How do Muslims enter into a state of ihram?

Answered by Tom Adger

To enter into a state of ihram, Muslims must undergo certain rituals and dress in a specific manner. The process begins with a thorough cleansing of the body, known as ghusl. This involves taking a complete shower, ensuring that every part of the body is washed, including the hair and nails. It is important to be in a state of purity before entering into ihram.

Once the body is cleansed, the next step is to wear the attire of ihram. For men, this consists of two white, seamless cloths, one wrapped around the waist and the other draped over the shoulders. Women, on the other hand, are allowed to wear their regular clothing as long as it meets the requirements of modesty. It is recommended for women to wear loose-fitting and non-revealing garments.

Before entering into the state of ihram, it is essential to make the intention, or niyyah, to perform either Hajj or Umrah. This intention should be made sincerely and with a pure heart. Muslims must be mentally prepared to engage in the rituals and worship associated with ihram.

Once in the state of ihram, Muslims must adhere to certain restrictions and prohibitions. These include refraining from cutting or trimming hair, nails, or facial hair. Shaving or plucking hair is also prohibited during this state. Muslims are also required to abstain from sexual relations and avoid any form of violence or arguments. It is a time for spiritual focus and self-discipline.

During the state of ihram, Muslims are encouraged to engage in acts of worship and remembrance of Allah. This can include reciting the Qur’an, making supplications, and performing additional voluntary prayers. It is a time to reflect on one’s purpose and seek forgiveness and purification.

Pilgrims in the state of ihram must also be mindful of their behavior and interactions with others. It is important to show respect, kindness, and patience towards fellow pilgrims, as they are all engaged in the same sacred journey. This is a time to foster unity and brotherhood among Muslims from different backgrounds and cultures.

Entering into the state of ihram requires a thorough cleansing of the body, wearing the specific attire, making a sincere intention, and adhering to certain restrictions and prohibitions. It is a sacred state that requires focus, discipline, and a deep connection with Allah. By following these rituals and guidelines, Muslims can fully immerse themselves in the spiritual journey of Hajj or Umrah.