What is tawaf, how do you do it, and what’s the best way to go about it?

Tawaf, Islamically, means circling around the Ka’bah for Hajj in the way the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) did and told us to do. The requirements of tawaf are simple–be in a state of wudoo.

The mechanics of tawaf are:

  • You walk around the ka’bah, seven times
  • Start at the Black Stone corner (from outside, it has a green light); raise your hand towards the Black Stone and say “Allahu Akbar” (or, if you can reach it, touch the black stone and say Allahu Akbar)
  • For men, if possible, you walk quickly (raml, in Arabic) the first three times
  • Make du’a, recite Qur’an, or make dhikr as you walk.
  • Whenever you reach the Yemeni corner, make the du’a: Rabbana aatiynaa fid-dunya hasanatan, wa fil-akhirati hasanatan, wa kinaa adhaaban-naar (O our Lord! Give us goodness in this life, goodness in the Akhira, and protect us from the Punishment of the Fire.)
  • Don’t push, jab, bite, or hurt anybody.
  • Once you’re done, drink some Zam-Zam, pour a little over your head, and pray two rakahs behind Maqama Ibrahim

Some tips to make your tawaf easier:

  • If you have family with you–your parents, uncles, sons, daughters, your spouse, your brothers, your sisters–hang on to them! Most people back off from trying to pass when they see people holding on to each other.
  • Aim for making tawaf on the second or third floor if there are too many people around.
  • The best time to make tawaf (in Hajj) is around midnight or 1am; the crowd is very sparse around that time. (Don’t even think about doing it right before or after Fajr–it’s tooooo packed.)
  • If someone pushes you from behind, turn and look at them (making sure to make eye contact). If they still persist, step to the side to avoid them. If you can’t, turn and say “Sabr, akhi/ukhti” (patience, o my brother/sister).

And remember, don’t injure anyone! Hajj is supposed to be about patience, and if the crowd isn’t moving, pushing won’t make it go faster!

We ask Allah to make tawaf easy on all our brothers and sisters (ameen ya rabb!)