Part V: Pilgrimage (Al-Hajj)

Chapter 34

Meeqaat and Ihram

I – Meeqaat

         Meeqaat is singular while Mawaqit is plural. These are of two kinds: Meeqaat Makani and Meeqaat Zamani. Meeqaat Makani means the prescribed places from where one has to wear Ihram (pilgrims garments) if he is going to Makkah for performing Hajj or Umrah or both. Meeqaat Zamani means prescribed times during which Ihram for Hajj is to be put on and Hajj is to be performed.

Meeqaat Makani

         Ibn Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah fixed Zul-Halifah for the inhabitants of Madinah, and Al-Juhfah for the Syrians and Qarn Manazel for the people of Najd, and Yalamlam for the people of Yemen (as place for wearing Ihram).  So these are for them and for those who come through them without being their inhabitants – for those who wish to make pilgrimage and Umrah; whoever lives nearer (Makkah), his Ihram is from his residence. (The case is) such and such and such; even the people of Makkah shall make Ihram from it (Makkah) (Bukhari, Muslim). Hadhrat Ayesha reported that the Prophet fixed Zat-Irq as Meeqaat for the inhabitants of Iraq (Abu Daud, Tirmizi).

         Thus the Prophet has fixed  (1) Zul-Halifah (called Abyar Ali these days) as Meeqaat for those who come to Makkah from Madinah or from direction of Madinah; (2) Al-Juhfah for the people coming from Syria or from that route or direction;  (3) Qarn-al-Manazil (called Saol these days) for the people of Najd and those coming from that side;  (4) Yalamlam (called Sadia these days) for the people of Yaman or for those who come from that side; and  (5) Zat-Irq for those who come from Iraq or via that route.  These Meeqaat are for Afaqees i.e. those who live in countries or places which are outside of the bounds of Meeqaats.

         For those who live between Makkah and Meeqaat, their Meeqaat is the place from where they start on journey for Hajj. Such people are called Ahle Hil and their Meeqaat is Hil.

         For people of Makkah (those who live within Harm limits) their Meeqaat for Hajj is their homes, while their Meeqaat for Umrah is Hil. They have to go out of Harm limits and wear Ihram for Umrah e.g. from Tanaeem, Jaaranah, etc.

Meeqaat Zamani

         It means the times or the period during which one has to put on Ihram for Hajj and also to perform and complete Hajj. The Qur’an says: “They ask you (O Muhammad) about the new moons. Tell them: They are signs to determine the periods of times for mankind and for Hajj ……” (2: 189). Again the Qur’an says in this very Surah: “The Hajj is in the well known months or the months of Hajj are well known……” (2:197). According to a tradition of Abdullah bin Umar, months of Hajj are Shawal, Zil Qaada and Zil Hajjah. Ihram of Hajj has to be put on in these months and Hajj has to be performed and completed within this period. However, the specified days are from 8th to 13th of Zil Hajjah during which all the important manasak of Hajj are to be performed.

II – Ihram

What is Ihram?

         Ihram literally means to enter into a condition or state which forbids a person from doing certain things or acts which were lawful for him before entering into that state. As a term of Islamic Shariah, Ihram implies putting on pilgrim’s special dress with the intention of performing Hajj or Umrah or both and reciting Talbiyah. Just as one enters into prayer after saying Takbir Tahrimah and certain things like eating, drinking, walking, speaking, etc. become Haram (unlawful) for him, similarly after entering into Ihram, certain things like indulging in sex with wife ,cutting hair or nails, using perfume, etc. become haram for him.

         Ihram is very essential for Hajj and Umrah. According to Hanafites it is condition for Hajj and Umrah, whereas according to others it is Fard Rukn (obligatory rite or article) for Hajj and Umrah.

The method of putting on Ihram

(1)     Ihram, as stated above should be put on from Meeqaat. It is highly undesirable to proceed beyond Meeqaat without putting on Ihram while going to Makkah for the purpose of Hajj and Umrah.

