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Types of Tawaf

There are six types of tawaf (circling) around the Ka’bah:

1 – Tawaf Al-Qudum (circling of arrival) for Hajj. This is done by the pilgrim who has entered ihram for Hajj. The scholars differed on whether or not it is obligatory.

2 – Tawaf Al-Ifadah during Hajj, which is also called tawaf al-ziyaarah (circling of visiting). It takes place after the standing in Arafah, on the day of al-Adha, or after it. It is one of the essential parts of the Hajj.

3 – Tawaf Al-Umrah. It is one of the essential parts of Umrah.

4 – Tawaf Al-Wada’ (the farewell tawaf), which is done after completing the actions of Hajj and when one has decided to leave Makkah. It is obligatory, according to one of two scholarly opinions, for all pilgrims except women who are menstruating or in post-natal bleeding. The one who fails to do it must sacrifice an animal of the type that is valid as an udhiyah.

5 – Tawaf in fulfilment of a vow made by one who vowed to do it. It is obligatory because fulfilling vows is obligatory.

6 – Voluntary tawaf

Each one of these tawafs must include seven circuits, after which the person offers two units behind Maqam Ibrahim, if possible; if he cannot do that then he may offer the prayer in any other part of the mosque.