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Ritual 173

If a person travels from far for a pilgrimage, it is obligatory on him to wear ihram for Umrah at one of the first five Meqats. If his route passes through one of them, no problem arises. If not, as is the case in modern times, when pilgrims first land in Jeddah, which is not one of the Meqats, it is not permissible to wear ihram there as it has not been established that it is parallel to any Meqat. In such a case, he has three options:

1. He can make a vow (nadhr) to wear ihram from his town or on the way, just before passing over any of the Meqats and before landing in Jeddah, and wear the ihram at the place stipulated in the vow. There is no problem in this, provided it does not entail protecting oneself from the sun (istidhlal) – such as by flying during night time – or sheltering from the rain.

2. If he lands in Jeddah without ihram, he can proceed to one of the Meqats, or to a point which is parallel to it, to wear his ihram from there. He also can go to any of the places, situated behind the Meqat, such as Rabigh which is on the way to Madinah, and wear ihram there by making a vow (nadhr), as it is situated before Johfa which may not be easy to get to.

3. He must make a vow to wear ihram in Jeddah and do so. This is only permissible, if it is known, albeit generally, that there is a place between Jeddah and Haram, parallel to one of the Meqats, not far away from Johfa. If there was a probability that such a place is parallel to Johfa, and he could not achieve it, ihram by virtue of nadhr is not permissible.

However, if the pilgrim arrives in Jeddah with the intention to proceed to one of the Meqats, or the like, and he could not make it, he is permitted to wear his ihram with a nadhr there and then. In such a case, he, evidently, is not required to renew his ihram outside the Haram before entering.