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In this article the procedure to wear Ihram and to perform the rites of Umrah are presented in a simplified way. Also included is the procedure to visit the Holy Prophet (pbuh)’s Tomb and his Mosque.
The literal meaning of Ihram is to make haraam (forbidden). When a haji pronounces the Niyyah (intention) of Umrah and utters Talbiyah, certain halaal (permissible) things become haraam for him. This combined action (Niyyah and Talbiyah) is called Ihram. The two sheets that a haji wears are figuratively known as Ihram but the real Ihram is Niyyah & Talbiyah. If someone wears these two sheets and does not declare his intention and utter Talbiyah, he does not become a Muhrim. That is why, before Niyyah and Talbiyah, he can cover his head during two rakahs of Nafl, an act which is not allowed in the real state of Ihram.
Preparations for Ihram – Comb your hair, shape the beard, trim your mustache, cut your nails, and remove unwanted body hair.
Purification – Take a bath with the intention of Ihram otherwise do wudu. Here it is noted that there are two ways of purification :
Purification of the body, shower or wudu.
Internal purification, sincere repentance on your sins. Say something like this: “O Allah, I sincerely repent on my sins and seek your forgiveness.”
Ihram Sheets – Men should wear a sheet of white cloth around the waist and cover the upper body with the other sheet. Women’s ordinary clothes are their Ihram. Both should wear the flip-flops (hawai chappal) so that the middle bones of the upper part of the feet are not covered.
Nafl Salah – If it is not makruh (undesirable) time, offer two rakahs of nafl for Ihram by covering your heads.
Advice – If going to Jeddah by an airplane, it is convenient to get into the status of Ihram inside the plane. Here is what you do. Do everything at home or at the airport except Niyyah (intention) and Talbiyah. Have your shower, pray two rakahs of nafl but you are still not in the status of ihram because you haven’t done the main thing yet, i.e., intention and Talbiyah which is done at or before the boundary line called Miqat.Go to the airplane and sit down with the white sheets on. In a Hajj flight when you are close to Miqat, the pilot will announce that this is the border line to make your intention and to say Talbiyah. Those who did not change their clothes before should do so now although it is not convenient inside the plane.
Please note that:
It is a good idea to ask at the time of boarding if the arrival of Miqat will be announced by the pilot. If not, make your intention and say Talbiyah on your own approximately one hour before you reach Jeddah.
If you are flying with a group, follow the instructions of the group leader.
Intention and Talbiyah – Now uncover your head and declare your intention. It is assumed that you are performing Hajj al-Tammat’u in which Umrah is performed first as described later in the “Kinds of Hajj”.”O Allah! I intend to perform Umrah. Please make it easy for me and accept it from me. Amen.”Immediately after that utter the words of Talbiyah three times and as often afterwards as possible. If you don’t remember it, you can say its translation in English or in any other language but Talbiah or its translation is pronounced in a loud voice by men and in a subdued voice by women.
Du’a – After this recite Darud Sharif and supplicate to Allah Almighty any du’a in Arabic or in your own language.
Prohibitions of Ihram – After intention and Talbiyah, you are in the status of Ihram and from this time on you should not do acts that are forbidden in Ihram ,
Must not do:
Cover head (men), cover face (women)
Cover the middle bone of the upper part of the feet (Both men and women)
Shave / cut hair
Wear stitched clothing (men) / (Women can wear their ordinary clothes)
Hunting / killing
Journey towards Makkah – When this sacred journey towards Makkah al-Mukarrama starts, recite Talbiyah frequently on the way. Then enter the city very humbly and with great fondness still reciting Talbiyah.After arranging for your residence, proceed to the Haram Sharif to perform Umrah.
How To Perform Umrah
The Rites of Umrah : The only Rites of Umrah are :
>>Entering the state of Ihram
>>Tawaf of Ka’bah
>>Sa’yee between the hills of Safa and Marwah
>>Shaving or clipping of the hair
Ihram For Umrah and Entering Masjid Al-Haram
Ihram – You should be already in Ihram for Umrah before entering Mecca as mentioned above.
Entering Masjid al-Haram – While reciting Talbiyah, enter Masjid al-Haram preferably through Bab as-Salam with right foot first. Supplicate to Allah and proceed towards Ka’bah. You may recite the following supplication which is usually used before entering a mosque : Allah huma aftah li abwabe rahmate ka
First Sight – At the first sight of Ka’bah, keep your eyes fixed at Baitullah and standing at one side, it is suggested that you do the following :
Say Allahu Akbar three times
Say La Ilaha Illallah three times
Proclaim Darud on our beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) and very humbly and with tears in your eyes supplicate to Allah for whatever you wish. This is a special time for the acceptance of prayers.
The idea is to praise and glorify your Creator before proclaiming Darud and supplications. Therefore, in lieu of Allahu Akbar and La Ilaha Illallah, you may recite some other similar holy verses if you so desire.