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Things Prohibited While in the State of Ihram

Place : Saudi Arabia / Riyadh / None / None /
Business Category : Hajj
date of publication : 1439/05/28
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Elements speech
1- What is Al-Ihram? 2- What is the wisdom behind it? 3- Things prohibited while in the state of Ihram. 4- Glorifying the rites and symbols of Allâh. 5- Avoiding sins and everything that can render one's Ihram defective.

First Sermon:


All praise is due and belongs to Allâh. We praise Him, seek His help and forgiveness and repent to Him. We seek refuge with Allâh from the evils of ourselves and from the wickedness of our own deeds. Whomever that Allâh guides, none can mislead him, and whomever He sends astray, none can guide. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship but Allâh alone with no partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.


( يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلاَ تَمُوتُنَّ إِلاَّ وَأَنتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ )

(O you who believe, fear Allâh as he should be feared and die not unless you are Muslims) [Al-Imran: 102]


( يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُواْ رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُم مِّن نَّفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالاً كَثِيرًا وَنِسَاء وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءلُونَ بِهِ وَالأَرْحَامَ إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيبًا )

(O people fear your Lord, who created you from a single soul. From it, He created its spouse, and from both of them scattered many men and women. Fear Allâh, by whom you ask one another, and (fear) the wombs (lest you sever its relationship). Allâh is ever watching over you). [An-Nisa: 1].


( يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلًا سَدِيدًا * يُصْلِحْ لَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَمَن يُطِعْ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا )

(O you, who believe, fear Allâh and say sound statements. He will mend your deeds for you and forgive your sins. Whosoever obeys Allâh and His Messenger shall win a great victory) [Al-Ahzab: 70-71].

Slaves of Allâh! If Hajj (pilgrimage to the House of Allâh in Makkah) is a fundamental pillar of Islam, then Ihram is the first activity of this pillar. Come on let us know what Ihram is.


We say that Ihram in Arabic language is the act of entering into a state of sanctity    . The Arabs do say that a man enters into the sanctity of Covenant or Charter; when all that was lawful to him, becomes forbidden. So, when someone enters into the state of Ihram, he must avoid the things that were permissible for him before entering into the state of Ihram.


In the Islamic Law, Ihram is the intention to engage in the rituals, owing to the saying of the Messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him): « Actions are to be judged only by intentions and a man will have only what he intended» (Agreed upon).


Moreover, it is known that the place of intention is the heart. Hence, there is no need to pronounce it, but for one who intends to perform these rituals of Hajj or Umrah he should say: O Allâh, I am at Your service for Hajj or Umrah …


O Muslims! Ihram has been prescribed for great wisdoms, including the following:

First: It is a reminder of death and the fact that one must depart this life someday. How similar is the Ihram garment to the shroud of the dead. It is two pieces used to wrap the body and they are not sewn nor worn in the way clothes are worn. So, the person in the state of Ihram should call to the mind that he wears clothes similar to the clothes of the dead, and therefore he must avoid all sins. He should even leave some things of this world that are lawful to him; which are part of the prohibitions of Ihram.


Second: full docility to Allâh and the Messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him). He leaves his lawful wife, lawful perfume, and lawful dress, in compliance with the order of the One who had legalized this lawful thing before, May He be Purified, and then he can come back to it after leaving the state of ihram when it becomes permissible for him. In both his abstinence and then enjoyment of what was prohibited to him during ihram, he acts in compliance with the order of Allâh.


Third: asceticism in this world. He gives up decoration and luxury and suffices himself with mere aspects of the worldly things. Having been wearing precious clothes he only wraps his body with a simple wrap. After being accustomed to fine perfume, he refrains from them all. He is even cautious in cleaning up his body in order not to touch some hair…


O believers! If a person enters the state of ihram for he must avoid doing certain things that are forbidden during the state of ihram, and which may render his Ihram defective. They include the following:

First prohibition: Shaving the head owing to the words of Allâh, the Almighty:

( وَلَا تَحۡلِقُواْ رُءُوسَكُمۡ حَتَّىٰ يَبۡلُغَ ٱلۡهَدۡىُ مَحِلَّهُ )

And do not shave your heads until the Hady reaches the place of sacrifice [Al-Baqarah: 196].


Shaving the hair on other parts of the body is forbidden as well. An-Nawawi said: « The prohibition is not only in respect of shaving the head but it includes hair removal before the obligation of At-Tahallul and expiation is compulsory for it whether the hair removed was on the head or beard or mustache or armpit or pubic hair or any other part of the body and whether the removal was by means of shaving or reducing or removal by plucking or incineration and others » (Al-Majmu’ Sharh Al-Muhad-dhab).


