Hajj and Umrah are Islamic obligations that are practiced by Muslims from all over the world. Hajj is performed one time in a year whereas Umrah can be done anytime. In both of them, Tawaf is performed with different conditions but the basic essence of the whole obligation remains the same. In Hajj, Tawaf is performed three times and in Umrah, Tawaf is performed one time. Many people are confused about different forms of tawaf and how to perform it. This is a guide to help them understand the deep knowledge and to have a better understanding of tawaf.
Meaning of Tawaf:
Tawaf is walking around Kaaba seven times -in an explicit manner- with a particular prayer. It is the most vital obligation of the Umrah and pilgrimage and without which both Umrah and pilgrimage are incomplete.
Ibn Abbas reported that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said that every day, Allah shower one hundred and twenty folds of His mercy on His servants who visit Allah’s home and perform Hajj and Umrah. Just sixty folds of these are specifically for those people who perform Tawaf in a particular manner, forty folds are for those who pray at Kaaba and twenty folds for those who look at the Kaaba.
Purpose of Tawaf:
Tawaf is walking around Kaaba- during Umrah and pilgrimage- seven times in a counterclockwise direction. Tawaf is believed to be an essential part because it shows the unity of Allah’s believers and servants from different parts of the world who come to His home to worship. They all worship their one God in unity and harmony and walking in rounds together showing Allah their firm trust on Him with the help of their complete petition towards him. It is many times misinterpreted that Muslims are there to worship the Kaaba. On the contrary, Muslims are there to worship their one God in unity and harmony and this is the real purpose of Tawaf.
Hence Tawaf is one of the finest forms of ibadah and all Muslims follow it because it is Sunnah to perform Tawaf of Kaaba as a welcome gesture after entering the Holy Mosque. On the contrary Prophet (PBUH) has directed to offer two rakah of salah as a welcome gesture on entering any other mosque.
Types of Tawaf:
- Tawaf-al-Ziyarah or Tawaf-al-Hajj
- Nafal tawaf
Guidelines and to-do list on Tawaf:
- Before starting Tawaf one must do wudhu and should make sure that he/she is clean from all kinds of impurities. Most of the school of thoughts are of the view that without wudhu, the Tawaf will be invalid.
- Women can perform all other duties in hajj but Allah has stopped them to do Tawaf and Sai during their menstruation periods. They should be clean n purified for Tawaf.
- During Tawaf, all should cover their private parts appropriately. During the hajj and umrah, men will keep their right shoulder covered but during Tawaf, they will not cover their right shoulders.
- Men will do Ramal in the first three rounds with rhythmic moves and they will take the rest of the four rounds in the normal way. This will be done just in umrah Tawaf and welcome Tawaf. Women will complete their seven rounds in a normal particular manner as has been directed in Islam.
- All men n women will start and end their Tawaf at the black stone which is known as the Hajar al-Aswad.
- Tawaf is always recommended to be done around the Kaaba. People should not enter the areas with side walls that are Hateem area. If by mistake someone has completed the round in Hateen area, the Tawaf will get un valid and should be repeated again.
- Tawaf should be in such a way the Kaaba is always at the left of the person who is executing Tawaf. In a net shell, the Tawaf performer should take rounds in the anti-clockwise direction.
- Tawaf interruption is just allowed for fardh salah or for janazah prayers. Even Tawaf can be stopped if the performer feels thirsty, hungry or wants to visit the washroom. Just when he comes back should be in proper wudhu and continue from where he had stopped.
- It is always better to refrain from talking without purpose. Even it should be tried by the performer not to talk in a loud voice.
- Tawaf is a greeting of entering the holy mosque so it is not compulsory that only hajj or umrah can perform it. Anyone who enters the mosque can perform it.
- The Tawaf will get invalid if we miss even one round. So all seven rounds need to be completed. If the performer forgets about the number of rounds, he should choose the lesser rounds he remembers and complete the rest of the rounds to finish Tawaf.
- When one finishes Tawaf, it is suggested to slow down the walk and slowly and gradually step out avoiding any tussel with the other Tawaf performers.
How to start Tawaf?
وَاتَّخِذُوامِنْ مَقَامِ إبْرَاهِيْمَ مُصَلَّى
“Wattakhithu min Maqaami Ibraheema musallaa.”