When you intend to wear ‘Ihram’ you should at first take a bath though only making an ablution (Wudhu) will also suffice. It is Sunnat (Tradition of the Holy Prophet) before bath or Wudhu to have the nails pruned, to lower down the moustaches by trimming, to undershave, to shave the armpits and to have a hair cut or shaven if it has been usual ; otherwise to comb the long grown hair. For ‘Ihram’ It is Sunnat to comprise of two sheets of cloth, new or used but washed. One sheet should be used as a loin-cloth and the other as an upper cover. The sheets of black or any other colour are also permissible. When it is cold, blankets or towels can also be used.
It is neccessary for the loin sheet to be raised above the ankles. It is ‘Sunnah’ to say two ‘Rak’at Nafl’ prayers after wearing the ‘Ihram’ sheets. provided it is not offered in the prohibited times, that is to say at the time of rising or setting of the sun or the time of exact noon or the time after ‘Fajr’ (morning) prayers but before sunrise and the time after ‘Asr (afternoon) prayers but before setting of the sun. In the first Rak’at of the Nafl it is preferable to recite Surah 109 (Kafiroon) and in the 2nd, Surah 112 (Akhlass) after Surah no 1 (Al-Fatiha i.e.) reciting any other Surah is however also permissible.
At the time of saying this prayer, the head should be covered with the sheet under use as upper cover because the ‘Ihram’ formalities, which necessitate to keep the head uncovered, have not yet commenced, After saying these two Rak’ats of Nafl you are to determine your intention for ‘Hajj’ with specific reference to one of three kinds of ‘Hajj’ you intend, by way of making up your mind as well as by pronouncing the words of intention formula mentioned here before. Thereafter you are to utter the words of ‘Talbiya’ the accepted Masnon text of which is as given below. These words must be carefully crammed up Abridgement or omission of any word therefrom stands Makroh (undersirable).
“Here I am ! at Thy service ! O Allah ! I am present ! I am present ! No partner Thou hath, I am present ! Surely, all praise and graciousness as well as the whole universe is thine while no partner Thou hath.”
The ‘Ihram’ does not begin by merely defining your intention therefor, but instead it commences with your utterance of the words of ‘Talbiya’. As the ‘Ihram’ starts as soon as you pronounce the words of ‘Talbiya’, you should therefore remove the covering sheet from your head and let it remain uncovered before your saying ‘Talbiya’. From this point of time throughout your journey the aforementioned words of ‘Talbiya’ should be often repeated with a loud voice. The ‘Talbiya’ should be repeated aloud particularly at the time of change of circumstances, e.g. in the morning and evening, while sitting down or standing up, going out and entering, meeting people and departing from them, while rising from bed, riding and alighting, while ascending a height or descending from it to a depression, it is Mustahab Moakkad (an ’emphatically desirable’ act) as it is emphasized more than one ordinary Mustahab (desirable act). The women are, however, not allowed to pronounce it loudly. They should repeat it with a low voice. In Mosques, it should not be so loud that it may disturb those saying their prayers. Whenever you prono-unce ‘Talbiya’, repeat it three times and after its three times loud repetition you better recite Darod Shareef (soliciting blessings of Allah for the Prophet) with a low voice. Thereafter you may pray to Allah for your wishes and objects. ‘Masnoon’ invocation after ‘Talbiya’ is :-
“O Allah ! I ask Thee for Thy pleasure and Paradise and I Seek Thy Protection against Thy wrath and the Hell.”