Question # 172: If someone has to perform Umrah from Sub-continent, where they have to wear ihram, is it necessary to wear it from home country airport or they can wear ihram while reaching Makkah. What’s is shariah ruling on this subject and what else is required to do in Umrah, procedure. Thank you

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: First of all, it must be clearly understood that entering Ihram means the intention to enter the rituals, not just wearing the garments of ihram. Hence, it is better to prepare for ihram by doing ghusl and switching from ordinary clothes to the ihram garments, even before boarding the plane or while on board, even before reaching the miqaat, then when one actually come in line with the miqaat, one has to enter ihram with the niyyah (intention) that he/she wants to perform – by saying “Labbayka ‘umratan” (Here I am for ‘umrah) or “Labbayka Hajjan” (Here I am for Hajj). However, to be on the safe side, airplane passengers can enter ihram before they reach the miqaat, so that they will not pass it before entering ihram. Whoever enters ihram after passing the miqaat has to offer a sacrifice. 

Long Answer: The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) defined the locations of the miqaats in a hadith narrated by Ibn ‘Abbas (رضي الله عنه), who said: The Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) defined the miqaat of the people of Madinah as Dhu’l-Hulayfah; that of the people of Shaam (Syria) as al-Juhfah; that of the people of Najd as Qarn al-Manaazil; and that of the people of Yemen as Yalamlam. And he said: “And these miqaats are for the people at those very places, and for others who come through those places with the intention of performing Hajj and ‘Umrah; and whoever is living within these boundaries can enter ihram from the place from which he sets out, and the people of Makkah can start (and enter ihram) from Makkah.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The fuqaha’ are unanimously agreed upon these miqaats and that they are for their people and for those who come to them… Based on this, it is not permissible for the one who intends to do Hajj or ‘Umrah to pass the miqaat that is prescribed for him [without entering ihram], whether he is coming by land or sea or air, because of the report narrated by Ibn ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) who said: When these two regions were conquered, they came to ‘Umar and said: O Ameer al-Mu’mineen, the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) defined Qarn (as the miqaat) for the people of Najd, but it is out of our way and if we want to go to Qarn it is difficult for us. He said: Look and see where on their route is in line with it, and he identified Dhat ‘Irq for them (as their miqaat). (Narrated by al-Bukhari)

[Hence,] ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) made the miqaat of those who did not pass by the (original) miqaat a place that was in line with it, and whoever comes in line with it by air is like the one who comes in line with it on land. So what the one who comes in line with the miqaat when he is on the plane must do is enter ihram. It is better to prepare for ihram by doing ghusl and switching from ordinary clothes to the ihram garments, even if one has not yet reached the miqaat [or even before boarding the plane], then when one actually come in line with the miqaat, one has to enter ihram for the pilgrimage that he/she wants to perform (by saying “Labbayka ‘umratan” (Here I am for ‘umrah) or “Labbayka Hajjan” (Here I am for Hajj). [One must note that Ihram means the intention to enter the rituals, not just wearing the garments of ihram]

Shaykh Ibn Jibreen said: “If there is no miqaat on a person’s route, he should enter ihram when he comes in line with the nearest place to it, whether he is coming by land, by sea or by air. Airplane passengers should enter ihram when they come in line with the miqaat or, to be on the safe side, before they reach it, so that they will not pass it before entering ihram. Whoever enters ihram after passing the miqaat has to offer a sacrifice… (Fataawa Islamiyyah)

(The above reply is based on various answers by Islamqa.info on the topic)

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