Hajj Ritual

Conditions of the Ṯawāf

There are certain matters relating to the proper execution of ṯawāf:

First: The intention (niyyah)

The ṯawāf has to be performed with the intention of achieving closeness to Allah and attaining obedience to Allah.

Second: Complete and partial ritual purity (as for prayer)

If a pilgrim performs the ṯawāf without ritual purity (ṯahārah), whether done deliberately, out of ignorance or by accident, it is not valid.

#285: If the pilgrim loses their wudū in the course of the ṯawāf, a distinction is made between three cases:

  • If it happens before the fourth round is completed, the ṯawāf is invalid and has to be begun again from the beginning after having performed the ritual ablution again.
  • If it happens unintentionally after having finished the fourth round, the pilgrim has to take a break, perform the ritual ablution and continue the ṯawāf, starting from the place where it was interrupted.
  • If it happens deliberately after having completed the fourth round, the pilgrim has to take a break, perform the ritual ablution and continue the ṯawāf, starting from the place where it was interrupted. Then they have to repeat the ṯawāf from the beginning.

#286: Before beginning with the ṯawāf, the pilgrim has to make sure that they have performed the ritual ablution. If they then are in doubt as to whether they have lost their wudū, they should ignore these doubts. If they have doubts about having performed the ritual ablution in the first place, they have the obligation not to commence the ṯawāf before having performed the ritual ablution. If these doubts do not appear until after they have started the circumambulation but they are sure that they did perform the ritual ablution, then these doubts are inconsequential. However, if the pilgrim – during the ṯawāf and before having completed the fourth round – is in doubt about whether they have actually performed the ritual ablution, they should discontinue the ṯawāf, perform the ritual ablution and then begin the ṯawāf again from the start. If it happens after the fourth round, they should take a break, perform wudū and then complete the remaining rounds of the ṯawāf.

#287: If doubt about the ritual purity arises upon completion of the ṯawāf, it must be ignored, although, as a precautionary measure, the ṯawāf ought to be repeated. However, the pilgrim must perform the ritual ablution before starting the ṯawāf prayer.

#288: If, for a justifiable reason, it is not possible to perform the ritual ablution and there is no prospect for this obstacle to be removed, the pilgrim has to make a tayammum (dry ablution) in order to perform the ṯawāf. If performing tayammum is not possible, a representative has to be appointed who performs the ṯawāf on behalf of the pilgrim concerned. However, as a precaution, they themselves should also carry out the ṯawāf without wudū or tayammum.

#289: Upon termination of a postnatal period or a menstrual period or if someone is in a state of ğanābah (after sexual intercourse or emission of semen), the individual must perform the major ablution in order to make the ṯawāf. If this is not possible and there is no hope of it becoming possible, the ṯawāf must be preceded by a tayammum. In such a case, it is recommended, as a measure of precaution, that a representative be appointed for the ṯawāf. If performing the dry ablution is not possible, a representative must be appointed to perform the ṯawāf on the pilgrim's behalf.

#290: If a woman who is performing the ´Umratu-t-Tamattu´ gets her period before having begun the ṯawāf – regardless of whether it happens prior to her assuming ihrām or if she has already entered that state – and there is time enough to await the end of her period, she has to wait for it to be over and then complete the ´Umratu-t-Tamattu´. If there is not sufficient time, there are two possibilities:

  1. If her menstrual period started before or while she was entering the state of consecration, she should change over to Hağğu-l-Ifrād. Upon completing the Hajj, she has to perform the ´Umratu-l-Mufradah if she is able to do so.
  2. If her menstrual period began after her assuming the state of consecration, she may decide freely whether to perform the Hağğu-l-Ifrād as specified above or whether to carry out the rituals for the ´Umratu-l-Tamattu´ without the ṯawāf and the corresponding prayer. After the sa´ī (the walk between the two hills Safa and Marwa) she should perform taqsīr (cutting some of her hair) and then enter the state of consecration for the Hajj. If she returns to Mecca after finishing the rituals in Mina, she should perform the ṯawāf of the ´Umrah and the corresponding prayer before carrying out the ṯawāf of Hajj.

If the bleeding continues and she knows for sure that it will last until she will have returned from Mina and that she would not be able to catch up with her travel group due to lack of time, she should appoint a representative perform the ṯawāf and the corresponding prayer on her behalf. She should perform the

sa´ī herself.

#291: If a woman gets her period while performing the ṯawāf and before completing the fourth round, the ṯawāf is void and the above-mentioned rule applies. If it happens after the fourth round, the rounds that were made up to this point are valid and she has to finish the remaining rounds after the performance of the major ablution. As a precaution, she should then perform a complete ṯawāf if time permits.

However, she should perform sa´ī and taqsīr, enter the state of ihrām for the Hajj and then, upon coming back to Mecca from Mina and after performing the rituals, she should resume the ṯawāf before executing the ṯawāf for the Hajj.

