It is a widely held belief that Ihram is, the two white sheets or towels worn by the pilgrim. The two unstitched white cloth pieces worn by men are “the Ihram garments for men” and not the actual Ihram.
The word Ihram in the Arabic language means ‘entering into a state of prohibition.’
In the Fiqh terminology, Ihram of Hajj and Umrah is the intention of the Hajj and ‘Umrah by which a person enters the state in which certain things become forbidden on him or her.
Three states of prohibition
The first state is for both men and women
- Depilatory of hair from the head or any part of the body in any manner. For this, most women apply hair oil and kneed their hair into fine braid so the need to comb hair is excluded in state of Ihram. One can also wear hair band to preclude hair from getting messy.
- Cutting finger and toenails.
- Using perfume on either the body or clothing is verboten. Unscented soap, shampoo, and sanitizers are available in market.
- Sexual intercourse.
- Hunting or assisting in hunting. Killing head lice too.
- Wearing gloves.
The second state of prohibition for men only
- Covering the head with something that remains on it (like a cap for example).
- Wearing sewn clothing such as t-shirts. Using safety pins to fasten two white sheets or wearing undergarments is also not allowed.
The last state deals with women
Wearing a veil or face covering. Therefore, it is forbidden for a woman to wear the veil and gloves after crossing the Meeqat. However, she can buy the cap veil from Alamgir welfare store. The veil will not touch her face and she can easily cover her face.
To conclude, I humbly request women to not to spend on clothes a lot. It is not mandatory to buy new clothes under the banner of Ihram. Specifically, it is not obligatory to buy white clothes as your Ihram. Ihram is a state of prohibition and not white sheets and clothes. It is painful to see women wearing white thin clothes and apparently naked in Haram. You are visiting a holy place and Allah (swt) is the most worthy of our modesty and shyness. Choose such a clothing that covers your Satar completely (i.e. cover the body parts prescribed by Allah (swt)). Worldly talks, gossips are a big No! It is hard for a woman to abstain from talking; however, she can try to talk as less as possible. Hajj is a pious journey which can remove all your sins, so try to make the most of this opportunity.
May Allah (swt) bless all pilgrims Hajj e Mabroor (Hajj- that is accepted by Allah (swt)). And may He accept their deeds and struggle, by uplifting their faith and determination. Ameen.