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Chapter Six Tawwaf of the House of Allaah al-Haraam

Lessons of Creed Acquired From the Hajj


‘AbdurRazzaq bin ‘Abdul-Muhsin al-Badr

Translated by

Abbas Abu Yahya


Chapter Six

Chapter Six

Tawwaf of the House of Allaah al-Haraam

Indeed from the great lessons that benefits the pilgrim is when he reaches the Ancient House and carries out that great act of worship which is: Tawwaf of the House of Allaah al-Haraam.  He sees all those pilgrims performing Tawwaf in obedience to Allaah and fulfilling His command.

What benefits him in this situation is that which is well-known; the important state and noble value of this worship and the great intensity with which it enters the hearts of the believers.  This is especially so when the large masses of believers are all dressed in one type of clothing and are of uniform appearance, circling the House of Allaah, saying: ‘SubhanAllaah, La illaah ill Allaah and Allaahu Akbar’ (Far is Allaah from imperfection, There is none worthy of worship in truth except Allaah and Allaah is the Greatest), supplicating to their Noble Lord, beseeching Him for success, asking of Him and turning to Him in prayer.

Every single one of them is making a Tawwaf of seven circuits, all of them beginning at the black stone and ending at it and this is what the Tawwaf is: going around the Ka’ba seven times with the intention of Tawwaf, in worship of Allaah, starting with the black stone and ending at it, with the Ka’ba on their left hand side.  The Muslims do this in obedience to Allaah and in imitation of the Messenger of Allaah – sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam, and, for each person, the level of perfection for this act of worship is the equivalent to how much he followed the Noble Messenger– sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam.

Tawwaf is the first action a Muslim does when he reaches Makkah.  It is narrated by Bukhari and Muslim on the authority of ‘Ayesha -radiAllaah anha – who said:

‘Indeed the first action the Prophet sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam performed when he reached Makkah was that he made Wudhoo, then he made the Tawwaf.’[2]

It has been narrated by Muslim in his authentic book on the authority of Jaabir ibn Abdullaah – radiAllaah anhu – who described the Hajj of the Prophet sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam saying:

‘…until we came to the House with the Prophet, where he touched the corner (black stone), then briskly walked the first three circuits and calmly walked four circuits.’[3]

It has also been narrated by Bukhari and Muslim from the Hadeeth of Ibn Umar – radiAllaah anhu- ‘that the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam if he made Tawwaf in the Hajj or Umrah, the first thing he would begin with was walking briskly for three circuits and walking the remaining four normally.  Then, he prostrated twice (i.e. he prayed two rakahs) and, next, walked between as-Safa and al-Marwah.’[4]

The evidences in the Book and the Sunnah showing the legislation of Tawwaf of the House of Allaah al-Haraam are numerous and there are multiple narrations from the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam.  This is proof that this action brings one closer to Allaah and it is obedience from Allaah’s slaves that He loves.  He has legislated it for them and commanded them with it, urged them to carry it out and made it a rite from the rites whereby His House al-Haraam is intended as He said :

وَأَذِّن فِي ٱلنَّاسِ بِٱلۡحَجِّ يَأۡتُوكَ رِجَالٗا وَعَلَىٰ كُلِّ ضَامِرٖ يَأۡتِينَ مِن كُلِّ فَجٍّ عَمِيقٖ ٢٧ لِّيَشۡهَدُواْ
مَنَٰفِعَ لَهُمۡ وَيَذۡكُرُواْ ٱسۡمَ ٱللَّهِ فِيٓ أَيَّامٖ مَّعۡلُومَٰتٍ عَلَىٰ مَا رَزَقَهُم مِّنۢ بَهِيمَةِ ٱلۡأَنۡعَٰمِۖ فَكُلُواْ مِنۡهَا
وَأَطۡعِمُواْ ٱلۡبَآئِسَ ٱلۡفَقِيرَ ٢٨ ثُمَّ لۡيَقۡضُواْ تَفَثَهُمۡ وَلۡيُوفُواْ نُذُورَهُمۡ وَلۡيَطَّوَّفُواْ بِٱلۡبَيۡتِ ٱلۡعَتِيقِ

