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How To Perform Tawaf – Your Complete Guide – Duas, Rules and More

Tawaf is one of the easiest yet most significant rituals in Islam. It is an act of worship and a mandatory ritual for pilgrims who intend to perform Hajj and Umrah. Because it is a holy ritual, there are a number of duas and prerequisites associated with Tawaf.

Comprising seven rounds around the Holy Kaabah, a Tawaf starts one yard before Hajar al-Aswad (Black Stone) and ends at the same spot. Keep reading to learn how to perform Tawaf the correct way.

Purpose of Tawaf

muslim men and women performing tawaf 7 times around the holy kaabaBeing the principal rite of pilgrimage, Tawaf is a significant part of both the minor and major pilgrimage (Hajj and Umrah). Tawaf is derived from the Arabic term Taafa. It refers to the act of walking or circumambulating the Holy Kaaba in circles in an anti-clockwise motion.

The Tawaf comprises seven circles, each starting and ending at Hajar al-Aswad. One complete circuit of the Holy Kaaba is known as “Shawt.”

Allah SWT in the Holy Quran says, “And He it is Who created the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. They float, each in an orbit.” [Holy Quran, Al-Anbiyaa’: 33]

The aforementioned verse refers to the scientific fact that the balance of everything in the universe depends upon revolution. The solar system orbits the centre of our galaxy, the planets revolve around the sun, and the moon revolves around the Earth, each in its own orbit. The same law of revolution applies to the smallest element in the universe, the atom, as it encircles the nucleus.

Contemplating the fact that revolution is indeed a cosmic law, circumambulating the Holy Kaaba symbolises the oneness of Allah SWT and the submission of the believers. The Kaaba is the spiritual centre for the believers, and every round refers to re-strengthening one’s faith and bringing them closer to Allah SWT.

“And (remember) when We prepared for Abraham the place of the (holy) House, saying: Ascribe thou no thing as partner unto Me and purify My House for those who make the round (thereof) and those who stand and those who bow and make prostration. And proclaim unto mankind the pilgrimage. They will come unto thee on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every deep ravine.” [Holy Quran, Al-Hajj: 26-27]

Before Tawaf

Similar to any other act of worship, whether verbal or non-verbal, making an intention before performing Tawaf is mandatory. If you don’t know how to make Niyyah (intention) for Tawaf, here is a dua you can recite.

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّيْ أُرِيْدُ طَوَافَ بَيْتِكَ الْحَرَامِ فَيَسِّرْهُ لِيْ وَتَقَبَّلْهُ مِنِّيْ

 

Transliteration: Allāhumma innī urīdu l-ṭawwafa baytika l-ḥarāmi fa yassirhu lī wa taqabbalhu minnī.

Translation: O Allah, I intend to perform Tawaf of the Sacred Mosque, so accept it from me and make it easy for me.

Men in Ihram are instructed to cover their left shoulder and expose their right shoulder, this is called Al-idh’tiba.

During Tawaf

The Messenger (PBUH) of Allah SWT has instructed the Muslim Ummah to perform Tawaf with extreme humility while remembering the greatness and power of Allah SWT and the Holy Kaaba. It is advised not to talk about worldly or unnecessary things and to avoid drinking or eating while carrying out the ritual of Tawaf.

Imam Nawawi (RA) said, “One must pay good attention to one’s sincerity, devotion, presence of heart and etiquette in both one’s apparent and hidden actions; gaze; demeanour and manner because the Tawaf is prayer. It is necessary to uphold all its etiquettes and fill the heart with the emotions of one who is performing the Tawaf of His House.”

Recite the following supplication when you are saluting, kissing or touching Hajar al-Aswadduas to read during tawaf for the first time:

سْمِ اللَّهِ وَاللّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ، اللَّهُمَّ إِيْمَاناً بِكَ وَتَصْدِيْقاً بِكِتَابِكَ، وَوَفَاءً بِعَهْدِكَ، وَاتِّبَاعاً لِسُنَّةِ نَبِيِّكَ مُحَمَّدْ

 

Transliteration: Bismi llāhi wa llāhu akbar, Allāhumma īmānan bika wa taṣdīqan bi kitābika wa wafā’an bi ahdika wattibā’an li sunnati nabiyyika Muḥammadin (PBUH).

