For a Muslim woman or man to successfully perform Umrah or Hajj, certain rituals must be followed. One of these rituals is to enter Ihram and without Ihram, you are not able to perform Umrah or Hajj. For some Muslims and many reverts, if they are not given guidance or support, they are often left to wonder what is Ihram?
Our guide is here to provide the answers to your questions regarding Ihram, including what Muslim pilgrims are expected to wear during Hajj and help you prepare for your Hajj (major pilgrimage) or Umrah (minor pilgrimage).
Why is Ihram Important?
The Ihram meaning in Urdu is a sacred state that Muslims enter and remain in during the special rituals and events that are required to complete Hajj or Umrah. The state is entered by following certain cleansing rituals and wearing the correct dress. Ihram is also used to refer to the ceremonial clothing that has been chosen with the purpose of completing Hajj and must be worn by all men and women. Ihram and Hajj are times of total equality; Ihram clothing removes all societal representations of wealth or social differences and ensures that both men and women renounce the temptations of vanity and the world.
Do the Ihram Rules for Men and Ladies’ Ihram for Hajj Differ?
The Ihram clothing worn by men and women does have some distinct differences. While both outfits use two sheets of unstitched white cloth, part of the man’s body remains exposed whereas a woman’s Ihram clothing must conceal the whole body, leaving only her face and hands uncovered. During the pilgrimage, women are not permitted to cover their face, and wearing anything that does cover the face is prohibited including Burqas and Niqabs.
How to Wear Ihram
Men’s Ihram clothing is strict; however, a woman can wear regular clothing where Ihram is unavailable. It is important that any clothing worn is chosen with the intention of entering Ihram and ensures it protects the wearer’s modesty.