Saturday, September 24, 2016

Doffing The Ihram

We've just completed our final umrah of this visit, which means I donned (and doffed) my ihram for the final time, for this visit at least. I remember moaning about my inability to wear with any kind of grace at all the two unstitched pieces of cloth which comprise the dress code for the hajj and umrah the last time we were here in December 2014. Well nothing has changed since then, despite my increased familiarity with the garb. In fact, on this visit I surpassed myself in terms of embarrassment when wearing my ihram attending the zuhor prayer immediately after finishing our first post-Hajj umrah. The top piece of cloth just kept falling off, in the middle of the prayer, and I had to be saved by an incredibly helpful French gentleman, fortunately behind me, who somehow helped me fix it before a complete catastrophe ensued. I suspect I will have nightmares about this for years to come.

The funny thing is that I'm entirely sympathetic to the powerful symbolism inherent in wearing ihram. It's just that I'm no good at all in putting it on and keeping it on.

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