Translation: In the name of Allah, Allah is the greatest. O Allah, out of faith in You, conviction in Your book, in fulfilment of Your covenant, and in emulation of Your Prophet’s Sunnah (PBUH).

However, if you cannot remember this dua, remember that Imam Ibn Hibban (RA) said, “Specifying a Dua would take the moment away, because, with specific Duas, one will merely be repeating words, whereas this occasion is for any Dua and for remembering one’s Lord with humility and sincerity.” 

Therefore, there’s no compensation, and one is allowed to recite any dua they remember during Tawaf.

Duas to Read During Tawaf

Here is a breakdown of duas that you must recite while performing the rituals of Tawaf:

 

At the Start of Tawaf

Ali ibn Talib (RA) recited the following dua:

سْمِ اللَّهِ وَاللّٰهُ أَكْبَرُ، اللَّهُمَّ إِيْمَاناً بِكَ وَتَصْدِيْقاً بِكِتَابِكَ، وَوَفَاءً بِعَهْدِكَ، وَاتِّبَاعاً لِسُنَّةِ نَبِيِّكَ مُحَمَّدْ

 

Transliteration: Bismi llāhi wa llāhu akbar, Allāhumma īmānan bika wa taṣdīqan bi kitābika wa wafā’an bi ahdika wattibā’an li sunnati nabiyyika Muḥammadin (PBUH).

Translation: In the name of Allah, Allah is the greatest. O Allah, out of faith in You, conviction in Your book, in fulfilment of Your covenant, and in emulation of Your Prophet’s Sunnah (PBUH).

 

At the Rukn al-Yamani

It is recorded in the Mustadrak of al-Hakim, that whoever recites the following Dua at the Yemeni corner, seventy thousand angels say “Amin” to it:

 

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الْكُفْرِ وَالْفَاقَةِ وَمَوَاقِفِ الْخِزْيِ فِيْ الْدُنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ

 

Transliteration: Allāhumma innī a’ūdhu bika mina l-kufri wa l-fāqati wa mawāqifi l-khizyi fi d-dunyā wa l-ākhirah.

Translation: O Allah, I take refuge in You from disbelief, poverty, and from any humiliation in this world and the next.

 

Between the Rukn al-Yamani and the Hajar al-Aswad

The following two supplications were recited by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH):

رَبَّنَا آتِنَا فِيْ الدُنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَّفِيْ الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَّقِنَا عَذَابَ النَار

Transliteration: Rabbanā ātinā fi d-dunyā ḥasanatan wa fi l-ākhirati ḥasanatan wa qinā ‘adhāba n-nār.

Translation: O our Lord, grant us the good of this world, the good of the Hereafter, and save us from the punishment of the fire.

 

اللَّهُمَّ قَنِّعْنِيْ بِمَا رَزَقْتَنِيْ وَبَارِكْ لِيْ فِيْهِ، وَاخْلُفْ عَلَ كُلِّ غَائِبَةٍ لِّيْ بِخَيْرٍ

Transliteration: Rabbi qanni’nī bimā razaqtanī wa bārik lī fih(i), wakhluf ‘ala kulli ghā’ibatin lī bi khayr.

Translation: O my Lord, make me content with what You have given me as sustenance, grant me blessings therein, and grant me that which is better than what I have lost.

 

When passing the Mizab al-Rahmah, between the two corners, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) recited:

اَللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الرَّاحَةَ عِنْدَ الْمَوْتِ وَالْعَفْوَ عِنْدَ الْحِسَابِ   

Transliteration: Allāhumma innī as’aluka r-rāḥata ‘inda l-mawti wa l-‘afwa ‘inda l-ḥisābi.

Translation: O Allah, I ask You for comfort at the time of death and forgiveness at the time of reckoning.

 

During Tawaf

Ibn Majah (RA) narrated that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his companions recited the following duas while performing Tawaf:

 

للَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الْعَفْوَ وَالْعَافِيَةَ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالآخِرَةِ

Transliteration: Allāhumma innī as’aluka l-’afwa wa l-’āfīyata fi d-dunyā wa l-ākhirah. 

Translation: O Allah, I ask You for forgiveness and safety in the worldly life and Hereafter.