Muslims are unanimously agreed that it is forbidden to shave the head, for both the men and women. However, if the Muhrim finds it hurting to keep the hair, he may remove his hair, but he must pay ransom for that. Allâh, the Most High, said

( فَمَن كَانَ مِنكُم مَّرِيضًا أَوۡ بِهِۦۤ أَذً۬ى مِّن رَّأۡسِهِۦ فَفِدۡيَةٌ۬ مِّن صِيَامٍ أَوۡ صَدَقَةٍ أَوۡ نُسُكٍ۬‌ۚ )

And whosoever of you is ill or has an ailment in his scalp (necessitating shaving), he must pay a Fidyah (ransom) of either observing Saum (fasts) (three days) or giving Sadaqah (charity – feeding six poor persons) or offering sacrifice (one sheep) [Al-Baqarah : 196].


Ka’b bin ‘Ujrah reported saying, the Messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) came to me while I was lighting a fire under a pot, and lice were falling on my face, or on my eyebrows. He said: ‘Are your lice bothering you?'” [He said:] “I said: ‘Yes.’ He said: ‘Then shave your head and offer a sacrifice, or fast three days, or feed six needy people» (An-Nasaei).


This is when he deliberately has his hair cut, but if he scratches his head and as a result, some of his hair falls, without intention, there is nothing binding him in this regard.


Second prohibition: Having the nails cut. The Muslim jurists have drawn analogy between it and shaving the hair, and some of the learned scholars cited as evidence to forbid the Muhrim from trimming his nails the saying of Allâh, the Almighty:

( ثُمَّ لۡيَقۡضُواْ تَفَثَهُمۡ )

Then let them complete their prescribed duties (Manâsik of Hajj) [Al-Hajj: 29].


In regards to this verse, Ibn Abbas, Abu Ubaidah, Ikrimah, Mujahid and others have said that completing their prescribed duties is to remove the body filths through shaving, trimming the mustache, plucking the armpit hair, trimming the nails and shaving …

Moreover, Ibn al-Mundhir transmitted the consensus of the learned scholars on this point.


Third prohibition: Use of perfume in clothes or body by the person in state of Ihram … due to the words of the Messenger of Allâh, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) : « A Muhrim should not wear a shirt, turbans, trousers, a hooded cloak, or a dress perfumed with saffron or Wars or khuffs; and if slippers are not available he can wear Khuffs (socks made from thick fabric or leather) but he should cut them so that they reach below the ankles » (Agreed upon).


This is due to the hadith of Ibn Abbas as well who said, While a man was at `Arafat (for Hajj) with Allâh’s Messenger (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) he fell down from his Mount and broke his neck (and died). So Allâh’s Messenger (May the blessings and pace of Allâh be upon him) said, “Wash him with water and Sidr and shroud him in two pieces of cloth and neither perfume him nor cover his head, for Allâh will resurrect him on the Day of Resurrection and he will be saying ‘Labbaik» (Agreed upon).


The forbidden thing is to apply perfume after Ihram. As for applying perfume before assuming the intention of Ihram, there is nothing wrong with that, even though its signs remain after assuming the intention of Ihram.  Aisha, May Allâh be pleased with her says, « I used to put perfume on the Messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) and he would go around to all his wives, then enter Ihram in the morning with the smell of perfume coming from him» (Agreed upon).


She added: “It is as if I am just looking at the glitter of scent in the parting of the Prophet’s head hair while he was a Muhrim”. (Agreed upon).


Fourth prohibition: Foreplay and acts that may lead to sexual intercourse. This is because it is encompassed by the general implication of the words of Allâh:

( فَلَا رَفَثَ )

Then he should not have sexual relations (with his wife) [Al-Baqarah: 197].


Moreover, because it is not permissible for a Muhrim to even conduct a marriage contract for the saying of the Prophet, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him): «A Muhrim (one in the state of Ihram) must not contract marriage, nor help others contract marriage, nor get engaged to marry» (Muslim). So, this is more likely to be impermissible.


In Al-Majmu’ by Imam An-Nawawi: «It is forbidden to the Muhrim to engage in foreplay that involves sexual desire such as placing the woman on one’s lap, kissing, and sexual desire drive touching before both periods of Tahallul [state of disengagement from Ihram, both the minor (first) and major (second) ones]. However, they differ with regards to the period between both … and when prohibition is proven and anyone intentionally and lustily engage in foreplay, he must pay ransom (fidyah).


