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Tawaf and its Rules

What is Tawaf? How to perform Tawaf e Hajj?

The Arabic meaning of Tawaf is going round and round. In the context of Hajj and Umrah, it means circumambulating around Baitullah (The House of Allah) seven times.
It is an obligatory act of Hajj and Umrah. There are seven types/kinds of Tawaf:

Tawaful Qudum: Tawaf performed upon entering Masjid-ul-Haram in the state of Ihram by those performing Hajj al-Qiran or Hajj al-Ifrad.

Tawafuz Ziyarah: Also known as Tawaf al-Ifadhah, it is the Tawaf that is performed between the dawn of 10th Dhul Hijjah to the sunset of 12th Dhul Hijjah, after leaving the state of Ihram and just before returning to Mina to perform Rami al-Jamarat. If it is delayed, Dam becomes Wajib.

Tawaful Wada: Also known as Tawafus Sadr, Tawaf el Wida (Farewell) is the farewell tawaf performed at the end of the Hajj.

Tawaful Umrah: This is mandatory for Umrah.

Tawaful Nadhr: It is mandatory when a person has made a vow to Allah to do it.

Tawaful Tahiyya: : It is not mandatory for a person but recommended to perform when he enters into Masjid-ul-Haram. If any other tawaf is performed, it becomes its substitute.

Tawafun Nafl: Can be performed any time. If you want to know how to perform nafl tawaf, it is similar to other tawaf. Pilgrims just have to form the intention (niyyah) of performing nafl tawaf.

Rules of Tawaf

There is a set of rules or guidelines for doing tawaf which needs to be followed. It is necessary to complete these rituals correctly and follow the rules or a Dam becomes wajib. The main rules of tawaf are as follows:

  • It is essential to be in the state of wudu for the entire tawaf.
  • Niyyah is an essential condition for tawaf. There is no tawaf without niyyah.
  • Tawaf should begin from Hajar-al-Aswad (the black stone) and should finish at Hajar-al-Aswad moving in the direction of Hatim (anti-clock wise) keeping Hajar-al-Aswad to the left.
  • It is obligatory to include Hijr (Hatim) Ismael into Tawaf, which means to perform Tawaf of Hijr Ismael from outside.
  • Pilgrims must circumambulate seven complete rounds around the House of Allah - the Kaabatullah, and anything less is not enough.
  • If the time of obligatory or supererogatory “Vitr” prayer comes during obligatory Tawaf, a pilgrim can leave Tawaf, perform the prayer and then return and continue the rest of Tawaf.
  • Performing Istilam i.e. to kiss the Hajr-e-Aswad. If you are unable to kiss the Black stone because of the crowd, touch it with the hand and then kiss your hand as was done by the Prophet (pbuh). If you cannot reach the stone then point your hands towards the stone and say “Allahu Akbar”

Note: It is recommended to consult and seek an opinion from scholars on doubtful Islamic matters.