 

سُبْحَان الِلّه وَ الْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ وَلآ اِلهَ اِلّا اللّهُ، وَاللّهُ اَكْبَرُ وَلا حَوْلَ وَلاَ قُوَّة اِلَّا بِاللّهِ الْعَلِىّ الْعَظِيْم َ  

Transliteration: Subḥāna llāhi wa l-ḥamdu lillāhi wa lā ilāha illa llāh(u), wa llāhu akbar(u), wa lā ḥawla wa lā quwwata illā billāhi l-’aliyyi l-’aẓīm.

Translation: Glory be to Allah. All Praise is due to Allah. There is no god besides Allah. Allah is the Greatest. There is no power or might except with Allah, the Most High and the Most Great.

Where to Start the Tawaf

Upon entering the Grand Mosque (Masjid al-Haram), make sure that you are in the state of  Wudu. Walk towards the Mataf area, where Hajar al-Aswad (Black Stone) is situated. To be exact, you must start Tawaf from the corner of the Holy Kaaba that faces the single minaret. To make it easier for pilgrims to identify the starting point, the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has also installed a green light on the Masjid wall opposite to the Holy Kaaba. Just stand there facing the House of Allah SWT and ensure that Hajar al-Aswad is to your right.

Rules of Tawaf

Abdullah ibn Abbas (RA) narrated that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “Tawaf around the House is similar to Salah except that you may talk during it. So whoever talks in it, then talk only good.”

rules when performing tawaf during Hajj and UmrahDespite the permission to walk, move, and talk while performing Tawaf, most of the prerequisites are similar to that of Salah (Namaz). Here is a list of the rules and regulations that you must follow to ensure that your Tawaf is accepted by Allah SWT.

  • You must be in the state of wudu.
  • You must make Niyyah (intention) for Tawaf.
  • Start performing the Tawaf from Hajar al-Aswad (Black Stone).
  • You must make sure to circumambulate the Holy Kaaba seven times in an anti-clockwise direction.
  • You must perform Vitr prayer during Tawaf.
  • After offering Vitr prayer, you must kiss or touch Hajar al-Aswad (Black Stone). In case you are unable to do this, simply try reaching out to touch the stone.
  • If there is too much crowd and you are unable to touch or kiss Hajar al-Aswad, you can simply point in the direction and say, “Allah Akbar.”

Why Do We Perform Tawaf 7 times?

Akin to prayer, Tawaf is an act of worship. It is described as an obligation similar to prayer, except that one is allowed to move and talk while performing Tawaf. Allah SWT and his beloved Messenger (PBUH) have instructed us to perform Salah five times a day, fast thirty days in Ramadan, and perform Hajj at least once in our lives.

In other words, we carry out certain acts of worship in a specific way simply because Allah SWT has commanded us to do so, and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has claimed it to be righteous.

Thus, with the belief that Allah SWT knows best and doesn’t order us to do anything that would not benefit us, we must have faith in the Almighty’s decision and should perform Tawaf seven times without questioning why.

At the end of the day, the ultimate purpose of Tawaf is to recognise and embrace the fact that a believer’s life revolves around remembering and thinking of Allah SWT.

Historically, the number 7 in Arabic is often used to refer to ‘many.’ For example, Allah SWT in the Holy Quran states, “Where all the trees on earth to be made into pens, and the sea ink, with seven more seas yet added to it, the words of God would not be exhausted.” [Holy Quran, 31: 27]

In the verse mentioned above, ‘seven more seas’ is a figurative phrase used in the sense that the Almighty’s words wouldn’t be exhausted even if they were written with ink made of any number of seas.

Can You Perform Tawaf Without an Ihram?

The right answer to this would be that it depends upon the type of Tawaf you intend to perform. For instance, in case you are performing Tawaf as a voluntary act of worship, then you are allowed to wear any modest clothing in Islam.

On the flip side, if you are performing Tawaf as part of the pilgrimage (Hajj or Umrah), then wearing the Ihram is mandatory.

However, in either case, being in the state of ablution (wudu) is a must. The Messenger (PBUH) of Allah SWT has instructed us to be free of all impurities when performing Tawaf.

What to Recite During Tawaf?

One thing that you must know is that there are no preset duas to recite while performing Tawaf. The Messenger (PBUH) of Allah SWT has recommended that one can make as many supplications as they want to the Almighty.