<<And proclaim to mankind the Hajj.  They will come to you on foot and on every lean camel, they will come from every deep and distant mountain highway (to perform Hajj).  That they may witness things that are of benefit to them and mention the Name of Allaah on the appointed days, over the livestock animals that He has provided for them.  Then eat thereof and feed therewith the poor having a hard time.  Then let them complete their prescribed duties and perform their vows, and circumambulate the Ancient House.>>

[al-Hajj: 27-29]

Indeed Allaah appointed His Prophet and friend, Ibraheem, along with his son Ismaeel, the Prophet of Allaah –alayhis Sallat wa Sallam, to sanctify the House, build its foundations and prepare it for those who would perform Tawwaf, stand up for prayer, make Rukoo and make Sujood, Allaah says :

وَعَهِدۡنَآ إِلَىٰٓ إِبۡرَٰهِ‍ۧمَ وَإِسۡمَٰعِيلَ أَن طَهِّرَا بَيۡتِيَ لِلطَّآئِفِينَ وَٱلۡعَٰكِفِينَ وَٱلرُّكَّعِ ٱلسُّجُودِ

<<and We commanded Ibraheem and Isma’eel that they should purify My House (the Ka’bahat Makkah) for those who are circumbulating it, staying (in it i.e. in I’tikâf), bowing or prostrating themselves (there, in prayer) >> [al-Baqarah : 125]

In addition, He says:

وَإِذۡ بَوَّأۡنَا لِإِبۡرَٰهِيمَ مَكَانَ ٱلۡبَيۡتِ أَن لَّا تُشۡرِكۡ بِي شَيۡ‍ٔٗا وَطَهِّرۡ بَيۡتِيَ لِلطَّآئِفِينَ وَٱلۡقَآئِمِينَ وَٱلرُّكَّعِ ٱلسُّجُودِ

<<And (remember) when We showed Ibraheem the site of the (Sacred) House (the Ka’bah at Makkah) (saying): “Associate not anything (in worship) with Me, and sanctify My House for those who circumambulate it, those who stand up for prayer, and those who bow and prostrate (in prayer)”>>[Hajj: 26]

It becomes clear from what has preceded that Tawwaf of the Ancient House is a noble act of worship and great act of obedience that Allaah loves from His slaves.  He has legislated it and ordained it for them.  He has prepared a great reward and many gains for those performing the TawwafTawwaf of the House is a pillar from the pillars of Hajj, just as it is also a pillar from the pillars of Umrah.  This shows the great importance and high status of the Tawwaf with Allaah; since neither the Hajj nor the Umrah can be complete without it.

Indeed, in this great act, the Muslim learns great lessons and attains significant benefits, which is that this significant act of worship – by which I mean the Tawwaf – was legislated for this place alone, around the House of Allaah al-Haraam, as preceding texts from the Book and Sunnah have shown and there are many other texts as well.

Due to this, the Muslim comes to know that making Tawwaf in any place of the world other than this place is not legislated and there is nothing that proves its legislation.  Rather it is misguidance and false to make the houses of the creation equal with the House of the Creator; that place that He -Subhanahu- commanded to be established for His remembrance, obedience and to be faced in His -Subhanahu- worship.  There is no difference amongst the people of knowledge regarding the futility of making Tawwaf in any area or location other than the House of Allaah al-Haraam.

So it  is not permissible to make Tawwaf around domed shrines or graves, nor around tombs, trees, stones or anything else, and there are many, many narrations from the people of knowledge regarding this.  Perhaps, if time allows, I will mention some of their statements.

Imaam an-Nawawee -Rahimullaah- said in his book ‘al-Majmoo Sharh al-Muhadhib’: ‘and it is not permissible to make Tawwaaf of his grave sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam.’

