Assuming Ihram After Passing the Miqat

A person who intends to perform Hajj or `Umrah must enter the state of Ihram from the places specified by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). It is not permissible to pass these specified places until one has entered Ihram. If a person passes the miqat for Hajj or `Umrah before assuming ihram, it is obligatory upon him or her to return and assume ihram for Hajj and `Umrah from the miqat. If returning to the miqat is difficult then he or she must offer a sacrifice in Makkah.

Moreover, a person intends to perform Hajj or `Umrah should learn more about their rituals in order not to violate any of them and do them in the most appropriate and correct way in order to gain Allah’s reward.

In his response to this question, Sheikh Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid, a prominent Muslim and author, said:

“If you entered ihram after passing the miqat, you have to sacrifice one sheep on behalf of yourself and another on behalf of your wife. The sheep are to be slaughtered in Makkah and the meat is to be distributed to the poor there.”

In an encyclopedia, Al-Mawsu`ah Al-Fiqhiyyah. (vol. 22, p. 140), it is said:

“According to scholarly consensus, if a person passes the miqat without entering ihram, he must return to it and enter ihram from there if he can. If he goes back and enters ihram from there, he does not have to offer a sacrifice. This is because he entered ihram from the miqat from which he was enjoined to do so.

However, if he passed the miqat and then entered ihram, he must offer a sacrifice. This is so whether or not he returned to the miqat. This is according to the Malikis and Hanbalis.”

When Sheikh Ibn Baz was asked about this, he replied:
“It is not permissible for the Muslim who wants to perform Hajj or `Umrah to pass the miqat that he passes through without entering ihram. If he passes it without entering ihram, he must go back to it and enter ihram from there. If he fails to do that and enters ihram from a place that is within the boundary or closer to Makkah, then he must offer a sacrifice. This is according to many of the scholars. Moreover, this sacrifice is to be slaughtered in Makkah and the meat is to be distributed to the poor there. This is necessary because he failed to do an obligatory action, which is entering ihram from the proper miqat as prescribed by the sharia.” Majmu` Fatawa Ibn Baz (vol. 17, p. 9).

Sheikh Ibn `Uthaymeen was asked: I traveled by plane from Riyadh to Jeddah with the intention of performing `Umrah, then the pilot announced that after twenty five minutes we would be passing over the miqat, but I missed the time of passing over the miqat by four or five minutes, and I completed the rituals of `Umrah. What is the ruling? He replied:
“The ruling according to what the scholars have said is that the questioner must sacrifice a sheep in Makkah and distribute the meat to the poor. If he cannot afford that, then Almighty Allah does not burden any person beyond his scope.

However, I advise my brothers that if the pilot announces that there are twenty-five minutes or even ten minutes, they should enter ihram, because some people sleep after that announcement and do not realize it until the plane is approaching Jeddah. If you enter ihram twenty-five or fifteen minutes before reaching the miqat, or an hour or two beforehand, there is nothing wrong with that; rather, what is wrong is delaying entering ihram until one has passed the miqat. Five minutes in a plane covers a long distance.”

Therefore, whoever assumes Ihram after passing the miqat should sacrifice one sheep in Makkah and distribute its meat to the poor. The pilgrims should always pay attention when the pilot makes the announcement. It is better for them assume ihram some minutes or half an hour before reaching miqat if they know that they may fall asleep in the plane than missing the ihram at the proper time.