(2)     It is permissible rather commendable to put on Ihram even before reaching a meeqaat, e.g. from your house, hajji camp or airport.

(3)     The method or procedure of entering into Ihram is as follows:

a)      cut or set your hair of head, beard, etc. and clip or cut your nails, if needed.

b)      Then take bath because it is sunnat of the Prophet. Even a woman in Haidh (menses) or nifaas (bleeding associated with childbirth) is required to take bath. A child should also take bath;

c)      Then apply or use perfume on your body, though its effect may remain after putting on Ihram;

d)      Then put on your Ihram. For a male, Ihram comprises two seamless (unstitched) white sheets. For a woman, Ihram comprises her routine clean clothes. She should properly cover her whole body including head and hair but she should keep open her face and hands;

e)      After putting on Ihram, you should offer two Rakaahs of Nafl prayer;

f)       Now make intention of Hajj or Umrah whatever you are going to do, and start proclaiming Talbiyah.

         After putting on Ihram when you start reciting or chanting Talbiyah you have entered in the state of Ihram and its restrictions have now become binding on you.

Things or acts forbidden during Ihram

1)            The hunting of animals on land is prohibited by the Qur’an (5:95-96). Even to help or cooperate with or guide others in hunting is forbidden. If one hunts and kills an animal intentionally he will have to give in Kaffarah (expiation) an animal just like the killed one, or he will have to feed the needy persons or he will have to fast. According to jurists, the Kaffarah of hunting in terms of feeding the poor or fasting is the same which the Prophet has fixed for shaving head or cutting hair. Meat of hunted animal is even forbidden to eat. Hunting of the game of the sea is, however, allowed.

2)            The cutting or shaving of the hair of the head or any other part of the body by any means is forbidden by the Verse 196 of Surah 2 of the Qur’an. If one does that, one has to pay Fidyah in the form of fasting or alms giving or sacrifice. The Prophet has prescribed Fidyah for it and that is to fast for three days or to feed six needy persons or to give them three sa’a (10.5 Kg) of corn or to sacrifice a goat.

3)            To cut or pare nails is prohibited. And if one does, there is Fidyah upon him.

4)            The Qur’an in its verse 197 of Surah 2 has prohibited sexual intercourse or any other sexual act. According to jurists, having sexual intercourse makes Hajj void and no Kaffarah (expiation) can amend or rectify it. However, touching or kissing of wife makes one liable for Fidyah.

5)            To do evils acts or indulge in fighting or quarreling is also prohibited by verse 197 of Surah 2 of the Qur’an.

6)            To put on stitched clothes like shirt, trousers, jacket, coat, cap, vest, gloves, etc. is forbidden except for women.

7)            To cover the head or face is prohibited to men.

8)            To wash the head or beard with soap is prohibited as it may break a hair.

9)            To use perfume or oil is prohibited; Even to wear a perfumed cloth is not allowed

10)         To wear such shoes or sandals or socks which cover the whole feet including ankles is prohibited. If they do not cover your ankles, then you can wear them. However, women can wear such shoes.

11)         Women cannot wear Hijjab. However, they can hang a piece of cloth in front of their face if it does not touch the face.

12)         Nikah or wedding is prohibited. But according to Hanafites, it is not prohibited.

Things or acts which are permitted during Ihram

         We have provided the list of forbidden acts and things above. Besides that all other acts and things are permitted, for example:

1)            To take bath or wash one’s head or body without soap or shampoo so that hair is not removed.

2)            To change the Ihram garments and wash them;

3)            To have rest under a shade, under a tent, etc. or to use umbrella.

4)            To scratch one’s head or body taking care that a hair should not be broken or a lice, if there is any, should not fall off.

5)            To keep one’s money or weapon tied on the waist

6)            To put on a ring or a wrist watch.

7)            To apply antimony to the eyes which has no smell.

8)            To take medicine or apply injection.

9)            To kill a harmful animal like a dog, snake, scorpion, wolf, tiger, rat, crow, etc.