Listed below are the duas that you can recite during each of the seven rounds of the Tawaf:

First Round

Transliteration: “Allahumma as’aluka bi ismikal ladhi yumshi bihi ‘ala talilil mai kala yumshi bihi ‘ala judadil ardhi; as’aluka bi ismikal ladhi yahtazzu lahu ‘arshuka; wa asaluka bi ismikal ladhi tahtazzu lahu ‘arshuka; wa as’aluka bi ismikal ladhi tahtazzu lahu aqdamu mala’ikatika; wa asaluka bi ismikal ladhi da‘aka bihi Musa min janibit tūril ayman, fastajabta lahu walqayta ‘alayhi muhabbatan minka; wa as’aluka bi ismikal ladhi ghafarta bihi li Muhammadin la taqaddama min dhanbihi wa ma ta’akkhara wa atmamta ‘alayhi ni‘matuka – an tarzuqani khayrad dinya wal akhirah.” 

Translation: “O, Allah! I call on Thee by Thy name, by which it is walked on the waves of the seas as it is walked on the roads of the land, And I call on Thee by Thy name, for which Thy throne shakes, And I call on Thee by Thy name, for which the feet of Thy angels tremble, And I call on Thee by Thy name by which Moses prayed to thee from the side of the Mountain (of Toor) and Thou accepted his prayer and conferred Thy love on him, And I call on Thee by Thy name by which Thou pardoned Muhammad, peace be upon him and his household, all his previous and future sins, and completed all thine blessings for him To provide me with the best of this world and the hereafter.”

 

Second Round

Transliteration: “Allahumma inni ilayka faqirun wa inni kha’ifun mustajirun, fa la tughayyir jismi wa la tubaddil ismi; Sa’iluka faqiruka miskinuka bi babika; fa tasaddaq ‘alayha bil jannah; Allahumma, al-baytu baytuk, wal haramu haramuk, wal ‘abdu ‘abduk, wa hadha maqamul ‘a’idhu bikal mustajiru bika minan nar, fa a‘tiqni wa walidayya wa ahlii wa wuldi, ikhwaniyal mu’minin minan nar, ya jawadu ya karim.”

Translation: “O, Allah! I am Thy dependent servant, and I am fearful and take refuge in Thee; so do not alter my body nor change my name. I am your beggar, your poor, destitute servant at your gate, so grant me mercifully your paradise. O, Allah! The House is Thy House, and the sanctuary is Thy sanctuary, and the servant is Thy servant, and this is the station of him who turns to Thee and takes refuge with Thee from Fire; so save me and my parents, my children, and my faithful brethren from Fire, for Thou art the Generous, the Gracious.”

 

Third Round

Transliteration: “Allahumma adkhilniyil jannah wa ajirni minan nar bi rahmatika, wa ‘afiniy minas suqmi wa awsi‘‘alayya minar rizqil halal, wadra’ ‘anni sharra fasaqatil jinni wal insi, wa sharra fasaqatil ‘arab wal ‘ajam; Ya dhal manni wat tawli; ya dhal jūdi wal karam; inna ‘amali dha‘ifun fa dha‘ifhu li; wa taqabbilhu minni; innaka antas sami‘ul ‘alim.”

Translation: “O, Allah! Grant me the paradise by Thy mercy, and give me refuge from Fire by Thy mercy, and heal me from disease, and enlarge Thy lawful bounty for me, and keep me safe from the evil of the dissolute among the genies and men and the evil of the Arabs and non-Arabs. O Thou bountiful, mighty and munificent! My deed is little, so multiply it, and accept it from me; verily Thou art the All-hearing, the All-knowing.”

 

Fourth Round

Transliteration: “Ya Allahu, ya waliyyal ‘afiyah wa khaliqal ‘afiyah wa raziqal ‘afiyah wal mun‘imu bil ‘afiyah wal mutafaddilu bil ‘afiyah ‘alayya wa ‘ala jami‘i khalqika, ya Rahmanad dinya wal akhirah wa Rahimahuma, salli ‘ala Muhammadin wa Al-I Muhammad war-zuqnal ‘afiyah wa tamamal ‘afiyah wa shural ‘afiyah fid dinya wal akhirah. Ya arhamar rahimin.”

Translation: “O, Allah! The owner of well-being, the creator of well-being, the bestower of well-being, the granter of well-being, and the conferrer of well-being on me and on all Thy creatures, O, Thou the merciful of this world and the hereafter and their compassionate God, Bless Muhammad and his household, and bestow on us well-being, full well-being, and thanks giving on well-being in this world and the hereafter, by Thy mercy, O Thou most merciful.”

