In this respect it is advisable to note that the Sacred Ka’ba is an exceedingly august and sublime place. Allah the Exalted has drawn three circles around it as a sign of its veneration. There are some distinct and specific dictates relating to every circle thereof. The first circle is that of ‘Masjid-ul-Haram’ (the Mosque around Ka’ba), in the centre of which Baitullah is situated. Next to Baitullah, the place held to be the most distinguished and venerable is the place which has been encircled by ‘Masjid-ul-Haram’. Related to this place there are many particular precepts but as they have no special relation with Ihram they need not be mentioned here. The 2nd circle is that of the boundaries of Haram. This circle is formed by some fixed territorial around Mecca where some marks of the boundries of Haram have been raised. The distance of these boundries of Haram from Mecca is three miles from one side, nine from another, and some what more or less from other sides. People living within this circle are named as ‘Ahl-e-Haram’ (the people of the sacred place). The 3rd circle is that of the Mawaqit mentioned here before. People living within the 2nd circle that is to say with in the boundaries of Haram are called Ahl-e-Haram while those who live outside the Haram but within the circle of Mawaqit, they are called ‘Ahl-e-Hill’ (people of the place of admissibilities). The inhabitants of out-side the precincts of Mawaqit are known as Ahl-e-Afaq.
Regarding Ihram, particular instructions for Ahl-e-Afaq have already been explained that whenever they intend to go Mecca they are under obligation of wearing ‘Ihram’ before the time they step forward beyond the precincts of Miqat or their confronting points. This obligation is irrespective of one’s intention being for the purpose of ‘Hajj’ and ‘Umra’ or for some commercial purposes or in order to pay a visit to friends etc.
For the inhabitants of 2nd circle that is to say for persons living within the Miqat boundaries but outside the precincts of Haram, (who are called Ahl-e-Hill), the rule of action in this respect is that in case they intend to go to Mecca for the Purpose of ‘Hajj’ or ‘Umra’ they are to wear ‘Ihram’, at the time they leave their home or at the most before reaching the precincts of Haram. If their proceeding to Mecca is for some commercial purposes or for any other need, they are not obliged to observe ‘Ihram’ formality. They can go to Mecca without Ihram whenever they like.
The inhabitants of the first circle, that is to say the persons living within the precincts of Haram, are also under no restrictions of ‘Ihram’. When they desire to perform ‘Umra’ they should go outside the precincts of Haram and wear Ihram. When they intend to perform Hajj they are to wear ‘Ihram’ from the Haram itself.