Making sa'y before circumambulating the Ka'bah
Is it permissible to perform sa'y before circumambulating the Ka'bah?
Hanafi and Maliki scholars have maintained the necessity of making sa'y after a valid circumambulation, even if after a supererogatory one. In Shafi'i and Hanbali jurisprudence, it is a condition to perform sa'y after the obligatory circumambulation or tawaf al-qudum. There is no harm if there is an interval between the two though tawaf al-qudum and sa'y must not be interrupted by standing at 'Arafat in between. In such a case, the sa'y does not fulfill the obligation except after tawaf al-ifada. They based their opinion on the fact that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) performed sa'y after circumambulating the Ka'bah and it was reported that he said, "Take the [pilgrimage] rites [from me]" (Muslim).
'Ata`, Dawud al-Dhahiri and some hadith scholars reported that it is not a condition to circumambulate the Ka'bah first. Imam Ahmed said in one report that if a pilgrim absentmindedly makes sa'y before circumambulating the Ka'bah, this meets the obligation. The legal premise for their opinion is the hadith narrated by Usama Ibn Sharik (may God be pleased with him) who said, "I accompanied the Prophet on hajj. People would come to him and some would say, 'O Messenger of God! I made sa'y before circumambulating the Ka'bah' or 'I performed or such-and-such before or after such-and-such.' He would tell them, 'There is no harm in this, there is no harm except for a person who unjustly slanders a fellow Muslim. Such a person is sinful" (recorded by Abu Dawud with an authentic chain of ascription).
The majority of scholars interpreted the hadith which mentions 'made sa'y before circumambulating the Ka'bah' to mean making sa'y after tawaf al-qudum and before tawaf al-ifada.
Based on the above, it is permissible for a pilgrim on hajj tamattu' to make sa'y before tawaf al-qudum following the apparent meaning of the aforementioned hadith and acting upon the dispensation of those scholars who permit this.
And God Almighty knows best.