 

Fifth Round

Transliteration: “Allahumma atina fid dunya hasanatan wa fil akhirati hasanatan wa qina ‘adhaban nar.”

Translation: “O our Lord, Grant us Thy blessing in this world and Thy blessing in the other world, and save us from the pain of Fire.”

 

Sixth Round

Transliteration: “Allahummal baytu baytuka, wal ‘abdu ‘abduka, wa hadha maqamul ‘a’idhi bika minan nar. Allahumma min qablikar rūhu wal faraju wal ‘afiyah. Allahumma inna ‘amali dha‘ifun, fa dha‘ifhu li; waghfir li mat-tala‘ta ‘alayhi minni wa khafiya ‘ala khalqika; astajiru billahi minan nar.”

Translation: “O, Allah! The House is Thy House, and this is the station of him who takes refuge with Thee from Fire. O, Allah! All blessing, relief, and well-being come from Thee. O, Allah! My deed is little, so multiply it for me, and forgive all that Thou knowest of me but has been hidden from Thy creatures. I take refuge with Allah from Fire.”

 

Seventh Round

Transliteration: “Allahumma ‘indi afwajan min dhunūb wa afwajan min khataya; wa ‘indaka afwajun min rahmatin wa afwajun min maghfirati; ya manis-tajaba li-abghadhi khalqihi idh qala andhirni ila yawmi yub‘athūna, istajib li. Allahumma qanni‘ni bima razaq-tani, wa barik li fima ataytani.”

Translation: “O, Allah! I bear crowds of sins and crowds of faults, and with thee are crowds of blessing and crowds of forgiveness. O Thou Who granted the request of Thy most hated creatures when he said “give me respite until the day they are resurrected,” grant me my request. When he said,” Give me time to the day of resurrection, accept from me. O, Allah! Make me content with what you have provided me with, and bless me with what you have given me.”

Different Types of Tawaf

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “Whoever performed Tawaf around the House fifty times, he will be as free of his sins as the day his mother bore him.” 

There are several different types of Tawaf in Islam, each for a specific purpose of worship. This is why it is essential to make Niyyah (intention) at the beginning for the specific kind of Tawaf that you are going to perform. Here is a brief guide to the different types of Tawaf:

  • Tawaful Qudum: It is mandatory for a pilgrim to perform Tawaful Qudum in the state of Ihram upon entering Masjid al-Haram with the intention to perform Hajj al-Ifrad or Hajj al-Qiran.
  • Tawaful Wida: Otherwise known as the Farewell Hajj, Tawaful Wida is performed at the end of Hajj.
  • Tawafuz Ziyarah: Performed between the dawn of the 10th of Dhul-Hijjah to sunset on the 12th of Dhul-Hijjah, it is essential to perform Tawafuz Ziyarah before returning to Makkah. It is also known as Tawaf al-Ifadhah.
  • Tawaful Nadhr: If you have made a vow to Allah SWT to perform Tawaful Nadhr, it must be performed at any cost.
  • Tawaful Umrah: Is mandatory to fulfil the obligations of Umrah.
  • Tawaful Tahiyya: Even though it isn’t mandatory, it is recommended to perform Tawaful Tahiyya as soon as one enters Masjid al-Haram. If any other Tawaf is performed, Tawaful Tahiyya becomes a substitute.

Can I Perform Tawaf for Someone Else?

When it comes to whether performing Tawaf on behalf of someone else is permitted in Islam or not, there is a clash. According to the majority of Islamic scholars, Tawaf is a sunnah act and so we are not allowed to perform Tawaf on behalf of someone else whether they are alive or have passed away.

The logic behind this is that one can offer nafl prayers on behalf of someone but isn’t allowed to pray sunnah prayers for them.

However, there is an Islamic school of thought that allows you to perform Nafl for someone you care for anytime during your visit to Makkah, Saudi Arabia.

Summary – How to Perform Tawaf

Whether you are performing Tawaf for Hajj, Umrah, or with the intention of Nafl, the rules of how to perform Tawaf are somewhat similar in all cases. Tawaf refers to the act of circumambulating the Holy Kaaba in reverence of Allah SWT.

The significance of Tawaf can be understood by the fact that it connects you with Allah SWT, as each round represents every orbiting element in the universe. Tawaf symbolises equality and unity seeing as irrespective of their status, men and women from all over the world come together to worship the Greatness of Allah SWT.

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