What is Tawaf?

Tawaaf is the circumambulation seven times of the Holy Kaaba. Each circumambulation (shawt) starts from the black stone (al-Hajar al-Aswad)


The Types of Tawaaf:

  1. Tawaaf Al Qudum: This is Sunnah for those coming outside Makkah Al Mukarramah. This tawaf is performed by anyone coming to Makkah for any reason, whether for Umrah, Hajj, business or just a visit. Also known as welcome tawaaf.
  2. Tawaaf Al Ifadha: This tawaaf must be performed by all pilgrims undertaking Hajj.
  3. Tawaf Al Wadaa: This is wajeeb for those coming outside Makkah Al Mukarramah. Also known as the farewell tawaf. This is the last ritual before leaving the Holy City of Makkah on completion of your Hajj or whatever you came for.
  4. Tawaaf Al Umrah: This is a fareedah of Umrah. This tawaaf is performed as part of the rituals of Umrah.
  5. Tawaafi Nadhir: This is a tawaaf dedicated to someone else.
  6. Tawaafi Tahiyyatul Masjid: This is Sunnah tawaaf which is done whenever you enter the Masjid Al Haram.
  7. Tawaaf Al Nafl: Except Fardh and Nafl Tawaaf, one can perform this tawaaf at any time and as often as desired.



The Wajeebs  of Tawaaf:

  1. Cleanness and getting Wudhu
  2. Covering your mahram parts
  3. Performing tawaaf by walking unless one is disabled or feels well.
  4. Starting tawaaf from line of black stone.
  5. Performing tawaf by having black stone on the left side through Rukn Al Iraqi.
  6. Performing tawaaf outside Khatim area.
  7. Praying two rekat of Salah following tawaaf
  8. Performing tawaaf in 7 shawts.
  9. Performing Tawaafi Ziyarah during Eid Al Adha days.

Giving up one of the wajeebs require you to pay penalty. If tawaaf is performed again then penalty won`t incur.


How to Perform Tawaf

To prepare for the Tawaf, the pilgrim must ensure ablutions have been performed. The pilgrim should pass the upper garment of the Ihram (the rida’) under the right arm and over the left shoulder, thus leaving the right shoulder bare. This procedure is called iddtibaa’.

When you reach the Black Stone (al-Hajar al-Aswad), you have arrived at the starting point for the circumambulation (Tawaf), and you may cease reciting the Talbiyah.

NIYYAH: You are now ready to perform Niyyah (i.e. express your intention to perform Umrah):

“O Allah, I perform Tawaf of Umrah to please You. Make it easy for me and accept it from me.”

ISTILAM: Now, moving right, if space permits, stand before the Black Stone and kiss it. If you are unable to move close enough to kiss the Black Stone, you may touch it with by hand. If you are unable to kiss or touch the Black Stone, place your hands at your heart level, palms facing outwards, and say:

“Bismi’Llah Allahu akbar wa li’Lah al-hamad”

This alternative is perfectly acceptable so there is no need for pushing or shoving which may harm yourself or others if you are not able to reach the Black Stone.

This act, whether you kiss the Black Stone, touch it by hand or utter a prayer while pointing by the palm of your hands towards the Black Stone is called Istilam.

TAWAF: You may now begin your seven circumambulations, moving to the right so that you keep the Kaaba to your left, counter-clockwise, around the Kaaba.

When performing the first three circumambulations, men may uncover their right arm and move with quick, short steps. (This procedure is called Ramal.) The remaining four circumambulations should be performed at a normal walking pace.

PRAYERS DURING TAWAF: While performing Tawaf, there are no prescribed prayers but there are a number of supplications which are recommended. You may also use the prayers that form part of your daily prayer sessions and pray to Allah in your own way in your own language.

HATEEM: Hateem is a semi-circular section which originally formed part of the Kaaba but was not incorporated into the Kaaba when the Kaaba was rebuilt. You should include the Hateem in your circumambulations.

When you reach the fourth corner of the Kaaba (Rukn Yamani), touch it with your right hand or both hands and, as you walk between Rukn Yamani and the Black Stone, you may pray:

“Rabbana atina fid-dunya hasanatan wa fil-akhirati hasanatan wa qina azabin-nar”.

When you reach the Black Stone, perform Istilam again, to mark the start of your second circumambulation.

Continue in the same way, until you have completed the seven circumambulations, including Istilam at the end of each circuit.

COMPLETION OF TAWAF: On completion of your seven circumambulations, men should cover their right shoulder, thus ending iddtibaa’.

MULTAZAM: Between the Black Stone and the door of the Kaaba is a deeply holy place about two meters in length where it is very good to pray. If you are able to reach this place, pray to Allah for His mercy and for His beneficence. If you are prevented by the number of people from reaching Multazam, simply face towards the area and make your prayers.

MAQAM IBRAHIM: On completion of the seven circumambulations, you should approach Maqam Ibrahim (the Station of Ibrahim) and offer two short prayers (rakaat). This is wajeeb to pray after tawaf.