What is Ihram? | A Detailed Guide You Should Know About

Ihram refers to a dedicated state only towards Allah Almighty in which every pilgrim has to enter to perform a pilgrimage. Muslims enter into the specified state by wearing two plain unstitched white cotton sheets. Every pilgrim has to start his/her state of ihram before crossing the ‘miqat’ (location specified for assuming ihram) points.

List of Miqat Points for Ihram

Following are the miqat points specified for assuming Ihram:

  • Dhul Hulayfah
  • Al-Juhfah
  • Qarn al-Manazil
  • Yalamlam
  • Dhat Irq

Ihram Rules

When one had to enter in the state of ihram, then he/she should take a purification bath (Ghusl). If you don’t need to perform ghusl or there is lack of water you can do ‘wudhu’ only. After performing gusl, you should shave your underarms and private parts. It would be best if you also cut your nails as they are not allowed after entering ihram. You can also apply non-alcoholic perfume to your body, not to ihram clothing.

Ihram Rules for a Menstruating Woman

If a woman has her menstrual cycles, then she should not delay entering for ihram. A menstruating woman can enter in the state of ihram at the meeqat points. But she should not perform Umrah until the end of the cycle, and she takes a purification shower (ghusl).

Ihram Clothing and How to Wear Ihram

Ihram consists of two white sheets, one is used to cover the lower part of the body, and the second is used to cover the upper part of the body. One sheet is called Izar, and the second sheet is called Rida used to cover the lower and upper part, respectively. Some pilgrims also wear ihram belt to keep the most used items like Zamzam in their belts.

Wearing ihram is very simple and easy by following the below-mentioned steps:

Wearing Izar

  • Keep your feet apart and hold the one sheet behind you. Fold one side to your belly and then fold the other side over the previous one.
  • After folding, fold down the top side of the Izar so it can fit on your belly. Make sure that it should remain up from your belly button and not cover your ankles.

Wearing Rida

  • Place the second sheet ‘Rida’ over your shoulder like a cape while keeping one side longer than the other side.
  • Put the longer side on your left shoulder and attach the corners with few pins to keep it on its place. Remember that your right shoulder should be naked, and your back should be covered sufficiently.

 Ihram dua

After you had entered in the state of ihram, you can make niyyah (intention) of Hajj or either Umrah that you are going to perform.

Umrah Intention Dua

For Umrah intention you need to recite any of the following duas:

  1. لَبَّيْك اللَّهُمَّ عُمْرَةً َ
  2. اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّيْ أُرِيْدُالْعُمْرَةَ
  3. اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّيْ أُرِيْدُ الْعُمْرَةَ فَيَسِّرْهَا لِيْ وَتَقَبَّلْهَا مِنِّيْ
  1. Labbayka llāhumma ‘umratan.
  2. Allāhumma innī urīdu l-‘umrata.
  3. Allāhumma innī urīdu l-‘umrata fa yassirhā lī wa taqabbalhā minnī.
  1. Allah, here I am to perform Umrah.
  2. Allah, I intend to perform Umrah.
  3. Allah, I intend to perform Umrah, so accept it from me and make it easy for me.

Hajj Intention Dua

If you are heading to perform hajj you can make the intention of pilgrimage by reciting any of the following supplications:

  1. لَبَّيْكَ اللَّهُمَّ حَجًّا
  2. اللَّهُمَ إِنِّيْ أُرِيْدُ لْحَجَّ
  3. اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّيْ أُرِيْدُ الْحَجَّ فَيَسِّرْهُ لِيْ وَتَقَبَّلْهُ مِنِّيْ
  1. Labbayka llāhumma ḥajjan.
  2. Allāhumma innī urīdu l-’ḥajja.
  3. Allāhumma innī urīdu l-’ḥajja fa yassirhā lī wa taqabbalhā minnī.
  1. Allah, here I am to perform Hajj.
  2. Allah, I intend to perform Hajj.
  3. Allah, I intend to perform Hajj, so make it easy for me and accept it from me.

Reciting Talbiyah

After making the intention, the pilgrims should recite the talbiyah. Men should recite it in a clear voice, but women should recite it in a low voice so that no other can hear their voice except that ladies next to them. The talbiyah is as following:

لَبَّيْكَ اللهُمَّ لَبَّيْكَ – لَبَّيْكَ لَا شَرِيْكَ لَكَ لَبَّيْكَ – إِنَّ الْحَمْدَ وَالنِّعْمَةَ لَكَ وَالْمُلْكَ – لَا شَرِيْكَ لَكَ –

Labbayka llāhumma labbayk(a), labbayka lā sharīka laka labbayk(a), inna l-ḥamda wa n-ni’mata, laka wa l-mulk(a), lā sharīka lak.

At Your service, Allah, at Your service. At Your service, You have no partner, at Your service. Truly all praise, favour and sovereignty is Yours. You have no partner.

Ihram for Men, Women, and Kids

The above-mentioned ihram clothing and its procedure of assuming are designed for Muslim Men pilgrims. On the other hand, Muslim women can only enter in the state of ihram in their casual clothing if it is neat and clean. Women should cover their body in a mannered way by a loose-fitting abaya of white or either black colour.

A woman can wear shoes with socks in ihram, but they shouldn’t wear shoes with laces as they have to take them off at wudhu times. If a child is below at the age of seven and can walk on their own, then he/she should have to wear the clothing of ihram. His intention should be made by his/her guardian, who is going to perform Umrah with him/her. The child should stay away from the restrictions of ihram i.e. limitations also applied to the child. Infants are not required to wear ihram as they are unaware of why they are wearing and its purposes.

Dos and Don’ts of Ihram

Some are the actions that are prohibited in the state of ihram. Even there are some actions that are permissible without ihram, but in ihram, they are not allowed, such as having sex with your wife. Following is the list of actions that are not permissible once you have entered in the state of ihram:

  • Shaving the hair of your body or cutting nails
  • Applying perfumes
  • Having a sexual relationship with your wife
  • Hunting
  • Proposing someone for marriage
  • Reciting nikah
  • Wearing tailored clothes that are designed to be fit
  • Harming animals until you have a serious danger by them
  • Fighting
  • Covering head only for men

However, there are some common actions that make the pilgrims confused, but they are permissible. It includes breastfeeding, having a bath or shower, changing ihram clothing, sleeping if tired, using an umbrella unless it covers your head or face, taking injections, wearing glasses, and contact lenses. These are all allowed in the state of ihram.