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Wearing Ordinary Clothes for Ihram due to Being on Duty

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by Darul Iftaa Jordan
What is the ruling when an on-duty government employee is unable to wear Ihram clothes during the Hajj season. Is it permissible that he assumes Ihram in ordinary clothes(Non Form-Fitting)?

Answer:
Muslim Jurists have stated that violations of the restrictions of Ihram(Ritual consecration) don`t incur the same sin or require offering the same ransom. Some incur sin and require offering a ransom while others incur sin, with no ransom required; whereas, some require only ransom. For example, a person is permitted to wear ordinary clothes if he couldn`t obtain the clothes of Ihram, and he isn`t required to offer a ransom. It is also permissible to wear ordinary clothes, along with offering a ransom, due to hot weather, cold weather or an illness. Al-Imam Zakaria al-Ansari said, "While in state of Ihram, wearing whatever is forbidden to be worn or covering whatever is forbidden to be covered, due to hot weather, cold weather or an illness and the like is permissible, and requires offering ransom. Actually, this is similar to shaving the head while observing Ihram. Both cases share the same cause permitting the violation of one of the restrictions of Ihram."{Asna Al-Matalib, 1/507}.

In principle, the government employee stationed in Mecca on official duty, and whose superiors didn`t give him the permission to perform Hajj isn`t required to perform it. Rather, he should wait until he is free and able. However, if he was given the permission to perform Hajj, and wear Ihram clothes, then wearing ordinary clothes isn`t permissible. But, if he did wear them, then he incurs sin and is required to offer a ransom. A ransom is one of three proposed options: slaughtering a sheep and distributing its meat among the poor people of al-Haram area in Mecca, feeding six poor persons, one Sa`(Four scoops of the average sized man, with both of his hands together) each from the common food of the country, or fasting three days. This is in addition to making repentance to Almighty Allah. And Allah knows the best.

This answer was collected from the official government Iftaa Department of Jordan.

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