Mawaqit of place are the specific places where a pilgrim or a person intending to visit Makkah for ‘Umrah or Hajj must declare his intention to do so and put on ihram, the pilgrim garb. Anyone intending to perform Hajj or ‘Umrah must not pass beyond these places without ihram.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) himself specified these places:
For the people of Madinah the miqat (singular of mawaqit) is ZhalHalaifah, a place 450 kilometres to the north of Makkah, from where they must declare their intention and don the ihram, the Hajj garb.
For those coming from Syria, Jordan, Palestine and Lebanon, the miqat is Al-Juhfah, a place 187 kilometres to the north-west of Makkah, and close to Rabigh, which is 204 kilometres from Makkah. Rabigh became the miqat for the people coming from Syria and Egypt, after the settlement of Al-Juhfah disappeared completely.
The miqat for people of Najd is Qarn al Manazil, a mountain 94 kilometres to the east of Makkah, overlooking ‘Arafah.
Yalamlam, a mountain 54 kilometres to the south of Makkah is the miqat for those coming from Yemen. Here they must declare their intention and put on ihram.
For the people of Iraq, the miqat is Zhat Irq, a place 94 kilometres to the north-east of Makkah.
These places were fixed by the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself for all those who pass by them whether they come from these specific areas or some other areas. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “These places are for the people (coming from the above specified countries) as well as for others who pass by them on their way to perform Hajj or ‘Umrah.” For a person who is present in Makkah and intends to perform Hajj, like the residents of Makkah, his miqat would be the place where he is staying in Makkah. However, if such a one intended to perform ‘Umrah, then he should go to Al-Khol or At-Tan’im, for that is his miqat for ‘Umrah. He should go there and make his ihram for ‘Umrah.
A person who is a resident in an area between the miqat and Makkah, he may make his ihram from his house.
Ibn Hazm said: “A person travelling by land or sea (to Makkah for Hajj or ‘Umrah) who does not pass by any of these places may make his ihram from any place he likes.”