Difference in Ihram for Men and Women


Getting into the state of Ihram does not merely mean putting on the clothes; rather it includes getting your body and mind into the specified sacred state with an intention of performing Hajj or Umrah. A Muslim must enter into the state of ihram before he enters the boundary of Miqat.

The Ihram of men is far different from the ihram of women. Ihram of men consists of a two pieced white or any other colour cloth that must not be stitched. One is wrapped around the waist and is tied with the help of a belt or pin. This sheet must be above the ankles.  The other sheet is used to cover the upper body excluding the head, covering both the shoulders and the body. The right shoulder is exposed only at the time of performing tawaaf. It is prohibited for men to cover their head while in the condition of Ihram.  Men can use any shoes as footwear but it should not cover the ankles or toes therefore socks and covered shoes are also not allowed for men in the state of Ihram.

For women, there is no clear prescription. Their ihram consists of stitched clothes that can be white or any other colour It should be in loose fitting covering your body completely including your head. However the hands and the face must be exposed. It is forbidden for both men and women to cover their face and hands during ihram. Women can wear any type of shoes unlike men.

It is restricted for both men and women to wear perfume of any kind or used perfumed soaps while in state of ihram.

It must be noted that you can change your ihram for cleaning purposes if you want to. Some people have the misconception that you cannot change the Ihram clothing after making the intention of it. You can change it as often as you like because in case of hot weather, it may get untidy.

Ihram is a serious matter of concern for all the pilgrims and assistance must be sought to get over any kind of confusions or misunderstanding. Several seminars for the sake of guiding the pilgrims are held in the season of Hajj or Umrah which are recommended not to be missed. Moreover, you may perhaps meet the religious scholars to steer you aright in any queries you might have in your mind. May Allah guide us the best!

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