Pilgrims in ihram, studio photograph on Collections Sphere from Khalili Collections
The word ‘Ihram’ is used to describe a state of ritual purification that pilgrims must reach, before entering the sacred territory of Mecca.
The state of Ihram is valid when the pilgrim is clean of mind and body and is wearing the ritual clothing. Men must wear two lengths of unstitched cotton cloth. The ‘izar’, covers the lower half of the body, from the navel to the calf, whilst the other, the ‘rida’, covers the upper torso. Any stitched clothing is strictly forbidden. Women on the other hand, may wear any form of modest clothing.
There are certain rules to abide by whilst in this state and pilgrims are subject to a number of prohibitions, such as refraining from harming any other living creature.