Al-Ihraam: Entering the sacred stage

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Al-Ihraam is a legal condition of every pilgrim to accertain their status of holiness. It is performed either for full pilgrimage (Hajj) or lesser pilgrimage (Umrah). The condition of Ihraam is a certain seclusion of Hajj devotees to abide by all necessary rites of Hajj and avoid the prohibited acts such as; killings via hunting, romances or kissing of opposite sex, foul talks, partaking in marriage affairs, cutting trees, fighting, cutting of fingers nails, hairs or mustaches or whatsoever, among other vices prohibited within the stipulated period, place or position.
Indeed, the specification of Ihraam is sacred clothes to be put on which follows by intention (Niyyah) aftermath of spiritual cleansing known as Ghuslu ( ritual bath). To be followed by ritual concentration in supplications. The said Ihraam is meant for both men and women with the man having specific garment of two clean and preferably two white pieces of cloth. The top part to cover ones body is called Rida, while lower part is referred to as Izar to cover waist down the leg. Their footwear must not cover the ankle nor should it be plastic or stitches leather materials. Other material is allowed and can be sandals, slippers or shoe.
For women, they were honoured and free to wear whatever that suit them both in nature and in colour preferably must be conform with Islamic code of dress. That is; it must not so tight to show shapes of their postures nor should be transparent by indicating inner wears and so on.
Meanwhile, to adopt the position of Ihraam there must be preparation for the following:
.Cutting of the nail fingers and toes nails if needed.
.Shaving hairs under your arms if needed
. Shaving of pubic hair if needed
. To shave and trim the moustache (leave the beard as it is)
.To perform the rituals bath( Ghuslu) as it is sunnah
. To apply perfume to head and beard (for men only). It should not be on the Ihraam cloth but rather on the body.
. Women are strictly forbidden to use perfume during the Ihraam.
Reference to these ethics is the hadith of Muslim narrated by Anas: five things are part of nature; to get circumcised, to remove the hair below ones navel, to trim moustaches and nails and removes the hairs under the armpit. (hadith 257).
The prophet (p.b.u.h.) set a period during which the mustaches and nails must be trimmed… He asked us not to leave them un attended to for more than forty days (258).
Oppose the polytheists, let your beards grow and trim your moustaches. (259),
At Miqat ( a place to take on Ihraam) would be another discussion later. All pilgrims are expected to take on the Ihraam at stipulated miqat or even before reaching the miqat base on the transportation conditions, otherwise, taking Ihraam after leaving the miqat is penalised with ram sacrifice (Al-Fidyah). Although, turning back to the place of miqat to put on the Ihraam can rectify the penalty.
Thereafter, the intention is pronounce by saying; Labayka Allahuma umrata meaning, Oh Allah here I am performing Umrah (lesser Hajj) or by saying Labayka Allahuma Hajjah meaning (Oh Allah here I am performing Hajj (Holy pilgrimage) for the devotee that is performing hajj only (Ifraad).
Meanwhile, if one is to perform the both together known as Hajj Qiran would say: Labayka Allahuma Umratn wa Hajja meaning Oh Allah here I am performing umrah and Hajj. The intention should be followed by special supplication of Talbiyah. That is, Labayka Allahuma Labayka , Labayka la sharika laka Labayka Inna li hamdah wa ni mata laka wa li mulik la Shari kalaka. To be chanted theall over by the pilgrims loudly except the women that are allowed to say it gently and in their lowest voices. It was at this junctions or stages of Ihraam that all rites of Hajj must be duely observed while the prohibited acts must be outrightly shunned contrary to that might lead to penalised with Al-Fidyah (ram sacrifice).
Prohibitions during IHRAAM
. Removing hair or cutting nails intensionally.
.Using perfume on the body or clothing, except what remains before putting on Ihraam.
. Hunting animals or supporting the one doing so.
. Cutting or uprooting any tree or green plants within the Hiram boundaries.
. Picking up anything dropped or lost by anyone unless to assist in finding the owner.
. Marrying, arranging or sending a proposal to any female attachments that lead to full marriage or sexual intercourse.
. Anything that stimulates desires or lead to marital intercourse is outrightly prohibited.
.Women are not permitted to wear gloves, a niqab or burqah.
. A man is not permitted to cover his head with cap, head covers or the Ihraam garments nor even turban is allowed.
. Any stitched garment is not allowed by men neither pants nor shoes with stitches, unless slippers.
Permissible during IHRAAM
.Using bandages to affected areas of the body.
. Cleaning or washing the Ihraam garments is allowed if one notice dirty on them.
.One can wear a wristwatch, ring, eyeglasses or even earphones.
. Unstitched belt or hand band.
.Carrying a necessary baggage on head is quite allowed.
. Shade oneself under umbrella, ceiling, tent or vehicle is permissible.
. Wearing unstitched shoes, sandal and the socks below the ankles also allowed.

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