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Umrah (part 2 of 2)

Description: An easy to follow guide outlining the essentials every new Muslim must know about the state of Ihram, a pillar for both Umrah and Hajj.

By Abdurrahman Murad (© 2013 NewMuslims.com)

Published on 19 Aug 2013 - Last modified on 14 May 2017

Printed: 255 - Emailed: 1 - Viewed: 5359 (daily average: 4)

Category: Lessons > Acts of Worship > Hajj


Objectives:

·       To learn the important factors that relate to the state of Ihram.

·       To avoid popular beliefs that are not substantiated with proof in Islam.

·       To perfect one’s Umrah through a keen sense of knowledge.

Arabic Terms

·       Umrah – A pilgrimage to the Holy House of Allah in the city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia.   Often referred to as the lesser pilgrimage.  It can be performed at any time of the year.

·       Miqat -  A station wherein one would put on the garments of Ihram and enter the state of Ihram.

·       Talbiyah – The proclamation  Muslims chant during the pilgrimage.

·       Mahdthoorat These are actions that are impermissible for the one who is in the state of Ihram.

·       Mubasharah – This is physical contact (skin to skin) with a woman.

·       Ihram – A state in which one is prohibited to practice certain deeds that are lawful at other times. It is necessary when performing the rites of Umrah and Hajj.

·       Kabah – The cube-shaped structure located in the city of Mecca.  It serves as a focal point towards which all Muslims face when praying.

·       Sa’ee – It is the walking and running between the hills of Safa and Marwa.

·       Tawaf – Circumambulation around the Kabah. It is done in seven circuits.

·       Rakah - unit of prayer.

In the previous lesson, we mentioned the conditions of Umrah and the procedure of how to perform it. As covered in part one, entering the state of Ihram is a pillar of this great ritual. Since it is a very essential part of the Umrah and Hajj experience, it is necessary to shed further light on the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ of this state.

Praiseworthy Practices

1.     It is preferable to take the ritual bath before entering the state of Ihram.

2.     Cutting the fingernails, shortening the mustache, and plucking/shaving armpit and pubic hair before entering the state of Ihram.

3.     Entering the state of Ihram after performing an obligatory prayer.[1]

4.     Saying the Talbiyah: ‘Labbaik Allaahumma labbaik… after entering the state of Ihram. Men should raise their voices while saying it and women can say it quietly to themselves.

Practices that should be avoided

Practices that should be avoided are referred to as ‘Mahdthoorat’ of Ihram. These actions are not lawful for one who is in the state of Ihram. They are divided into three categories; one specific to men, one specific to women and one that is relevant to both.

Prohibited for Men and Women during the state of Ihram:

1.     Cutting hair or shaving it from any part of the body.

2.     Clipping fingernails or toenails.

3.     Wearing perfume, regardless how subtle the scent.

4.     Hunting game animals.

5.     Consummating Marriage.

6.     Mubasharah (i.e. contacting a woman skin to skin) or doing a thing which may lead to it such as kissing or fondling.

7.     Sexual intercourse.

Specifically Prohibited for Men:

1.     Covering the head directly with a hat or a turban. Umbrellas or sitting in the shade of a vehicle or in a tent are allowed.

2.     Wearing sewn garments that are usually worn, such as under-pants, t-shirts and other similar articles of clothing.

Specifically Prohibited for Women:

A woman should not cover her face unless men pass by her. She can wear whatever she wants as long as it conforms to the Islamic dress code, and she should cover her hair and she should not wear gloves.

Doing the Mahdthoorat ignorantly

If someone does one of these ignorantly he is excused. Whoever does one of the above Mahdthoorat after entering the state of Ihram intentionally would have committed a sin, and would be required to fast three days or feed six poor/needy individuals.

Practices that are Lawful

1.     Taking a shower.

2.     Wearing a ring.

3.     Wearing a belt.

4.     Wearing sandals.

5.     Using an umbrella.

6.     Using a bandage.

7.     Riding a bus.

8.     Wearing a watch.

9.     Wearing sunglasses.

Unauthentic Practices

Due to the sheer number of people who come from all walks of life for the Umrah throughout the course of the year, it is important that one not give in to popular beliefs that may be carried by some. Islam is a religion of ease, not difficulty! Allah, the Exalted, says:

“And thus we have made you a just/moderate nation.” (Quran 2:143)

In light of this verse, we will mention here some odd beliefs carried by some. One should be watchful for them and not subscribe to them:

1.     Believing that you need a special pair of sandals for Umrah.

2.     Entering the state of Ihram before the Miqat station.

3.     Chanting Talbiyah in a unison voice with a group.

4.     Raising the hands, as done in prayer, when facing the Black Stone.

5.     Putting the right hand on the left hand during the Tawaf (circumambulation around the Kabah)

6.     Making a specific supplication at each of the corners of the Kabah.

7.     Kissing the Yemeni corner[2].

8.     Seeking blessings from the Kabah by wiping its walls with a cloth or with the garment of Ihram.

9.     Kissing and touching Maqam of Ibrahim (Station of Ibrahim).

10. Praying two rakahs after completing the Sa'ee.

It is important for a Muslim to always follow the example of our beloved Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, for success lies in that.



Footnotes:

[1] There is no specific prayer for the Ihram. The obligatory prayers are the five daily prayers a Muslim performs.

[2] While doing Tawaf the corner that comes before the Black Stone.

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