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The Requirements Of The Accepted Hajj

By Editorial Staff

On their journey to Makkah, pilgrims hope and pray that their hajj (Pilgrimage to Makkah) will be accepted. They want to be rewarded, gain Paradise and the pleasure of Allah and to be saved from the Hellfire. To achieve this, they need to meet the requirements of Hajj.

What are the requirements for an accepted Hajj?

1. Sincerity

The pilgrim must have a purely sincere intention to observe this great pillar of Islam, Hajj, solely for the sake of Allah. This is the most important requirement which if not met, the Hajj will be invalid. Allah says,

“Though they were not commanded but to worship (One) God making the (practice of their) religion (pure and) sincere to Him (alone), being ever upright (of heart)” (Quran 98:5)

Observing Hajj for showing off invalidates it. On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: Allah (glorified and exalted be He) said: I am so self-sufficient that I am in no need of having an associate. Thus he who does an action for someone else’s sake as well as Mine will have that action renounced by Me to him whom he associated with Me. (Muslim)

2. Giving people their due rights

If the pilgrim succeeds in keeping away from bad manners, they will be back home with no sin at all.

The pilgrim must hasten to give people their rights back. This includes the redress of past injustices, paying off debts, etc. Although Hajj is one of the greatest means of forgiveness of sins, the other sins related to people’s rights require their pardon first to be forgiven.

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Whoever has wronged his brother, should ask for his pardon (before his death), as (in the Hereafter) there will be neither a Dinar nor a Dirham. (He should secure pardon in this life) before some of his good deeds are taken and paid to his brother, or, if he has done no good deeds, some of the bad deeds of his brother are taken to be loaded on him (in the Hereafter). (Al-Bukhari)

It is also highly recommended to seek the pardon of family members, relatives, friends and other people for anything the pilgrim may have done and made them angry.

3. Taking provisions for the journey

The pilgrim should have enough food or enough money to be able to buy food, drink, clothes and other things necessary for the journey.

Narrated Ibn `Abbas: The people of Yemen used to come for Hajj and used not to bring enough provisions with them and used to say that they depend on Allah. On their arrival in Medina they used to beg the people, and so Allah revealed,

“Moreover, take with you your (own) provisions and, indeed, the best provision is to be ever God-fearing. (Quran 2:197).” (Al-Bukhari)

4. Having lawful money

For Hajj to be accepted and for du’aa (supplication) to be answered, the pilgrim’s money must be earned lawfully.

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “O people! Allah is Pure and, therefore, accepts only that which is pure. Allah has commanded the believers as He has commanded His Messengers by saying:

‘O Messengers! Eat of the good things, and do good deeds.’ (Quran 23:51) And He said:

‘O you who believe (in the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism)! Eat of the lawful things that We have provided you…”‘ ( Quran 2:172).

Then he (ﷺ) made a mention of the person who travels for a long period of time, his hair are dishevelled and covered with dust. He lifts his hand towards the sky and thus makes the supplication: ‘O Lord! O Lord!’ But his food is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, his clothes are unlawful and his nourishment is unlawful, how can, then his supplication be accepted?” (Muslim)

5. Travelling with a good company

It is recommended that the pilgrim travels in the company of the people of knowledge about the rites of Hajj. If he or she makes mistakes, forgets something or have no knowledge about a certain rite of the Hajj, they should be there for help. This is highly recommended especially for people observing Hajj for the first time because they are more liable to miss something or make mistakes.

6. Making a will

Making a will before setting off for Makkah is recommended.

Narrated `Abdullah bin `Umar: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “It is not permissible for any Muslim who has something to will to stay for two nights without having his last will and testament written and kept ready with him.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

7. A Mahram for a woman

A mahram for a woman is the male person who Allah made it unlawful for her to marry for good because they are related by blood such as a father or a son, breastfeeding or marriage such as her father-in-law.

For a woman to perform the Hajj, she has to travel in the company of her husband or a mahram of hers. As for a woman who has no mahram to accompany her, there are two opinions regarding whether she is allowed to treavel or not. Imam Al-Tirmidhi summarizes this issue as follows:

“Scholars hold different opinions concerning a woman who is wealthy enough to perform the Hajj but has no Mahram. Is the Hajj obligatory for her?

