The Rites of Hajj in Detail

Egypt's Dar Al-Ifta

The Rites of Hajj in Detail

The Rites of Hajj in Detail

The pillars of hajj
The obligatory features of hajj are those actions which are necessary for its validity and the omission of which are not expatiated by slaughtering or any other action. The obligatory features of hajj are four:

1- Ihram.

2- Sa'y.

3- Standing at 'Arafat.

4- Tawaf al-ifada.

The first pillar: Ihram
Ihram is the intention to perform hajj, 'umrah or both whether hajj ifrad, qiran or tamattu'. It is one of the obligatory actions of hajj and 'umrah without which they are invalid. Ihram for hajj has both a temporal and a spatial miqat:

- Temporal miqat: It begins from the eve of 'Eid al-Fitr in the month of Shawwal and continues until the dawn of yawm an-nahr i.e. it is permissible for a pilgrim to enter ihram for hajj during this period. A pilgrim misses hajj if he neglects to enter ihram before dawn of yawm an-nahr. It is valid to enter ihram for 'umrah at any time.

- Spatial miqat: It differs for residents of Mecca (or one who has entered the boundaries of al-Haram) and non-residents.

Residents of Mecca

The spatial miqat differs depending on the type of hajj performed. A pilgrim on hajj ifrad or tamattu' enters ihram from Mecca whether he is a resident of Mecca or not.

A pilgrim on hajj qiran or 'umrah, goes to al-Hill (a place outside al-Haram) to enter ihram, thereby combining between al-Hill and al-Haram. The sunnah is to enter ihram from at-Tan'eem.

Non-residents of Mecca (coming from beyond the miqat sites)
Dhul Hulaifa: It is the miqat for the people of al-Medina and beyond who pass through it (at present) before going to Mecca such as those coming from Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Jordon. It is the farthest miqat from Mecca, the nearest to al-Medina and contains the wells of Ali. The Prophet used to enter ihram from its mosque.

Al-Juhfa: It is the miqat for the people (who in former times came) from Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan and those coming from their direction such as the people of Egypt and Morocco. It is a ruined village located between Mecca and al-Medina (at a distance of 187 km from Mecca). At present, pilgrims coming from the above countries enter ihram at Rabigh, 204 km north-west of Mecca. And since Al-Rabigh lies before al-Juhfa in the direction of the sea, a pilgrim who enters ihram from there enters before the miqat for his country. It has been said that entering ihram from al-Rabigh is a precaution since the exact location of al-Juhfa is not known for certain.

Yalamlam: It is one of the mountains of Tuhama, 54 km south of Mecca. It is the miqat for pilgrims coming from Yemen and those coming from its direction.

Qarn al-Manazil: It lies at a distance of 94 km east of Mecca. It is the miqat for pilgrims coming from Najd.

Dhat-'Irq: At present, it is a ruined village 94 km north-east of Mecca. It is the miqat for pilgrims coming from Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and beyond.

The spatial miqat for a pilgrim coming from areas lying between the miqat sites and Mecca
The miqat for one coming from an area lying between the miqat sites and Mecca, is the town of his residence. A pilgrim residing between Mecca and a miqat site, enters ihram from his house and it is unnecessary for him to enter ihram from the miqat itself. It is impermissible for him to go beyond his house without assuming ihram.

Similarly, the miqat for a resident of Jeddah which is located between Mecca and the closest miqat (72 km west of Mecca) is his home.

It is recommended for anyone passing by any of these miqat sites, even if by sea, to enter ihram from there.

Anyone who goes beyond the miqat site without assuming ihram must go back except if he has an excuse. He is not obliged to slaughter a hady [in expiation] if he returns to assume ihram from the miqat site provided he has not started the rites. But if he had gone beyond the miqat site without assuming ihram and then subsequently entered ihram and started the rites, he must slaughter a hady in expiation even if he eventually returns to the miqat site to assume ihram.

