RULES OF IHRAM

by Hajj Safe

Ihram is the name of the garment that the male Muslim wears, as well as the state that the pilgrim enters once they have made the intention to make Hajj or Umrah.

The reasons for wearing the ihram are: to make the person humble, as whether the person is rich or poor, everyone will be wearing the same thing; as a show of unity, as the Muslims become one as they perform Umrah- even in regard to clothing; and it is a reminder of the shroud that we will wear when we depart this earth.

How to Enter into Ihram:

  • Prepare yourself by combing your hair, cutting your nails, removing unwanted body hair, and for men, shaping your beard and trimming your moustache.
  • Take a bath with the intention of entering into Ihram (it is fine to make wudhu if water for a bath is not available). 
  • Put on the Ihram: Men must wear an unstitched sheet of white cloth. Women's ordinary clothes are their Ihram garments.
  • Make the intention of entering into Ihram, and for Umrah say "Labbayka `Umrah (O Allah, in response to Your Call I perform `Umrah)", and for Hajj say "Labbayka Hajjan." On the way to Hajj or Umrah repeat:
"Labbayk,
Allahumma Labbayk.
Labbayk.
La shareeka laka.
Labbayk.
Innal-hamda wan-n'imata
laka wal-mulk.
La shareeka lak."
“Here we come,
O Allah, here we come !
Here we come.
No partner have You.
Here we come!
Praise indeed, and blessings, are Yours-
the Kingdom too!
No partner have You!”

Prohibitions of Ihram

Once in a state of Ihram and after making the intention, the following actions are not allowed:

  • Wearing stitched clothing (men) (women can wear their ordinary clothes)
  • Covering the head (men); covering the face (women). The Prophet (SAWS) said: “He should not wear a shirt, hooded robe, trousers, a turban or leather slippers.” Regarding women, the Prophet (SAWS) said: “The woman in ihram should not wear niqaab or gloves.”
  • Shaving or cutting the hair, or cutting the nails. It says in the Quran: “and do not shave your heads until the Hady [sacrificial animal] reaches the place of sacrifice” (Surah Al Baqarah 2:196).
  • Wearing perfume. This is because the Prophet (SAWS) said concerning a man whose camel had trampled him to death while he was in Ihram “Wash him with water and lotus leaves and shroud him in his two garments, but do not cover his head or perfume him with hanoot.”
  • Hunting animals. It says in the Quran: “O you who believe! Kill not the game while you are in a state of Ihraam [for Hajj or ‘Umrah (pilgrimage)]”(Surah Al-Maa'idah 5:95).
  • Sexual activity. It says in the Quran: “So whosoever intends to perform Hajj therein (by assuming Ihraam), then he should not have sexual relations (with his wife), nor commit sin, nor dispute unjustly during the Hajj” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:197).