There are some important points which should be taken into consideration while selecting an Ihram as one wrong purchase can ruin your whole Hajj or Umrah. Women can preferably wear a loose, comfortable and modest Abaya of their liking with any clothes underneath but for men’s Ihram it is two sheets of white cloth one to be tied around waist and one to cover the upper part of the body. Selection of men’s Ihram needs due consideration:
Firstly, the purpose for which the Ihram is being bought should be kept in mind. For Hajj one needs a tough and strong material as it is going to be worn for 5 to 6 days and will be kept on while you are sleeping, eating, bathing, using washrooms, climbing mount Arafat and stoning with a large crowd of people. While for Umrah the need would be for a short time for circumambulation and Saee. For this one can consider a lightweight, comfortable and easy to wear material.
Secondly the time of the year in which the Holy journey is undertaken should also be taken into consideration. The weather which you are going to experience affects the choice of ihram. For Summer the material should be lightweight cotton, or a towel wrap to absorb sweating as Makkah is very hot during Summers (May- November). For the remaining year it is warm (December- April) in which the choice can be made accordingly again keeping in mind the purpose for which you are buying.
You also need to consider the dimensions according to your body size. The length of the lower piece should be long enough to cover around waist beginning above the belly button reaching below knees so it may cover your private parts while sitting, squatting, climbing and stepping onto buses.
Your skin conditions and/or allergies if any should also be taken into account and also how much your body sweats in Summer for which a lightweight towel ihram would be perfect rather than a cotton wrap.
And weight comes last but not the least, as a big, bulky, heavy weight Ihram is not only difficult to pack but also wearing and carrying it during your Hajj and Umrah will hinder the way to your comfortable and focused spiritual days.
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