Mīqāt (Arabic: ميقات, literally, tryst) is the place in which pilgrims of hajj or 'umra wear their ihram clothes. Muslims who do not live near Mecca must wrap their ihrams in one of the five miqats before visiting the Ka'ba and moving towards Mecca, Masjid al-Shajara or Dhu l-Hulayfa, Al-Juhfa, Wadi l-'Aqiq or Dhat 'Irq, Qarn al-Manazil or al-Sayl al-Kabir, and Yalamlam.
According to Muhammad Hasan al-Najafi, the author of Jawahir al-kalam, the miqat (plural form: "mawaqit") in hajj is the place of ihram. Ihram is the first action in rituals of hajj, thus hajj rituals begin with miqat.
Timing of Miqat
The time for ihram of umrat al-tamattu', hajj al-tamattu, hajj al-ifrad, and hajj al-qiran consists in Shawwal, Dhu l-Qa'da, and part of Dhu l-Hajja until the time when the pilgrim can perform all rituals of Umra al-Tamattu', and then arrive in Arafat on Dhu l-Hajja 9 after the ihram of Hajj al-Tamattu'.
Places of Miqat
Residents of Mecca
People inside Mecca who want to perform al-'umra al-mufrada must exit the sanctuary area around Mecca and wrap ihram in the first place that is not part of the haram, although they had better wear their ihram clothes in one of the following three miqats:
- Main article: Tan'im
- The Mosque of Tan'im: this miqat is located in the northwestern part of the haram, and is the closest miqat to Mecca. Today, it is adjacent to the city.
- Hudaybiyya: a village on the way from Mecca to Jeddah. It is forty eight kilometers away from al-Masjid al-Haram. This is the place in which about 1300 to 1500 people pledged their allegiance to the Prophet (s) under a tree known as "Hudaba'". The pledge is known as the "Pledge of Ridwan".
- Ji'rana: it is located in the northeastern part of Mecca on the way to Ta'if. It is about twenty nine kilometers away from al-Masjid al-Haram.
People Not Living in Mecca
According to the majority of Shiite and Sunni jurists, for people who live sixteen parasangs (about ninety kilometers) away from Mecca, there are five miqats: (1) Masjid al-Shajara or Dhu l-Hulayfa, (2) Al-Juhfa, (3) Wadi l-'Aqiq or Dhat 'Irq, (4) Qarn al-Manazil or al-Sayl al-Kabir, and (5) Yalamlam.
Muslims who live in places closer than sixteen parasangs to Mecca must perform hajj al-qiran or hajj al-ifrad, instead of hajj al-tamattu', and their place of residence counts as their miqat, unless they cross one of the five miqats on their way to Mecca, in which case, they should postpone ihram until they arrive in the miqat.
Imam al-Sadiq (a) said, "Wearing ihram for 'umra and hajj must be done in the five miqats specified by the Messenger of God (s) … the Prophet (s) specified Dhu l-Hulayfa (Masjid al-Shajara) as a miqat for people of Medina and those who go to Mecca from Medina, and for those who come from Syria (al-Sham), he specified al-Juhfa as a miqat, and for people of Najd and Iraq he specified Wadi l-'Aqiq, and for people of Ta'if and those who cross Ta'if, he specified Qarn al-Manazil, and for people of Yemen and those who cross Yemen, he specified Yalamlam as a miqat … One who wants to visit God's House (that is, the Ka'ba) must not cross any place other than these miqats".
1. Masjid al-Shajara or Dhu l-Hulayfa
Masjid al-Shajara or Dhu l-Hulayfa is the first miqat specified by the Prophet (s). It is a miqat for those who go to the Ka'ba from Medina. The distance between Masjid al-Shajara and Mecca is about 450 kilometers. The Prophet (s) wore ihram to visit the Ka'ba in this miqat three times:
- In 6/628, when he was hindered by polytheists from going to Mecca, but made Hudaybiyya Peace Treaty with them.
- In 7/629, he went to Masjid al-Shajara to wear the ihram for al-'umra al-mufrada in compensation for the ihram of the 'umra that was prevented by Meccan polytheists one year before. He was accompanied by people who had accompanied him the year before in Hudaybiyya, except for a few who were martyred in Khaybar or had passed away. This 'umra came to be known as "Umrat al-Qada'".
- In 10/632, the Prophet (s) wore his ihram in Masjid al-Shajara to perform hajj rituals. It came to be known as the Farewell Hajj (Hajjat al-Wada'). The Prophet (s) passed away a few months after this hajj.
In response to the question of why the Prophet (s) wore ihram clothes more often in this miqat, Imam al-Sadiq (a) said, "When the Messenger of God (s) ascended to the Mi'raj and travelled the heavens, he arrived at Masjid al-Shajara, where he was called ‘O Muhammad!’ and he replied, ‘I am at thy service’. He was then told, ‘Did We not find you an orphan and give you refuge? And We found you lost and guided you’. When the Prophet heard this, he said, ‘Thine alone is All Praise and All Bounty, and Thine alone is The Sovereignty. Thou hast no partners’. Thus, the Prophet (s) usually wore ihram in Masjid al-Shajara, rather than other miqats".
Al-Juhfa is the second miqat specified by the Prophet (s) for people of Egypt, Syria, and those who go to Mecca from these places. There is a huge mosque in this place, where thousands of pilgrims can wear their ihram clothes. Ghadir al-Khumm is located near al-Juhfa (less than nine kilometers). This miqat is located about 183 kilometers away from Mecca.
3. Wadi l-'Aqiq or Dhat 'Irq
Wadi l-'Aqiq was specified by the Prophet (s) for people of Iraq and those who cross Iraq. Imam al-Sadiq (a) was quoted as saying that the beginning of 'Aqiq is "Maslakh", its middle is "Ghamra", and its end is "Dhat 'Irq", and one had better wear ihram clothes at its beginning. Dhat 'Irq is located about ninety four kilometers away from Mecca. Wadi l-'Aqiq is located between Najd and Tahama. Mount al-'Irq is located at the end of Wadi l-'Aqiq. The mountain overlooks Dhat 'Irq.
4. Qarn al-Manazil or al-Sayl al-Kabir
Qarn al-Manazil or al-Sayl al-Kabir is the miqat of people of Yemen, Najd, and Ta'if, and those who cross these places. Today, a big mosque is built in this place. It is located about seventy five kilometers from Mecca.
Yalamlam is the last miqat specified in hadiths for people of Yemen and those who cross Yemen on their way to Mecca. This miqat is located south of Mecca. Its distance from Mecca is about ninety two kilometers.
- The material for this article is mainly taken from میقات in Farsi WikiShia.