Process of Ihram

As it is said before, the first act of Umrah and Hajj is “Ihram” and obligatory acts of Ihram are three things as follows:

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First: Niyyah (Intention)

Making intention of Ihram as in the way that the pilgrim should intend not to perform the acts (that will be mentioned later) and consider them as Haraam for himself/herself and performs the acts of Umrah or Hajj after that, and by considering that meaning it is enough to say by words or in his/her heart:

“I wear Ihram for Umrah al-Tamattu’ for obligatory (or Mustahab) Hajj for myself (or in behalf of a person whom I am his/her proxy) for closeness to Allah (قربة الی الله)” and the purpose of saying I wear Ihram is to prohibiting himself/herself from the acts (which will be mention later).

And the pilgrim says for Ihram of Hajj: “I wear Ihram for obligatory Hajj for closeness to Allah (قربة الی الله)” and in Umrah al-Mufradah: “I wear Ihram for Umrah al-Mufradah for closeness to Allah (قربة الی الله)”.

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It is not necessary to utter the intention but it is enough to have this intention in the heart, but it is better to express the intention by word adding this to the internal intention.

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The purpose of intending for closeness to Allah is intending to satisfy Allah and being close to his pure essence. The pilgrim should have the intention of performing the rites of Umrah or Hajj in that state and it is better to define from the beginning that he/she has the intention of performing Umrah or Hajj. For example “Hajjat al-Islam” which means obligatory Hajj because of gaining the ability of performing Hajj or “Mustahab Hajj” or “Hajj of Nazr” or “Hajj by proxy”, but it is also permitted to make intention for Ihram intending to define the type of act later.

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If after making intention of Ihram, and prohibiting himself/herself from the acts which are Haraam for Muhrim, the pilgrims intends to perform some of those acts (for example, he/she is in travel at that moment and is sitting under the roof of car or airplane unnecessarily), then it is not free of problem for his/her Ihram.

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Knowing the details of Haraam acts is not necessary and it is enough to know them as a whole.

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Second: Saying Labbayk

It is obligatory to say the “quadruple Labbayks” during Ihram with correct Arabic accent and it should be as follows as obligatory precaution:

لَبّیْکَاللّهُمَّ لَبَّیْکَ، لَبَّیْکَ لا شَریکَ لَکَ لَبَّیْکَ، اِنَّالْحَمْدَ و النِّعْمَةَ لَکَ وَ الْمـُلْکَ، لا شَریکَ لَکَ.

Allah! I comply (and obey) you, again I comply to you, and one more time I obey you, there is no partner for you, I comply to you, solely you deserve all praise and grace and sovereignty are exclusive to you, there is no partner for you!”

It is better to abstain adding other expressions, except those that will be mentioned in Mustahab acts later.

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If the pilgrim cannot express these word with correct Arabic accent, it is enough that another person says them articulately for him/her and the pilgrim recites them after that person, and if he/she cannot pronounce correctly he/she should say as much as he/she can and express also its meaning as a precaution and a person who has the ability of pronouncing correctly, can say the words in behalf of that pilgrim, too.

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It is obligatory to say Labbayk during Ihram only once (in the way that mentioned before) and after that it is Mustahab to repeat that in different conditions as much as possible. E.g. while getting in and leaving a car, passing low and high lands, after awakening and after prayers It is better that men recite these words with a loud voice.

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It is obligatory that the pilgrim recites Labbayk when he/she sees the houses of Mecca during Ihram of Umrah al-Tamattu’, and at the noon of the day of Arafa during Ihram of Hajj, and at the time of seeing Kaa’ba in Umrah al-Mufradah. If the pilgrim has gone out of Mecca for Ihram, and if he/she is coming to Mecca from out of the city should stop and say Labbayk when he/she is entering the region of Haram.

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A pilgrim that is unable to speak, can point with his/her hand instead of saying “Labbayk” and moves his/her tongue as normal and it is better that another person says Labbayk in behalf of that pilgrim, but it is not obligatory.

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Children also can become Muhrim for Umrah or Hajj, and if they can distinguish between good and evil they can say “Labbayk” with the intention (Niyyah), and if they do cannot differentiate, then a person makes the intention and says Labbayk on behalf of them .Whenever a person is unconscious in Miqat, it is possible to make the intention and say Labbayk on behalf of him/her.

