Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states,
If you are intending to travel for Umrah from New York, then you are supposed to assume ihram on your way before passing the miqat. This is rather easy if you are traveling by Saudi airline. They have a musalla (small masjid) on the plane where you can wear the ihram attire.
Also, you can make the intention for Umrah after praying two rakahs (prayer units). They will let you know by making announcements prior to the approach of miqat. This is the ideal way. If, however, for reasons beyond your control, you could not do so, then, according to the rulings of some modern scholars, you may assume ihram from Jeddah.
There is still a better alternative which is less controversial. For this, you should travel to Madinah first and assume ihram while proceeding to Makkah from there. You are allowed to assume ihram either from Madinah itself or on your way (if you are taking the land route) from Dhul-Hulaifah in the manner of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). I would suggest you to go for the last option, if you can do it.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.