Umrah pilgrims are required to adhere to specific rules and regulations for the pilgrimage. All of the pilgrims traveling arriving in the kingdom through the Umrah packages with flights necessarily need to be in the state of Ihram for the performance of the holy rituals. Without it, it is invalid to perform the minor pilgrimage.
Pilgrims arriving for Umrah rituals need to assume their Ihram from the Meeqat region. Meeqat can be referred to as the specified places where pilgrims can enter the Ihram before stepping into the boundary of Makkah i.e., Masjid-al-Haram for the holy rituals.
It is essential for the pilgrims of Umrah to assume their Ihram from the Meeqat region. If any pilgrim crosses the Meeqat boundary without having entered the state of Ihram, a penalty i.e., Damm is due for him/her but the pilgrimage remains valid.
How many Meeqat places are there?
There are a total of five Meeqat places in Makkah, covering all the corners. So that pilgrims arriving from different regions of the world can know of the Meeqat place specified for their region of travel and assume Ihram from there. Most of the Travel agencies include these Ziarats into the Umrah Package but Travel Agency UK does not include these Ziarats to their Packages. These places are;
- Dhul Hulayfah.
- Also known as ‘Abyar Ali’.
- Present 18 kilometers southwest of Masjid al-Nabawi in Madinah or 410 kilometers north of Makkah, Saudi Arabia.
- It is a Meeqat for those living in Madinah and nearby areas.
- Also known as ‘Rabigh’.
- Situated 182 kilometers northwest of Makkah.
- It is a Meeqat for those traveling from Sudan, Algeria, Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Europe, Northern America, and other countries in Africa.
- Qarn al-Manazil.
- Present 80 kilometers east of Makkah, near the cities of Taif and Riyadh.
- It is a Meeqat for those traveling from Najd, U.A.E., Pakistan, Oman, Malaysia, Australia, Singapore, etc.
- Dhat Irq.
- Located 90 kilometers northeast of Makkah.
- It is a Meeqat for those traveling from Russia, China, Iran, and Iraq.
- Also known as ‘Al-Sadiah’.
- Situated 100 kilometers south of Makkah.
- It is a Meeqat for those traveling from Yemen and the southern regions such as Nigeria and South Africa.
Wearing Ihram at Jeddah Airport; allowed or not?
When it comes to entering Ihram at Jeddah airport, is not a recommended place to put it on.
Masjid al-Juhfah as Meeqat.
For the pilgrims traveling by air to Jeddah, the closest Meeqat region is Masjid al-Juhfah which is present 190 kilometers north of Jeddah.
So, to assume Ihram you need to reach Masjid al-Juhfah or any other Meeqat point before your arrival at Jeddah airport. That way your Ihram is considered valid.
There, you are also recommended to perform certain acts of worship like;
- Praying for two rak’ahs of Salat-al-Ihram.
- Making Niyyah for Umrah.
Hudaibiya as Meeqat.
The other Meeqat for Jeddah is Hudaibiya, present 16 kilometers away from the Jeddah Airport. It is a recommended place for pilgrims flying by air from the region of Asia. However, they have their Meeqat boundary crossing in the middle of the flight. For this reason, they are required to wear their Ihram before their departure and then make Niyyah mid-air while crossing the Meeqt boundary of Huadaibiya. In other words, umrah pilgrims are not allowed to go to the Hudaibiya to assume Ihram once they arrive at the Jeddah airport.
However, pilgrims from Makkah are allowed to go to Hudaibiya to enter the State of Ihram.
So, the majority of scholars say that it is not allowed to wear Ihram at Jeddah airport. You should assume Ihram while departing and make Niyyah during mid-flight (when crossing the boundary of Meeqat over Jeddah as announced by your pilot). At the same time, some are of the view that it can be done.
That is why it is advised to consult religious scholars in this regard for detailed guidance on the matter keeping in view the Islamic rules and principles. Therefore, helping you to better understand this problem in a way that best aligns with the religious guidelines.