IHRAM OR EHRAM
The ihram is basically a costume worn by Muslims. It is the sacred state of ihram which they wear while performing their pilgrimage to Makkah. The ihram consists of two lengths of usually white, seamless fabric, one worn about the hips and the other over the shoulders. Ihram is not just about the clothes you put on, its about a state of being you put yourself in before entering the sacred territory intending to perform Hajj or Umrah.
Ihram comes from the root word Ḥ-R-M, in Islam, a sacred state which a Muslim must enter in order to perform the major pilgrimage (Hajj) or the minor pilgrimage (Umrah). A pilgrim must enter into this state before crossing the pilgrimage boundary, known as Meeqat, by performing the cleansing rituals (Ghusl) and wearing the prescribed attire.
Literally the word Ihram means to enter into a sanctity which cannot be broken. In the context of the blessed shari’ah (Islamic Law), ihram means to enter into a state in which certain actions are not permissible.
Before entering into a state of Ihram you should first take bath (Ghusl). It is also recommended to:
There are two conditions without which Ihram is not valid, Intention and Dhikr.
For men it is very apparent as they have a specific garment to wear. It is two clean preferably white unfitted pieces of cloth. The lower part of the Ihram is referred to as Izar and the top part as Rida. The shoes/sandals must not cover the ankles.
Wearing the Ihram garments does not mean that you are in the state of Ihram. A pilgrim is in the state of Ihram ONLY once the niyah (intention) has been uttered.
Then perform intention and read the Talbiyyah: After tying of Ihram, intend for Hajj by saying these words “Allahumma labbaika Hajjan”
After tying Ihram, say talbiyah (labbaik Allahumma labbaik labbaika laa sharika laka labbaik innal hamda wannamata laka walmulk laa sharika laka) loudly and read this dua one time. (Allahumma Hazihi Hajjatun lariya'a feeha wala suma'ah) O'Allah the intention of my Hajj is neither to show off to any one nor to gain any popularity. (Ibn-e-Majah)
I am present Oh Allah I am present, I am present (I testify that) there is no God besides you I am present, Indeed all praises and blessings are yours and the kingdom is yours, There is no God besides you.
During the state of ihram for Hajj or 'Umrah, the following are obligatory:
All these prohibitions apply equally to men and women alike.
If the pilgrim shaves his hair because of ailment in his (her) scalp then he (she) must compensate by doing one of three choices:
(a) Three days of fasting, (b) offering an animal sacrifice (sheep or goat), or (c) feeding six poor people as mentioned in Tafseer of Ahsanul Bayan for Qur’an.Surah Baqrah 2:196.
Some pilgrims bypass the designated Station of lhram called Meeqat on their route without either being in ihram or entering into ihram there, proceeding until they reach Jeddah or some other place within the precincts of the Stations, at which they enter into ihram. This is against the command of Allah's Messenger (peace be on him), which stipulates that every pilgrim should enter into ihram at the Station of ihram which lies on his route.
If this happens to someone, he must either go back to the Station of ihram lying on his route and there enter into ihram, or he must make expiation by sacrificing a sheep in Makkah and feeding all its meat to the poor.
This applies to all pilgrims regardless of whether one passes the Station of ihram by air, by sea or by land.
If one did not pass through one of the five designated Stations of lhram called Meeqat, he should enter into ihram at a point which is nearest to the Station of ihram on his route.
Men wear the lower part by wrapping it around their waist.
The top part is thrown over, covering both shoulders. The right shoulder is only open during first tawaf called Tawaf E Qadoom.
If possible avoid buying the very thin cotton Ihram. It sticks to you if you sweat. The toweling or the thicker cotton ones are much better. They can be used as towels, blankets, for shading, etc., later on. One may imagine that it will be hot using a toweling cloth; however, this is not normally the case.
The one piece is wrapped around your waist like you would normally do with a towel when coming out from the bath. (This is very easy for those people who are used to wearing a “lungi/sarong”).
The other piece is thrown over your shoulders covering the upper part of your body. Your right shoulder is open only during Tawaaf f or Umrah and the welcome Tawaaf (Tawaaf-al-Qudoom). It should be covered at all other times, especially while performing salah. Do not be concerned when you notice that so many of the male pilgrims are walking around with their right shoulder exposed.
It is acceptable to wear a money belt to assist in “keeping up” the lower part. A safety pin is also very useful to keep the top part from falling off or constantly opening up.
There are no special clothing requirements for women in Ihram; other than, not covering the face and hands while in Ihram. It is acceptable to adopt the Ihram clothes prior to reaching the Meqaat if it's more convenient. Now all that is require is for the intention to be made.
The niyah should be uttered at the meqaat or close to it after your transport has started moving towards it. The intention is to be made aloud. To enter the state of Ihram one must make niyah for Umrah or Hajj by saying:
“Oh Allah here I am performing Umrah.”
“Oh Allah here I am performing Hajj.“
Note:In Hajj E Qiran you should perform the niyyah of both Umrah and Hajj. And In hajj E Ifrad you should do only niyyah of Hajj.
Menstruating or post-natal bleeding women MUST also enter into the state of Ihram. They should follow the steps as listed and proceed to Makkah, Mina or Arafat (as appropriate). They should complete all the rites of Hajj except for Tawaaf while in the state of menstruation or post-natal bleeding.
If you are performing Hajj for someone else (e.g., your mother or father), the only place where you mention the name of that person is in the niyah. The rest of the Hajj rites are the same as if you were doing it for yourself.
Niyah for Hajj on behalf of someone else:
"Labbayk Allahummah Hajjan 'an; name of the person."
“Oh Allah here I am performing hajj for …..…”
Innal-hamda wan-ni'matalakawalmulk. Laashareekalak."
“Here I am O Allah, Here I am. Here I am, You have no partner, here I am.
You are now in the state of Ihram! A person in the state of Ihram is a Muhrim.
Before uttering the niyah, one is not considered a Muhrim (in the state of Ihram) even if one wears the clothes of Ihram. Only after uttering the niyah does one become a muhrim and thus the following prohibitions apply. Expiation (fidyah) is due if any of the prohibitions are violated intentionally:
You are now a "Guest of Allah" and you should behave accordingly.
Hajj and Tawheed by Dr. Saleh (http://abdurrahman.org/hajj/Hajj-and-Tawheed.pdf)