Ihram garments
Ibn 'Umar (may God be pleased with them both) narrated that the Prophet was once asked about the garments that a pilgrim must wear during hajj. He said, “Do not wear shirts, turbans, trousers (i.e. garments that cover the area between the navel and knees), hooded garments, or khuff (a kind of footwear) except if you cannot find slippers. Whoever does not find slippers, may wear khuff and cut off what is above the heels. Do not wear any garments dyed with saffron or wars1."2

Scholars have noted that, [as the hadith shows], when the Prophet was asked about the garments a pilgrim should wear, he instructed them on what a pilgrim must not wear i.e. it is permissible to wear other than what the hadith mentions. Scholars are therefore unanimous that it is impermissible for a pilgrim to wear any of the garments specified in the hadith. The Prophet [specifically] mentioned shirts and trousers to signify stitched garments and those which encircle the body parts they are designed to fit.

The Prophet warned against wearing turbans and hooded garments to signify anything that covers the head—stitched or otherwise. He even warned against wearing headbands though they are permissible to use for dressing wounds, headaches or for any other valid reason, though in such a case a person must offer a fidya (compensation).

Similarly, the Prophet used the example of khuff to signify the prohibition of wearing anything that covers the feet—footwear, socks, or otherwise, though this is only applicable to men. The Prophet said, "Whoever does not find slippers, may wear khuff but must cut off anything that is above the heels." [Commenting on this hadith], the majority of scholars have maintained that it is not permissible to wear khuff except after cutting anything that is above the heels. Hanbali scholars have maintained that it is permissible for a pilgrim who cannot find slippers to wear khuff without cutting off anything from them, without this necessitating fidya. The majority of scholars, however, have maintained that fidya is due upon such a person but is not due upon one who wears them after cutting what is above the heels. This is because, had the fidya been obligatory for such a person, the Prophet would have elucidated it.

Unlike the ruling for men above, a woman in ihram may cover all her body with any kind of garment, stitched or otherwise, except for a face veil which is prohibited. However, it is permissible for her to wear a face cover that does not touch her skin and she is not obliged to make fidya. The most correct opinion is that she must not wear gloves to cover her hands. In a hadith classified as authentic, the Prophet said, "A woman in ihram is not to wear a face veil or gloves."

The Prophet warned against using wars and saffron to signify the prohibition of wearing perfume. Men and women are therefore forbidden to use all kinds of fragrances after they enter ihram though the ruling applies only to products that are

used for their scent. Fragrant fruits such as apples, wild flowers, wormwood, and the like are lawful because they are not planted for their scent. The same applies to scented cleaning products, such as soap, which are not considered perfume. Based on this and according to the opinion appropriate for fatwa, a pilgrim in a state of ihram is allowed to use such products although it is more religiously precautious not to use scented cleaning products to avoid the controversy of scholars.

Based on the hadith, "Do not wear any garments which have been touched by saffron or wars", scholars are unanimous on the prohibition of using any kind of scent on garments while in a state of ihram although there is a consensus on the permissibility of perfuming the body. The majority of scholars prohibit using perfume on ihram garments at the time of assuming ihram while Shafi'i scholars permit this even if the scent remains after a pilgrim has entered ihram. They have two opinions regarding the fidya for removing ihram garments after having used perfume on them and then wearing them once again while the scent is still on them: the first is that fidya is obligatory while the second is that it is not. According to them, this is because clothes are repeatedly worn and taken off and therefore this impermissibility is waived.

The wisdom behind prohibiting perfume for women is to help them refrain from indulging in luxuries and worldly pleasures, thereby devoting themselves to greater purposes.

Perfume is prohibited for both men and women in ihram. Similarly, the rest of the restrictions of ihram apply to both genders though women, unlike men, are allowed to wear any kind of garments.