Some scholars are of the opinion that it is not obligatory for her to observe the Hajj. Allah says,

“Thus Hajj-Pilgrimage to the (Sacred) House (in Makkah) is owed to God, as an obligation upon all people who are able to attain a way to it. And as to those who disbelieve (this, know), then, (that) God is, indeed, self-sufficient, without (any need for any of His creation in) all the worlds.” (Quran 3:97)

Unless a woman has a mahram, then, she is not able to attain a way to it. This is the opinion of Sufyan Al-Thawri and the scholars of Kufa, a city in Iraq.

Other scholars hold the opinion that a woman who has no mahram may perform the Hajj only if the roads or the journey are safe and secure. She can set off with other people. This is the opinion of Malik ibn Anas and Imam Al-Shafi’i.”

8. Learning how to observe the Hajj

It is highly recommended for the person who wants to perform the Hajj to learn its rites and rulings so that he or she can perform it properly and make sure that the things that invalidate it are avoided. Moreover, the pilgrim will get the best of reward for both learning and performance. It happens that some people miss very essential elements of hajj such as Standing on ‘Arafat.

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Hajj Is a Shift Away from Racism and Towards Social Equality

Allah has created people to be different in their living; some are rich and some poor, some well-off, affluent and high-esteemed, and others indigent, miserable and astray in life.

That is great wisdom decreed by Allah so that people would exchange work, cooperate with one another, and use one another to achieve their requirements and needs: the rich person spends his money, and the poor person exerts his effort in labor for remuneration. In confirmation of that, Allah Almighty Says (what means):

“Do they distribute the Mercy of your Lord? It is We Who Have Apportioned among them their livelihood in the life of this world and Have Raised some of them above others in degrees [of rank] that they may make use of one another for service. But the Mercy of your Lord is better than whatever they accumulate.” (Quran 43:32)

Hajj as a shift against Racism:

Indeed, the most noble of you in the Sight of Allah is the most righteous of you.

Had the difference been limited to the exchange of benefits, it would have been good. But some rich people exalt themselves above the poor, and their arrogance produces hatred among the poor.

On the other hand, some poor people envy the rich, with the result that the rich boycott and neglect them; arrogance among some rich people versus hatred among some poor people, and haughtiness among some dignitaries versus envy among some of the common people.

In this way, the social classes of the same nation have mutual aversion to each other, cooperation disappears, bonds are undone, and production decreases.

A Remedy of Racism

The remedy of that disease lies in the religious acts of worship in general, and Hajj in particular, which has a practical healing and effective decisive medicine to put an end to haughtiness, and lay the foundation for equality between all people in the form of (putting on the same clothing of) Ihram, performing Tawaaf, Sa‘y, and so on.

In Hajj, no one could be distinguished from others with a particular uniform, clothing, appearance or adornment, because all of them are equal in their simple united appearance. That is indeed equality between individuals as well as between races and peoples, in compliance with what Allah Says (which means):

“O mankind, indeed We Have Created you from male and female and Made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the Sight of Allah is the most righteous of you.” (Quran 49:13)

Islamic views on piety:

Our Messenger, God bless him and grant him peace, said: “No Arab is superior to a non-Arab, nor a white-complexioned to a black-complexioned except by virtue of piety.”

Is Hajj then, from this point of view, worthy of the care of reformers, the concern of the sincere and the effort of the passionate?

We are all subject to our habits and governed by our traditions as a result of the house in which we live, the school in which we learn, and the environment surrounding us.

A lot of our customs and habits are bad and harmful, the majority of our traditions are invalid and superstitious, and the greater part of what we agree upon is false and ignorant. Worship, as they said, is a second disposition, and to be released from traditions is very difficult upon a lot of people.

When a reformer likes to straighten the crookedness of his nation, and push it towards the pathways of perfection, he encounters the rocks of habits and traditions. He may perish and die before changing his people from a familiar habit, given that “people are slaves of their traditions”.

Hajj comes to release the individual from his habitual customs, and change his familiar traditions. Hajj, in this way, enables the pilgrim to govern himself, control his deeds, give up bad customs, and come away from awful traditions to the immense field of piety, virtues and spiritual elevation.

