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Ihram (Arabic: إِحْرَام‎, romanizediḥrām, from the triconsonantal root Ḥ-R-M) is, in Islam, a sacred state which a Muslim must enter in order to perform the major pilgrimage (Ḥajj) or the minor pilgrimage (ʿUmrah). A pilgrim must enter into this state before crossing the pilgrimage boundary, known as Mīqāt, by performing the cleansing rituals and wearing the prescribed attire.


A man in the state of ihram must not tie any knots or wear any stitched items. Sandals and flip flops must not be stitched either and should allow the ankle and back of foot to be exposed (some other schools of thought also agree that the front of the foot must be shown as well). Whilst in the state of ihram, a Muslim must not use any scents on the body or on the robes. If the robe has been fouled by najas (نَجَس dirty) material or has been wiped, rubbed or touched by scented liquids (intentionally), then a new iḥrām clothing must be worn, or the Umrah or Hajj will be invalid. During ihram, women must have their faces uncovered; they are forbidden to wear the Burqa or Niqab. However, the Hijab or Dupatta is obligatory.[1]

Behaviour and cleanliness[edit]

Aside from being as clean (purified) as they are for prayer, male Muslims are expected to refrain from cutting their nails, and trimming their hair and beards. They must also not wear any scent, including deodorant. They have to wear ihram clothing, which is a white, seamless garment. Many also shave their head as this is considered hygienic. Most will wait to shave their heads until after they have finished Umrah or Hajj, as this is a requirement to leave the state of ihram. Female Muslims are also expected to be clean. During the pilgrimage, sexual activity, smoking, and swearing are also forbidden.[2]

Other forbidden activities include killing animals, using profane language, quarreling or fighting, and taking oaths, in addition to any other regularly prohibited acts. Males should also refrain from looking at women. Women must exercise strict modesty in their appearance and should not apply make-up, perfume or any other cosmetics.

Also, Muslims are not allowed to use scented soap. Unscented soap is available for pilgrims during hajj. All flirtatious, arrogant and rude thoughts are to be put aside, as well as day-to-day life. Muslims must forget about studies, business and relationships, and focus on God.

When flying[edit]

A sign detailing departing flights, as well as indicating the location of a dedicated ihram room in Queen Alia international airport, Amman, Jordan

When flying on pilgrimage, appropriate measures are usually taken to assure that the pilgrim will be in the state of ihram when flying above or alongside the stations of miqat.[3] For this reason some airports in Muslim areas have dedicated ihram rooms where pilgrims can change into the necessary clothing. If flying with an airline originating from a Muslim majority country, airline staff announce to be in the state of 'ihram' before entering in the boundaries of "Miqat".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Muslim Woman - Rulings that apply only to women during Hajj - islamqa.info". islamqa.info.
  2. ^ "Ihram". hajjumrahplanner.com.
  3. ^ al-Ghazali, Salih. "The point of Ihram for air travelers". The message of Islam. Archived from the original on 2016-08-11.


External links[edit]

  1. ^ "Knowledge Corner". Pilgrim Knowledge. Retrieved 2021-10-24.