Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 5: Mawaquit: Fixed Times and Places For Ihram

Introduction to Fiqh-us-Sunnah

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Volume 5, Page 27a: Fixed Times For Ihram

This refers to the specific period of time when the rites of Hajj have to be performed to be valid. This is clear from the words of Allah: "They ask you concerning the new moons. Say: They are but signs to mark fixed periods of time (in the affairs of) men, and for Hajj'' l and "For Hajj are the months well-known." (Qur'an 2.197) The Muslim scholars are agreed that the months of Hajj are the months of Shawwal and Zhul-Qui'dah. They differ about the month of Zhul-Hijjah, whether only the first ten days of it are included in the months of Hajj or the entire month. Ibn 'Umar, Ibn 'Abbas, Ibn Mas'ud, the Hanafi and Shafi'i school, and Ahmad are of the opinion that only its first ten days are included in the months of Hajj, while Malik holds the entire month of ZhulHijjah as one of the Hajj months. Ibn Hazm supports Malik's opinion, saying that the words, "For Hajj are the months well-known," does not mean two months and a part of other months.

Similarly we know that of the rites of Hajj, the throwing of pebbles at jamarah takes place on the 13th of Zhul-Hijjah, while the scholars agree that the circumambulation of Ifadah, which is one of the essential rites of Hajj, may be performed anytime in the month of Zhul-Hijjah. There is no disagreement on this point. It is, therefore, quite correct to say that all three months are the months of Hajj.

The effects of disagreement are apparent mainly in the rites performed after slaughtering the sacrificial animal. Those who consider the entire month of Zhul-Hijjah a Hajj month, hold there is no penalty for delay in slaughtering an animal. On the other hand, those who hold that only its first ten days are included in the period of Hajj are of the opinion that such a person must offer a penalty and offer a sacrifice for delay.

Volume 5, Page 28: Putting on Ihram Before the Months of Hajj

Ibn 'Abbas, Ibn 'Umar, Jabir and Ash-Shafi'i are of the opinion that donning the garb of ihram for Hajj is not valid outside its months. (Anyone putting on ihram before the months of Hajj may, however, perform 'Umrah, but tbis cannot be a substitute for his ihram for Hajj)

Ibn 'Umar said, "The months of Hajj are Shawwal, Zhul-Qui'dah and ten days of Zhul-Hijjah." Ibn 'Abbas said: "The sunnah is to declare one's intention and to put on ihram with the intention of performing Hajj during the months of Hajj." (Bukhari)

Ibn Jarir reported from Ibn 'Abbas that he said: "To put on ihram for Hajj is not valid except in the months of Hajj."

The Hanafites, Malik, and Ahmad are of the opinion that to put on ihram for Hajj betore its months is permissible but disliked. Ash-Shawkani, however, preferred the first opinion. He observes: "Allah, the Exalted One, has named specific months for Hajj rites, of which ihram is one. So whosoever claims that it is permissible to put on ihram even before these months must produce evidence to support his claim."

Volume 5, Page 28a: Fixed Places for Putting on Ihram

Mawaqit of place are the specific places where a pilgrim or a person intending to visit Makkah for 'Umrah or Hajj must declare his intention to do so and put on ihram, the pilgrim garb. Anyone intending to perform Hajj or 'Umrah must not pass beyond these places without ihram.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) himself specified these places:

For the people of Madinah the miqat (singular of mawaqit) is ZhalHalaifah, a place 450 kilometres to the north of Makkah, from where they must declare their intention and don the ihram, the Hajj garb.

For those coming from Syria, Jordan, Palestine and Lebanon, the miqat is Al-Juhfah, a place 187 kilometres to the north-west of Makkah, and close to Rabigh, which is 204 kilometres from Makkah. Rabigh became the miqat for the people coming from Syria and Egypt, after the settlement of Al-Juhfah disappeared completely.

The miqat for people of Najd is Qarn al Manazil, a mountain 94 kilometres to the east of Makkah, overlooking 'Arafah.

Yalamlam, a mountain 54 kilometres to the south of Makkah is the miqat for those coming from Yemen. Here they must declare their intention and put on ihram.

For the people of Iraq, the miqat is Zhat Irq, a place 94 kilometres to the north-east of Makkah.

These places were fixed by the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself for all those who pass by them whether they come from these specific areas or some other areas. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "These places are for the people (coming from the above specified countries) as well as for others who pass by them on their way to perform Hajj or 'Umrah." For a person who is present in Makkah and intends to perform Hajj, like the residents of Makkah, his miqat would be the place where he is staying in Makkah. However, if such a one intended to perform 'Umrah, then he should go to Al-Khol or At-Tan'im, for that is his miqat for 'Umrah. He should go there and make his ihram for 'Umrah.

A person who is a resident in an area between the miqat and Makkah, he may make his ihram from his house.

Ibn Hazm said: "A person travelling by land or sea (to Makkah for Hajj or 'Umrah) who does not pass by any of these places may make his ihram from any place he likes."

Volume 5, Page 28b: Declaring Ihram Before Reaching the Miqat

Ibn al-Munzhir says: "There is consensus among the scholars that a person who declares his intention to perform Hajj or 'Umrah and puts on his ihram before reaching the miqat does enter the state of ihram. But is it undesirable to do so? Some say it is, in light of the saying of the Companions that the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself fixed Zhul Hulaifah as miqat for the people of Madinah which means that (an intending pilgrim) should make his ihram from these specified places, without any addition or deletion from the rule. But if addition is not prohibited, then at least the best course would be not to do it (i.e. not make ihram before reaching the fixed place)."

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