The Miqat

The Miqats are 5 location points that form a perimeter around the outside of the Holy City of Makkah. This perimeter is by no means a perfect circle around Makkah. It is 450 kilometers from the Haram at its furthest point, and passes close to it at it’s nearest. In fact its furthest point is actually just 9 kilometers from Medinah.

Those who are fortunate to live inside the Miqat area can enter a state of Ihram as they near the Haram if they wish to perform Hajj or Umrah. Anyone living outside, including of course those who travel in from different countries, must enter a state of Ihram before they enter the Miqat area if they are intending to perform Umrah or for the pilgrimage of Hajj. Anyone entering the area for other purposes is not required to go into Ihram.

Providing you do so outside the Miqat territory , it is permissible enter a state of Ihram anywhere, although one of the 5 “stations” mentioned below are preferable whenever possible. People often do so before they board the plane to Saudi Arabia, and some even when on the plane before they arrive in Jeddah as they will have crossed the Miqat border to do so.

There are 5 “stations” on the borders of the Miqat that are the preferred places to enter a state of Ihram.


Situated 9 kilometers from Medinah and approx 450 kilometers from Makkah. Dhu’l-Hulayfah is the preferred miqat for those who live in Medinah and other locations in this direction.


This is the preferred Miqat for those coming in from the North West including those from Syria. It is located approx 190 kilometers north west of the Holy City of Makkah.

Qarn al-Manazil:

A hilly location approx 90 kilometers east of the Hoy City of Makkah. The traditional Miqat for the people of Nejd or for those travelling in from the east.

Dhat Irq:

85 kilometers away on the north east side of Makkah, this is the miqat used by the pilgrims from Iraq and Iran, as well as others travelling from that direction.


A hilly area approx 50 kilometers to the south east of Makkah. This is the miqat for pilgrims coming in by ship, particularly India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, as well as the closer residents of Yemen.

Ihram – The State of Ihram

What is an Ihram and how should I wear it?

The Ihram garments for men consists of two pieces of white sheet. Wrap the larger sheet around your waist to cover your body from the navel to the ankles. Secure the Ihram either with a belt or by a strip of fabric torn from Ihram material. Drape the other sheet over the back and shoulders and wear a pair of stitched or unstitched sandals or shoes which do not cover the ankles. The head should not be covered, and no underwear should be used. The Ihram should preferably be white.

Should women wear the Ihram?

Women are allowed to make Ihram in any dress they wish which fulfills the Islamic conditions of public dress, regardless of the color. Women’s hands and face should be uncovered in Ihram. Their heads should be covered.

 Are there things I should and shouldn’t be doing while I am in a state of Ihram?

Yes, a Muhrim (someone who is in state of Ihram) must observe certain obligations and prohibitions. These are:

  • – Keep your head uncovered at all times. Women should keep their heads covered
  • – Do not shave, cut your hair, clip your nails, use perfume, or wear sewn clothes of any kind
  • – Do not perform marriage or get married yourself
  • – Do not kill an animal of any kind for any reason, unless it poses a danger to you and to the others.
  • – Do not enter into conjugal relations with your spouse. Avoid suggestive and provocative talk or gestures and remain focused on Hajj

Labaik Allahuma Labaik

As you travel towards the Kaaba, and when you circle it (tawaaf) , you should continuously repeat the following declaration…

Labaik Allahuma Labaik, labaik la sharika laka labaik, Innal hamda wann’imat laka wal mulk, la sharika lak

Translated this means:

I stand up for YOUR service, O GOD! I stand up! I stand up! There is no partner with YOU! I stand up for YOUR service! Verily YOURS is the praise, the beneficence, and the dominion! There is no partner with YOU”