Ibn 'Abbas narrated that the Prophet said (regarding those who cannot find garments which meet the aforementioned conditions of ihram), "Whoever cannot find an izar (a wraparound used to cover the lower body) may wear trousers and whoever cannot find slippers may wear khuff."3 This narration is explicit evidence for the permissibility of wearing trousers for a muhrim who cannot find an izar. Unlike this hadith, the hadith narrated by Ibn 'Umar does not contain proof prohibiting wearing sarawilat since it was mentioned in the case of the availability of an izar. Therefore, there is no incompatibility between the two hadiths. A muhrim who cannot find an izar may wear trousers without making fidya and this is the opinion of Shafi'i and Hanbali scholars.4

The wisdom behind ihram garments
Scholars have said that the wisdom behind prohibiting the aforementioned garments and the obligatoriness of wearing the izar and rida` (mantle worn around the upper body), is to remove the pilgrim from luxury and immerse him in spiritual devotion characterized by humility and submissiveness to God the Almighty. The ihram garments are a constant reminder that he is in a state of ihram thereby, allowing him to make dhikr in abundance, be mindful of God, and refrain from commissioning any of the restrictions of ihram. Additionally, the ihram garments serve as a reminder of death, the shroud, and the Day of Resurrection when man will hasten towards his Caller, barefooted and naked.

The restrictions of ihram
1- Wearing stitched clothes (for men). These include anything that encircles the body and is designed to fit a certain body part. When asked about the clothes a muhrim must wear, the Prophet said, "He must not wear shirts, turbans, trousers, hooded garments or clothes which have been touched by saffron or wars."

2- Covering the head or part of it (for men). Men must not cover their heads though it is permissible for them to shelter under an umbrella or the like to avoid sunlight.

3- Covering the face or part of it (for women), except for that part of the head that must be concealed. Women are not allowed to cover their faces with anything that touches their skin; anything else is lawful and in such a case no fidya is necessary.

4- Shaving or anointing the hair.
5- Using perfume on the body or clothes.

6- Paring nails.

7- Killing game animals.

8- Contracting a marriage for oneself or for another, whether one does so himself or through an agent. This is because of the words of the Prophet who said, "A muhrim is not to marry, marry someone to another, or get engaged." It is disliked to get engaged.

9- Foreplay: touching and kissing with lust etc...

All of the above restrictions are effective from when a pilgrim first enters ihram until his partial release from it except for sexual intercourse and its preliminaries which remain unlawful until his full release from ihram. According to the consensus of scholars, a pilgrim who deliberately violates any of the restrictions of ihram must make fidya though, according to the correct opinion, nothing is due upon him if he does any of them out of forgetfulness.

The sunnas of ihram
1- It is recommended for a pilgrim to:

- Chant the talbiyah immediately after donning his ihram.

- Chant the talbiyah made by the Prophet, "Labayk Allahuma labayk. Labayk la sharika laka labayk. Inna al hamda wal ni`mata Laka wal Mulk, la sharik Lak" i.e. "O my Lord, here I am ever at Your service, here I am. You have no partner, here I am. Truly, all praise, blessings and dominion are Yours. You have no partner." It is good if a pilgrim chants this, just as it is good if he adds to it. Scholars have said that a pilgrim may add to the talbiyah as much as he wishes. Imam Malik related through Nafi' through Ibn 'Umar (may God be pleased with them both) that he used

to add "Labayka wa Sa'dayk wa al-khayr bi Yadayka wa al raghba` Ilayk wa al 'amal" i.e. "O my Lord, Here I am, ever at Your service. All good belongs to You." My desire and worship are for You." After chanting the talbiyah, 'Umar (may God be pleased with him) would say, "Labayka dha an-nu'ama` wa al-fadl wa al-thanaa` al-hasan. Labayka marhuban Mink wa marghuban ilayk" i.e. O my Lord here I am at your service. All bounties, grace, and good praise belong to you. O my Lord here I am at your service, both fearing You and desiring You." Anas would chant the following talbiyah, "Labayka haqqan haqqan, ta'abuddan wa riqan" i.e. O My Lord! I am truly here at your service, worshipping You as a slave."5 The matter of dhikr and du'a` is open and capacious, and what is important is what a Muslim finds in his heart.

- For a pilgrim on hajj or 'umrah to begin chanting the talbiyah after he assumes ihram and until he enters Mecca and sees the Ka'bah. This matter is open and capacious and, according to some scholars, there is no harm if he continues to chant during tawaf and sa'y.

- Resume chanting the talbiyah after making tawaf and and sa'y, even if at the sacred Mosque.

