Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Islam The sacred dress of Muslim pilgrims, consisting of two lengths of white cotton, one wrapped around the loins, the other thrown over the left shoulder.
  • n. Islam The state of ritual purity of Muslims in wearing this dress for pilgrimage or for other acts of worship, especially the daily worship.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. the state of ritual purity and dedication of a Muslim hajj pilgrim to Mecca
  • n. the clothing worn on such a pilgrimage; one length of cotton cloth around the loins and another thrown over the left shoulder

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The peculiar dress worn by pilgrims to Mecca.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The dress assumed by Mohammedan pilgrims.
  • n. The state in which a pilgrim is held to be from the time he assumes this distinctive garb until he lays it aside.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Arabic 'iḥrām, prohibition, ihram, infinitive of 'aḥrama, to enter the state of ihram, from ḥarama, to prohibit; see ḥrm in Semitic roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Arabic إحرام (prohibition)

Examples

  • His first care was to dress himself in accordance with the law prescribed for the faithful who enter Mecca -- in the "ihram," or pieces of cloth without seam, one covering the loins, the other thrown over the neck and shoulders.

    Celebrated Travels and Travellers Part III. The Great Explorers of the Nineteenth Century

  • The white seamless garb of the pilgrims, called "ihram," symbolizes purity and equality of mankind and erases all signs of class and culture.

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  • However, one way in which gender distinctions remain is that men don the ihram, the white unstitched pilgrim's garb, while women are freer to wear other forms of modest clothing, including colorful national or cultural dresses.

    Zahra N. Jamal, Ph.D.: Hajj Diaries: The Multiple Dimensions Of Muslim Pilgrimage

  • He spent about 20 hours wearing the ihram, a traditional two-piece garment comprising two white unhemmed sheets.

    HW Bio: Malcolm X «

  • In darkness, thousands trekked to the outskirts of the city, shedding everyday clothes after a shower and returning in the pilgrims’ snow white ihram outfits–two towel-like garments that symbolize purity and leave men’s right shoulders exposed.

    Excerpt: The Siege of Mecca by Yaroslav Trofimov

  • The logic behind wearing only the ihram is that every Hajjaaj is equal before God, and because no difference exists between a king and a beggar during the Hajj, everyone must wear the same thing.

    Arabic for Dummies

  • After they don the ihram, the Hajjaaj begin a ritual known as the Tawaf (tahwaf; to turn), in which they walk around the ka'ba (kah-bah), a cubelike structure located in the middle of the masjid al-Haraam (mas-jeed al-hah-ram; The Sacred Mosque of Mecca).

    Arabic for Dummies

  • As soon as the Hajjaaj arrive in Mecca, they must shed all their worldly clothing and possessions and change into sandals and a simple ihram (eeh-ram), which basically consists of a white cloth wrapped around the body.

    Arabic for Dummies

  • After a complete ablution and assuming the ihram, we performed two prayer-flections, and recited the meritorious sentences beginning with the words “Labbaik Allah huma labbaik!”

    Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah and Meccah

  • Servants and attendants expect the master to present them with an “ihram.”

    Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Madinah and Meccah

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