The Ihram symbolizes two things: A state when a person intends to perform hajj or umrah and the cloth that covers the body when performing hajj or umrah. Before learning how to tie an Ihram, it is important to learn how to get into the state of Ihram. This blog will detail all the steps you must take to make your Ihram valid.
What to do Before?
Before you get into the state of Ihram, there are some things that you should do, such as:
- Make an intention to perform hajj or umrah. Ensure that the tongue does not just utter the intention; instead, it should come from the heart.
- Take a shower to purify yourself. If a shower isn’t available, you can also do wudu. But if you are in any condition that is considered impure in Islam, ghusl is mandatory.
- Remove any unwanted hair, i.e., hair from under your armpits or the pubic region.
- Trim or cut your nails, hair, and beard. Please note that cutting or trimming when you are in the state of Ihram is not permissible.
- Trim your nails.
- Apply some perfume or itar, as it is a sunnah of our Holy Prophet PBUH.
- Try to pay off all your debts before going to Allah SWT’s house, as it is encouraged to pay off debts. But your pilgrimage is still valid if you don’t have the money.
- If you are performing umrah, say ‘Labbayka Umrah’, and if you are performing hajj, say ‘Labbayka Hajjan’
There are also certain duas and a salat one needs to offer before the minor pilgrimage.
The clothing for both pilgrimages is very simple. For men, there are two unstitched pieces of plain and white cloth. If you are going in summer, you can wear lighter clothes for Ihram, such as cotton, which is breathable. Or if you are going in winter, you can wear warm clothes such as white wool towels to keep you warm.
For women, the Ihram rules are very relaxed. They can wear whatever they want. Although there is no ban on wearing certain fabrics and colors, remember that the attire should not be too bright and symbolize modesty and simplicity.
The whole reason Ihram clothes are plain and simple in appearance is to reflect unity among all the Muslims. The clothes eradicate all the differences between the rich and the poor and make the people of the pilgrimage one body.
Some things regarding clothing are prohibited for men and women while in Ihram; they are:
- Men can’t wear anything sewn, not even undergarments.
- Men can’t wear shoes made to fit their feet. The ankles, toes, and heels should remain uncovered.
- Women can’t cover their hands and faces. In the case of non-mahrams, they can cover the hand or face in that instant and uncover it afterward.
When to Wear the Ihram?
When performing the pilgrimage, it is mandatory to be in the state of Ihram and to wear Ihram before passing Miqat. Miqat is an Arabic word and refers to the boundary at which any pilgrim should enter with the Ihram.
If somebody passes the Miqat without Ihram, i.e., they forgot to fulfill any obligation of Ihram; their pilgrimage will not be valid. In this case, they must return to the Miqat and enter Ihram.
If you are flying to Makkah, it is better to enter the state of Ihram from your home because there is no guarantee that there won’t be some ups and downs once you reach there.
Tying the Ihram
Since the women are allowed to wear whatever is available, tying Ihram is only a procession for men. Let’s discuss the steps below:
- Wrap the first sheet around the lower part of the body, wrapping it around your belly button for extra caution.
- Take the second sheet and wrap it around your shoulders like a cape.
- Make one end of the sheet longer than the other and wrap it in front of your body, like you would with a shawl.
- Make sure to perform all the positions you would in the pilgrimage to ensure the Ihram is secure and doesn’t loosen or fall.
Since an Ihram has no pockets, many men wear a belt around their waist to keep money and other things.
Going to hajj or umrah is a blessing that only the chosen people of Allah SWT get. It is the perfect way to get closer to Allah SWT and gain his pleasure.