Fifth prohibition: Sexual intercourse. It is the greatest prohibited act during Ihram, and the most influential. Allâh the Almighty said:

( فَمَن فَرَضَ فِيهِنَّ ٱلۡحَجَّ فَلَا رَفَثَ وَلَا فُسُوقَ وَلَا جِدَالَ فِى ٱلۡحَجِّ‌)

Whosoever intends to perform Hajj therein (by assuming Ihrâm), then he should not have sexual relations (with his wife), nor commit sin, nor dispute unjustly during the Hajj [Al-Baqarah: 197].


Ar-Rafath as used in the verse means having sex: sexual intercourse, but some said it refers to foreplay. Therefore, anyone that has sex before the first state of disengagement from Ihram (first tahallul) will have his Hajj invalidated and must carry on and complete the Hajj despite its invalidity; for saying of Allâh, the Almighty:

(وَأَتِمُّواْ ٱلۡحَجَّ وَٱلۡعُمۡرَةَ لِلَّهِ‌)

 And fulfil the pilgrimage and Umrah for Allâh [Al-Baqarah: 196].


Moreover, they both will have to perform another Hajj the following year, and a ransom of camel, which shall be slaughtered and its meat given as charity to the poor either in Makkah or in Mina.


Sixth prohibition: Hunting. Allâh, the Most High, has declared the sanctity of hunting for the Muhrim, as well as the penalty of hunting saying thus:

يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَا تَقۡتُلُواْ ٱلصَّيۡدَ وَأَنتُمۡ حُرُمٌ۬‌ۚ وَمَن قَتَلَهُ ۥ مِنكُم مُّتَعَمِّدً۬ا فَجَزَآءٌ۬ مِّثۡلُ مَا قَتَلَ مِنَ ٱلنَّعَمِ يَحۡكُمُ بِهِۦ ذَوَا عَدۡلٍ۬ مِّنكُمۡ هَدۡيَۢا بَـٰلِغَ ٱلۡكَعۡبَةِ أَوۡ كَفَّـٰرَةٌ۬ طَعَامُ مَسَـٰكِينَ أَوۡ عَدۡلُ ذَٲلِكَ صِيَامً۬ا لِّيَذُوقَ وَبَالَ أَمۡرِهِۦ‌ۗ عَفَا ٱللَّهُ عَمَّا سَلَفَ‌ۚ وَمَنۡ عَادَ فَيَنتَقِمُ ٱللَّهُ مِنۡهُ‌ۗ وَٱللَّهُ عَزِيزٌ۬ ذُو ٱنتِقَامٍ)

O you who believe! Kill not game while you are in a state of Ihrâm for Hajj or ‘Umrah (pilgrimage), and whosoever of you kills it intentionally, the penalty is an offering, brought to the Ka’bah, of an eatable animal (i.e. sheep, goat, cow) equivalent to the one he killed, as adjudged by two just men among you; or, for expiation, he should feed Masâkin (poor persons), or its equivalent in Saum (fasting), that he may taste the heaviness (punishment) of his deed. Allâh has forgiven what is past, but whosoever commits it again, Allâh will take retribution from him. And Allâh is All-Mighty, All-Able of Retribution [Al-Maedah: 95].


Such act is forbidden whether it were flying birds such as doves or walking animals such as antelopes and rabbits. So, whoever that kills an animal deliberately, he will face the penalty, which is either slaughtering the like of camels or cows or sheep, and give it out as charity to the poor in Makkah or Mina, or otherwise he may value it in dirhams and give out its food equivalent as charity to the poor in Makkah or Mina, giving each poor person one quarter of saa ‘of wheat, or half of a sa’a from other kinds of food, or to fast one day in lieu of the feeding for each poor person. As regards cutting trees, it has nothing to do with ihram. Hence, it is permissible for the Muhrim and non-Muhrim to cut trees outside the holy precincts, such as Arafah. However, he may not cut trees while within the holy precincts like Muzdalifah, Mina and Makkah, except that which the person cultivated by himself. It is also permissible for a person to put a rug on the ground at Mina or Muzdalifah or other parts of the sacred sanctuary, even if it has green lawn if one did not intend to destroy it.


Seventh prohibition: Wearing sewn garments and this is peculiar to men. It involves five things: the shirt, the hooded cloak, pants, turbans and leather slippers. On the authority of Abdullah bin Umar, a man asked the Prophet, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) and said: O Messenger of Allâh, What do you order us to wear when we assume the state of Ihram?” The Prophet (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) replied, “Do not wear shirts, trousers, turbans, hooded cloaks or Khuffs (socks made from thick fabric or leather), but if a man has no sandals, he can wear Khuffs after cutting them short below the ankles» (Agreed upon).


