Meeqat is the geographical boundary that a person intending Hajj or Umrah may not cross without assuming Ihram for Hajj or Umrah, or both. Your guide/group will be instructed when to change to Ihram, which may be on transit or at an airport where you catch your connecting flight. A Muslim intending Hajj or Umrah who crosses the Meeqat without Ihram must return to the Meeqat and make Ihram from there or offer a sacrifice (Hady).
There are five Meeqats in total:
This Meeqat is around 9 kilometers from Madina and around 450 kilometers from Mecca Mukarrama. Dhu’l-Hulayfah is the Meeqat for individuals who live in Madina and for those who are moving towards Mecca from the same route. Today it is known as “Abar Ali”.
Anyone who wants perform Hajj from Madina should wear Ihram from this place. It is not necessary to put on Ihram by going inside the mosque. It can be worn on the side of the mosque as well.
There is no distinction between the old and new mosque which has been extended so much until today.
2. Dhat Irq
This Meeqat is around 94 kilometers towards the North East of Mecca. This is the Meeqat for the natives of Iran, Iraq and for individuals from the same route. It is the Meeqat used during Hajj on the way from Mecca to Kufa.
This Meeqat has three sections: one is known as “Maslakh”, the second is known as “Qumrah” and the third one is known as “Dhat Irq” (also Zaat Irq). It is better to wear ihram from “Maslakh” but there is no harm if it is worn from the other two sections as well.
This Meeqat is a mountainous area around 92 kilometers to the South East of Mecca. This is the Meeqat for individuals coming from Yemen and those coming from that route.
It is utilized by pilgrims coming from China, Japan, India, Pakistan, and those coming from sea route.
This Meeqat is around 183 kilometers to the North West of Mecca. It is for individuals who come from or pass through the route of Syria, Egypt, North Africa, Jordan, and Lebanon.
This city is 9 km far from Ghadir Khumm, close to the Red Sea. Recently, individuals going from Jeddah to Mecca, wear Ihram at this point. This city was previously known as Mahya’a (vast place).
Later on, it was called so because of being situated in a huge area between Ghadir Khum and the Red Sea.
5. Qarn al-Manazil
This Meeqat is a mountainous spot close to Ta’if which is around 94 kilometers to the East of Mecca. This is the Meeqat to the individuals of Najd and for those entering from that route.
Also, it is Meeqat for every individual coming to Jeddah to go over there and wear Ihram.
Muslims going to Mecca to perform Umrah or Hajj must not cross a Meeqat without the state of Ihram unless they live inside the territory, the middle of Meeqat and the Haram. You must not forget the things that are forbidden for people wearing Ihram.
If somebody lives within the boundaries of Meeqat, for example, people living in Jeddah wear Ihram from their home and people of Mecca wear it from Masjid e Aisha.
Narrated Ibn `Abbas: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) had fixed Dhul Hulaifa as the Meeqat for the people of Medina; Al-Juhfa for the people of Sham; and Qarn Ul-Manazil for the people of Najd; and Yalamlam for the people of Yemen. – Sahih al-Bukhari 1526