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ihram

[ee-rahm] /iˈrɑm/
noun
1.
the dress worn by male Muslims on their pilgrimage to Mecca, consisting of two white cotton cloths, one worn round the waist, the other over the left shoulder.
Origin
1695-1705
1695-1705; < Arabic iḥrām literally, prohibition
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for ihram

ihram

/ɪˈrɑːm/
noun
1.
the customary white robes worn by Muslim pilgrims to Mecca, symbolizing a sacred or consecrated state
Word Origin
C18: from Arabic ihrām, from harama he forbade
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for ihram

sacred state into which a Muslim must enter in order to perform the hajj (major pilgrimage) or the 'umrah (minor pilgrimage). At the beginning of a pilgrimage, the Muslim stops at a designated station to perform certain ritual cleansing ceremonies; each male shaves his head, cuts his nails, and trims his beard before donning a white, seamless, two-piece garment. Women also wear white; although no particular dress is prescribed, by tradition they wear long robes. During the period of sanctification, sexual activity, shaving, and cutting one's nails all are forbidden in accordance with the pilgrim's special relationship to God during the ihram.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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