PERFORMING TAWAF

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One must begin tawaf (circumambulation) with one’s right shoulder un-covered, the Ka’ba on the left, and, while facing the Black Stone, kissing it (if possible), or touching it with one’s hand, or pointing in its direction. Jogging lightly through the first three circumambulations is encouraged. One should walk fast, keep as close to the Ka’ba as possible, and take short steps. In the next four rounds, one should walk at a normal pace. Touching the Yemeni corner (ar-Ruknu’l-Yemeni) is encouraged, and so is kissing or touching the Black Stone in each of the seven rounds of tawaf, if possible. Remembering God and supplicating as much as possible is also encouraged.

There are several kinds of tawaf, as follows:

  • Tawaf al-Qudum (Arrival Circumambulation). This is sunna for those com-ing from outside of Makka.
  • Tawaf al-Ifada or Ziyara (Obligatory Circumambulation of Visiting). This is one of the three pillars of Hajj, and should be done during the first 3 days of the ‘Iyd al-Adha. If this is not possible, one can do it at any time during one’s life, but must offer a sacrifice as penalty.
  • Tawaf al-Wada’ (Farewell Circumambulation). This is necessary for all pilgrims coming from outside of Makka.
  • Tawaf al-Tatawwu’ (Supererogatory Circumambulation). Pilgrims can perform this as often as they want to during their stay in Makka.