Hajj & 'Umrah Made Easy

Common mistake in tawaf

1. Sometimes the pilgrim, while doing the tawaf, extends his hand towards the Ka‘bah to touch the corners or other parts of the Ka‘bah. Sometimes he also touches the wall of the Hijr Isma‘il. Based on recommended precaution, this is against the rules of tawaf.

2. Sometimes the pilgrim shortens the tawaf by going through the passage between the Ka‘bah and the Hijr Isma‘il. This is wrong since he invalidates that particular round of the tawaf and it is necessary for him to repeat that one round – this is the ruling even if he had shortened it out of ignorance or forgetfulness.

3. Sometimes the pilgrim while doing the tawaf just entertains a doubt about correctness of the round that he is doing that moment –it is just a doubt and he is not sure of having committed a mistake– and so he ignores that round and starts it again. This invalidates the tawaf, based on precaution, except when it is done out of ignorance.

4. After having completed the seven rounds of the tawaf, sometimes the pilgrim adds one or more rounds on basis of precaution. This is incorrect and based on precaution it renders the entire tawaf invalid except if he was ignorant of this ruling.

Of course, he can cancel his one or more rounds and start the tawaf anew by leaving the tawaf area and doing something else which will indicate that he has cancelled his tawaf, and then he can start the new tawaf.

The above is only when the pilgrim has not yet completed his fourth round of tawaf. After the completion of fourth round, he can just interrupt his tawaf for ten minutes –a gap that will automatically invalidate the tawaf– and then restart his tawaf from the beginning.

5. Some pilgrims do not realize that doing tawaf from the second floor of the Sacred Mosque is not valid because the second floor is higher than the height of the Ka‘bah.

6. Sometimes jama‘at prayers is held in the Sacred Mosque while the pilgrim is doing his tawaf for ‘umrah, and that forces him to interrupt his tawaf and then he joins in the jama‘at. After the prayers, he starts the tawaf from the very beginning thinking that the prayer between the rounds of tawaf invalidated his tawaf. This is an incorrect notion because the gap in between the rounds of tawaf for sake of joining the jama‘at does not harm the validity of the tawaf. In such a case, he should continue his tawaf from wherever he had stopped for the jama‘at and there is no need for starting it from the beginning.

7. In the same case as above, if the pilgrim did not participate in the jama‘at prayer for whatever reason and stood on the side for ten minutes or more waiting for the jama‘at to end to continue his tawaf – in this case the gap of ten minutes just standing at the side cancels the continuity which an essential condition for validity of the tawaf. In this case, he has to start his tawaf from the very beginning.

8. In a case similar to the two previous situations, sometimes the jama‘at prayer is held between the ending of the tawaf and the beginning of the salat of tawaf, and the pilgrim in this case participates in the jama‘at prayer to do his daily prayer. However, he also thinks that the gap between the tawaf and the salat of tawaf has invalidated his tawaf and so he does the tawaf all over again. This is a wrong understanding. The pilgrim in this case has to proceed with saying the salat of tawaf and not to redo the entire tawaf.

If the pilgrim in a similar case decides not to participate in the jama‘at prayer but waits until it has ended—even then his tawaf is valid and he can proceed to do the salat of tawaf provided the waiting time was not more than normal duration of the jama‘at prayer. But if the waiting time was more than normal, then, based on precaution, he has to do the tawaf all over again.

9. Sometimes, after completing the tawaf, the pilgrim finds that there is a barrier (e.g. a transparent bandage) on his body which must have prevented water from reaching the skin in wudhu that he had done before tawaf. Since he found the barrier on himself after the fact, he thinks that there is no need to repeat the wudhu or the tawaf. But this is incorrect; it is obligatory on him to repeat the wudhu as well as the tawaf since purity is one of the essential conditions of tawaf as mentioned earlier.

10. Sometime the pilgrim realizes that his tawaf was invalid after he had done the taqsir (which is the last of rituals of ‘umrah) and after he had changed into his normal clothes. As soon as he realizes that, he must remove his sewn clothes immediately and refrain from whatever was forbidden in the state of ihram. Then he should do the tawaf, the salat of tawaf, sa‘i and then taqsir. However, he does not have to go back to the miqat to renew his ihram.

11. Pushing, shoving and hurting other pilgrims in order to get closer to kiss the Black Stone is not at all appropriate for the guests of the Merciful Lord or even for the guests of others in their presence. The validity of the tawaf or hajj does not depend on kissing the Black Stone.

12. Sometimes the pilgrim entertains doubt in the number of rounds in a sunnat tawaf, and then he thinks that doubt in a sunnat tawaf invalidates his tawaf so he starts his tawaf anew. This is incorrect because he can always resolve the doubt by accepting the lesser number and then proceed with the rest of the rounds of tawaf.