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IHRAM


Change into Ihram at Meeqat

Your leader will inform you about the location of your Meeqat (e.g., Embarkation Points such as Delhi). There, you will shower if possible, take care of general personal hygiene and then change into Ihram.

Wrap the larger of the two portions of the Ihram around your waist to cover your body from just above the navel to about the ankles. Secure the Ihram either with a belt or with a two to three inch wide strip of fabric torn from the Ihram material. Drape the other part of the Ihram over the back and the shoulders. Do not cover your head even for salat while in a state of Ihram. You may use perfume before changing into Ihram, but be sure not to apply it directly to your Ihram.

You are now a Muhrim (i.e., one in a state of Ihram) and are subject to certain obligations and prohibitions.

Offer two rakah salat us sunnah and pronounce your intention to perform Umra or Haj, as the case may be. Start reciting the Talbiyah loudly and frequently, and continue to do so until you arrive at the Masjid ul Haram.

Ihram for ladies consists of their simple and unpretentious clothes of daily wear. They are required to keep their hands and faces uncovered in the state of Ihram.

While in Ihram, you may use certain things for comfort and convenience. You may wear flip-flops, or similar slippers, provided that they cover as little of your feet as possible. You may also wear eyeglasses or a watch, use an umbrella, take a shower or a bath, wash and change your Ihram, use unscented soap, use a belt and a pillow, and cover yourself with a blanket during cold weather leaving your head and face uncovered. Ladies may continue to wear intimate apparel and socks but may not use gloves.

Obligations And Prohibitions Of Ihram

A Muhrim must observe certain obligations and prohibitions. A willful violation of any of them will require a Dum or Kaffarah, while an inadvertent violation carries no penalty. A Dum is not designed to punish you for your violation! It simply reminds you of your special state and offers you an opportunity to renew your commitment to perform Haj according to the dictates of Allah and the sunnah of Rasool Allah (pbuh). The rules of Ihram are as follows:

  1. Keep your head uncovered at all times. Ladies will keep their heads covered.
  2. Do not shave, cut your hair, clip your nails, use perfume, or wear sewn clothes of any kind.
  3. Do not perform a marriage (nikah) or enter into one yourself.
  4. Do not kill an animal of any kind for any reason unless it poses a danger to you or to other people around you.
  5. Do not enter into conjugal relations with your spouse. Avoid suggestive and provocative talk or gestures, and remain focussed on your mission of Haj.
Dum

As has already been mentioned, you are not accountable for inadvertent violations of the prohibitions of Ihram. Should you violate the sanctity of the Ihram knowingly and willfully, you are required to offer a Dum by way of expiation and of renewing your commitment to Haj. There are three ways you may offer this Kaffarah:

  1. By offering a sacrifice.
  2. By feeding six indigent and poor people.
  3. By fasting for three days.
You must offer the Dum as soon as possible. However, you may delay it to a more suitable time and place if absolutely necessary.


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