It is not necessary to assume the state of Ihraam from America before leaving; since it is a long journey. So whoever travels from here in order to perform the Hajj should dress in his normal attire and carry his Ihraam clothing in his carry-on hand luggage, changing into it before the plane is approximately a Ω hour due to land at Jeddah.
At this time, while assuming the Ihraam, your intention should be for ’Umrah. Why should your intention be for ‘Umrah and not for Hajj? Well, the answer lies in the hadeeth of the Messenger of Allaah (صلى الله علیه وسلم) where he and his Companions gathered and collected animals designated for sacrifice along the way from Madeenah to Makkah, enclosing even more of them when approaching Makkah. All of them having the intention of only Hajj, they performed the Tawaaf (circumambulation) around the House (Ka'bah) and the Sa’ee between as-Safaa and al-Marwah, after which the Prophet (صلى الله علیه وسلم) said clearly and decisively:
[hadeeth]“Whoever among you does not possess a hadee (a sacrificial animal), then let him make this (an ‘Umrah). He is to come out of the sacred state of Ihraam now and has fulfilled his duties and rites after completing it.”[/i][/quote]
Then they were ordered to assume the Ihraam a second time, this time for Hajj on the 8th of Dhul-Hijjah known as Yawm at-Tarwiyyah (The Day of Watering, i.e. for the people and the animals).
So, we can divide those Hujaaj (pilgrims performing Hajj) into two groups:
- Those who possess and lead their sacrificial animals with them,
- Those who do not have their sacrificial animals with them.
As for those who possess their sacrificial animals with them, then it is not possible for them to come out of their sacred state of Ihraam, due to the statement of Allaah:
“And do not shave your heads until the hadee reaches the place of sacrifice.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 196]
This means that it is impermissible to come out of Ihraam for whoever still has his hadee (sacrificial animal) in his possession until he reaches the place of slaughtering during Hajj.
So whoever brings his sacrificial animal (hadee) with him before the Meeqaat, must remain in Ihraam for the duration of both the ‘Umrah and the Hajj, until its completion. This is the combination of Hajj and ‘Umrah together in one ordered arrangement of rites, known as Hajj At-Qiraan.
As for those who do not possess their sacrificial animals before the Meeqaat, including those who made their intention for Hajj only (at the Meeqaat), they must come out of their Ihraam after performing the Tawaaf and Sa'ee, thereby completing their ‘Umrah.
So ‘Umrah is the beginning of the order of rites for Hajj. Since the majority of people do not bring their sacrificial animals with them nowadays, we will not concern ourselves with that type of Hajj (i.e. Hajj al-Qiraan)