That is because the pilgrim becomes a sovereign over his own self after having been a slave of his habits.
In confirmation of that, Allah Almighty Says (what means):

Hajj is [during] well-known months, so whoever has made Hajj obligatory upon himself therein [by entering the state of Ihram], there is [to be for him] no sexual relations and no disobedience and no disputing during Hajj. And whatever good you do – Allah Knows it.” (Quran 2:197)

The Messenger of Allah, God bless him and grant him peace, stated that Hajj brings the Muslim out of his sins, misdeeds, bad customs and habits, saying:

“Whoever performs Hajj during which he does not have sexual intercourse (with his wife) nor commit wickedness, will become (as sinless) as he was on the very day his mother gave birth to him.”

Is Hajj, in this sense, not worthy of the care of educationalists and psychologists?

What is worthier of care than a worship-based practical system that releases man from the slavery of loss, and joins him to (Allah) The Most Merciful with a strong bond of truthfulness, certainty and faith?

Countries allocate money to physical sports and military exercises, a system for which our youth in schools are preparing. Without doubt, sport is a source of strength, valor, courage and gallantry, and an important support pillar in the construction of the glory of the Ummah.

Islam was a forerunner in recognizing the virtue of sport, when it commanded people to learn racing, archery, horsemanship, swimming and sword fight to prepare for Jihaad in the way of security, truth and peace. It joined sport with acts of worship, so that the emotion and feeling would share with the heart in performing it. Thus, sport becomes a physical power and a spiritual worship which has its glorious benefits in this world, and its great reward in the Hereafter.

Source: britishhajtravel website with some modifications.

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All about the Ihram’s Locations for Hajj in Islam

By Dr. Salih Al-Fawzan

There are certain times for Hajj, and certain locations for entering the state of ihram.

First: The Fixed Times of Hajj

The times specified for Hajj are mentioned by Allah, Exalted be He, when He says:

“Hajj is [during} well-known months, so whoever has made Hajj obligatory upon himself therein [by entering the state of ihram, there is [to be for him] no sexual relations and no disobedience and no disputing during Hajj…” (Quran: Al-Baqarah: 197)

These months are: Shawwal, Dhul-Qa’dah, and the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. Therefore, anyone who enters the state of ihram in these months with the intention to perform Hajj must avoid offensive words and deeds which contradict the purity of that act of worship, and should also be preoccupied with good deeds and abide by piety.

Second: The Locations for Entering the State of Ihram

A Muslim should be aware of Miqats and never pass them without being in a state of ihram.

They are the specific places where a pilgrim must not exceed and head for Mecca without entering the state of ihram (a state of ritual consecration during Hajj or ‘Umrah) at them, declaring his intention to perform Hajj. These places were pointed out by the Prophet (peace be upon him) as mentioned in the narration of ‘Abdullah lbn ‘Abbas who said:

“Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) specified Dhul-Hulaifah (as a site for ihram) for the people of Medina, Al-Juhfah for the people of Ash-Sham(the Levant; the region covering Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine), Qarn Al-Manazil for the people of Najd, and Yalamlam for the people of Yemen, saying, ‘They are (sites for ihram) for those people and for any other people coming through them (i.e. those sites) with the intention of performing Hajj and ‘Umrah (Lesser Pilgrimage). And whoever is living within these boundaries can assume ihram from the place he starts from, and the people of Mecca can assume ihram from Mecca! ” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Moreover, Imam Muslim related on the authority of Jabir that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said; “. . The muhall (the site for entering the state of ihram) of the people of Iraq is Dhat- ‘Irq.” (Muslim)

The wisdom of setting such Miqats

The idea behind setting such miqats (the sites for entering the state of ihram) for Hajj is as follows: The House of Allah (the Ka’bah), being so glorified and honored by Allah, is fortified by Allah through Mecca and protected by the Sanctuary of Mecca which, in turn, is glorified by those miqats beyond which one cannot pass without being in the state of ihram as a sign of honor and glorification to the House of Allah.

