ihram

ihram

[ee-rahm]
noun
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; < Arabic iḥrām literally, prohibition

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World English Dictionary
ihram (ɪˈrɑːm)
 
n
the customary white robes worn by Muslim pilgrims to Mecca, symbolizing a sacred or consecrated state
 
[C18: from Arabic ihrām, from harama he forbade]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

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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