Salat of Tawaf
Salat of tawaf is the third of the obligatory rituals of ‘umrah at-tamattu‘. Once the pilgrim has done the tawaf, he should go towards the Maqam Ibrahim (a.s.) to do the salat of tawaf without any considerable gap between the two rituals – based on obligatory precaution. However, a ten minutes gap for resting in between the tawaf and the salat of tawaf or for finding the proper place for salat would not harm the validity of the tawaf or the salat of tawaf.
Method of Salat of Tawaf
Salat of tawaf is two rak‘ats like the Dawn Prayer.
The pilgrim has to do the niyyat of sincerity by saying, for example, “I am doing the salat of tawaf of ‘umrah at-tamattu‘ of hajj at-tamattu‘ to seek the pleasure of Almighty Allah.” It is not necessary that the niyyat be said in some many words, the intention in the mind is sufficient. One has the option of reciting the surahs loudly or silently in salat of tawaf.
It is necessary to do the salat of tawaf near the Maqam Ibrahim (a.s.) and behind it. If this is not possible, then there could be two situations:
If it is possible for the pilgrim to do the salat close to the Maqam on one of the two sides of it – then he should do the salat of tawaf two times: once on the side of Maqam and then behind it, even if one has go far behind it.
If it is not possible to do the salat near the Maqam by its two sides, then he may do it anywhere behind the Maqam. Based on precaution, it is better to find a place as close as possible of the Maqam.
By saying “if it is not possible to do the salat near the Maqam,” I mean that the pilgrim is unable to do the salat near the Maqam because of the crowd of pilgrims and worshippers in such a way that even if prays there he would not be able to do so peacefully.
This applies only for the salat of wajib tawaf; but for sunnat tawaf, one can say the salat in any part of the Sacred Mosque.
Rules of Salat of Tawaf
It is necessary to do the salat of tawaf in the correct manner. So if someone’s recitation is not grammatically correct, then he must learn how to recite it properly. However, if he cannot learn the correct way and he is only slightly off the mark, then that should be okay.
It a pilgrim does the salat of tawaf in an invalid manner out of ignorance or forgetfulness, then if he comes to know the correct way or remembers his mistake while he is still in Mecca, then he must go and do the salat again behind the Maqam Ibrahim (a.s.). And if he comes to know or remembers his mistake after leaving Mecca, then, based on obligatory precaution, he has to return to Mecca and do the salat behind the Maqam except if it becomes extremely difficult to return, then he may say the salat wherever he remembers it.
The salat of tawaf cannot be done in jama‘at (congregational) form; it must be done in furada form.
Common Mistakes in Salat of Tawaf
After doing the tawaf, some pilgrims forget to do the salat of tawaf and proceed directly to do the sa‘i between Safa and Marwah – they remember that while only during the sa‘i. Then he should interrupt his sa‘i and go to say salat of tawaf behind the Maqam Ibrahim (a.s.) and then return back to sa‘i and continue from where he left.
Some pilgrims think that doing the salat of tawaf “behind the Maqam Ibrahim” means that doing it at a place closest to the Maqam. However, that is not the correct understanding; rather it is sufficient to say the salat at any place which is normally considered to be “behind the Maqam”.
Some pilgrims think that doing the salat of tawaf behind the Maqam Ibrahim is not permissible if it creates a barrier for those who are doing the tawaf. This is not correct since one is allowed to do the salat behind the Maqam even if becomes like a barrier for those who doing the tawaf in that area.
Many times, a male pilgrim does his salat of tawaf besides a female pilgrim or behind her because of the crowded area – and he thinks that this invalidates his salat. This is incorrect since doing the salat besides a lady or behind her is permissible in the Sacred Mosque because of excessive crowd.