Wa `alaykum as-salamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
It seems very strange for a man to wear ihram clothes- that pilgrims wear while offering Hajj or `Umrah—and pray in his community masjid while he is not in the state of ihram. We have been commanded to wear our best clothes when we go to the masjid.
Responding to your question, Dr. Wael Shihab, PhD in Islamic Studies from Al-Azhar University, and currently the Imam of the Downtown Toronto Masjid in Canada, states,
Among the prerequisites of the validity of the Prayer is to cover the awrah. The ihram clothes could well cover the awrah; so it is valid to offer Prayers while wearing them at home. As for men going to the community masjid in a city—which is not Makkah, this may seem strange. We have been commanded to wear the best of our clothes when we go to the masjid. Allah Almighty says, “O children of Adam, take your adornment at every masjid, and eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He likes not those who commit excess.” (Al-A`raf 7:31)
Man’s clothes of ihram may not be regarded as the best of his clothes to go to the masjid—other than in the sacred masjid of course—while wearing them. Women’s clothes of ihram are her normal clothes and thus could be worn in any occasion.
If a person likes to sleep while wearing the ihram clothes when he is not in the state of ihram, it is up to him or her.
If a pilgrim dies while he is in the state of ihram, he may be shrouded in his ihram clothes. Late Sheikh Sayyed Sabiq says in his Fiqh As-Sunnah,
“If a pilgrim dies, he is to be washed the same way any non-pilgrim is washed. He should be shrouded in his ihram clothes (two pieces of seamless cloth which the pilgrims don during `Umrah or Hajj). His head should not be covered, nor should any perfume be applied to his body, because the restrictions of ihram still apply to him. This is based on the narration reported from Ibn `Abbas who said, “During the farewell Hajj-pilgrimage, a man, mounted on a horse, was close to Allah’s Prophet (peace be upon him) and was trying to learn more from him, when he suddenly fell off his mount. The horse kicked him and killed him. When the Prophet (peace be upon him) was told about him, he said, ‘Wash him with water and lotus [leave], then wrap him in his two sheets, and do not apply perfume to his body or cover his head, for Allah, the Exalted, will raise him on the Day of Resurrection uttering talbiyah (the prayer uttered during Hajj by the pilgrims). “
The Hanafi and Maliki schools hold the opinion that when a pilgrim dies, then his state of ihram is terminated, so that thereafter he may be shrouded like any non-pilgrim. His shroud may be sewn, his head may be covered, and perfume may be applied to his body. In their opinion, the case of the man who died while being with the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) during the Hajj season is a special one and does not set a precedent for other similar cases.
However, the reason given [for not covering his head or applying perfume to his body) applies generally. The prophetic statement that he will be raised on the Day of Judgment uttering talbiyah clearly applies to all those who die in the state of ihram, because it is a well-established juristic principle that a ruling that is true for one case is also true for and applicable to other similar cases, unless there is something indicating that the case is specific in nature and limited in scope.”
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.