To perform the rituals, the one who is performing Hajj or Umrah has to be in the state of ihram. Ihram means prevention. Let’s discuss the significance of ihram during the Hajj expedition in detail.
The definition of Ihram
The scholars of fiqh described it: “The intention to start the religious rights and at the same time performed some prescribed acts of worship of hajj.”
Recommended acts during Ihram
It is recommended for the muhrim to have a bath, to remove the armpit and pubic hairs and trim the moustache as well as the fingernails.
Similarly, the male muhrim removes all fitted garments before assuming ihram and wears a white robe, a white loin cloth and sandals.
This is due to the statement of Prophet (p.b.u.h): “Anyone of you who intends to perform Hajj or Umrah should assume Ihram in a loin cloth and robe and a pair of sandals. If he cannot find sandals, he should put on a pair of khuffs(leather socks), but he must cut them to (be below) ankles.”
As for a woman she can assume Ihram with whatever clothes she prefers. There is no prescribed colour for her Ihram, but she must avoid resembling men and wearing adornments. She is not to wear the veil or gloves during Ihram.
It is also recommended for one performing Hajj to wear perfume when assuming Ihram. Due to Hazrat Ayesha‘s (r.a) statement: “I used to perfume the Messenger of Allah (p.b.u.h) for the purpose of Ihram at the time he intended it.”
But the Ihram clothes are not to be perfumed due to the statement of the Messenger of Allah Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h): “Do not put on clothes to which saffron has been applied. “
Forbidden acts of al-Ihram
Many acts are prohibited when one is in the state of Ihram.
- It is prohibited to shave, trim or pluck the hair as Allah the highest said: “And do not shave your heads until the Hadi reaches the place of sacrifice.”
This ruling is applicable on any hair of the body being deduced through an analogy from the rule relating to the hair on the head.
- Similarly, it is prohibited for the muhrim to clip his/her nails.
- It is prohibited for the male to cover his head with any attached fitting object. We have Prophet (p.b.u.h) describing the clothes of the muhrim by saying,” Do not wear shirts, turbans, trousers or hooded cloaks.”
- It is prohibited for muhrim to kill or hunt land game. The land game means every wild animal or bird that is permissible for consumption. However domestic animals are not regarded as a game.
- It is prohibited for muhrim to carry out any marriage contract. As the Prophet (p.b.u.h) said: “A person in the state of Ihram neither marry himself, nor arrange the marriage of another one, nor should he make the proposal of the wedding.”
- Sexual intercourse is also forbidden for the muhrim.