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Second Part: Tawaf

Tawaf [circumambulation of Ka’ba] is defined as tawaf-i-ifadhah or tawaf-i-ziyarat. This is a compulsory part of Hajj.  It does not lapse if a pilgrim fails to perform it, to the days of sacrifice [ayyam-i-nahr]. He has to perform it at any cost. Even if he returns from Hajj without performing tawaf, his Hajj will remain incomplete until he comes back to perform it whenever it is convenient to him.

 Conditions of Tawaf


  1. To make a will to perform tawaf.
  2. To get cleansed of all kinds of minor and major impurities. It is narrated through Hadrat Ayesha (RadhiAllahu Anha) that when the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) arrived in Makkah, he first performed ablution and then performed the tawaf of Ka’ba. (Al-Bukhari & Muslim).
  1. To cover the satr [part of body that must be covered]. The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) on the occasion of his last Hajj declared that no idolater will be allowed to perform Hajj after this year and nobody will be allowed to perform tawaf naked (Al-Bukhari & Muslim).


  1. A single tawaf of Ka’ba consists of seven rounds of movement around it. If somebody has a doubt about how many rounds he has made, he should assess the shortfall and do additional rounds.


  1. Tawaf should be started from the Black Stone [hajr-i-aswad] and ended at it.


  1. While moving around Ka’ba care should be taken that it is on the left hand of the pilgrim. It is narrated through Hadrat Jabir (RadhiAllahu Anhu) that when the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) arrived in Makkah, he first kissed the Black Stone, and then moved from his right side. The first three rounds he made jogging [ramal] and the rest of rounds he made walking normally (Muslim).
  2. Tawaf has to be performed by moving around the exterior of Ka’ba and not inside it.
  3. Tawaf has to be completed in seven consecutive rounds without any pause or gap between them.


Sunnah Practices of Tawaf


  1. Tawaf should be started by kissing the Black Stone, and if not possible, by touching it, and if not possible, then by making a sign of it from afar. At this point one should recite “Bismillah wallah-o-Akbar” [“In the name of Allah and Allah is Great”] (Ahmad).
  2. The first three rounds he should do Raml (jogging) and the rest four by walking normally.
  3. To remain near the Ka’ba so that it is convenient for him to kiss or touch the Black Stone.
  4. He should recite those invocations which were recited by the Prophet (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).
  5. To do all the seven rounds consecutively without a pause or break.
  6. Istebagh. It means that on this occasion one should fold the middle portion of his sheet under his right armpit and from there to put it on the left shoulder with the right shoulder remaining exposed. This makes the performance of tawaf This is required of men only. Women are exempted from it.
  7. After completing tawaf one should perform two rak’at [cycles] of nafil salat, reciting Surah Al-Ka’firoon in the first cycle and Surah Al-Ikhlaas in the second. One should perform this salat behind the Place of Ibrahim [maquam-i-Ibrahim] and if not possible then at any other place inside grand mosque.
  8. To drink the water of Zamzam after completing tawaf. The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) pronounced that it is blissful and a nourishment for the hungry (Muslim). The pilgrim should drink this water keeping in mind any of his material or spiritual concerns. The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said whatever wish you have behind drinking this water shall be fulfilled (Ahmad, Ibn Majah). If a patient drinks this water with the wish to get cured his wish will be accepted by Allah (Ta’ala).

The etiquette for drinking of zamzam is that one should take it in three breaths, facing the Ka’ba and drink it to satiation. Then he should say: “Al-Hamd lillah” [“Praise be to Allah”] and pray to Allah Almighty for whatever he desires. The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to recite this prayer: اللھم اسئلک علماً نافعاً و رزقاً واسعاً و شفاء من کل داءAllahumma As’aloka ilman na’fian wa rizqan wa’sian wa shifaa min kulli daa”.

[“O my God I beg of Thee knowledge beneficial, livelihood abundant, and cure from all ailments”].