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Twenty-five acts, which are Haraam for Muhrim, are not Haraam for him/her before saying “Labbayk” even if he/she has made the intention and has worn the clothing of Ihram. Therefore, there is no punishment if the pilgrim performs one of the acts that are Haraam for Muhrim before saying Labbayk; in fact, “Labbayk” is like “Allahu Akbar” at the beginning of the prayer that a Muhrim does not enter the state of prayer before saying that, and whenever a pilgrim has doubt that if he/she has said “Labbayk” or not, nothing is also Haraam for him from the prohibited acts of a Muhrim.

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Whenever a pilgrim is in Miqat and has doubt that if he/she has said Labbayk or not, then he/she should say the Labbayk. And if he/she has passed Miqat then he/she can return to Miqat and say it as a precaution. If it is not possible to return, then he/she should say it in that place, but if the pilgrim do not know that if he/she has said Labbayk correctly or not, then he/she should consider it as correct and his/her Ihram is correct.

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Third: Wearing Ihram Clothing

It is obligatory for a person who wants to wear Ihram, to remove all clothes which are Haraam for Muhrim, and then wear the two clothes of Ihram. Wrap one of them around the waist (that is called “Izar”) and put another one on the shoulder like Aba (that is called “Rida’”); this ruling is exclusive to men and it is not necessary for women to wear these two parts of clothing beneath or over their own clothes.

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It is an obligatory precaution that clothing of Ihram and the way of wearing be as it is common. This means that the pilgrim should wrap the loincloth (Izar) in the way that at least it covers the body from the belly to the knees and puts Rida’ on the shoulder in a way that it covers the rest of the body. There is no condition about the quality or color of the Ihram clothing, but it should not be sewn.

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It is an obligatory precaution to wear Ihram clothing before making intention and saying Labbayk.

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It is an obligatory precaution not to tie a loincloth around the neck (but tying it around the waist has no problem) and the best way is to tie a belt over the Izar.

Tying two sides of Rida’, also fastening that by a pin, or putting a piece of stone in one side and fastening that to the other side with a string (as it is common among some of Hajjis) is no problem, although it is better to renounce these acts.

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If a pilgrim wears Ihram while he/she has a shirt or other common cloth on because of ignorance or forgetfulness, then his/her Ihram is correct, but he/she should immediately remove that cloth and wear only Ihram clothing, and if this act has been performed deliberately, then after removing the clothes it is a precaution to make the intention and say Labbayk again.

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Whenever a pilgrim puts on a shirt after wearing Ihram clothing because of ignorance or forgetfulness, then he/she should remove that cloth from the bottom and if it is not possible he/she should tear the clothe and remove it.

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It is not obligatory to have Ihram clothing on all the time and the pilgrim can remove that for washing or changing or any other purposes.

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Whenever a pilgrim is ill and cannot take off his/her common clothes in Miqat, it is enough to make the intention of Ihram and say Labbayk, and if it is possible for him/her to remove his/her common clothes temporarily he/she should do it and wear Ihram clothing. And after that if it is not possible to continue with that clothing he/she can wear his/her common clothes, and if this act was not possible in Miqat and after a while his/her health conditions got better for wearing Ihram clothing, it is an obligatory precaution to return to Miqat (if he/she can) and wears Ihram again, but if it was not possible to return to Miqat he/she should change the clothes in that place, but renewing Ihram is not necessary.

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Wearing more than two parts of Ihram clothing for preventing from cold or heat or other than that has no problem.

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All things, which are the conditions of prayer clothing, are also the conditions of Ihram clothing, therefore Ihram clothing should be clean and not being from the parts of Haraam-meat animals or pure silk or interwoven with gold (there is no difference between men and women in this ruling as obligatory precaution, although men and women have difference in the matter of wearing silk and gold-interwoven fabrics during prayer).

The cases that impurity (being Najis) of the clothing for prayer has been forgiven, also implies on Ihram clothing.

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Izar loincloth should not be see-through and it is a precaution that Rida’ should be either in this way.

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Whenever the Ihram clothing becomes Najis, the pilgrim should wash that, and if it is not possible he will do it whenever it is possible (If Rida’ becomes Najis the pilgrim can remove it temporarily).