Third: The Locations of Ihram

1. Dhul-Hulaifah (Abyar `Ali Mosque)

The farthest of these sites for entering ihram is Dhul-Hulaifah, a place southwest of Madinah and 18 km from its mosque. It is the miqat for the people coming from Madinah and beyond.

2. Al-Juhfah

As for the people of Ash-Sham (the Levant; the region covering Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine), Egypt and Morocco, the site for ihram is Al-Juhfah which is 187 km to the northwest of Makkah.

It was on the eastern coast of the Red Sea, but it has completely disappeared and Rabigh (to the north of Al-Juhfah) is used as the substitute for this miqat now.

3. Yalamlam

Yalamlam, 54 km to the south of Makkah. It is the miqat for those coming from Yemen and the pilgrims who pass by it.

4. Qarn Al-Manazil

The site for ihram (a state of ritual consecration during Hajj or ‘Umrah) for the people of Najd and the pilgrims who pass by it is Qarn Al-Manazil – now known as As-Sayl – which is 94 km to the east of Makkah.

5. Dhat-`Irq

As regards the people of Iraq and those of the East, the site for ihram is Dhat-‘ Irq which is 94 km to the northeast of Makkah.

These are the sites for entering ihram for the people of the aforesaid places and those passing through them with the intention of performing Hajj or “Umrah.

E-Da`wah Committee presents this map as an illustrated guide to explain the different places of Ihram.

The place of Ihram for the people of Makka (Mecca)

Regarding those who dwell in places that are nearer to Mecca than the aforementioned places, they assume ihram for Hajj or ” Umrah from their places. As mentioned above, the residents of Mecca, however, enter ihram for Hajj from their own residence, i.e. from places at Mecca itself; they do not have to get out of Mecca to assume ihram from there. However, when it comes to ‘ Ummh, they have to get out of Mecca to the nearest precincts wherefrom they can assume ihram.

As for those who do not pass by any of the aforesaid sites of ihram on their way to perform Hajj, they have to assume ihram once they know they are at the nearest place opposite to any of these sites.

Al-Bukhari related that ‘Umar Ibnul-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said to the people of Iraq:

“Make your site for ihram a place situated opposite to it (i.e. opposite to Qarn Al-Manazil, the place of ihram for the people of Najd) on your usual way.” (Al-Bukhari)

Fourth: How to Enter the State of Ihram while on a Plane?

Those who travel by plane should assume ihram once they know that they are parallel to any of the sites for ihram during the flight. However, they should be prepared before getting on board the plane by ritual bathing and cleaning. Afterwards, whenever the plane reaches a place that is parallel to any of the aforesaid sites for ihram, they should declare the intention of ihram and chant talbiyah in the plane.

It is impermissible for one to delay ihram until the plane lands in the airport of Jeddah as some pilgrims mistakenly do, as both Jeddah and Bahrah are not sites for ihram except for their own people or anyone who intends to perform Hajj or ‘Umrah while being there. Otherwise, it is impermissible to assume ihram from Jeddah, as it will be regarded as negligence of one of the rites of Hajj, namely assuming ihram from one of its decreed sites, and one in this case will be obliged to slaughter a sacrificial animal in expiation.

A common mistake

Here is a common mistake made by many people and it has to be pointed out; some people mistakenly believe that they have to take a ritual bath before assuming ihram, arguing that this is not possible while being in a plane and so on. Therefore, it is important to point out that ihram means declaring the intention to perform the rites of Hajj or ‘Umrah, avoiding the acts prohibited to be done while being in a state of ihram as much as possible. As for washing, wearing perfumes, and the like, they are acts of the Sunnah which a Muslim can do before getting on board the plane, and assuming ihram without observing them is permissible. So, a plane passenger can make the intention to assume ihram and recite talbiyah while being in his/her seat once the plane is over any of the known sites for ihram or just before it.

This is known by asking the pilots or the hostesses of the plane, or trying to find it out independently through investigation and estimation. Thus, one would have done ones utmost in this regard. However, if one does not care, it will be considered an inexcusable negligence and indifference regarding one of the prerequisites of Hajj and ‘Umrafi, namely ihram, which may invalidate them.

