A central part of your Umrah pilgrimage, your Ihram is a striking garment that’s an inextricable part of your journey. But with such significance attached to it, it can be intimidating to wear and it’s difficult to know what to expect when putting it on as part of your pilgrimage.
While it may feel strange to put it on outside of your pilgrimage, taking the time to get used to wearing and moving in your clothes can help take some of the stress or discomfort out of wearing them for the first time when travelling in public. This can help let you know how to successfully, tie and move around in it. At a minimum, you should consider purchasing some comfortable shoes, preferably designed for running or long-distance walking in order to prevent injury or discomfort. Slip-ons are useful for saving time as you enter mosques, but care should be taken to mark them out as unique to prevent another pilgrim taking them by accident.
Given the nature of your clothes, wearing you Ihram will not leave you with much pocket-space. This can be added to by wearing an over-shoulder bag or a tote bag which should contain copies of your identification, money, or other critical items. It is also worth bringing some high-protein snacks to keep your energy up or a small bottle of water to help stay hydrated while committing your pilgrimage. Or, if you want to truly remember the experience, a journal and pen can be a great chance to keep a diary of events and relive your experience once you return home.
An Ihram should not be expensive and is normally no more than £10 -£15. Many Umrah booking companies will include the ability to provide your own Ihram as part of your Umrah package or as an additional value-add option as part of your pilgrimage pack to make sure that nothing is missed. While you can pick up a custom garment, this can often be much more expensive and there are many questions about how much each pilgrim should deviate from the conventional plain white garment. It is also worth considering what clothes you should wear in addition to your Ihram.
Taking the time to research the Ihram is a fantastic experience to learn more about your Umrah pilgrimage, even if you have already undertaken Hajj. The Ihram, is designed to be a garment that brings equality to its wearers, be they rich, poor, famous or everyday citizens. It’s a unifying piece of clothing and taking a moment to meditating on this before donning it as part of your pilgrimage can help – helping you attain the famous Umrah ‘state of mind’