Philosophy of Ihram

Donning of ihram is leaving the material world behind and migrating to the elevated presence of Allah (swt). It is a reminder of shrouds which every human has to wear after death. It also reminds us that this is a practice session for the Day of Judgment.

The pilgrim must shed her pride and dress in the clothes which will take her closer to Allah (swt). Those waiting for lmam al-Zamana (ajtf) are awaiting a Reformer and so should be obedient and patient. Likewise those entering the Haram of Allah (swt) should be in ihram.

Philosophy of the Color "White"

The color of ihram is white which represents purity. We came to the world pure and should endeavor to leave it in the same condition.

Two faults are always associated with Muslims: One, that they are not peace loving and the other that they are not neat and tidy. Both these issues are answered by the rituals of ihram.

"Cleanliness is half faith" Reality of this tradition can be observed in pilgrimage.

Why has Islam selected white color out of so many available?

White represents purity as well as peace and tranquility. That is why this color is recommended for daily prayers, for ihram and even for shroud.

White color keeps away bugs and insects. That is why patients beds are covered with white sheets and doctors and nurses wear white uniforms. Islam emphasized on this color from the beginning.

This color not only helps in outer cleanliness it also encourages inner purity. It forces n person to think that as this dress is pure and clean so should our inner self be. We should try to keep all negative thoughts away from our minds and keep them pure like our dress.

Questions and Answers

Q1. If a lady sees blood while wearing ihram or after wearing it and has no idea when it will end; will her obligatory pilgrimage be Hajj-ut-Tamatu or Hajj al-Ifraad?

Ans: If the lady sees the blood while wearing ihram then whichever pilgrimage she was planning on doing, that is, Tamatu or Ifraad, she should do niyyat (intention) for that. Then if her bleeding ends she can perform ghusl (purifying bath) and if possible perform Umra otherwise she will have to perform Hajj al-Ifraad. But lf she sees the blood after wearing ihram then she should keep her intention, that is, not change it to Hajj al-Ifraad. Then if she is-able to perform ghusl in time she can perform Umra otherwise change her intention to Hajj al-Ifraad.

Q2. If a lady dons ihram with the intention of Hajj al-Ifraad thinking that she could not possibly perform Hajj-ut-Tamatu, but on reaching Makkah realizes that it is possible for her to perform Umra-ut-Tamatu. Then what should she do?

Ans: She can change her intention to Hajj-ut-Tamatu.

Q3. If a lady enters Masjid-ush-Shajarah during her period, wears ihram and leaves from the same door, is her ihram correct?
Ans: Yes her ihram is correct. However entering the mosque in her condition is considered a haram act.

Q4. ls it obligatory for a lady to wear socks when in ihram?
Ans: Yes it is obligatory, because she is not allowed to expose her feet in front of na mehram men.

Q5. A lady wears ihram during her period. After doing ghusl she performs Umra-ut-Tamatu. Then in Arafaat (9th of Dhil Hajjah) she again spots blood (which normally ends before the ten days of menstruation, what should she do?)

Ans: She has performed her Umra-ut-Tamatu between two cycles of menstruation. There is a difference of opinion between scholars about this situation, the majority say that this short period between the two cycles is also considered part of the menstrual period. But there is a group who think that this is a paak (lslamically Clean) period.

Thus according to the majority of scholars, because the woman was still in her menses, her obligatory pilgrimage changes to Ifraad and after completing her pilgrimage rites she must perform Umra al-Mufrida.

According to the second group of scholars however, because the woman was considered paak between the two cycles, her umra is valid and she can continue with Hajj-ut-Tamatu.

According to precaution she should follow the decree given by an Islamic Jurist whom she follows.

Obligatory Acts for Ihram

1. Niyyat: “I am wearing the ihram for Umra al-Tamatu qurbatan ilallah (To be near Allah swt).

2. Reciting Talbiyah (Response to God's command).That is, to utter the following: "Labbaik, Allahumma labbaik, labbaik, la sharika laka labbaik", meaning (Here I am! at Your service, O Lord! Here I am! at Your service, You have no partner. Here I am at Your service).

It is highly recommended to add the following: "Innal hamda wanni’mata laka wal mulka, la sharika laka”. It is also permissible to add to this "labaik" and say, "la sharika laka labaik", meaning (All the praise is Yours; so is the bounty, and to You belongs the property; there is no partner to You. Here I am! at Your service).

One may question if a lady can recite Talbiyah out loud? Shari'ah says she can and there is no harm in doing so.

Recommended Acts for Ihram

1. Having a ghusl for ihram before wearing it. Even ladies having menstruations should have a bath.

2. The ihram should not be made of pure silk. Infact it is better to avoid all garments of pure silk during ihram. But if there is no other choice then it can be used.

3. Cutting one's nails or removing underarm or bikini line hair.

4. Wearing one's ihram after Zohr (Afternoon) prayers. If this is not possible then it is better to wear it after any obligatory prayer. Otherwise one can pray six Raka'at (Unit) recommended prayers or two Raka'at Salaat al-Nafla and then wear the ihram. In the first Raka'at one should recite Sura Fatiha followed by Sura Ikhlas from the Qur'an and in the second one recite Sura Fatiha and then Sura Hajj.

5. Recitation of special duas is recommended while having a bath, donnng ihram and after offering Salaat.

Undesirable Acts During Ihram

1. Using black cloth for the ihram.

2. Using yellow colored pillow cases and bed sheets.

3. Using dirty clothes as one's ihram. .

4. Applying henna shortly before wearing ihram, so that the smell and color are still there when one wears the ihram.

5. Dipping one's body in water.

6. To answer someone else's call with Labbaik.