Although clichéd, it truly is the best way to begin with…So here we go:
As we have studied in the article titled “Components of Hajj” we know that Ihram is the first pillar of Hajj, therefore common sense dictates us to realize that our first step for performing Hajj would be to assume Ihram.
In the previous article, we already discussed the sites wherein Ihram has to be assumed from, so In Sha Allah in this article we shall see how is Ihram assumed.
Now, most probably, most of you may already know how to do this, but I still urge you to continue reading, not only because I want you to read this article, written by yours truly, but also, maybe just maybe, you may come across something that you weren’t aware of, and reading an Islamic article is always beneficial. Think about the 101 times you spent reading the lamest jokes ever witnessed on planet Earth! Remember reading this with the correct intention will enable you to get ajar In Sha Allah.
Now, enough with the lecturing and now to the topic of interest:
When we think about Ihram, the first picture that floods our minds are that of white unstitched clothes (something which I used to unfortunately think of as large towels when I was young…) However, ihram does not mean donning on unstitched white clothes, rather this is one of the actions that one does to assume Ihram. Ihram is the ritual consecration either during Hajj or Umrah and is defined as the “intention” to start the rites.
Ihram is derived from the Arabic word “haram,” which means “forbidden” or “prohibited.” Now I am certain we don’t need really need Mr. Sherlock Holmes to conjecture that it is so named because there are certain acts that are prohibited in the state of Ihram, although they are permissible when not in Ihram, we shall mention those actions in a while.
الْحَجُّ أَشْهُرٌ مَّعْلُومَاتٌ ۚ فَمَن فَرَضَ فِيهِنَّ الْحَجَّ فَلَا رَفَثَ وَلَا فُسُوقَ وَلَا جِدَالَ فِي الْحَجِّ ۗ وَمَا تَفْعَلُوا مِنْ خَيْرٍ يَعْلَمْهُ اللَّهُ ۗ وَتَزَوَّدُوا فَإِنَّ خَيْرَ الزَّادِ التَّقْوَىٰ ۚ وَاتَّقُونِ يَا أُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ –
“Hajj is [during] well-known months, so whoever has made Hajj obligatory upon himself therein [by entering the state of ihram], there is [to be for him] no sexual relations and no disobedience and no disputing during Hajj. And whatever good you do – Allah knows it. And take provisions, but indeed, the best provision is fear of Allah. And fear Me, O you of understanding.” (Al-Baqarah, 2:197)
Now it is important to realize that there are certain pre-requisites for assuming Ihram. To illustrate this Shaykhul- Islam Ibn Taiymiyyah said:
“A man is not considered in a state of Ihram once he intends, with his heart, to perform Hajj, for the intention is already in his heart since he has left his hometown (heading for Makkah). So there must be specific words or deeds through which he becomes in a state of Ihram.”
By fulfilling the aforesaid prerequisites, a pilgrim is thus prepared to be in a state of Ihram, but such acts themselves are not called Ihram as many people mistakenly believe. Thus, a pilgrim is not considered to be in a state of Ihram just by wearing the aforementioned clothing of Ihram without having the intention of starting performing the rites of Hajj or Umrah.
As for a female Muhrim, she may wear whatever cloth she likes black or any other color, so long as she avoids wanton display (tabarruj) or clothes of fame and vanity such as tight, see-through, short, thin or decorated clothes. Women must also be careful to avoid clothes that resemble the clothes of men or the kuffaar.
However, she isn’t permitted to wear a burqa (a veil that covers the face and has 2 eyeholes for vision). In this case, the lady covers her face with other things such as a khimar (shawl like clothing that covers the head and shoulders) and a gown.
Moreover the female Muhrim shouldn’t wear gloves
Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu’minin: Riders would pass us when we accompanied the Messenger of Allah (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon Him) while we were in the sacred state (wearing ihram). When they came by us, one of us would let down her outer garment from her head over her face, and when they had passed on, we would have uncover our faces.
A pilgrim is free to choose either of the 3 kinds of Ihram
Steps of Assuming Ihram:
- The intention:
The intention for Ihram is made in the heart, and accompanied by the following wordings:
- The one who is performing Hajj or Umrah on behalf of someone else should say: “Labbayka an Fulaan” (I am here at the service of so and so) and if he has forgotten their name, he can say “for the one who assigned me.”
- If one fears that he or she will not complete the Umrah or Hajj due to illness, he should say:
Allaahumma mahillee haithu habastanee.
O Allah, my place is wherever you prevent me.
- The benefit of making this condition upon entering the state of Ihram is that if the person is unable to complete his Hajj then he can discontinue (leave the state of Ihram) and he does not have to expiate for it, there is no recommendatory sacrifice due upon him and there is no sin on him.
- It is not lawful for the pilgrim to make a condition unless he fears that something will prevent him from completing the ritual
- Making a condition is done when entering the state of Ihram and it must be uttered, as merely having the intention does not suffice.
- It is not permissible to make the condition a long period after entering the state of Ihram.
- Then he should stand facing the Qiblah and say
اللَّهُمَّ حِجَّةٌ لاَ رِيَاءَ فِيهَا وَلاَ سُمْعَة
“Allaahumma haadhihi hijjah laa riyaa’a fiha wa la sum’ah
(O Allah, this is a pilgrimage in which there is no showing off or seeking reputation).”
- The Prophet showed great humbleness and asceticism during Ihram and Hajj:
Anas ibn Maalik, (may Allah be pleased with him), reported:The Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon Him) performed Hajj on an old pack saddle. On it was a piece of cloth, the value of which was equal to or less than four dirhams.
- Then he should chant the Talbiyah.
- The virtue of saying the talbiyah is indeed great as we derive form the following hadith:
Sahl bin Sa’d narrated that: The Messenger of Allah said:
“There is no Muslim who says the Talbiyah except that – on his right and left, until the end of the land, from here to there – the rocks, or trees, or mud say the Talbiyah.”
It will be chanted by everything on his right and his left, especially when he ascends or descends somewhere
- What the Talbiyah means is responding to Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, because the word “labbayk” means: I am responding to You. He should continue reciting the Talbiyah until he begins the tawaaf of umrah
- And the one saying the Talbiyah is ORDERED to raise his voice with it, as the Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon Him) said:
A woman should recite in such a manner that those who are beside her can hear it, unless there is a man beside her who is not one of her mahrams, in which case she should recite it silently.
- The muhrim (person who has entered Ihram) should recite the Talbiyah a great deal, especially when circumstances and times change, such as when going up to a high place or going down to a low place, or when night or day begin
- The one performing Umrah should discontinue the Talbiyah when starting Tawaaf (circumambulating the Ka’bah) and the pilgrim should stop before throwing pebbles at Jamrat Al-‘Aqabah.
The Talbiyah is:
Labbaik allaahumma labbaik labbaika laa shareeka laka labbaik innal hamda wan ni’mata laka wal mulka laa shareeka laka
Here I am O Allah, here I am, there is no partner for You, here I am, Verily all praise is for You, and every bounty is from You, and all dominion is Yours – You have no partner.
And now finally to the last topic of this article. I am aware that this article was extremely long, but Ihram is a long topic, so please be patient and may Allah reward you in quest of knowledge.
The last thing that we shall be talking about are the acts that are forbidden in Ihram,
And with this we come to our long awaited conclusion
I applaud all those who have reached it till here and pray to Allah that he rewards you abundantly for your patience and earnestness.
Watch out for the next article in the Hajj series.