The ihram, the “sacralization” of the pilgrimage

This article is also available in: Italiano

Before talking to you about the Hajj, it is necessary to talk about the ihram, the state of sacralization that precedes it

The words of Ibn Battuta

Departing from Medina in the direction of Mecca, we camped near the mosque of Dhu al-Hulayfa, where the Envoy performed the rites of the ihram, which is located five miles from Medina, on the edge of its sacred territory, near the wadi Aqiq. Here I took off my sewn clothes, washed myself, put on the ihram and performed a prayer of two rak’a, thus assuming the status of ihram to make the simple pilgrimage.


Then, like the others, I continued to shout labbayka [here I am!] through the hills and plains, going up and down to the ‘Ali Pass, where we stopped that night. Then we left and stopped in al Rawha, where the well of Dhat al ‘Alam is located, near which they say that’ Ali fought the jinn.

The door of Hajj

(In’sh’Allah,) This Friday the feast of Eid al Adha should be celebrated, translatable into English with “Festival of the Sacrifice”, a moment of profound sacredness in Islam and very strongly linked to Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca. Precisely for this reason, we decided, also in conjunction with Ibn Battuta’s path, to dedicate these 3 days of programming to Hajj and Eid; before entering Mecca, however, there is a need to enter the state of ihram.

Paul Pogba in state of ihram

This term can be translated as “sacralization” and has a series of essential rules that must be strictly respected in order to make Umrah (“minor” pilgrimage) and Hajj (pilgrimage).

The ihram

First of all, the pilgrim who wishes to undertake his sacred journey, must necessarily enter the ihram at a special miqat, a place on the edge of the Hil, a sort of “sacred aurea” that surrounds Mecca and to which it is impossible to access except in ihram. Such places are: Dhu’l-Hulayfah (where Ibn Battuta did it and used by those coming from Medina), Al-Juḥfah (for those who come from Bilad ash-Shams), Qarn-ul-Manāzil (for those who come from Najd, “central Saudi Arabia”), Yalamlam (for those who come from Yemen) and finally the Dhāt-i ʿIrq (for those who come from Iraq and Iran). If you travel by plane and it already lands in Hil, you must enter the ihram during the flight.


To enter the state of ihram it is necessary for the pilgrim to make an ablution and to “sanitize” as much as possible, being careful, from then on, to take on a more modest and close to God lifestyle. It is in fact forbidden, until the end of the Hajj: to wear tight clothes, to cut one’s nails and hair, to have sexual intercourse and / or plan some in the future, to go hunting, to say bad words, to perfume oneself and to smoke. For men, specifically: it is forbidden to wear any other dress than that of the ihram (consisting of two pieces of white fabric without seams, in this period any dress with the above seams is forbidden) and it is forbidden to cover your head with something that get in physical contact. For women, however, it is mandatory to keep the face and hands uncovered (therefore the burqa and niqab are prohibited) but it is mandatory to cover the hair.

One leaves the ihram once after having completed the “Shaytan stoning”, having shaved one’s hair and sacrificed an animal on the day of Eid; however, he will only be able to have sex with his wife after the Tawaf al Ifadah.

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