#292: If the menstrual bleeding began after finishing the ṯawāf but before performing the prayer of ṯawāf, the ṯawāf is valid. She has to make up the prayer after performing the major ablution. If there is not enough time, she should fulfill the sa´ī, perform taqsīr and make up for the prayer before performing the ṯawāf for the Hajj.

#293: If a woman has completed the ṯawāf and also the corresponding prayer and then she perceives that she got her period and is not sure whether it started before or after the ṯawāf or before or after the prayer, she ought to regard both as valid. However, if she knows that the menstrual bleeding began before or during the prayer, the above rule applies.

#294: If a woman who anticipates her menstrual bleeding is able to perform the ´Umratu-t-Tamattu´ beforehand but she deliberately hesitates to do so until she gets her period, although afterwards there will no longer be sufficient time to complete the ´Umrah, it is evident that her ´Umrah becomes invalid. For her, the rule applies which is described at the beginning of the chapter "Ṯawāf ".

#295: An optional ṯawāf does not require ritual purity as a prerequisite, which means that the ṯawāf is valid without it. Ritual purity is indispensable for the prayer of ṯawāf, though.

#296: If a person is not able to maintain ritual purity, e.g. in case of incontinence, constant flatulence or inability to control the bowels, it is sufficient to perform the ritual "exceptional ablution", i.e. performing the ablution directly before the ṯawāf and before the prayer.

As a precaution, if someone suffers from constant flatulence, besides performing the ṯawāf and the ṯawāf prayer by themselves after making the "exceptional ablution", they should also appoint a representative who executes the ṯawāf and the corresponding prayer on their behalf.

If a woman has a mid-cycle bleeding (istihāda), as a precaution, she should perform the partial ablution once for the ṯawāf and once again specifically for the prayer if the bleeding is just a little bit. If it is moderate, she should first make the major ablution and then the partial ablution once for the ṯawāf and once again before the prayer. If the bleeding is heavy, she should make the major ablution once for the ṯawāf and once again before the prayer without having to perform the partial ablution as well.

Third: Purity of the body and the clothes

The ṯawāf is not valid if the body or the clothes are impure. The exceptions that are tolerated during prayer, e.g. a bloodstain that is not bigger than one Dirham (which is approximately equivalent to a 2 Euro coin), are, as a precautionary measure, not excused in the case of the ṯawāf. During the ṯawāf, there are no objections to a pilgrim carrying with them something, which is impure (nağis).

#297: During the ṯawāf, there is no objection to blood coming out of a wound, which has not yet healed, or out of an abscess if the purification is difficult to do. If not, as a precaution, the wound should be cleaned. The same applies to any kind of impurity, which cannot be removed, coming into contact with the body or the clothes.

#298: If a pilgrim was unaware of an impurity of the body or the clothes and they perceive it after completing the ṯawāf, the ṯawāf is valid and does not need to be repeated. The same applies to the prayer of the ṯawāf. The prayer is also valid if the pilgrim suspects an impurity and looks for it in vain, but then after the prayer they find it. If someone is in doubt but does not investigate and after the prayer discovers the impurity, they have to repeat the prayer as a precaution.

#299: If a pilgrim forgets about an impurity on their body or on their clothes and then recalls it after completing the ṯawāf, it is evident that the ṯawāf is valid, although it would be better to repeat it as a precautionary measure. However, if they recollect it after finishing the prayer, as a precaution, they have to repeat the prayer if it happened out of carelessness. Otherwise, there is no need for a repetition.

#300: If a pilgrim becomes aware of an impurity of their body or their clothes while performing the ṯawāf, they should remove it or change their clothes if this is possible without breaking the rules of ṯawāf, and then they should continue with the ṯawāf. If they were not able to do so, they should finish the ṯawāf and then, as a precautionary measure, they should repeat it if they perceived the impurity before completing the fourth round, although it is apparent that the repetition is really not necessary.

Fourth: Male circumcision

Apparently, as a precautionary measure, even a boy who is mumayyiz has to be circumcised. A boy who is not yet mumayyiz may perform the ṯawāf without being circumcised, although, as a precaution, it would be better if he were.

#301: If a male pilgrim, man or boy, who is mumayyiz but not circumcised, performs the ṯawāf, it is invalid. If he does not repeat the ṯawāf after having been circumcised, it is deemed undone and the following rules apply to him:

#302: If someone is in possession of the means and is in the position to perform the obligatory pilgrimage but is not circumcised, he should have the circumcision done and then perform the pilgrimage in the same year. Otherwise, he has to postpone it till after the circumcision.

If a circumcision is out of question due to acceptable reasons (e.g. fear of bodily damage), the obligation to perform the pilgrimage is still effective. But as a precaution, in addition to personally performing the ṯawāf for both Hajj and ´Umrah, he should appoint a representative to do the ṯawāf on his behalf. Subsequently, he should not perform the prayer following the ṯawāf until his representative has finished the ṯawāf.

Fifth: Covering the private parts according to Islamic rules (satru-l-´aurāh)

As a precautionary measure ('ala-l-ahwaṯ), the ´aurāh has to be covered during the ṯawāf according to the same regulations as during prayer.