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What is Meeqaat? The points or stations from where people crosses their way to Holy Makkah either to perform Umrah or Hajj or any other purpose, inclusive of other businesses is required to assume the state of Ihraam.
This is applicable to even those people who live within the limits of Haram, i:e, if they go out of the Meeqaat, they cannot re-enter the boundary without Ihraam. It is compulsory or Waajib to wear Ihraam before entering Meeqaat. The Prophet has stated these places at all the popular routes to Makkah.
The person who is walking, flying towards Makkah should enter the state of Ihram at or before Meeqaat, if somehow he is not passing through one of them, then a point in his route that corresponds to the nearest Meeqaat. The person has the liberty to enter in Ihraam before leaving the house or before boarding the aircraft.
One must enquire about Meeqaat, if there is no one available to guide him, he must decide himself. If a person crosses Meeqaat without Ihraam, he has to offer Dam in Haram or go back to Meeqaat and re-enter after wearing Ihraam.
However, if someone is not going towards Makkah but some other place within Meeqaat he is not required to wear Ihraam. If he thereafter enters Makkah, he can go without Iĥraam.
Following are five different Meeqaat:
- Dhul-Ĥulaifah: Dhul-Ĥulaifah is the Meeqaat for those who lives in Madinah and for those who approach Makkah from that particular direction. This is commonly known as Abyaar-e-`Ali. The Prophet had worn Iĥraam from here while going to perform `Umrah.
- Juĥfah: This is the Meeqaat for the people who come from the direction of Syria. However, the Juĥfah has lost its identity and people assume the state of Iĥraam from Raabigh instead, which is near to Juĥfah.
- Qarnul-Manaazil: This is the Meeqaat for the people of Najd or for those coming from that direction. This is near Ţaaif.
- Dhaat-e-`Irq: This is the Meeqaat for the people of Iran, Iraq and all those coming from that direction.
- Yalamlam: This is the Meeqaat for the people of Yemen and all those coming from that direction. It is also the Meeqaat for many of the pilgrims from China, Japan, India, and Pakistan and anyone who comes from that direction.
It is a priority to don the Ĥajj Iĥraam before entering the Meeqaat. It is not permissible to enter without Ihraam. Those people living within the Ĥaram limit can wear Iĥraam from any place within the Ĥaram, preferably from the Masjid-e-Ĥaraam. However, if they are going to perform `Umrah, the Iĥraam for the same should be worn somewhere outside the Ĥaram limit; preferably from the Masjid-e-`Aayishah. The area outside the Ĥaram limits is called Ĥil.