THE RULES ON MEEQAAT
It is not permissible to wear ihram before reaching meeqaat nor is it enough just to pass from there in ihram. There is no alternative to wearing the ihram at the meeqaat itself. However, there are two exceptions to the rule:
(1) If a pilgrim has made a vow (nadhar) to wear ihram before the meeqaat, then it is valid to do so nor is it necessary to renew it at the meeqaat or pass through it. Indeed, it is permissible to proceed straight to Makkah without passing through any meeqaat. In this regard there is no difference between an obligatory and an optional pilgrimage or Umrat-ul-Mufradah. However, if the ihram is for an obligatory pilgrimage, then it is necessary that he should wear ihram in the season of the pilgrimage.
(2) If a pilgrim wishes to perform an Umrat-ul-Mufradah in the month of Rajab and he fears that the month will elapse if he proceeded to the meeqaat to wear the ihram, then it is permissible to wear the ihram before the meeqaat and it will be reckoned as the umrah of Rajab even if the remaining ceremonies are performed by him in Sha'baan. In this regard there is no difference whether the umrah is obligatory or optional.
It is obligatory on the pilgrim to be certain that he has reached the meeqaat and wear ihram there. He must be satisfied or have proof that the place is the meeqaat. It is not permissible to wear the ihram if there is doubt whether the meeqaat has been reached.
If a pilgrim had made a vow to wear ihram before meeqaat and contrary to it wears ihram at the meeqaat, his ihram is not invalidated. However, he must pay the penalty for infringing the vow, if he did so deliberately.
Just as it is not permissible to wear ihram before reaching meeqaat, so is it not permissible to delay wearing it. It is not permissible for a person who intends to perform a pilgrimage or umrah or to enter Makkah to pass the meeqaat without wearing ihram there even if there is another meeqaat ahead. If a pilgrim passes by a meeqaat, he must, if possible, return to it to wear the ihram.
There is one exception for those who pass Dhul Hulaifah but without wearing ihram proceed towards Johfa without excuse. In such a case, wearing ihram from Johfa is sufficient, but it is sinful to do so. As a matter of precaution, it is impermissible to pass any place which is parallel to one of the meeqaats without wearing ihram even if one can ignore this precaution because there is another meeqaat ahead.
If a passenger does not intend to perform a pilgrimage or enter Makkah changes his mind after passing meeqaat, then he can wear ihram for Umratul-Mufradah from the lowest of Hil (Adnal Hil).
If a pilgrim passes by a meeqaat deliberately without wearing ihram, then, without prejudice to the previous rule,
(i) if it is possible to return to the meeqaat, it is obligatory to do so and wear ihram there; it makes no difference whether he returns after having entered the Haram or from outside it and if he does so, his pilgrimage is valid;
(ii) if the pilgrim is not able to return to the meeqaat, whether he is inside or outside the Haram, his pilgrimage is invalidated and wearing ihram from any place beyond the meeqaat is not sufficient. He must perform the pilgrimage in the ensuing year if he has the means.
If a pilgrim omits to wear ihram through oversight, unconsciousness or such other cause or ignorance of the rule or meeqaat, four situations would arise:
(i) if it is possible to return to the meeqaat, it is obligatory to do so and wear ihram there;
(ii) if he is in the Haram and it is not possible to return to the meeqaat but it is possible to come out of the Haram, he must get outside the Haram and wear ihram there; it is preferable that having come outside the Haram he must proceed as far away from the Haram as possible to wear ihram;
(iii) if he is in the Haram and it is not possible to come out, he must wear ihram wherever he is, even if he has entered Makkah;
(iv) if he is outside the Haram but it is not possible to return to the meeqaat, as a matter of precaution, he must return as far as possible towards the meeqaat and wear ihram.
In all these four situations, his pilgrimage is valid if he acts in accordance with what is stated above. The same rule applies to a person who wears ihram before reaching meeqaat or after leaving it out of ignorance or by oversight of the rule.
If a pilgrim omits to wear ihram at meeqaat out of ignorance of the rule and enters the Haram, like the others, he must get out of the Haram and wear ihram if it is not possible for him to return to meeqaat. In such a situation, it is preferable that he should go as far away from the Haram as possible and then wear ihram if by doing so there is no risk of missing the pilgrimage. If there is no possibility of moving out of the Haram, then, like the others, he should wear ihram in the Haram.
If the umrah becomes invalidated, including by reason of the invalidity of the ihram, it is obligatory to repeat it, if possible and if, for lack of time, it is not possible to repeat it, the obligatory pilgrimage becomes invalid and it is necessary to perform it again in the succeeding year.
A group of scholars have stated that if a pilgrim performs an umrah without ihram, it is valid if he did so out of ignorance or by oversight but this proposition is arguable. In this situation, it is preferable that, if possible, it be repeated, just as we have stated.
If a person travels from far for a pilgrimage, it is obligatory on him to wear ihram for umrah at one of the first five meeqaats. If his route passes through one of them, no doubt arises. If not, as happens in the current times when pilgrims first land in Jeddah, which is not one of the meeqaats, it is not permissible to wear ihram there as it has not been established that it is parallel to any meeqaat. In such a case he has three options:
(1) He can make a vow (nadhr) to wear ihram from his town or on the way just before landing in Jeddah and wear the ihram at the place stipulated in the vow, be it even on the plane.
(2) If he lands in Jeddah without ihram, he can proceed to Rabigh which is on the way to Madinah and wear ihram there by making a vow (nadhr) there as it is situated before Johfa which is one of the meeqaats.
(3) He must make a vow to wear ihram in Jeddah and do so and there is no need to renew the ihram at the point midway between Jeddah and Haram which is parallel to Johfa.
It has already been stated that for Hajj-ul-Tamatoo it is obligatory to wear ihram in Makkah. If a pilgrim deliberately wears the ihram elsewhere, his ihram is invalid if he enters Makkah having worn it. Indeed, it is obligatory on him, if possible, to wear it again in Makkah, else his Hajj is invalid.
If during Hajj-ul-Tamat'toe a pilgrim forgets to wear ihram for Hajj in Makkah, it is obligatory for him, if possible, to return to Makkah. Otherwise, he must wear the ihram wherever he remembers to do so, even if he has reached Arafaat and his Hajj is valid. The same is the rule for one ignorant of the rule.
If a pilgrim forgets to wear the ihram for Hajj and does not remember to do so until the completion of all the ceremonies, his Hajj is valid. The same rule applies to one who is ignorant of the rule.