Fifth: What to Do if You Miss the Location of Ihram?

As for those who pass by their site of ihram without assuming it, they have to return to that site and assume ihram, for it is a manageable obligation that should never be neglected. So, if one does not go back and assume ihram from the right site – as some mistakenly do from Jeddah and the like – one in this case will be obliged to slaughter a sacrificial animal in expiation, i.e. to slaughter a sheep or to get one-seventh of a camel or one-seventh of a cow and divide it among the residents of the Sanctuary of Mecca, provided one (the pilgrim who sacrifices) should eat nothing from it.


In a nutshell, Muslims should take an interest in their religious matters so as to perform all acts of worship properly and perfectly as legally enjoined.

Among these religious matters is the ihram for Hajj and ‘Umrah; it has to be assumed from the sites for ihram specified by the Prophet (PBUH). Therefore, a Muslim should be aware of these sites and never pass them without being in a state of ihram.

The article is an excerpt from the author’s book “A Summary of Islamic Jurisprudence” with some modifications.

Dr. Salih Al-Fawzan is a Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence, Member of the Board of Senior Ulema & Member of the Permanent Committee for Fatwa and Research.

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How to Observe Ihram, the First Rite of Hajj?

By Dr. Salih Al-Fawzan

Definition of Ihram

Ihram (a state of ritual consecration during Hajj or ‘Umrah) is the first of the rites of Hajj, and it means the intention to start the rites. It is called ihram (which is derived from the Arabic word “haram“, i.e. forbidden or prohibited) because a pilgrim by assuming ihram prohibits himself from all the acts that have been permissible before being in this state, such as sexual intercourse, wearing perfume, clipping one’s fingernails, having one’s hair cut, or wearing certain kinds of clothes.

To illustrate, Shaykhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

“A man is not considered in a state of ihram once he intends, with his heart, to perform Hajj, for the intention is already in his heart since he has left his hometown (heading for Mecca). So, there must be specific words or deeds through which he becomes in a state of ihram.”[1]

The clothing of ihram reminds one of death, the shroud of dead people, and the Day of Resurrection, and so on.

Recommended deeds to be observed before Ihram:

1. Taking a ritual bath

The Prophet (PBUH) used to do so before assuming ihram[2].

This is also because bathing is a better and more comprehensive way of cleaning and ridding oneself of any undesired smell. Moreover, having a bath upon assuming ihram is also required for a woman in a state of postnatal bleeding or menstruation, for the Prophet (PBUH) commanded Asma Bint ‘Umays, who was in a state of confinement, to take a bath before assuming ihram as related by Imam Muslim[3]. He (PBUH) also commanded ‘A’ishah (his wife) to do the same though she was in her menstrual period[4].

The purpose of this is to clean the body, remove undesired smells and remove the impurity of menstruation or confinement.

2. Cleaning oneself perfectly well

It is desirable to clean oneself perfectly well, removing the hair which is legally enjoined to be removed, such as trimming the moustache, shaving the hair of the armpits, and shaving the pubic hair.

One should do this before assuming ihram because it will not be allowed when being in a state of ihram. Yet, removing such kinds of hair is not one of the prerequisites for ihram. In other words, if one does not need to trim or shave any of them, one is not obliged to do so; it is permissible to do so if needed.

3. Putting on perfume

It is desirable for a pilgrim to perfume oneself using whatever is available, such as musk, incense, rose-water, aloes, or the like, for ‘A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) reported:

“I used to scent Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) whenever he wanted to assume ihram and (also) on finishing ihram before circumambulating the House of Allah (i.e. before tawaf).”[5]

4. Wearing the ihram clothes

It is desirable for male pilgrims before ihram to take off all tailored or sewn clothes and wear something unstitched; the Prophet (PBUH) used to take off his tailored or sewn clothes and wear something unstitched – after taking a bath – to assume ihram[6]. So, a pilgrim should wear a white, clean unstitched loincloth wrapped round the lower part of the body, wrapping another sheet of white, clean, unstitched cloth round the upper part.Yet, it is permissible to replace the white color with any other color provided it is traditionally befitting men.

