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Tawaf: An obligation of Hajj and Umrah


Tawaf is one of the fundamental rites of Hajj and Umrah pilgrimage that pilgrims perform necessarily. It is a concept of circumambulating around the Holy Kaabah for seven consecutive rounds. Each round of the Tawaf must begin as well as end at the place of Hajar-al-Aswad i.e., the Black Stone. The pilgrims proceed in an anti-clockwise direction for Tawaf. Linguistically, the meaning of the word Tawaf is “to walk around’, however, it’s an act of spiritual devotion to Allah Almighty performed by the Muslim pilgrims arriving for the holy rituals with their hajj packages from UK.

Significance of Tawaf.

Tawaf is a symbolic act demonstrating the unity and belief of Muslim pilgrims in Allah almighty and his worship. Tawaf depicts the idea of oneness, unity, and brotherhood among the Muslim ummah. Despite this, it’s an ultimate act of supplication to Allah Almighty.

Types of Tawaf.

Tawaf-al-Qudum.

Tawaf al-Qudum, also known as ‘Tawaf of arrival’ or ‘Welcome Tawaf’, is performed by the pilgrims traveling beyond the Miqat boundaries upon entering Saudia Arabia. Tawaf-al-Qudum is considered as Sunnah; all male and female pilgrims are required to assume Ihram in order to perform it.

Tawaf-al-Nafl.

Tawaf-al-Nafl is the type of Tawaf that is performed by the pilgrims voluntarily, at any time of the year.

Tawaf-al-Umrah.

Tawaf-al-Umrah is performed by only Umrah pilgrims while undertaking the minor pilgrimage. Since tawaf is an initial ritual of Umrah, it gets performed by the pilgrims after entering into the Ihram.

Tawaf-al-Ziyarath.

Tawaf-al-Ziyarath is also known as ‘Tawaf-ul-Rukh’ or ‘Tawaf of invitation’, performed by all the pilgrims undertaking Hajj pilgrimage during Dhul-Hijjah; after leaving the state of Ihram and before returning to Mina for Rami-al-Jamarat.

Tawaf-al-Wida.

Tawaf-al-Wida, meaning ‘Tawaf of farewell’, gets performed by pilgrims after the completion of Hajj rituals and before leaving Makkah’s boundary. This is the final ritual that is performed in Makkah by the pilgrims who had arrived for the Hajj pilgrimage.

How to perform Tawaf?

Tawaf starts at the place of the Hajar-Al-Aswad. There are three ways of completing the Tawaf;

  • If you are close enough to the Hajar-Al-Aswad that you can easily touch it, then touch it with both your hands and place your face in between your hands and recite the prayer
  • If it is crowded and only your palms can touch the stone, then you must touch the stone with your hands and kiss your hands afterward. 
  • If you are too far away from Hajar-al-Aswad that touching it physically is not possible, then face the Black Stone and raise your hands to your earlobe and recite the prayer.

These are some of the necessary things to know about the Tawaf ritual.

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