There is an open ground three miles to the east of Mecca called Mina. There are three stone pillars in this ground that are called Jumrat representing Satan. These stones are called Jumrah-tul-Oola, Jumrah-tul-Wusta, and Jumrah-tul-Aqbah. During the last day of Hajj, the 10th Dul-Hajj and three Tashriq days, pilgrims are required to cast stones at these Jumrah. This act of casting stones at Jumrah is called Ramy al-jimar (throwing small stones). Thousands of animals are sacrificed on this ground to commemorate the great sacrifice of Hadrat Ibrahim and Hadrat Ishmael.
On the 9th day of Dul Hajj pilgrims gather in a great ground that is located about 9 miles to the southeast Mecca. This ground is called Arafat. Pilgrims stay at this place from the time of Duhr prayer until Maghrib. Jabalu-Rahmat is a small hill that also stands on this ground. A pilgrim is required to stay at this ground for his/her pilgrimage to be acceptable.
This ground is located roughly three miles from Arafat towards Mina. A small hill Mash’ar-al-Haraam is present in this field. Pilgrims spend the night of 9ht Dul Hajj in this field on their way back from Arafat. They offer Maghrib and Isha prayers combined and then Fajr prayer on the morning of the 10th day of Dul Hajj at this place. Pilgrims are commanded to remember Allah after the Fajr prayer near the mountains of Mash’ar-ul-Haraam.
Muwaqiat is the plural of Miqat. This is the place where pilgrims enter into the state of Ihram. It is forbidden to go any further from this place without entering the state of Ihram. Ihram is not only wearing specific clothing but it is also a sincere intention to perform the pilgrimage. There are several placed to enter into the state of Ihram that are marked as Miqat depending upon the route taken towards Mecca. Following are the well-known places where the Pilgrims enter into the state of Ihram.
Pilgrims who live in and around Mecca enter into the state of Ihram in their homes. People can enter into the state of Ihram before leaving their homes. It is not absolutely necessary for “local” pilgrims to enter into the state of Ihram at the Mawaqit, however, it is forbidden to proceed any further from these place without being in the state of Ihram for the people coming from other locations.
Five miles from Madina towards Mecca is a small village. Pilgrims arriving from Madina and from its surrounding areas are required to replace their usual clothes with Ihram at this place
This place located about forty miles to the south of Mecca. Pilgrims arriving from Egypt, Syria and Southern Africa are required to enter into the state of Ihram at this place.
Located about thirty miles from Mecca, the pilgrims coming from Iraq and by land from the eastern side enter into the state of Ihram at this place.
Located about 40 miles to the east of Mecca, the Pilgrims arriving from Yemen and by sea enter into the state of Ihram at this place.
This place is near Mecca and acts as Miqat for people living in Mecca. If someone is living in Mecca and wants to perform Umra then he should go to this place, enter into the state of Ihram and then return to Mecca so that the condition of traveling for the pilgrims is also fulfilled. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) has said: “Part of the worship of Hajj and Umra is to travel in the way of Allah and to go out of the city.”
Mecca and its surrounding areas are called Haram. Haram has different boundaries. These boundaries extend to three miles on one side, seven on the other and nine miles towards Jedda. Within these boundaries of Haram it is forbidden to hunt, bother any animal, or to cut grass or trees. One is permitted to kill dangerous animals like snakes, scorpions, rats or animals with rabies (dogs, etc.)