The wisdom of the ihram clothing

The idea behind this is to withdraw oneself from luxury and to have the feeling of a submissive servant of Allah through wearing such humble clothing.Moreover, such clothing always reminds one of being in a state of ihram, and thus one keeps alert and avoids committing the acts prohibited during ihram. The clothing of ihram reminds one of death, the shroud of dead people, and the Day of Resurrection, and so on and so forth. In addition, taking off sewn clothes before intending to assume ihram is an act of the Sunnah, but it is obligatory after assuming ihram. So, if a pilgrim intends assuming ihram while still wearing his ordinary sewn clothes, his ihram is considered valid, but he is then obliged to take such clothes off and put on the clothes of ihram.

By fulfilling the aforesaid prerequisites, a pilgrim is thus prepared to be in a state of ihram but such acts themselves are not called ihram as many people mistakenly believe; ihram means the intention of starting performing the rites of Hajj or ‘Umrah. Accordingly, a pilgrim is not considered in a state of ihram once he takes off his sewn clothes and wears the aforementioned clothing of ihram without having the intention of starting performing the rites of Rajj or ‘Umrah. This is because the Prophet (PBUH) said:

“Indeed, (the correctness and rewards of) deeds depend upon intentions…” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

The legal ruling concerning observing prayer before ihram:

As for praying before assuming ihram, the more valid opinion is that there is not a special kind of prayer to be offered before Ihram. However, if the time of ihram coincides with an obligatory prayer, then a pilgrim is to perform the obligatory prayer first then assume ihram. To illustrate, it was narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) assumed ihram immediately following performing (an obligatory) prayer[7]. Moreover, Anas reported that the Prophet (PBUH) performed the Dhuhr (Noon) Prayer then rode his mount beast[8], and when he came to the hill of Al-Bayda’ he raised his voice with talbiyah. The great Muslim scholar Ibnul-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him), said:

“It was never reported that the Prophet (PBUH) specified performing two rak’ahs (units of prayer)for assuming ihram; what was reported is that he performed the obligatory Dhuhr (Noon) Prayer before it.”[9]

A common mistake

It is important here to draw the attention of pilgrims to a very important matter; many pilgrims mistakenly believe that they have to assume ihram from the mosque in the site for ihram for them. As a result, many pilgrims, males and females, hurry to such mosques, overcrowding them, to start assuming ihram from there. They may also change their clothes there and wear the clothing of ihram while in fact all such issues are, by all means, baseless. Rather, Muslims are just required to assume ihram from the proper site for ihram for them, not specifically from the mosques therein.

They can assume ihram anywhere in such sites, and there is no specific place in a certain site from which a pilgrim is obliged to assume ihram. That is to say, pilgrims can assume ihram wherever is appropriate for them in their site for ihram, and this makes it easier for them and their fellows. This also spares pilgrims being exposed before one another or being jammed in certain places.

We would like to point out that those mosques in the sites for ihram were not there during the lifetime of the Prophet (PBUH), and that they were not built for the purpose of assuming ihram. However, they were built for the inhabitants of and around such places to perform prayer therein. This is very important to bear in mind, and may Allah grant us all success.

The three kinds of ihram:

A pilgrim is free to choose either the three kinds of ihram, namely tamattu’, ifrad, and qiran:


It means that a pilgrim assumes ihram for performing ‘Umrah during the months of Hajj, and then, after performing ‘Umrah, a pilgrim assumes ihram for performing Hajj in the same season.


It means that a pilgrim assumes ihram for performing Hajj only, keeping in the state of ihram until he finishes performing the rites of Hajj.


It means that a pilgrim assumes ihram for performing both ‘Umrah and Hajj together, or to assume ihram for ‘Umrah then, before starting the tawaf (circumambulating the Ka’bah) for ‘Umrah, a pilgrim intends performing both ‘Umrah and Hajj either from the miqat or before the tawaf of ‘Umrah. In this case, a pilgrim is to perform both tawaf and sa ‘y (going between Al-Safa and Al-Marwah) for both.

It is important to point out that a pilgrim who intends tamattu’ or qiran is obliged to slaughter a sacrificial animal if he is not a resident of Mecca. We should also know that the best of the aforesaid three ways of ihram is tamattu’ for various legal proofs.

