shaam; and Qarn Al-Manaazil for the people of Najd; and Yalamlam for the people of Yemen. So, these Mawaaqeet are the Ihraam places for all people living in the mentioned areas and for people coming from elsewhere with the intention of performing Hajj and ‘Umrah. People who live within these places should assume Ihraam from where they live, and similarly the people of Makkah can assume Ihraam from Makkah.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

It was also narrated on the authority of ‘Aa’ishah that she said: “The Prophet assigned Thaatu ‘Irq as a Meeqaat for the people of Iraq.” [Abu Daawood and An-Nasaa’i]

One final thing for the seekers of Hajj or ‘Umrah to note is the impermissibility of passing these specific places before assuming the state of Ihraam and wearing the Ihraam clothes once there is an intention for making either Hajj or ‘Umrah. Details are available in this section. Guidance is sought from Allah.

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