What is Ihram?

Nasihah (Advice): Types of clothing a Muhrim (one in the state of Ihraam) is prohibited from wearing


Sayyiduna Abdullah bin `Umar Radiyallahu Anhu narrates that a man asked, “O Rasulullah ()! What kind of clothes should a Muhrim wear?” Rasulullah () replied, “He should not wear a shirt, nor a turban, nor trousers, nor a burnouse nor leather socks except if he cannot find suitable shoes; then he may wear leather socks after cutting off what might cover the ankles. And he should not wear clothes which are scented with Saffron or Wars (kinds of Perfumes).” (Bukhari)




Question and Answer


  1. What is Ihram?


  1. Ihram refers to the sacred state that a Muslim must enter in order to perform the rites of Hajj or Umrah.


Many people are of the misconception that Ihram refers to the two pieces of cloth one puts on during Hajj and Umrah. In reality, it refers to the sacred state one is required to enter into, in order to fulfil the rituals of Hajj and Umrah.


When a person enters the state of ihram, they must wear specific clothing. For men, this consists of two unstitched sheets of cloth – one wrapped around the waist, and the other draped over the shoulders. This clothing signifies the equality of all people before Allah, regardless of worldly status. Women will wear their normal modest clothing during ihram.


In the state of ihram, certain actions are prohibited, such as cutting hair or nails, wearing perfume, engaging in sexual activity, hunting, and arguing or fighting. These restrictions are meant to encourage a focus on spirituality and submission to Allah during the pilgrimage.


Ihram commences when the pilgrim makes the intention for Hajj or Umrah and recites the Talbiyah, saying “Labbayka Allahumma Labbayk …” (Here I am, O Allah, here I am at Your service …). (Hindiyyah 1: 222)


And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best


Mufti Moosa Salie

Mufti Taahir Hansa


(The answer hereby given is specifically based on the question asked and should be read together with the question asked. Islamic rulings on this Q&A newsletter are answered in accordance to the Hanafi Fiqh unless otherwise stated.) 


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