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What is Ihram? Why it is important for Muslims in hajj?


The word Ihram is derived from the Arabic root word Harama which means 'declared sacred'. In Islamic terminology, it means the special dress code of the annual pilgrimage. Ihram also refers to a state of observing certain well-defined restrictions. The pilgrims, while putting on Ihram, strongly believe and know that they are now supposed to remain in a state of purity of body, mind, and soul.

They feel themselves very close to God since they know that they are submitting before His Supreme Will. This simple outfit ensures perfect simplicity, fraternity, and equality. The pilgrims, therefore, demonstrate their special regard for Ihram in multiple ways and on all occasions as long as they are in the state of the Ihram.

They start reciting Talbiah immediately after adopting Ihram. They cannot perform otherwise permissible intimate relations between spouses, take baths, hunt, or even kill ordinary insects, use any perfume, or wear any stitched garment. They observe all these prohibitions for at least two to three days. They try their best to become a symbol of mercy and comfort for all their fellows.

They make every effort to get as much closer to their Lord as possible by expressing utter submission before Him. Thus they depict this Quranic statement:

"...... the command is for none but God; He has commanded that you worship none but Him......"

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