Once a pilgrim assumes ihram in any of the aforesaid three ways, he is to chant talbiyah, saying; “Here I am at Your service, O Allah, here l am at Your service. Here I am at Your service, You have no partner, here I am at Your service. Verily, all praise, blessings, and dominion are Yours, You have no partner”

A pilgrim should raise his voice with talbiyah, saying it repeatedly.

[1] See: Majmu’ul-Fatawa (26/22, 108].

[2] Al-Tirmidhi (830) [3/192]

[3] Muslim (2900) (4/371] and (2941) [4/404].

[4] Muslim {2929) [4/392].

[5] Al-Bukhari (1539) [3/499] and Muslim (2818) [4/337).

[6] Al-Tirmidhi (830) [3/193].

[7] Al-Tirmidhi (819) [3/182) and Al-Nasa’i (2753) [3/176].

[8] Abu Dawud (1774) [2/258] and Al-Nasa’i (2661) [3/136].

[9] See: Zad al-Ma’ad.

The article is an excerpt from the author’s book “A Summary of Islamic Jurisprudence” with some modifications.

Dr. Salih Al-Fawzan is a Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence, Member of the Board of Senior Ulema & Member of the Permanent Committee for Fatwa and Research.

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The Prohibited Acts of Ihram for Hajj or Umrah

By Editorial Staff

After setting off to Makkah (Mecca), the pilgrim carries out the first rite of pilgrimage, namely, ihram, which is a state of ritual consecration. There are certain places just outside Makkah called the miqats (entry stations to the Hajj or ‘Umrah), where the pilgrim must not exceed without being in a state of Ihram. You can take a ritual bath there and put on the ihram (the special plain clothing worn by Muslims on pilgrimage). In case it is not easy to do that at the miqat because you are travelling by plane, you can do that at home or before boarding the plane. The next step which must be done at the miqat is to make the intention for Hajj or ‘Umrah and begin reciting the Talbiyah.

Here I am at Your service, O Allah, here I am at your service! Here I am at your service!  You have no partner. Here I am at your service. All praise and blessings belong to you. All dominion is yours and You have no partner.

Once you have done this, you have to observe the regulations of Ihram.

Prohibited acts during ihram:

1. Men may not wear clothes with stitching or anything else made exactly to fit a part of the body

This includes trousers (except in case of necessity), shirts, socks, gloves, etc. The male pilgrims are also prohibited to cover their heads with anything that touches the head such as turbans, hats, caps, etc.

Ibn ‘Umar (RAA) narrated, ‘The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) was asked about what the person who is in a state of Ihram (Muhrim) should wear. He answered, “A person in the state of Ihram is not allowed to wear a sewn shirt, a turban, trousers, a hooded cloak, shoes or sewn slippers (Khuff), unless one is unable to find unsewn slippers, then he may wear his Khuff or shoes provided one cuts them below the ankles, and you must not wear clothing that has been dyed with sweet smelling fragrance (such as saffron and wars (a dye plant)).” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

In case one forgets to buy the ihram clothing and he is on a plane, he can take off his clothes except for the trousers. He can get one when he arrives at Makkah.

Narrated Ibn `Abbas:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Whoever cannot get an Izar (the lower garment) can wear trousers, and whoever cannot wear sandals can wear Khuffs (socks made from thick fabric or leather).” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

As for women in a state of ihram, they must wear the clothes that covers the body except for the face and hands. Narrated Abdullah ibn ‘Umar:

The Ptophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “A woman in the state of Ihram may not wear a niqab or gloves.” (Al-Bukhari)

However, they are allowed to cover their face especially in presence of men. Narrated Aisha, Ummul Mu’minin:

Riders would pass us when we accompanied the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) while we were in the sacred state (wearing ihram). When they came by us, one of us would let down her outer garment from her head over her face, and when they had passed on, we would uncover our faces. (Imam Ahmad and Abu Dawud)

Although this chain of narration of this hadith is not authentic, there is another narration related by ‘A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that supports this hadith to become authentic.