Al-Makhit does not mean what involves stitching, but what is sewn to fit the size of an organ of the body, such as shirt and trousers … The Muhrim may shade himself with something that is not in direct contact with the head such as the umbrella and the like; because what is forbidden is to cover the head and not shading it. In addition, he may wear wristwatch, glasses, headset, ring and belt for money…


The eighth prohibition: The face veil. This is peculiar to the women because the Messenger of Allâh, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) said: « A woman in ihram should wear neither a veil nor gloves » (Agreed upon).


However, if she fears that men may see her she may let down something from over her head to cover her face, because Aishah narrated via a weak chain of transmission saying: « Riders would pass us when we accompanied the Messenger of Allâh (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him) while we were in the sacred state (wearing ihram). When they came by us, one of us would let down her outer garment from her head over her face, and when they had passed on, we would uncover our faces » (Ahmad).


Anybody who does any of these prohibited things while in the state of Ihraam out of ignorance or by mistake, or under duress, there is nothing imposed upon him as expiation as Allâh, the Almighty said:

( وَلَيۡسَ عَلَيۡڪُمۡ جُنَاحٌ۬ فِيمَآ أَخۡطَأۡتُم بِهِۦ وَلَـٰكِن مَّا تَعَمَّدَتۡ قُلُوبُكُمۡ‌ۚ وَڪَانَ ٱللَّهُ غَفُورً۬ا رَّحِيمًا )

And there is no sin on you concerning that in which you made a mistake, except in regard to what your hearts deliberately intend. And Allâh is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful [Al-Ahzab: 5].


Moreover, in hunting animals, Allâh also stipulated the condition of intentionality for the obligation of some penalty, saying:

( وَمَن قَتَلَهُ ۥ مِنكُم مُّتَعَمِّدً۬ا فَجَزَآءٌ۬ مِّثۡلُ مَا قَتَلَ )

And whosoever of you kills it intentionally, the penalty is an offering, brought to the Ka’bah, of an eatable animal (i.e. sheep, goat, cow) equivalent to the one he killed [Al-Maedah: 95].


Nevertheless, he must as soon as he remembers or he is conscious about that or when the duress is off give up the prohibited act he was doing.


Second sermon:


All praise is due and belongs to Allâh alone, and may the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon the last Prophet.


Slaves of Allâh! Ihram is among the rites of Allâh, the Almighty and to glorify the rites of Allâh is a duty. Allâh, the Most High, said:

( ذَلِكَ وَمَن يُعَظِّمۡ شَعَـٰٓٮِٕرَ ٱللَّهِ فَإِنَّهَا مِن تَقۡوَى ٱلۡقُلُوبِ )

Having said that, if one observes the sanctity of the symbols of Allâh, then such things emanate from the piety of the hearts. [Al-Hajj: 32].


The obligation is to glorify these rituals by doing what Allâh has declared obligatory, and staying away from what Allâh has forbidden. Their glorification is done through sincere devotion to Allâh, the Almighty in that, and emulation of the Prophet, (May the blessings and peace of Allâh be upon him).


Hence, do what Allâh has enjoined upon you with respect to purification, observing prayer on time and in congregation, and giving advice to the Muslims. Shun what Allâh has forbidden to you regarding the general prohibitions of immorality of all kinds. Avoid lying, cheating, and betrayal, backbiting, gossiping and ridiculing Muslims. Avoid listening to musical instruments and forbidden songs. Shun all that dissuade you from completing and perfecting your Hajj and Umrah rituals. Allâh, the Almighty said:

( فَمَن فَرَضَ فِيهِنَّ ٱلۡحَجَّ فَلَا رَفَثَ وَلَا فُسُوقَ وَلَا جِدَالَ فِى ٱلۡحَجِّ‌ۗ)

Whosoever intends to perform Hajj therein (by assuming Ihrâm), then he should not have sexual relations (with his wife), nor commit sin, nor dispute unjustly during the Hajj [Al-Baqarah: 197].


O Allâh! Make us of those who assume Ihram with their hearts and souls before assuming Ihram physically, and O Allâh, protect our limbs from committing all that can render our Hajj defective.


Invoke prayers and blessings of Allâh upon the one Allâh, the Most Exalted and Glorified, has commanded you to do so when He said,

( إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا )

Allâh sends His Salâh (Graces, Honours, Blessings, Mercy, etc.) on the Prophet (Muhammad) and also His angels too (ask Allâh to bless and forgive him). O you who believe! Send your Salâh on (ask Allâh to bless) him (Muhammad), and (you should) greet him with the Islamic way of greeting [Al-Ahzab: 56].