The devotional act of circumambulating
(i.e. walking around) the Qaaba while reciting prayers and supplications
is called Tawaaf. One complete circuit around the Qaaba constitutes a shawt
(pl. ashwaat), and seven ashwaat complete one Tawaaf.
Types of Tawaaf
There are five types of Tawaaf you may
Details Of Tawaaf
Tawaaf ul Qudoom is the initial
Tawaaf you will perform upon arrival at the Masjid ul Haram in Mecca for
the first time pursuant upon your niyyah of Umra or Haj. This is the
only Tawaaf in which you are required to wear Ihram and practice Idtiba
and Ramal. They are not required in any other type of Tawaaf.
Tawaaf ul Ifadah (Tawaf uz Ziyarah)
is the Tawaaf you will perform on the 10th of Zul Hijjah after taking off
the Ihram and changing into street clothes and before returning to Mina
for Rummy. Ihram, Idtiba and Ramal are not required in this Tawaaf.
However, Sai is required of a Mutamatti, but is not required of a Qarin
or a Mufrid.
Tawaaf ul Wuda (The Farewell Tawaf)
is the Tawaaf you will perform immediately before leaving Mecca for your
next destination following the completion of Haj. This is the last act
you perform in Mecca. You are not supposed to linger there after this Tawaaf.
Ihram, Idtiba, Ramal and Sai are not required in Tawaaf ul Wuda.
Tawaaf un Nafl is a devotional Tawaaf
you may perform any time, and as many times as, you wish. No Ihram is required
for this Tawaaf. Sai is also not required, although you may perform it if
you so desire.
Tawaaf ul Umra is the Tawaaf you
perform as a part of the rites of Umra. It is identical to Tawaaf ul Qudoom
in its essentials except for the niyyah.
Tawaaf of the Qaaba is the heart and
soul of the rites of Haj. The mode and the details associated with Tawaaf
were prescribed by Rasool Allah (pbuh) himself. The intent in this section
is to describe the Tawaaf in some detail in order to clarify the procedure,
and also to answer any questions that may arise during that process.
The essentials of Tawaaf are as follows:
Like any other act of worship, Tawaaf also
starts with the intention (niyyah) to perform this act for the sake of
Each circuit, or shawt, starts from Hajar
ul Aswad with the pilgrim reciting "Bismillah, Allah-o-Akbar" and
performing the Istilam of the sacred stone. In order for you to recognize
the point of initiation of the Tawaaf, the floor of the Masjid ul Haram
has a strip of brown-black marble radiating from the Hajar ul Aswad out
to the wall of the Masjid ul Haram. At night, there is a green light on
the same wall to identify this location.
Each shawt ends at Hajar ul Aswad with
its Istilam. The pilgrim will begin a new shawt after reciting "Bismillah,
Allah-o-Akbar" as before from this spot.
Each shawt is performed in the counterclockwise
direction with the Qaaba always to your left.
Ihram is worn only for Tawaaf ul Qudoom
and Tawaaf ul Umra. Every day street clothes are worn for other types of
Idtiba and Ramal are performed only in
Tawaaf ul Qudoom and are not required for other types of Tawaaf.
Women are not required to perform Ramal.
Tawaaf is to be completed with no interruptions.
However, if "azan" (the call to prayers) is recited during the Tawaaf, you
should stop to join the prayers at wheresoever you may be at that point
in time, and resume the Tawaaf from there after the prayer is over. It is
not necessary to restart the interrupted shawt afresh from Hajar ul Aswad.
After the Tawaaf, you will offer two rakahs
of salat us sunnah, preferably with the Maqaam-e-Ibrahim between you and
the Qaaba. If that is not possible, prayer offered anywhere in the Masjid
ul Haram is acceptable.
Sai may be required after Tawaaf depending
on the niyyah pronounced by you at the beginning. However it is not essential
for Sai to follow the Tawaaf immediately. Tawaaf can be performed in the
morning with the Sai following in the afternoon or evening.
You will be reciting prayers and supplications
during Tawaaf. However, there are no specific prayers to be recited during
Tawaaf. You may pray in any way and in any language you prefer, but the
prayers most often recited by pilgrims are given separately. You will find
them very moving and meaningful and may want to use them.
There are special provisions to be
observed by a female pilgrim who is in a state of "ceremonial impurity"
(menstruation or post-natal bleeding). Should she enter this state before
Meeqat, she will pronounce her intention to perform Haj, and enter in
the state of Ihram as usual. She will then proceed to perform all rites
of Umra and Haj, including those at Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifah, except:
After she gets out of her state,
she will perform Tawaaf, Sai, and Tawaaf ul Ifadah to complete her
She will refrain from offering all
She will perform neither Tawaaf nor
She will not perform Tawaaf ul Ifadah.