What Are the Rulings of Ihram?

Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Question: Asslamu Alaykum

I want to know about the rulings of ihram according to the Sunnah, for example, what can you wear under it? Can you please cover them?

Answer: Wa ‘alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

Thank you for your question.

A State of Sanctity

Strictly speaking, the Ihram is a state one enters into to demonstrate one’s veneration for the Sacred Precinct (Ḥaram) around Mecca. One may not pass the boundary delineated by by the Landmarks (Miqāt, pl. Mawāqīt) except in a state of Ihram if one is intending to enter Mecca. If one intends to go to a place within this boundary, he may pass without an ihram, and then later enter Mecca without an ihram.

Conditions for the validity of an Ihram

1. That one be a Muslim.

2. Intention: one must intend either a Hajj, ʿUmra or a combination of the two when passing the Miqāt.

3. Recitation of the talbiya (Labbayk Allahumma labbayk…) or any other form of remembrance that venerates Allah. The intention combined with the talbiya puts one in a state of ihram.

4. One must refrain from sexual intercourse and all forms of foreplay before standing at ʿArafa during Hajj, and before the first circling of the Kaʿba (tawaf) during an ʿumra, otherwise, its validity will be vitiated.

The Sunnas of Ihram

1. One should have a bath, or perform wudu if a bath is not possible, because the Messenger of Allah bathed before entering ihram (Tirmidhi) and told others to do so to (Muslim).

2. Wearing a wraparound (Izār / lungi) and and cloak (ridāʾ). Sewn garments should be avoided unless they are worn in an unconventional manner.

3. Performing two units of prayer.

4. Reciting the talbiya out loud thrice and then frequently on one’s journey when going over a hill, descending a valley, after prayers, and in any possible situation.

Some Recommended Actions

1. Removing unwanted bodily hair, clipping one’s nails, combing one’s hair and applying perfume. It is superior to apply it only to one’s clothes to avoid a difference of opinion (Radd al-Muhtar).

2. Wearing two new or washed white cloths.

3. Wearing sandals which do not cover the front of the foot where shoelaces are usually tied.

4. Making a verbal intention.

5. Making one’s intention immediately after the prayer.
(Abul-Hajj, Ṣalaḥ, al-Jamiʿ fi ahkam al-siyam, wa al-iʿtikaf wa al-hajj wa al-umra).

It’s advisable to study the rulings of Hajj and Umra well before setting off in order to ensure their validity. Some people neglect this and end up confused, or making costly mistakes.

May Allah grant you the best of both worlds.

[Shaykh] Abdul-Rahim Reasat

Shaykh Abdul-Rahim Reasat began his studies in Arabic Grammar and Morphology in 2005. After graduating with a degree in English and History he moved to Damascus in 2007 to study and sit at the feet of some of the most erudite scholars of our time.

Over the following eighteen months he studied a traditional curriculum, studying with scholars such as Shaykh Adnan Darwish, Shaykh Abdurrahman Arjan, Shaykh Hussain Darwish and Shaykh Muhammad Darwish.

In late 2008 he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continued his studies for the next six years, in Fiqh, Usul al-Fiqh, Theology, Hadith Methodology and Commentary, Shama’il, and Logic with teachers such as Dr Ashraf Muneeb, Dr Salah Abu’l-Hajj, Dr Hamza al-Bakri, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, Dr Mansur Abu Zina amongst others. He was also given two licences of mastery in the science of Qur’anic recital by Shakh Samir Jabr and Shaykh Yahya Qandil.

His true passion, however, arose in the presence of Shaykh Ali Hani, considered by many to be one of the foremost tafsir scholars of our time who provided him with the keys to the vast knowledge of the Quran. With Shaykh Ali, he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Qur’anic Sciences, Tafsir, Arabic Grammar, and Rhetoric.

When he finally left Jordan for the UK in 2014, Shaykh Ali gave him his distinct blessing and still recommends students in the UK to seek out Shaykh Abdul-Rahim for Quranic studies. Since his return he has trained as a therapist and has helped a number of people overcome emotional and psychosomatic issues. He is a keen promoter of emotional and mental health.