Tawaf remains among the oldest forms of worship. Pilgrims traveling to Makkah with their Umrah packages are required to offer Tawaf as part of their minor pilgrimage rituals. Without it, Umrah and Hajj are incomplete. In addition, Tawaf can be undertaken voluntarily by the pilgrims.
What is Tawaf?
- Tawaf is an act of circumambulating around the Holy Kaabah present in Masjid-al-Haram (Makkah, Saudia Arabia).
- The circumambulation must be done by the pilgrims in an anti-clockwise direction i.e., keeping the Holy Kaabah on the left-hand side at all times.
- There are a total of seven rounds of Tawaf. Each one of them must start from the place of Hajar-al-Aswad i.e., the Black Stone, set in the eastern (Yemeni) corner of the Holy Kaabah as well as end there.
The distance which needs to be covered for Tawaf is directly related to how far you are from the Holy Kaabah. Pilgrims who are performing tawaf in the inner circles have a shorter distance to cover, while the pilgrims present in the outer circles or the floors above ground level have a longer diameter for Tawaf rounds. For further information you have to read the Umrah Travel Agency broachers and Articles from their sites. Therefore, the time taken to offer Tawaf also varies significantly.
- Tawaf must be performed by the pilgrims within the premises of Masjid-al-Haram but outside the boundary of Holy Kaabah.
- One thing to remember in this regard is that Hijr Ismail or Hateem (a small area adjacent to Holy Kaabah) remains part of Holy Kaabah’s structure. Therefore, Tawaf must be performed outside of it as well. If any pilgrim enters the Hateem area while performing Tawaf, his/her ritual of Tawaf would become invalid.
- Note that, your Tawaf still remains valid if your view of the Holy Kaabah is impeded by walls, pillars, or due to being at a height for Tawaf i.e., above the ground floor.
- Among the prerequisites of performing Tawaf is the state of purity. Whether you are performing Tawaf of Holy Kaabah in Ihram or undertaking it voluntarily, physical purification must be attained prior to entering the boundary of Masjid-al-Haram and performing Tawaf.
- If you are in a state of a major physical impurity i.e., the state of Janabah, Ghusl is Wajib for you to attain purity. Without it, one is not allowed to offer a tawaf ritual. On the other hand, if there is no major physical impurity, one can make Wudu i.e., ablution, and proceed with tawaf rituals.
- It is also important to make sure that the clothing you are wearing while performing Tawaf is free from any sort of impurity.
- If a person’s wudu is nullified while performing Tawaf, he/she must stop it right away, make wudu again and continue the Tawaf from where it was left i.e., it is permissible to make wudu multiple times during tawaf as per the need.
- Women in the state of menstruation or post-natal bleeding are not allowed to perform Tawaf until they have attained a state of purity.
- If a person performs Tawaf without having performed the ablution first, he/she must slaughter a sheep in compensation for violating this condition. However, the Tawaf is valid after that.
- If a person performs Tawaf performs in the state of Janabah (resulting from ejaculation or sexual intercourse), he/she is required to slaughter either a cow or a camel in compensation for this violation to make Tawaf valid.
Covering the Awrah.
In order to perform Tawaf, men, and women should dress appropriately i.e., covering the awrah.
- For men, it is the area of the body from their navel to down below the knees. It must remain covered at all times.
- For women, it consists of their whole body with the only exception of their face and hands.
So, it can be concluded that being in a state of purity is a necessary requirement for Tawaf. Either one can make wudu for it or perform Ghusl (whatever is necessary) and only then proceed with the Tawaf rituals.