Stepping beyond the Meeqaat without Ihraam

Question 2: Last spring holiday I took my wife and children to visit my sister in Al-Taa’if, and to perform ‘Umrah (lesser pilgrimage) and get some medical treatment in Jeddah. This was my original intention. However, what happened was that we stayed in Al-Taa’if for a day, then we went to Jeddah passing through Makkah, but we did not enter Ihraam (ritual state for Hajj and ‘Umrah) from Al-Sayl, because I thought that there was nothing wrong with that, as we were delaying ‘Umrah until our return journey from Jeddah. After we had finished in Jeddah, we entered Ihraam for ‘Umrah. However, we forgot to offer two Rak‘ahs (units of Prayer) after Ihraam, and I thought there would be a Meeqaat (site for entering the ritual state for Hajj and ‘Umrah) on the road between Jeddah and Makkah, but there was not. We continued on our way to Al-Haram (the Sacred Mosque in Makkah) and performed ‘Umrah. When I came back to work, I told some of the teachers in the National Institute for Teaching Knowledge of the Sharee‘ah (Islaamic law) what had happened, and they said to me that I have to offer Dam (atonement required of a pilgrim for a willful violation of a prohibition or obligation while in the ritual state for Hajj and ‘Umrah), for we should not have passed through Makkah without entering Ihraam for ‘Umrah from the Meeqaat. I hope that your Eminence can tell us what is correct and what are the consequences of what we have done? May Allaah protect you!

Answer: A person who intends to perform ‘Umrah then passes by the Meeqaat should enter Ihraam from that point, and it is not permissible for them to pass it without entering Ihraam. As you did not enter Ihram from the Meeqaat, then each of you must offer Dam (atonement required of a pilgrim for a willful violation of a prohibition or obligation while in the ritual state for Hajj and ‘Umrah), which is slaughtering a sheep that meets the conditions for Ud-hiyah (sacrificial animal offered by non-pilgrims); it should be slaughtered in Makkah Al-Mukarramah and its meat should be distributed among the poor there. Moreover, you should not eat any part of it. There is no blame on you for forgetting to offer two Rak‘ahs after wearing the clothes of Ihraam…read more here.

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