2. Putting on perfumes

After taking a bath, the pilgrim is recommended to put on perfume provided that this is done before making the intention or reciting the Talbiyah. Once a person has recited the Talbiyah, they may not put on perfumes any more. Although washing the head or taking a bath is allowed, using scented soap is not. ‘A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) reported:

“I used to scent Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) whenever he wanted to assume ihram and (also) on finishing ihram before circumambulating the House of Allah (i.e. before tawaf).  (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

In another hadith related by Al-Bukhary and Muslim, The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) commanded a man who was scented with perfume while in a state of ihram to wash the perfume off his body thrice. To reconcile these apparently contradictory hadiths, scholars interpret the perfume in the latter hadith to be of certain kinds called saffron and wars (a dye plant)

3. Marriage, proposals and marital relations

A person in a state of ihram is not allowed to marry, propose, have sexual intercourse, touch his or her spouse lustfully or speak about these things. Allah says,

The (time-frame of the) Hajj-Pilgrimage falls within the well-known months (at the end of the lunar year). So whoever determines to undertake the Hajj-Pilgrimage therein, then there shall be no sexual relations (rafath), nor ungodliness, nor disputation, during the Hajj-Pilgrimage. (Quran 2:197)

The word “rafath” here is general enough to include sexual relations and what leads to it such as fondling or kissing.

‘Uthman bin ’Affan (RAA) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

“A Muhrim (one in the state of Ihram) must neither marry himself, nor arrange the marriage of another one, nor should he make the proposal of marriage. (Muslim)

4. Using swear words and disputations

According to the above mentioned verse of the Quran, the pilgrim should not use swear words, fight or does anything that may be described as ungodly. Moreover, disputation is also not allowed except in cases of enjoining what is right and forbidding what is evil. However, this should also be done gently, wisely and with good admonition. Arguing with others for the sake of teaching them is also encouraged provided that this is done gently.

5. Shaving or cutting one’s nails

The pilgrim may not shave or remove hair from the head or the body without a legal excuse. The same legal ruling applies to cutting one’s fingernails or toenails. Allah says,

Yet you shall not (ritually) shave your heads until the charitable-offering reaches its destination (for sacrifice). As to whoever among you becomes sick, or has an ailment of the head (that requires shaving,) then the due redemption is fasting, or (giving) charity, or a (charitable-offering of) sacrifice. (Quran 2:196)

The following hadith of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) further explains this verse of the Quran. Ka’b b. ‘Ujra (Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be, upon him) stood near him and lice were falling from his head. Thereupon he (the Holy Prophet) said:

Do these vermins trouble you? I said: Yes. Thereupon he said: Then shave your head; and it was in connection with me that this verse was revealed:

“As to whoever among you becomes sick, or has an ailment of the head (that requires shaving,) then the due redemption is fasting, or (giving) charity, or a (charitable-offering of) sacrifice.” (Quran 2:196)

He (the Holy Prophet, therefore) said to me: Observe fast for three days or give a quantity of alms enough to feed six needy persons or offer sacrifice (of an animal) that is available. (Muslim)

6. Killing or hunting anything

The person in a state of ihram may not hunt or help anyone who is hunting. Allah says,

O you who believe! Do not kill any game while you are in (the state of) pilgrim sanctity. And whoever among you kills any (game therein) deliberately, then the recompense (for him) shall be the like of what he has killed in (a charitable sacrifice of) cattle as two just men from among you shall so judge. It shall be (treated as) a charitable-offering (of sacrifice to God) brought to the Ka’bah (for the poor). Or, in atonement, (one shall offer its value in) food for the indigent (of the Sacred Precincts); or (one shall) render the equivalent of this (measure) in fasting so that he may taste the grievous consequences of his action. God has pardoned (of this) what has already passed. Yet whoever (willfully) repeats this (violation), then God will take vengeance on him. And God is overpowering, all-avenging (of evildoing). (Quran 5:95)

This state of Ihram continues till the pilgrim who performs hajj tamattu’ (performs the ‘Umrah separately before the Hajj) finishes the rites of the ‘Umrah. On the other hand, the person who is performing only the Hajj (ifrad) or combining the Hajj with the ‘Umrah (qiran) remains in the state of ihram till the 10th day of Dhul-hijjah.


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