Ihram is a sacred state in which every pilgrim must enter before crossing the pilgrimage boundary, known as Miqat, both physically and spiritually.
They leave material life behind and come in a state of submissiveness for Allah.
A Muslim must not use any scents on the body or on the robes, they must be clean (purified) before wearing the white seamless ihram clothing (different for men and women), and then praying two Raka’at (units of Islamic prayers) of Salat al-ihram signaling the start of a pilgrim’s ihram.
There are other various guidelines for ihram that are mandatory (mustahab) as instructed by the Prophet (PBUH) and others that are preferable.
When flying on pilgrimage, measures are often taken so that pilgrims will remain in the state of ihram when flying above or alongside the stations of miqat (the destination points from where pilgrims start their Hajj & Umrah).
The ihram is meant to show equality of all pilgrims with no difference between the rich and the poor, men and women in front of Allah.
There are different destination options for Miqat for pilgrims traveling to the holy land:
- Dhu’l Hulaifah (Abbyar Ali) is the miqat for pilgrims coming from or through Madinah to perform Hajj al-Tamatt’u.
- Al-Juhfah (near Rabigh) is the miqat for pilgrims coming from or through the Levant countries, Morocco, Egypt or Sudan.
- Qarn-al manazil (As-Sail Al-Kabeer) is the miqat for pilgrims coming from or through Najd or Taif, including the GCC countries.
- Yalamlam (Sa’adiyah) is the miqat for pilgrims coming from or through India, Pakistan or Yemen.
- Dhat `Irq is the miqat for pilgrims coming from or through Iraq.