- For a pilgrim on 'umrah to continue chanting until he releases himself from 'umrah by shaving or trimming his hair. A pilgrim on hajj, is to continue chanting the talbiyah until he stones Jamarat al-'Aqaba on yawm an-nahr or until he makes tawaf al-ifada and releases himself of the state of ihram on yawm an-nahr when he is to cease chanting and make takbir.

- Chant the talbiyah in a medium tone so as not impose any hardship upon himself.

- Repeat the talbiyah at least thrice every time he utters it.

- Not to interrupt the talbiyah by speech or otherwise until after every three times he utters it.

- Chant the talbiyah in abundance, especially in different situations such as: the approach of day or night; ascending and descending; meeting company; standing, sitting, and riding; lying down; after prayers and in all mosques.

- Make du'a` after the talbiyah.

- Chant the talbiyah whether he is standing, sitting, walking, riding, lying down, ascending or descending, whether in a state of ablution or not, and for a woman, even in a state of menstruation or postnatal bleeding.

2- Before bathing for ihram, it is recommended for a pilgrim to clip his nails, trim his moustache, shave his pubic hair and underarms, and comb his hair.

3- Bathe immediately before entering ihram. This is analogous to the bath performed before Friday prayer.

4- For a man, to wrap the izar around his waist, the rida` around his shoulders and wear slippers.

5- Perform two rak'ahs after bathing and before entering ihram. This recommendation is met by an obligatory prayer.

The second pillar: Sa'y
Sa'y between as-Safa and al-Marwa consists of seven rounds, the first starting from as-Safa and the last ending at al-Marwa. It is a condition to perform sa'y after an obligatory or voluntary tawaf.

The recommended manner of performing sa'y
It is recommended for a pilgrim to climb as-Safa until he sees the Ka'bah through the mosque's door, then face the Ka'bah and say, "I intended to make sa'y between as-Safa and al-Marwa for hajj (or 'umrah), going seven rounds for the sake of God the Almighty". It is recommended to make takbir, tahlil, praise God and ask God

for what he pleases at this place. Afterwards, a pilgrim descends and walks towards al-Marwa without haste and with tranquility, and say, "O God! Have mercy and forgive. Overlook that which You know for indeed You are the Most Powerful and Generous." A pilgrim is to occupy himself with dhikr and invoke peace and blessings upon the Prophet until the distance between him and the green pillar is six arm lengths. At this point, he is to quicken his pace such that his izar wraps around his feet, intending worship and not competition with others, until he passes the two green pillars. Afterwards, he is to walk without haste until he reaches al-Marwa, ascends it and repeats what he did on as-Safa (takbir, tahlil, praising God, and making du'a`). This is one complete round. He must then turn to go back to as-Safa and repeat the process until he completes seven rounds (beginning each round from as-Safa and ending it at al-Marwa).

Sunnahs of sa'y
During sa'y, it is recommended:

1- That all the rounds be consecutive without any long periods of interruption in between.

2- To make sa'y immediately after tawaf and its recommended actions.

3- To walk for those who are able. Those who are unable to walk may have someone carry them or push their wheelchairs.

4- To trot i.e. walk at a fast pace without running, between the two green pillars (previously, Batn al-Wadi) in each of the seven rounds.

5- Ascend as-Safa and al-Marwa and look at the Ka'bah, following the example of Prophet Mohammed. This is because looking at the Ka'bah is an act of worship.

6- To remain on as-Safa for some time and face the qiblah, look at the Ka'bah and make takbir and tahlil thrice. At this point, it is recommended to say, "Allahu

Akbar 'ala ma hadana" i.e. God is great in that He has guided us, and then supplicate God. It is recommended to repeat this on al-Marwa.

It is permissible for a pilgrim to make sa'y before standing at 'Arafat if he is required to make tawaf al-qudum had assumed ihram from outside al-Haram and subsequently entered Mecca and has ample time to make tawaf al-qudum and sa'y without fear of missing standing at 'Arafat due to lack of time.

It is likewise permissible for a pilgrim to delay sa'y and perform it after tawaf al-ifada if he had not performed tawaf al-qudum, such as when he had entered ihram from al-Haram, feared missing standing at 'Arafat due to lack of time, or performed 'umrah before hajj without leaving al-Haram.