He continues after mentioning some points: ‘A person should not be deceived by many of the common people performing this Tawwaf because following the Sunnah and performing an action is only done by following the Ahaadeeth and the sayings of the scholars; no attention is paid to the innovations and ignorance of the common people or other then them.  It is affirmed in the two authentic books on the authority of ‘Ayesha -RadiAllaah anha: that the Messenger of Allaah –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- said:

‘Whoever innovates in this matter of ours that which is not from it then it is rejected.’[5]

Also in the narration of Muslim :

‘Whoever does an action that we have not commanded then it will be rejected.’[6]

And on the authority of Abu Huraira – radiAllaah anhu – who said that the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam said :

‘Do not frequent my grave, and send prayers upon me, as your prayers reach me from wherever you are.’

Narrated by Aboo Dawood with an authentic chain,[7]

Fudayl bin ‘Ayaad -Rahimullaah-  said the meaning of which is : ‘Follow the paths of guidance and you will not be harmed due to being a small number of followers.  Beware of the paths of misguidance and do not be deceived by the large number of ruined ones.’

Whosoever thinks that wiping his hands on graves and shrines, and other things similar to this, is more effective for receipt of blessings then this is from his ignorance and negligence; because receiving blessings can only be by way of that which is in accordance with the Sharia’, and how can good be achieved by opposing that which is correct.’[8]

Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymeeyah -Rahimullaah- said :  ‘And Indeed the Muslims are agreed that it is not legislated to make the Tawaaf except of Bait-ul-Mamoor.  It is not allowed to make Tawaaf of the rock of Bait ul-Maqdis, nor of the Prophet’s house sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam, nor of the dome which is in the mountain of ‘Arafat, nor in any other place.’[9]

He also said : ‘There is no place on earth like the Ka’ba where you can make Tawaaf.  Whoever believes that making Tawaaf of other than the Ka’ba is legislated, then that is a worse evil than the one who believes that it is permissible to pray facing other than the Ka’ba.

This is because the Prophet sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam and the Muslims prayed facing Bait ul- Maqdis for eighteen months when he first migrated from Makkah to Madina.  That was the Qiblah of the Muslims for that period, then Allaah changed the Qiblah to the Ka’ba and revealed this in the Qur’aan as is mentioned in Sooratul Baqaraah.  The Prophet sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam and the Muslims prayed towards the Ka’ba and so it became a Qiblah.  It is the Qiblah of Ibraheem and other than him, from the Prophets.

So whoever today takes the rock as a Qiblah and prays facing it then he is a disbeliever, an apostate and he is made to repent- so he either repents or he is killed.  This is even though it used to be a Qiblah but has since been abrogated.  So what is the condition of one who takes it as a place for Tawaaf, just as one would make Tawaaf of the Ka’ba?  Making Tawaaf of other than the Ka’ba has not been legislated by Allaah in any way whatsoever……….’[10]

Therefore, with this research mentioned by Imaam an-Nawawee, Shaykh-ul- Islaam Ibn Taymeeyah and other then them from amongst the people of knowledge, the severe evil and danger of making Tawaaf of any place other than the House of Allaah al-Haraam– which Allaah gave permission to make Tawaaf around- becomes clear.

As far as what some of the ignorant people do where they make Tawaaf around graves, domes, shrines or anything else like this, then none of this is from the Deen of Allaah; rather it is from the whisperings of the Shaytaan and the legislation of Iblees; if it is not, then where is it to be found in the Book and the Sunnah: ‘make Tawaaf of the grave of so-and-so’ or of the tomb of so-and-so’, or things of this nature?  Allaah is The Most High above what they describe and He is far from the imperfection of what they associate with Him.

[1] This Highly beneficial booklet was compiled from a series of lectures that the Shaykh delivered in Masjid Quba for the visiting pilgrims.  It was translated by Allaah’s blessings in 1423 A.H. in the Prophetic City of al-Madina.

[2] Saheeh al-Bukharee  and Saheeh Muslim

[3] Saheeh Muslim

[4] Saheeh al-Bukharee  and Saheeh Muslim

[5] Saheeh al-Bukharee  and Saheeh Muslim

[6] Saheeh Muslim

[7] Sunan Abee Dawood

[8] Al-Majmoo’Sharh al-Muhadhab

[9] Al-Fatawa

[10] Al-Fatawa