Tawaf begins at the corner where the Black Stone (Hajar al-Aswad) is located, circling the Kaaba seven times, keeping the Kaaba to our left. Each circuit around the Kaaba is called a “shawt,” and seven shawts complete one Tawaf. All Tawafs are performed similarly; the difference lies in the intention, which determines the type of Tawaf being performed. The Visit Tawaf (Tawaf Ziyarah) is an obligatory part of Hajj, starting from the dawn of the first day of Eid al-Adha until the end of one’s life. However, performing this Tawaf during the days of Eid al-Adha (until sunset on the third day) is obligatory. Delaying it beyond the third day requires a penalty sacrifice, and completely neglecting it invalidates the Hajj.
TYPES OF TAWAF
- Qudum Tawaf: Sunnah for non-residents (those coming from outside Mecca) performing Ifrad or Qiran Hajj.
- Visit Tawaf: The obligatory Tawaf of Hajj.
- Farewell Tawaf: Obligatory for non-residents.
- Umrah Tawaf: Obligatory part of Umrah.
- Vow Tawaf: Obligatory Tawaf made as a vow.
- Tahiyyat al-Masjid Tawaf: Sunnah Tawaf whenever entering the Masjid al-Haram.
- Nafl Tawaf: Supererogatory Tawaf, outside of obligatory or mandatory ones, that a Muslim can perform as many times as they wish.
OBLIGATORY ACTS OF TAWAF
- Purification from minor and major ritual impurity (performing Ghusl for major impurity, Wudu for minor impurity).
- Covering the private parts (Satr al-‘Awrah).
- Performing the Tawaf on foot if not physically disabled.
- Starting Tawaf from the Black Stone or its alignment.
- Circling the Kaaba with it on the left side, moving towards the Iraqi corner.
- Performing Tawaf outside the Hatim.
- Completing seven circuits.
- Performing two Rak’ahs of Tawaf prayer after the Tawaf.
- Performing the Visit Tawaf during the days of Eid. Neglecting any of these obligatory acts requires a penalty, which can be waived by repeating the Tawaf.
SUNNAHS OF TAWAF
- Being in a state of cleanliness from physical impurities.
- Starting Tawaf at the Black Stone and ending each shawt there.
- Touching or kissing the Black Stone at the beginning and end of each circuit, if possible.
- Men performing ızıtıba and ramal during certain Tawafs.
- Performing the circuits consecutively.
- Engaging in remembrance, takbir, tahmid, and supplication during Tawaf.
- Starting Tawaf on the first day of Eid for the Visit Tawaf.
- Raising hands and saying “Bismillahi Allahu Akbar” when facing the Black Stone at the beginning of Tawaf. Neglecting these Sunnahs without a valid excuse is disliked but does not necessitate a penalty.
Intend the type of Tawaf to be performed. Approach the Black Stone from the side of the Yemeni corner. If possible, kiss the Black Stone, uttering “Bismillahi Allahu Akbar.” If not, gesture towards it, kiss the right palm, and proceed. Begin circling the Kaaba, completing seven circuits, with recitations, prayers, and salutations at each corner and the door of the Kaaba.
Women should perform Tawaf in the least crowded areas and not raise their voices in supplication. After completing the Tawaf, perform a two Rak’ah Tawaf prayer, reciting Surah Al-Kafirun and Surah Al-Ikhlas, near Maqam Ibrahim if possible. This prayer is obligatory and should not be performed during times of dislike. After the obligatory evening prayer, perform the Tawaf prayer followed by the Sunnah prayer.
After the Tawaf prayer, face the Kaaba, drink Zamzam water, and supplicate with sincerity and devotion.