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Tawaf Al-Umrah Guide : Importance, Steps And Things To Avoid

tawaf during Umrah

The word Tawaf is derived from the Arabic word Tauf, which means to go round and round in the Arabic language. The literal meaning of Tawaf is ‘to walk around’ or ‘to encircle something’. That’s why the action of circling the Holy Kabbah seven times in an anti-clockwise direction is known as Tawaf. It is a compulsory ritual for all pilgrims aiming to perform Umrah successfully.

This blog iterates how to do Tawaf in Umrah, along with a few dos and don’ts.

Importance Of Tawaf During Umrah

Tawaf is a very important religious ritual in Umrah. During the age of Jahiliyyah—that is before the period of Prophet Muhammed (PBUH)—Arabs used to perform Tawaf naked, regarding it as an ancestral ritual. They believed that clothes contain sins and let people trample over them.

There are many legends that explain why Tawaf is performed. Scholars give more than one reason regarding the importance of Tawaf and its process. One of the reasons why pilgrims perform Tawaf in one direction in a circular fashion is that it symbolizes their belief in the one and only Almighty Allah.

While some equate each circumambulation around the Kaaba as a step towards the seventh sky, others understand it as a surrender to Allah and devoting oneself to worship with all their heart. One of the important contexts for seven circumambulations is found in the narration of Ibn ’Abbas. He mentions that when Prophet Ibrahim left his wife Hagar and son Ismail in Makkah, they soon ran out of food and water. In a bid to find water for her thirsty son, Hagar ran up and down the Safa and Marwa hills looking for water. That explains why circumambulating the Kaaba seven times is an important ritual of Umrah and Hajj both.

How To Perform Tawaf During Umrah

A pilgrim performing Wazu
  1. The first thing to do in Tawaf is to make Wazu (ablution). Wazu can be done on the premises of Holy Kabbah or can be done from the place one is staying at.
  2. For Tawaf, the prescribed attire for all pilgrims is called Ihram. It should be pure and it should cover your satar (the parts of body that should be covered according to Islam). Ihram for men should consist of two unstitched white cloths wrapped around the body. Whereas Ihram for women consists of simple clothing which covers the satar and a hijab (veil). Women are not allowed to cover their faces.
  3. Then the pilgrim should enter the Mataaf, or the area in which pilgrims perform Tawaf in Makkah; it is the surrounding area of Kabbah.
  4. Pilgrims should perform Niyat (intention) in front of Hajre-Aswad, a black-coloured stone sent from heaven to Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) while he was building Kabbah. It is placed in the eastern corner of Kabbah.
  5. After performing the Niyat, one should face Hajre-Aswad and recite Takbir (Allahu-Akbar) and kiss the stone.
  6. Then he/she should start walking in the anti-clockwise direction around the Kabbah. An individual should complete seven rounds on foot in this manner. The Tawaf must be completed in one go and the pilgrim should not leave until all seven rounds are completed.
  7. Once the seven rounds are completed, the pilgrims must stand in Al-Masjid Al-Haram and pray two rakats.
  8. After that, they must drink water from the Zamzam while reciting the dua.

How Many Tawaf Should Be Performed During Umrah?

As a single, Tawaf is walking seven times around Kabbah in the anti-clockwise direction. A pilgrim is free to do as many Tawaf as he/she wishes to do before proceeding for Sa’i (walking between the hills Safa and Marwah as a ritual in Umrah). It is believed that a person can perform Umrah on behalf of another person who is either dead or is not present in Makkah at the present.


Things To Avoid During Tawaf

During Tawaf in Makkah, several things are considered Makruh (disliked or offensive) and hence must be avoided. They are as follows:-

  1. Discussing petty and worldly affairs during Tawaf is not allowed.
  2. Trading of products whether selling or buying is not allowed while a person is performing Tawaf in Makkah.
  3. In case one gets a phone call while in Tawaf, they are obliged to receive it and answer the person on the phone. However their conversation can not contain earthly matters or trade-related matters as it may be considered as Makruh. It is advisable to switch off your phones while in Tawaf.
  4. Do not pray or recite the Quran in a loud voice as it can disturb other people performing Tawaf.
  5. Wearing impure clothes while performing Tawaf is not advisable. Pilgrims must wear Ihram, which are plain white clothes (also unstitched for men) sans any colour, perfume or deodorant.
  6. To continue Tawaf while Namaz or Khutba (Preaching/Bayan) is ongoing in Kabbah is not allowed.
  7. Performing Tawaf while being hungry or angry is not advisable. Tawaf should be done with a peaceful and calm mind remembering Allah.

Tawaf Umrah and Hajj are similar in most ways. Tawaf symbolizes unity and equality as people from every corner of the world come together in one place irrespective of their status. It emphasizes spending time in worship of Allah and blossoming as a new personality at the end of Hajj or Umrah.

Suggested Read:Jannatul Baqi: The Cemetery Where The Prophet’s Near Ones Rest

Tawaf Al-Umrah Guide FAQs

How many tawaf is required to perform Umrah?

While performing Umrah, devotees are required to perform seven tawaf.

Is tawaf al wida necessary in Umrah?

Yes, tawaf al wida is mandatory for all those who do not reside in Makkah.

How to do tawaf Umrah?

Performing tawaf involves walking seven times around the holy Kaaba in the anti-clockwise direction. There are certain rules that one must follow while performing this ritual.

What to recite during tawaf?

Pilgrims should perform Niyat in front of the black stone before reciting Takbir and beginning tawaf.

What are the rules of tawaf?

There are several rules one must follow while performing tawaf. Devotees must avoid discussing petty affairs, conducting business and reciting prayers aloud during the ritual.


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