In brief, a muqrin is to make a single sa'y which he may perform after tawaf al-qudum or after tawaf al-ifada. A mutamatti' must perform sa'y twice. He is to perform the first sa'y during his 'umrah for which he had entered ihram from the miqat for his country. After finishing his 'umrah, he is to enter ihram for hajj from Mecca and perform all the rites up until tawaf al-ifada and then perform his second sa'y. A pilgrim on hajj ifrad must make one sa'y which he is to perform during the rites of hajj, whether after tawaf al-qudum or tawaf al-ifada.

The third pillar: Standing at 'Arafat
Standing at 'Arafat is the major pillar of hajj; it is performed on 9th Dhul-Hijjah by standing at 'Arafat, even if for a brief moment on any part of the plain, or by merely passing through.

According to Hanbali scholars, the time for standing at 'Arafat begins from the dawn of 9th Dhul-Hijjah and according to Imams Abu Hanifa, Malik, and al-Shafi'i, it begins just before midday and continues until dawn of yawm an-nahr (10th Dhul-Hijjah). The minimum period required to fulfill the obligation is to stand there, even if for a brief moment.

The recommended manner and period for standing at 'Arafat
Pilgrims proceed to a place called Namira. When the time for dhuhr prayer arrives, the imam gives two sermons and pilgrims pray, joining dhuhr and 'asr prayers. They then proceed with the imam to 'Arafat, making dhikr and du'a`, with submissiveness. After arriving at 'Arafat, it is recommended to stand by Jabal ar-Rahmah, if possible (if not, then anywhere on the plain of 'Arafat) in a state of ablution.

The fourth pillar: Tawaf al-ifada
The tawaf performed during hajj is either obligatory such as tawaf al-ifada, required such as tawaf al-wada' (there is a scholarly debate on whether it is required or recommended) or voluntary such as tawaf al-qudum.

Manner of making tawaf
- Tawaf, whether obligatory, required, or voluntary begins from the Black Stone located at the corner before the door of the Ka'bah. It is recommended for a pilgrim to begin each of the seven rounds from the direction of the Yemeni corner by facing the Black Stone and keeping it to his right. In this manner, he would pass the Black Stone with all of his body. It is required to face part of the Black Stone with at least some part of his body. If for instance, a pilgrim begins his circumambulation from the Yemeni corner, the distance between it and the Black stone does not count as part of the round but only the distance from the Black Stone is counted. And if he begins his circumambulation some distance from the Black Stone, it is as if he had started the round of tawaf from al-Multazim or the door of the Ka'bah for instance and he must repeat the entire round.

- If a pilgrim had entered ihram for hajj only, he is to say before beginning tawaf al-qudum, "I intend to perform the seven rounds of tawaf al-qudum." If he had entered ihram for 'umrah, he is to say, "I intend to perform the seven rounds of tawaf for 'umrah." If he had entered ihram for hajj and 'umrah, he is to say, "I intend to make the seven rounds of tawaf al-qudum."

- At the beginning of tawaf or before embarking on it, it is recommended for a pilgrim to wear the rida` with its middle beneath his right arm and the ends over his left shoulder and bare his right shoulder (idtiba'). He is to wear his rida` in this manner only during tawaf and not during the other rites of hajj or 'umrah.

- Before starting his tawaf, it is recommended for a pilgrim to kiss the Black stone as it is likewise recommended to kiss it at the beginning of every round without jostling and without producing any sound. The optimal manner of kissing the Black Stone is for a pilgrim to kiss it thrice and place his forehead to it after each time he kisses it. If this is not possible, he may touch it and then kiss his hand. If not possible, he is to point to it with his hand, a stick or the like, and there is no objection to kissing the item he pointed with.

- He is then to face the Ka'bah and stand by the Black Stone from the Yemeni Corner, such that the Black Stone is entirely to his right. He is to make the intention for performing tawaf for the sake of God the Almighty and then move sideways to the right while facing it. Once past it, he turns and keeps the Ka'bah to his left. If the pilgrim keeps the Ka'bah to his left while passing the Black Stone from the beginning and neglected to face it, it would likewise be permissible but he misses a great virtue.

