Question # 143: Assalamualaikum, I am traveling to Jeddah for work and have a very limited schedule to complete work and return back. My questions are: 1. Does Jeddah fall under Miqat? 2. Does it become an obligation for me to perform Umrah? 3. As my schedule is tight and have limited liberty to go to Makkah, will it be considered a major sin? Jazak Allah Khair.

bismi-llahi r-raḥmani r-raḥīm,

Assalamu ‘laikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,

All praise and thanks are due to Allah (سبحانه و تعالى), and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).

Dear questioner,

First of all, we implore Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) to help us serve His cause and render our work for His sake.

Shorter Answer: There are two scenarios under the given circumstances:

  1. Traveling to Jeddah without intending to perform ‘Umrah: If one decides to do ‘Umrah after reaching and whilst in Jeddah, he may enter ihram from Jeddah.
  2. Traveling to Jeddah with the firm intention to perform ‘Umrah: One must enter ihram from the meeqat[1] that he passes by, and it is not permissible to enter ihram from Jeddah. However, if one does not enter ihram from Jeddah after reaching it, then he/she has to go back to the meeqat and enters ihram from there.

Therefore, Jeddah is not meeqat except for its own people or anyone who intends to perform Hajj or Umrah while being there. The nearest place in this regard is At-Tan’im[2] where the mosque named after ‘ A’ishah (رضي الله عنها) is located.

Next, performing Umrah is not obligatory, while visiting Jeddah, if there was no intention to do so and also, it is not a major sin. 

Long Answer: Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: If a person travels from his country to Jeddah then decides to do ‘Umrah, may he enter ihram from Jeddah?

He replied: One of two scenarios must apply in this case:

  1. That this person has traveled to Jeddah without intending to do ‘Umrah, but he decides to do ‘Umrah whilst he is in Jeddah. In that case he may enter ihram from Jeddah, and there is nothing wrong with that, because of the hadith of Ibn ‘Abbas (رضي الله عنه) when he mentioned the meeqats: “…and whoever is living within these boundaries can enter ihram from the place where he starts and the same applies to the people of Makkah who may enter ihram from there.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
  1. That he traveled from his country with the firm intention of doing ‘Umrah. In this case, he must enter ihram from the meeqat that he passes by, and it is not permissible to enter ihram from Jeddah, because it is within the meeqat boundary, and it is proven that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) defined the meeqats and said: “And these meeqats are for the people at those very places, and besides them for those who come through those places, and are not residents thereof, with the intention of performing Hajj and ‘Umrah…” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

If he enters ihram from Jeddah and comes to Makkah in this case, then according to the scholars he must offer a fidyah, a sacrifice to be offered in Makkah, and given in charity to the poor, but his ‘Umrah is valid. If he did not enter ihram from Jeddah after reaching it, and he was intending to do ‘Umrah before he reached it, and he goes back to the meeqat and enters ihram from there, then he does not have to do anything.  (Fataawa Arkaan al-Islam) (Islamqa.info)

Jeddah and Bahrah are not sites for ihram except for their own people or anyone who intends to perform Hajj or Umrah while being there. (‘Summary of Islamic Jurisprudence’ by Salih Al-Fawzan) The nearest place in this regard is At-Tan’im where the mosque named after ‘ A’ishah (رضي الله عنها) is located. This is because it has been authentically narrated that when ‘ A’ishah (رضي الله عنها) came with the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) in the Farewell Pilgrimage, her period started. So, when the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) wanted to return to Medina she said, “O Messenger of Allah! The people will return with Hajj and ‘Umrah while I will return with Hajj (only).” Thereupon be (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said to her, “Go with your brother – ‘Abdur-Rahman – to At-Tan’im and assume ihram for ‘ Umrah.’ (Narrated by Al-Bukhari) (‘Al-Fiqhul-Muyassaru minal-Qur’ani was-Sunnah’ by Muhammad M. ‘Abdul-Fattah)

Next, performing Umrah is not obligatory, while visiting Jeddah, if there was no intention to do so and also, it is not a major sin.

Allahu A’lam (Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) knows best) and all Perfections belong to Allah, and all mistakes belong to me alone. May Allah (سبحانه و تعالى) forgive me, Ameen.

Wassalaam

[1] This term refers to the time when and the place where a pilgrim assumes ihram for Hajj or ‘Umrah

[2] This mosque is located in the Al-Hil area about 5 miles away from Kaaba, in Taneem, which is near Makkah