All you want to know about Ihram
Ihraam & Talbiyah:
Ihraam is the intention to perform either Hajj or Umrah or to make intention of performing both. Intention is an important element of both. Prophet (S.A.W.) said:
“The actions will be rewarded according to the intentions behind them and every person will have what he/she had intended.” (Sahih Bukhari: 54)
Ihraam is the state of purity and holiness.
You should attain the state of Ihraam on or before Meeqat. A Muslim who intends to go to Makkah for Hajj or Umrah is not allowed to pass the Meeqaat without donning the Ihraam. There are five zones as mentioned as Meeqaat in the Hadith.
Each direction coming into Makkah has its own Meeqaat.
- Dhul Hulaifah (ذو الحليفة) is Meeqaat for the people of Madinah / coming from the direction of Madinah. It is situated approx. 9 KM from Madinah and 450 KM from Makkah.
- Al Juhfah (الجحفة) is Meeqaat for the people of Syria and Egypt / coming from this direction. It is situated approx. 190 Km from Makkah.
- Dhat Irq (ذات عرق) is Meeqaat for the people of Iraq and Iran and nearby countries. It is situated approx. 90 KM from Makkah.
- Yalamlam (يلملم) is Meeqaat for the people of Yemen and from its direction. It is situated around 100 KM from Makkah.
- Qarnul-Manazil (قرن المنازل), also known as Meeqaat Al Sail, serves as Meeqaat for the people coming from Najd region (Riyadh, Al-Qasaim etc.). It is located 85 KM from Makkah.
(An-Nasai: 2653 & 2654)
It is common practice for the pilgrims to wear their Ihraam before reaching the Meeqaat and to make their intention once they reach the zone.
NOTE: Passing the Meeqat without donning the Ihraam will result in the person being liable for compensatory sacrifice of a sheep/goat called ‘Dam’.
Things to do before entering the state of Ihraam:
- Cut your nails.
- Remove unwanted body hair (removing unwanted hair from underneath the armpit and below the navel).
- Trim your mustache.
- Comb your hair.
- Shape your beard.
- Applying Perfume.
- Purify yourself either by taking a bath or performing ablution (wudu).
Ihraam for Men:
Ihraam for men consists of two pieces of unsewn / unstitched cloth. One of the pieces ‘Izaar’ is used to cover the lower body (from the navel to the knees). Other piece of cloth ‘Rida’ is used to cover the upper body.
1- In order to wear Ihraam for your lower body, stand with your feet apart to create the right shape, and hold the first sheet behind you with both top corner of the sheet are in your each hand.
2- Wrap the cloth around your waist above your navel (from right to left).
3- Do the same wrap from left to right. Make sure that the entire navel area is covered and your feets are visible. Cloth should not lose or there should not be any open gap at any point while wrapping the cloth around the waist.
4- After wrapping the cloth around your lower body, fold over or roll the top of the cloth several times along your waistline to keep it in place. Make sure that it ends up higher than your navel/belly button. If you are using a belt, buckle it about 2 inches below the top of the cloth to avoid it slipping off. If you are using clips, make sure at least one clip is over the outside end of the cloth.
5- Now you have successfully wear the cloth (Izar) on your lower body.
6- Now to cover your upper body, hold the other cloth (Rida) horizontally behind your back, with one top corner in each hand. You should place it around your shoulders like a cape.
7- Make one side longer than the other and wrap the longer length over your shoulder.
8- Now wrap the other corner of the sheet over the other shoulder. You have successfully wear the cloth (Rida) on your upper body.
9- After wearing Ihraam, offer two ‘Rakat‘ Nafil prayer as long as it is not undesirable time (Makruh) for prayer. This Nafil Prayer is Mustahab (preferable). If there is no time to perform this prayer, one can still come into the state of Ihraam by making the intention and reciting Talbiyah. (Abu Dawud: 1770)
10- After intention and entering the state of Ihraam, recite 'Talbiyah' loudly:
" لَبَّيْكَ اللَّهُمَّ لَبَّيْكَ, لَبَّيْكَ لاَ شَرِيْكَ لَكَ لَبَّيْكَ, إِنَّ الْحَمْدَ وَالنِّعْمَةَ لَكَ وَالْمُلْكَ لاَشَرِيْكَ لَكَ"(Labbayk, Allahumma Labbayk. Labbayka La shareeka laka Labbayk. Innal-hamda wan-n'imata laka wal-mulk, La shareeka lak.)Translation: “Ever at Your service, O Allah, every at Your service. Ever at Your Service, You have no partner, ever at Your service. Verily all praise, blessings and dominions are Yours. You have no partner.”
Reciting Talbiyah once is obligatory for entering the state of ‘Ihraam’. Say it three times is Masnoon (preferable). However, recite it continuously till reaching Masjid Al-Haram is preferable.
Now you have attained the state of Ihraam, you may now proceed to Masjid Al-Haram to complete your blessed journey of Umrah/Hajj.
Ihraam for Women:
Although men have a prescribed dress code for Hajj that consists of two pieces of unstitched cloth, there are no similar specific garments for a woman. Women are expected to wear clothing as Ihraam that conceal the shape and covers the body completely, leaving only their face and hands exposed.
Rest of the condition for Ihraam remain the same as mentioned above. (Points Number 9 & 10)
Prohibitions during the state of Ihraam:
Once you have entered the state of Ihraam and after making the intention, the following actions are not allowed:
- Wearing stitched/sewn clothes/garments for men. Women can wear their ordinary clothes.
- Covering the head for men and covering the face for women.
- Shaving or cutting the hair, or cutting the nails (both men and women).
- Wearing perfume or any other thing that have fragrance (both men and women).
- Cover the middle-bone of the upper part of the feet (both men and women).
- Hunting / Killing animals, even ant or lice (both men and women).
- Sexual activity (both men and women).