- He is to continue in this manner by keeping the Ka'bah to his left and facing forward, and then proceed to the Multazim between the corner where the Black stone is located and the door of the Ka'bah, so called because this is where pilgrims make du'a`. He then proceeds to the second corner and then pass behind Hijr Ismai'il (the Station of Ismai'il) and walks around it until he reaches the third corner (this and the previous corner are called the 'Shami corners' or the 'Moroccan corners'). He then goes around the Ka'bah until he reaches the Yemeni corner and proceeds to the Black Stone thereby reaching the starting point of his circumambulation and completing one round. He repeats the process seven times.6

- A pilgrim is required to complete seven rounds, each one beginning and ending at the Black Stone. It is recommended that the rounds be consecutive, without many interruptions between them and that a pilgrim walks in all the rounds, except if he is unable to.

- When a pilgrim reaches the Yemeni corner, it is recommended for him to face it if possible and then kiss his hand. The Yemeni corner is the corner that precedes the corner where the Black Stone is located. According to Al-Shafi'i, there is no objection to kissing it itself.7

- As for the remaining two corners, it is not recommended to face or kiss them according to the opinion of Imams Ahmed, Ibn Hanbal, Malik and al-Shafi'i. A pilgrim who rubs his hand against them, does well since it was reported that some of the Companions and Successors did this. Imam Al-Shafi'i wrote in Al-Umm (vol. 2, p.172), "If a pilgrim rubs his hand against them as he does with the rest of the Ka'bah, it is good."8 He added that it is likewise good if he kisses them.9

Based on this, the claim that facing and kissing these two corners and the Yemeni corner is an unlawful innovation is groundless and erroneous. Al-Khatib al-Shirbini said, "[Those who] maintain that a pilgrim is not to kiss these three corners only mean that it is not a sunnah. It is neither disliked nor less optimal if a pilgrim kisses them or any other part of the Ka'bah. Rather, is good … Al-Isnawi said, "Be careful for it is an important matter."10

- It is recommended for a pilgrim to make takbir each time he kisses the Black Stone, places his hands on it, touches it with a stick, kisses it or points to it, as it is likewise recommended to supplicate God and invoke blessings upon the Prophet.

- It is recommended for a pilgrim to hasten his pace and trot during the first three rounds of tawaf except if this is not possible because of crowding. The manner of trotting is to quicken his pace such that his garments wrap around his feet.

- Trotting is recommended for men and disliked for women. It is permissible for a pilgrim to refrain from trotting in the first three rounds if he is accompanied by females who may not be able to keep up with him. This is because he is obliged to keep up with the slower party.

- It is obligatory upon a pilgrim performing tawaf to keep the Ka'bah to his left; the circumambulation does not count for a pilgrim who does otherwise. It is also obligatory to keep his body away from the Shadherwan (the buttress at the base of the Ka'bah). Furthermore, during his circumambulation, he is not to place his hands on the panel containing the Black Stone or on the Shadherwan. He is to pass outside Hijr Ismai'il on each round without entering the opening on either of its sides; otherwise the circumambulation is not counted. This is because Hijr Ismai'il is part of the Ka'bah and therefore a pilgrim must pass outside it by keeping its semi-circular wall to his left.

- It is obligatory for a pilgrim to purify himself from ritual impurity, impure substances on his person and clothing and to cover his nakedness as in prayer.

- It is recommended to make du'a` during tawaf by praying for knowledge, well-being, success and abundance in provisions.

- It is desirable for a pilgrim to interrupt his tawaf to offer obligatory prayers in congregation behind the Mosque's imam and afterwards continue the remaining rounds.

- It is desirable to make du'a` at the Multazim immediately after tawaf, or after offering the two rak'ahs of prayer associated with tawaf because this is one of the places where du'a` is answered.

