Lessons in ‘Aqeedah Learned From Tawaaf


Part three of lessons in ‘Aqeedah

دروس عقدية مستفادة من الحج

Excerpts from The Teachings of Hajj by Abdul Razzaq ibn Abdul Muhsin


Performing Tawaaf

A significant lesson is learned while performing Tawaaf; which is an act of walking around the Ka’bah seven times in devotion and out of obedience to Allah. The extent to which an individual perfects this act of worship corresponds to how closely he follows the example of the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

There are many texts in the Quran and Sunnah that establish the validity of Tawaaf:

ثُمَّ لْيَقْضُوا تَفَثَهُمْ وَلْيُوفُوا نُذُورَهُمْ وَلْيَطَّوَّفُوا بِالْبَيْتِ الْعَتِيقِ

Then let them complete the prescribed duties (Manasik of Hajj) for them, and perform their vows, and circumambulate the Ancient House (the Ka’bah at Makkah). (Surah Al Hajj: 29)

Furthermore, Allah took a covenant from His Prophets, Ibrahim ‘alayhissalam and Isma’il ‘alayhissalam that they purify the House, establish its foundations and prepare it for those performing Tawaaf, standing, bowing or prostrating themselves in prayer.

وَإِذْ جَعَلْنَا الْبَيْتَ مَثَابَةً لِّلنَّاسِ وَأَمْنًا وَاتَّخِذُوا مِن مَّقَامِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ مُصَلًّى ۖ وَعَهِدْنَا إِلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْمَاعِيلَ أَن طَهِّرَا بَيْتِيَ لِلطَّائِفِينَ وَالْعَاكِفِينَ وَالرُّكَّعِ السُّجُودِ

And (remember) when We made the House (the Ka’bah at Makkah) a place of resort for mankind and a place of safety. And take you (people) the Maqam (place) of Ibrahim (Abraham) [or the stone on which Ibrahim (Abraham) stood while he was building the Ka’bah] as a place of prayer (for some of your prayers, e.g. two Rak’at after the Tawaf of the Ka’bah at Makkah), and We commanded Ibrahim (Abraham) and Isma’il (Ishmael) that they should purify My House (the Ka’bah at Makkah) for those who are circumambulating it, or staying (I’tikaf), or bowing or prostrating themselves (there, in prayer). (Surah Al Baqarah: 125)

وَإِذْ بَوَّأْنَا لِإِبْرَاهِيمَ مَكَانَ الْبَيْتِ أَن لَّا تُشْرِكْ بِي شَيْئًا وَطَهِّرْ بَيْتِيَ لِلطَّائِفِينَ وَالْقَائِمِينَ وَالرُّكَّعِ السُّجُودِ

And (remember) when We showed Ibrahim (Abraham) the site of the (Sacred) House (the Ka’bah at Makkah) (saying): “Associate not anything (in worship) with Me, [La ilaha ill-Allah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah Islamic Monotheism], and sanctify My House for those who circumambulate it, and those who stand up for prayer, and those who bow (submit themselves with humility and obedience to Allah), and make prostration (in prayer, etc.). (Surah Al Hajj: 26)

Tawaaf is the first action done by a Muslim upon arriving in Makkah, in emulation of the Messenger of Allah sallalallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

‘Aishah radhiallahu ‘anha said,

إن أول شيء بدأ به حين قدم النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم أنه توضأ ثم طاف

“The very first thing which the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam began with upon arrival in Makkah was to make Wudhu and perform Tawaaf.” (Saheeh Bukhari and Muslim)

Muslim also reported in his Saheeh the hadith of Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah which is the most comprehensive description of the Hajj of the Messenger of Allah, a portion of it said,

حتى إذاأتينا البيت معه استلم الركن فرمل ثلاثًا و مشى أربعًا

When we had reached the Ka’bah with him, he touched the corner, and walked briskly for three rounds and walked normally for the next four.

Ibn ‘Umar stated,

أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم كان إذا طاف في الحج أو العمرة أول ما يقدم سعى ثلاثًة أطواف و مشى أربعة, ثم سجد سجدتين ثم يطوف بين الصفا و المروة

“When the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would perform Tawaaf during Hajj, the first thing he would do was to walk briskly for three rounds and walk normally for four. Next, he would perform two units of prayer and proceed between Al Safa and Al Marwah.”

There are many, many more narrations that indicate the validity of Tawaaf, and therefore it is an act which brings one closer to Allah. He prescribed it for His servants, commanded and encouraged them to perform it and designated it as one of the rites of Hajj.

The greatest lesson we learn from this is that this lofty act of worship can only be done at this specific location: the House of Allah in Makkah. As a result, a Muslim must realize that Tawaaf at any other location in the world is not valid and there is nothing to substantiate its permissibility. There is a consensus among the scholars over the falsity of Tawaaf in any other spot other than the Ka’bah, and there is a wide array of statements that reject it:

Imam Al Nawawi wrote in his book: “Tawaaf around the grave of the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is impermissible. One must not be misled by the incorrect actions of the general populace when they do that. Following practices and doing deeds are to be based on the Hadiths as well as statements of the scholars, and no attention is to be given to baseless or ignorant practices of others.”

‘Aishah radhiallahu ‘anha narrated that the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,

من أحدث في أمرنا هذا ما ليس منه فهو رد

Whoever introduces something into this religion of ours which does not belong to it, it shall be rejected. (Sahih Bukhari and Muslim)

Ibn Taymiyyah stated: “The Muslim scholars unanimously agree that Tawaaf is not prescribed except around the Ka’bah. Thus, Tawaaf around the rock in Bayt Al Maqdis, the dwelling of the Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the dome at mount ‘Arafat or anywhere else is impermissible.”

These explanations prove the invalidity of Tawaaf anywhere other than the Ka’bah and the dangers inherent in doing so. However, as it relates to the actions of the ill-formed, ignorant people who make Tawaaf around graves, domes, shrines and so on, then none of that comes from the religion of Allah.



-The Sahara Bloggers (Umm Saifullah)



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