Derived from the Arabic language, Ihram is a sacred state which every Muslim must enter at the start of their pilgrimage. For both Umrah and Hajj, Ihram is a primary requisite and must be attained at the pilgrimage boundary known as miqat in Arabic. Ihram is mandatory for both men and women, and many restrictions and guidelines must be followed for achieving Ihram’s state successfully. Ihram for men includes the following guidelines and directions.
How to Wear Ihram?
Before wearing Ihram, it is essential to clean oneself. Before Ihram, the bath you take is known as the purification bath or ablution, also known as Wazu or Wudhu in Arabic. There is a prescribed way of how to perform the purification part to purify oneself for the pilgrimage. However, cutting or trimming nails, hair and beard are not suggested before the expedition as it is a part of an important ritual that takes place at the end of the journey.
The primary restrictions for Ihram are regarding the clothing. Clothes for Ihram for men are two white sheets that should not be stitched from any side. They much like the Kafan or the piece of cloth that is draped around this deceased in Islam. Also, there should be no knots tied on any side of the garment. These sheets are white in colour and different in size. The smaller one is called the rida, and the longer one is called the izar.
The more miniature sheet of the two is to be worn on both or one of the shoulders. It must cover the left shoulder throughout the journey, especially during tawaf. The bigger one goes around the waist area and is pinned with a torn fabric of a belt. This sheet should cover the space between the navel and the feet.
Also, men are not allowed to wear any socks or innerwear inside these two sheets. The footwear for men must be designed so that it reveals the ankles, heels and toes at all times.
Before the purification bath, men must declare an intention or niyyah to complete the pilgrimage. Following niyyah, one must recite the Talbiyah, which is a conviction that one will perform the holy pilgrimage. Finally, after wearing Ihram, one must say two rakats of prayer as prescribed by Islamic scholars.
Here the rituals of Ihram end. However, obligations of Ihram continue. Ihram for Umrah is essential, and pilgrims must maintain its sanctity by following all behavioural guidelines. When in the state of Ihram, one must:
- Do Not wear any centre perfume.
- Not engage in any sexual activity.
- Do Not use swear words or talk about anybody.
- Not fight or get into an argument,
- Not take any oaths
- Do Not be violent towards any living being.
- Keep their head and covered at all times.
- Stay away from worldly matters like business and relationships.
Where to Wear Ihram
As mentioned above, Ihram for Umrah is worn at the miqat. Four important miqats where men wear Ihram are:
- Miqat Qarn al-Manazil – Located 80 km from the holy Haram, it is the miqat for pilgrims entering from Najd, Ta’if and Riyadh, including pilgrims coming from UAE, India, Pakistan, Australia, Malaysia and Singapore.
- At Miqat Yalamlam – It is 100 km away from Makkah and is for those entering the city from the south and African countries.
- Miqat Dhu al Hulayfah – This is only 7 km from Medina’s Nabawi mosque. It is precisely for pilgrims coming to frim Madinah.
- Miqat al-Juhfah – About 200 km afar, it serves as miqat for devotees from Sudan, Europe, Turkey, Egypt, and Syria.
- Dhat’ Irq – This boundary is 110 km from Mecca and is the entry point for pilgrims from Iran and Iraq.
- Masjid’ Aisha – The famous masjid-e-Aisha also serves as a miqat for pilgrims aspiring for the holy pilgrimages of Hajj and Umrah.
I hope this guide for Ihram for men makes your journey easy and convenient.