- It is desirable to offer two rak`ahs after completing tawaf, with the intention of praying the two rak'has associated with tawaf as it is likewise desirable to perform them behind Hijr Ismai'il (keeping the Hijr between the pilgrim and the Ka'bah). When standing before the Hijr, a pilgrim is to recite the following Qur`anic verse,

Take the spot where Ibrahim stood as your place of prayer. [Al-Baqarah, 125]

After reciting Surat al-Fatiha in the first rak'a, a pilgrim recites Surat al-Kafirun in the first rak'ah and Surat al- Ikhlas in the second. If it is not possible for him to pray there, he may pray anywhere else in the Mosque. It is recommended for him to supplicate God for whatever he wishes of matters related to this world and the Hereafter since du'a` is accepted at this place.

- It is recommended for a pilgrim to kiss the Black Stone after offering the two rak'as associated with tawaf and before exiting the Mosque to perform sa'y. Therefore, after finishing his prayer and du'a`, a pilgrim is to return to the Black Stone to kiss it, place his forehead to it and make takbir thrice. He is then to go to al-Multazim (between the door of the Ka'bah and the corner where the Black Stone is located) press his chest against it and supplicate God for whatever he wishes.

- Afterwards, he returns to Zamzam and drinks to his fill from its water, all the while facing the Ka'bah and mentioning God's name, supplicating God and intending to quench the thirst of the Day of Judgment.

- He then exits from as-Safa gate (men exit by putting out their left leg first) to start his sa'y.

- Tawaf al-ifada is one of the obligatory actions without which hajj is invalid; its sunnahs and required actions are the same as those of tawaf al-qudum.

- It is desirable for a pilgrim who has finished stoning Jamarat al-'Aqaba, performed the ritual sacrifice and shaved his head to leave Mina for Mecca on yawm an-nahr to perform tawaf al-ifada without delay except for a necessity.

- It is a condition that tawaf- al-ifada be preceded by assuming ihram and standing at 'Arafat. According to Shafi'i and Hanbali scholars, it is a condition to perform it after midnight of the eve of yawm an-nahr, and, according to Hanafi and Maliki scholars, after dawn of yawm an-nahr; the matter is open.

- It is recommended for a pilgrim to perform tawaf al-ifada after slaughtering and shaving his head without delay.

- Tawaf al-ifada accomplishes full release from ihram, when all the restrictions of ihram become lawful. A pilgrim then returns to Mina on 10th Dhul-Hijjah, prays dhuhr there if possible and stays there during the days of tashriq.

- It is desirable to perform tawaf al-ifada before the beginning of the month of Muharram and it is disliked to postpone it until after the days of tashriq.

Among the esoteric meanings of tawaf, is that it reminds a pilgrim of the angels' circumambulation around al-Bayt al-Ma'mur (situated directly above the Ka'bah). God has caused everything to float, each in its own orbit: the planets revolve around the sun, the sun revolves around its galaxy, and so on. A pilgrim revolves around the Ka'bah in much the same way as other creations of God revolve around their own orbits, glorifying God. A pilgrim therefore moves with the universe and, because the Ka'bah is located in the northern hemisphere, a pilgrim finds himself moving in the same direction of water since this is the direction of the motion of water in the northern hemisphere. All creatures are doing the same thing; God the Almighty says,

Each floats in [its own] orbit. [Ya-Sin, 40]

A pilgrim performing tawaf is therefore in perfect harmony with the universe and the righteous servants of God.


1 Wars: Fragrant leaves that are crushed and rubbed on a bride's body due to its benefits. It has been said that the wisdom behind the prohibition of wars for a pilgrim is because it arouses sexual desire and a pilgrim in a state of ihram is forbidden to engage in sexual intercourse and in its preliminaries.

2 Recorded by Bukhari (5863) and Muslim (2848).

3 Recorded by Muslim (2851).

4 Imam An-Nawawi's commentary on Sahih Muslim (8/73).

5 Abu al-Hasan Ibn Batal. Sharh Shaih al-Bukhari, (Maktabat al-Rushd), vol. 4, p. 224.

6 Al-Nawawi's commentary on Al-Muhadhab (8/13).

7 Al-Shafi'i, Al-Umm (2/170).

8 Al-Shafi'i, Al-Umm (2/172).

9 Al-Shafi'i, Al-Umm (2/172).

10 Al-Khatib al-Shirbini. Mughni Al-Muhtaj (1/487).


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