Planning to perform Umrah? If yes, one of the most important things that you should be aware of is how to get into a state of Ihram because without entering the state of Ihram, you cannot enter Miqat which is the boundary around Makkah thatâ€™s present in all directions. Therefore, Pilgrims must take their direction of travel into consideration. For people who reside in Makkah itself, they are supposed to enter the state of Ihram from Tanâ€™eem that is right outside of Makkah where Masjid e Aisha (RA) is located.
Ihram is very commonly misunderstood as mere two white sheets of cloth that men are seen wearing while performing Umrah or Hajj. So what exactly is Ihram? The word â€˜Ihramâ€™ literally means to make forbidden or haraam. As soon a a Haji (pilgrim) declares his intention or Niyyah of Umrah and utters Talbiyah, certain permissible (halal) things become forbidden (haram) for him. This combined act of Niyyah and Talbiyah is known as Ihram. If someone simply wears the two white sheets without pronouncing his intention and uttering Talbiyah, he has not yet entered the state of Iham which is why he can still cover his head while offering two Rakahs of Nafil, something which isnâ€™t allowed when you have actually entered the state Ihram.
It is always good to revisit the steps of getting into a state of Ihram before you head for Umrah. Here is a step by step method to rightly get into a state of Ihram.
1- Preparations for Ihram: Cut your nails, remove unwanted body hair, trim your mustache, comb your hair and shape your beard.
2- Purification (Taharah): Make an intention of Ihram and take a bath. Otherwise, you can perform Wudhu. One thing to keep in mind here is that there are two aspects of purifying yourself:
Purifying your body by taking a shower or performing wudhu and second; internal purification is by sincerely apologizing for your sins. Make a prayer, â€œO Allah, I sincerely repent of my sins and seek your forgiveness.”
3- Ihram Sheets: Men should wear the two sheets of white cloth. One to cover the upper body and another sheet to cover the lower body. For women, the regular clothes that they wear are the Ihram. Both are expected to wear those flip flops so that the middle bones of the upper part of the feet remain exposed.
4- Offer Nafil Salah: If the time is not undesirable (Makruh), then offer 2 Rakahs of Nafil for Ihram and cover your head while you do so.
5- Advice: Are you travelling to Jeddah by airplane? Then the most convenient way to get into the state of Ihram is inside the plane. How do you do it? Keep everything done either at home or the airport apart from the intention (Niyyah) and Talbiyah. You can take a shower, offer two rakahs of Nafil but remember you still havenâ€™t entered the state of Ihram because you havenâ€™t pronounced your Niyyah and uttered the Talbiyah which needs to be done right before you cross the boundary line known as Miqat.
Now enter the plane wearing those 2 white sheets. Whatâ€™s good about the Hajj flight is that they make an announcement in the plane when they are close to Miqat so that you can declare your intention (niyyah) and utter the Talbiyah.
In case you are traveling with a group, obey the instructions of the group leader. It is always better to ask when you board, whether the arrival of Miqat will be announced because they usually donâ€™t when you are going for Umrah as it can be done all year round. In case itâ€™s not announced, you should make the intention and say the Talibiyah by yourself when there is almost an hour left to reach Jeddah.
6- Intention and Talbiyah: Next, you should uncover your head and make the Niyyah. Make your intention by saying,”O Allah! I intend to perform Umrah. Please make it easy for me and accept it from me. Amen.”
Right after this, say the words of Talbiyah three times and later on try to say it as often as possible. In case you donâ€™t know it by heart, you can even utter the translation in English or in your mother tongue. However, remember that Talbiah or its translation is uttered in a loud voice by men and in a low voice by women.
7- Du’a: After you are done with Niyyah and Talbiyah, recite Darud Sharif and keep supplicating to Allah any Dua in Arabic or even your own language.
8- Prohibitions of Ihram: When you have entered the state of Ihram, there are few things that are forbidden (haram) for you. Here is a list of few things that you should not be doing:
-Shaving or cutting hair
-Covering face for women and covering head for men
-Killing or hunting
-Wearing stitched clothes (for men)
-Covering the middle bone of the upper area of the feet (applicable to both men and women)
9- Journey towards Makkah: When your journey to the Holy city of Makkah begins, keep reciting the Talbiyah as often as you can. Enter the city with all the humility you have and love in your heart while reciting Talbiyah.
After heading towards the place you will be staying, proceed towards Makkah and perform Umrah!