What if my Tawaf or Sa’i is interrupted?

If a person is performing tawaf (circling the Ka’bah) or sa’i (running between Safa and Marwah), and he comes across a need (e.g., he is thirsty and wants to drink something, or loses someone from his family members and stops to look for him, or becomes tired and wants to take some rest), and if the break was short, then he may continue his tawaf from where he left off.

The issue of taking a rest in tawaf and sa’i is based on the condition that tawaf and sa’i should be completed continuously. However, in sa’i, continuity is not a requirement according to the stronger scholarly opinion. So, if a person is performing sa’i, and he breaks after some of the rounds, and then comes back to complete them, this would be considered permissible. However, regarding continuity of tawaf, the scholars have two opinions:

1. That continuity is wajib (obligatory), and that a long discontinuity without due justification nullifies the tawaf.

2. That continuity is a sunnah, and the tawaf is not nullified even though the break was long. Having said that, it is better to err on the side of caution and therefore act according to the first opinion.