The word Ihram literally means to enter into a state of purity and prohibition or to make something haram on ourselves. To enter into this state is the first condition if you are going for pilgrimage for which certain rituals are to be performed. Have a look:
Ghusl is the first ritual to be performed before wearing Ihram. It is known that Prophet Muhammad SAW performed ghusl before wearing Ihram. Ghusl is the term for main ablution in Islam, when the complete body is washed with clean water with declaration of the purpose. A person who is impure (junub) is forbidden from entering into mosque, perform his daily prayers, making pilgrimage in Ka’bah, touch or read Quran. Hence attaining purity by taking ghusl before wearing ihram is must however pilgrims are also permitted to bathe while in Ihram for the sake of hygiene or they can also change their Ihram with new or clean ones.
After performing ghusl one can apply fragrance or itar and should trim his/ her nails.
Next after attaining purity and wearing Ihram one should establish the intention (Neeyyah) to enter into the state of Ihram. Believers consider Neeyyah to be the most crucial part of every ritual prayer in in Islam.
As Umar Bin Al Khattab reported, the Prophet SAW said “The reward of deeds is based on the intentions of the performer and, everyone will get his reward in accordance with what he has intended. Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 54, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1907.
Neeyah refers to the intention for the act of worship which is solely for the Divine and it also differentiates whether the act is obligatory or supererogatory. Umrah neeyyut dua is important to be recited after wearing ihram.
One must make his intention for Ihram before crossing Miqat, which is the principal boundary where Umrah and Hajj performers adorn Ihram garments. Crossing Miqat without entering Ihram is considered unlawful and requires expiation.
When making the intention of Ihram, a pilgrim first needs to pray two Rakahs. Once this is done, the pilgrim must face Qiblah and say,
“O Allah, here I am to perform Umrah/Hajj. O Allah, I intend to perform Umrah/Hajj. O Allah, I intend to perform Umrah/Hajj, so accept it from me and make it easy for me.”
Men going for pilgrimage must recite Talbiyah loudly, while women should utter it in a low voice. Talbiyah is:
“O Allah, I obey your order. I obey you one time after the other. O god, I obey your order. You are the one who does not have any partner. I obey you one time after the other. You are the one who deserves to be praised and thanked. Every endowment is from you. You are the one attributed with dominion. There is no partner with you.”
One must also pray to Allah to raise the rank of the Prophet SAW (recite Durood Shareef) and should seek Divine acceptance of his deeds during pilgrimage and forgiveness for any mistakes and negligence during the journey. One should also pray for himself/herself and for his loved ones, dead or alive and also for the whole Muslim Ummah.
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