The purpose of Ihram
Hajj has great significance in Islam and Ihram is one of the pre requisites of Hajj. Ihram is a special clothing for Hajj. It is white in colour and every Muslim man and woman has to wear it from the point of Miqat, which is predetermined for all hajj pilgrims traveling from different countries. Ihram is same for all Muslims regardless of their financial status, race, color, country of origin and language.
If Ihram gets dirty, or liquid scent is used on it, it has to be replaced with a new Ihram to continue the process of Hajj
Ihram is not a piece of clothing only; it has great importance for Hajj as well as Umra. It is quite understandable that many disciplines of life, occupations and educational institutes require a certain dress code or uniform in order to show discipline and equality. Hospitals, schools, colleges, army, airlines, police, show this discipline. Therefore, compulsory status of Ihram is quite comprehensible. The biggest gathering of Islam is watched all around the world with millions of Muslims in simple white robe performing similar actions to please Allah.
The significance of Ihram is manifold. First of all, white color symbolizes purity, piousness and cleanliness. The religion of Islam spreads the message of outer and inner cleanliness, purity and simplicity. In this sense, the dress code for Hajj truly portrays the spirit of Islam. Importance of Ihram can be understood by the fact that if Ihram gets dirty, or liquid scent is used on it, it has to be replaced with a new Ihram to continue the process of Hajj. If Ihram is not replaced with a new one the Hajj or Umra becomes invalid.
This color also helps to avoid getting attention and looking like a common man or woman. If there was no Ihram, people would wear different kinds of fabrics and colors, which would mean several colors and it would distract the attention of the worshippers. It would also make them prominent or noticeable if they wore different types of dresses according to their cultures, countries and race etc.
Another advantage of Ihram is that it does not exhibit the financial status of the people performing Hajj. Rich or poor, prince or the clerk, billionaire or small trader, all wear the same dress. In this way, people feel more comfortable and equal among the others without any inferiority or superiority complex. It also portrays that Allah does not value wealth of the Muslims. Everyone is equal before Allah Almighty except those who excel in piousness and have good intentions and deeds. This fact is elaborated in the Holy Quran too that piousness and not the race, color, money etc. is the merit of Muslims.
The essence of gathering with millions of others on the same place and doing same actions, praying in a similar way and asking forgiveness and blessings from Allah together is to inculcate unity, discipline and brotherhood among the Muslims. When multitude of the people stays and prays together for many days in same dress, it creates harmony and discipline. It is appreciated worldwide how Muslims show great discipline following same dress code and pattern of worship.