The primary integral step for the person intending (niyyat) to travel to city Makkah to perform the Umrah is to establish the intention (niyyat) in his heart to enter into the actions of Pilgrimage (Umrah).
It is this intention and not only wearing the clothes of ihram which causes a person to become in that state of purity. Going into the state of ihram means intending (niyyat) to enter into the actions of Umrah or during which particular things are obligatory on one to do and certain other things are forbidden for one to do.
Though, once the person establishes the intention (niyyat) and goes into the state of ihram, he or she must avoid all those things which are completely prohibited for a pilgrim to do while in this state.
It is sunnah to perform Umrah, but the rewards of performing Umrah especially in the month of Holy Ramadan are greater than any other month. The one who performs Hajj might perform the Umrah immediately upon the completion of the Hajj. A person has to go outside the boundary of Makkah’s Haram to make the intention (niyyat) to perform the Umrah.
For example, a person may go to the area called at-Taneem, where the Aisha Mosque is. When a person makes the intention (niyyat), then the matters which were forbidden while one was in the condition of ihram for Hajj become again forbidden.
Then Pilgrim returns to city Makkah, Haram Shareef, circles the Holy Kaabah seven (7) times to perform the tawaaf (circumambulation), and then pilgrim go to hills of Safa and Marwa to performs the saaee. Then the man shaves his head his hair and the woman trims her hair to complete all the rites and rituals of Umrah. Performing the actions in proper order is itself an essential of Umrah.
A pilgrim take a bath (ghusl) before making the intention (niyyat) to enter into the state of ihram, a pilgrim than prohibited to apply perfume on the clothes intended for wearing for the ihram. Ihram clothes are usually of white colours and either new ones or clean used ones.
A person should take care to refrain from wearing the garments forbidden for him to wear once he becomes in the condition of ihram. The man wears 2 piece of clothes, an izar (it covers the lower part of the body) and a rida (it covers the upper part of the body), and men are also prohibited to wear stitched dress. The man should take care also not to wear shoes sewn that to fit the foot, relatively he wears shoes that uncover the toes and the bone of the feet. The woman may wear sewn garments, and should cover all her awrah. She must not wear gloves to cover her hands. She may also not cover her face (veil) with anything which touches the skin of her face.
Before one makes the intention of ihram it is sunnah to pray two (2) rak^ahs, with the intention of performing this sunnah for ihram, and to recite Surat al-Kafirun in the first rak^ah after the Fatihah, and Surat al-Ikhlas in the second rak^ah after reciting the Fatihah. Then, one faces the Qiblah and says to oneself: I now start the actions of Umrah, (I now engage in the actions of Umrah.)
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