10)         To hunt on the sea. It has been allowed by the Qur’an (5:96)

11)         To earn through doing trade or providing services when one finds some free time. It has been permitted by verse 198 of Surah 2 that seeking the bounty of Allah is no sin.

III – Talbiyah

         After putting on Ihram and making intention of performing Umrah or Hajj or both, what an intending pilgrim is obliged to do is to recite Talbiyah. Abdullah bin Umar reported that he heard the Prophet saying following words in Talbiyah and nothing more than that.  – (Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmad, Abu Daud, Tirmizi)

Labbaik, Allahuma labbaik: labbaik la sharika-laka labbaik; innal-hamda wan-ni’mata laka, wal-mulka laka, la sharika lak.

“Here I am, O Allah! Here I am in Thy presence! Thou hast no partner; I am here! All praise is due to Thee alone; Thou alone canst bless; Thou alone art the Sovereign, and Thou hast no partner!”

Thus Talbiyah means proclaiming or chanting the above mentioned words in loud voice after putting on Ihram and making intention of Hajj and Umrah.

         Umm Salmah reported that she heard the Prophet saying: O members of the Family of Muhammad (PBUH)! Anyone of you who makes intention of performing Hajj, he should proclaim Talbiyah.  – (Ahmad).

Merits of Talbiyah

         Many merits and rewards of Talbiyah have been mentioned by the Prophet. Abu Hurairah has reported that the Messenger of Allah said: Whosoever puts on Ihram and proclaims Talbiyah from the sunrise till the sun-set, the sun sets taking away all his sins and he becomes as pure as he was at the time of his birth (Ahmad, Ibn Majah, Baihaqi). According to another tradition, the Prophet said: Whenever a Muslim proclaims Talbiyah, everything around him also starts proclaiming the same words, whether it be stones, trees, or clouds of earth, and the proclamation starts spreading in every direction till the whole world starts resounding with the same cries (Tirmizi).

         The reason of its merits lies in the fact that it is, according to the scholars, a loud response to the call of Prophet Ibrahim which he had made, after building Kaabah, to mankind at the command of God, that they should come to perform Hajj of the House of God at Makkah. The Qur’an tells us this fact in verse 27 of its Surah Al-Hajj: “And make a proclamation of Hajj to mankind; they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel, coming from remote hill- paths.”

Injunctions of Talbiyah

1)            There is almost a consensus among the Ulema and the Jurists that Talbiyah is one of the rites of Hajj and Umrah. However, they differ whether it is Fard (obligatory) article or rite of Hajj or of Umrah or it is Wajib (imperative) or Sunnat. According to Malikees, it is Wajib, which means that Hajj or Umrah is valid without it but one has to pay Fidyah if one has missed it. According to Shafaees and Hanbalees, it is Sunnat. According to Hanafees, to proclaim Talbiyah at least once with Ihram is Fard as without it Ihram is not valid, but afterwards its proclamation is sunnat.

2)            Proclamation of Talbiyah starts from putting on Ihram and it continues till one throws pebbles on Jamarah al-Aqba on 10th of Zil Hajjah. One should continue proclaiming it after every prayer, in the morning as well as in the evening, when he ascends or descends a high place, when he joins a party of people, when he rides or disembarks a conveyance, when going to sleep or awakening from it, indeed at every time he is free.

3)            A male Muslim should pronounce Talbiyah in a loud voice as it is sunnat. The Prophet is reported to have said: Gabriel came to me to give me Allah’s message that I should command my followers to pronounce Talbiyah in a loud voice (Muwatta, Tirmizi, Abu Daud). But woman should recite it in low voice.

4)            It is Mustahib (desirable) to recite Talbiyah thrice whenever one recites it.

5)            One must not talk while reciting Talbiyah, neither he should greet or talk to a person who is reciting it.

6)            After Talbiyah one should offer the following Dua which the Prophet used to invoke.

Allahumma inni as’aluka ridwanaka wal-jannata wa a’uzu bi-rahmatika min-annar

“O Allah! I implore Thee for Thy approval and pleasure and Paradise, and I seek the refuge of Thy mercy from the fire of Hell.”


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