Types of Tawaf
What are the types of Tawaf around the Ka`abah and what is the ruling on each one?
In the name of Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and Thanks are due to Allāh, the Lord of al-ā’lamīn. There is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam is His Messenger.
There are categories of Tawaf for Hajj and ‘Umrah; some of them are wajib (obligatory) without which one's Hajj or `Umrah will be invalid, while others are voluntary or Sunnah. The Tawaf Al-Ifadah during Hajj also called Tawaf Az-Ziyarah (Tawaf of visiting). It takes place after the standing in `Arafah, on the day of Al-Adha or after it. It is one of the pillars or essential parts of the Hajj.
Each of these Tawafs must include seven circuits, after which the person offers two raka‘ahs behind Maqam Ibrahim, if possible; if he cannot do so then he may offer the Prayer in any other part of the mosque.
Clarifying the types of Tawaf and their ruling, the Standing Committee for Islamic Research and Ifta' states:
There are many types of Tawaf around the Ka‘abah:
1. Tawaf Al-Qudum (Tawaf of arrival) for the Hajj.
This is done by the pilgrim who has entered ihram for Hajj and by the pilgrim who is doing Qiran (joining `Umrah and Hajj), when he reaches the Ka‘abah. It is one of the obligatory duties or Sunnahs of Hajj but there is a difference of scholarly opinion about this.
2. Tawaf Al-Ifadah during Hajj, which is also called Tawaf Az-Ziyarah (Tawaf of visiting).
It takes place after the standing in ‘Arafah, on the day of Al-Adha or after it. It is one of the pillars or essential parts of the Hajj.
Sheikh Sayyid Sabiq states in his well-known book Fiqh As-Sunnah:
According to Imām Ash-Shāfi`ie and Imām Ahmad, Tawaf Al-Ifadah can be performed from midnight of the day of sacrifice, the 10th of Dzul-Hijjah, and its end is indefinite. A male pilgrim is not permitted to have sexual intercourse with his wife until after he has completed Tawaf Al-Ifadah. Delaying it beyond the 11th, 12th and 13th of Dzul-Hijjah does not obligate a person to slaughter an animal, but it is disliked.
The best time to perform this Tawaf is before noon on the day of sacrifice. According to Imām Abu Hanifah and Imām Mālik its time is from dawn on the day of sacrifice, though there is a disagreement among scholars concerning its end.
Abu Hanifah says that it must be performed during the days of sacrifice, and if a pilgrim delays it beyond these days he must slaughter an animal to atone for it. Imam Malik, on the other hand, is of the view that there is no harm in delaying this rite until after the 13th of Dzul-Hijjah, though doing it earlier (during the days of Tashriq) is better. Its time is until the end of the month of Dzul-Hijjah, and if it is performed after that time, then one must slaughter an animal in atonement. The Hajj of such a person will still be valid because according to Mālik, the whole month is included in the months of Hajj.
3. The Tawaf of `Umrah is one of the pillars or essential parts of `Umrah, without which it is invalid.
4. Tawaf Al-Wada` (the Farewell Tawaf).
Tawaf Al-Wada` is the Tawaf performed by the pilgrim just before leaving Makkah for his next destination.
It is obligatory, according to the more correct of the two scholarly opinions, for all pilgrims except women who are menstruating or experiencing post-partum bleeding, and the one who fails to do it must sacrifice an animal that is valid as an udhiyah.
A pilgrim is permitted to delay Tawaf Al-Ifadah till the time of Tawaf Al-Wada’ and to perform either of them.
In this regard, Sheikh Abdul ‘Aziz ibn Bāz, the late Mufti of Saudi Arabia, stated:
There is nothing wrong in doing so. If a person delayed performing Tawaf Al-Ifadah and then when he wanted to travel he performed Tawaf Al-Ifadah after all other rituals of Hajj are done, his Tawaf Al-Ifadah suffices for Tawaf Al-Wada’ (Farewell Tawaf). If he performed both of them, it would be much better. However, if he performed one of them while having the intention that this Tawaf is the Tawaf required for performing Hajj, then it is enough and he does not have to perform Tawaf Al-Wada’. The same ruling applies if he performs one Tawaf while intending Tawaf Al-Ifadah along with Tawaf Al-Wada’.
[Fatawa Tata’laq bi-Ahkam Al-Hajj wal-‘Umrah, pp. 120-121]
5. Tawaf of Nazar (Tawaf to fulfill the vow)
If a person, who vowed to circumambulate the Ka`abah, wants to perform Tawaf to fulfill this vow, it is obligatory to do it.
6. Tawaf Sunnah (Optional Tawafs).
One may perform it any one time he likes doing it. It is comparable to naafil or supererogatory Prayers. Just as we perform two raka‘ahs of tahiyyatul-Masjid (Prayer of greeting) while entering a mosque, likewise we perform Tawaf as a form of greeting while entering Al-Masjid Al-Haram. Moreover, just as we are allowed to perform any number of naafil Prayers any time other than during the forbidden times, likewise, we are allowed to perform any number of optional Tawafs. While doing so, we need not follow it up with Sa`ie.
In e doing the optional Tawaf, it is best that you complete the full seven rounds.
Each of these Tawafs must include seven circuits, after which the person offers two raka‘ahs behind Maqam Ibrahim, if possible; if he cannot do so then he may offer the Prayer in any other part of the mosque. May Allah Almighty guide us all to the right path.
And Allah Almighty Knows best.
[Via On Islam (Hajj and Umrah 2009-01-22; Excerpt with slight modifications from www.Islam-QA.com]