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Is it obligatory to perform tawaf wada’ and what is permissible to do after performing tawaf wada’?


Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.

We will start with a hadith from Ibn ‘Abbas R.Anhuma, where he said:

أُمِرَ النَّاسُ أَنْ يَكُونَ آخِرُ عَهْدِهِمْ بِالْبَيْتِ إِلَّا أَنَّهُ خُفِّفَ عَنْ الْحَائِضِ

“The people were commanded (by the Holy Prophet) to perform the last circumambulation around the House, but menstruating women were exempted.”

Sahih al-Bukhari (1755) and Sahih Muslim (3284)

Al-Hafiz Ibnu Hajar al-Asqalani said: this hadith is evidence regarding the obligation of tawaf wada’ where the phrase of commandment strengthens the obligation and a specific exemption for menstruating women. (See Fath al-Bari, 3/747)

The above hadith is clear in stating that tawaf wada’ is an obligation for everyone where only menstruating women are exempted. The obligation is due to the imperative verb (فعل الأمر) used here is ‘absolute’ and there is no qareenah (connotation) which indicates it as sunnah or permissible. “الأمر المطلق” in the hadith indicates that it is wajib (الأمر المطلق يفيد الوجوب). (See Syarh al-Kaukab al-Munir, 3/3 and Syarh Zad al-Mustaqni’ by Muhammad al-Mukhtar al-Syanqithi, 13/127)

In another hadith by Ibn Abbas R.Anhuma, he said:

كَانَ النَّاسُ يَنْصَرِفُونَ فِى كُلِّ وَجْهٍ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ -صلى الله عليه وسلم- « لاَ يَنْفِرَنَّ أَحَدٌ حَتَّى يَكُونَ آخِرُ عَهْدِهِ بِالْبَيْتِ

“The people used to go out (from Mecca after Hajj) by all sides. The Prophet () said: No one should leave (Mecca) until he performs the last circumambulation of the House (the Ka'bah).”

Sahih Muslim (3283) and Sunan Ibn Majah (3070)

Imam al-Nawawi said: “the above hadith is the evidence for the opinion that obligates tawaf wada’ and if it is left, then one will have to pay dam (fine). This is the authentic opinion according to our madhab and the majority of scholars.” (See Syarh Sahih Muslim, 9/79)

Imam al-Nawawi also said: “Our colleagues said, “Whoever has completed his manasik and decided to stay in Mecca, then there is to tawaf wada’ for him, this is agreed by scholars. It does not matter whether he is a Mecca resident or not. If he then decides to leave Mecca to go back to his own country or other countries, then it is obligated for him to perform tawaf wada’.” (See al-Majmu’, 8/254)

Imam al-Zarkasyi said: A prohibition on something also means the commandment of its opposite (ضده). Thus, the prohibition of leaving Mecca before performing tawaf wada’ also means it is an obligation to perform tawaf wada’ before leaving Mecca. (See al-Bahr al-Muhit, 2/421).

Imam al-Syaukani explains the meaning of the hadith: “The Prophet PBUH’s words: “It is prohibited for someone from going back home…” (to the end of hadith), is the evidence for the obligation of tawaf wada’. (See Nail al-Autar, 5/106)

Regarding what is permissible after tawaf wada’, The 35th National Hajj Muzakarah of the Hajj Season 1440H which met on November 9th-11th, 2018, 1st- 3rd Rabi'ul Awwal of 1440 Hijri has decided on the Things that are Permissible After Tawaf Wada ', as the following:

First: Right After Tawaf Wada’

  • Performing sunnah tawaf prayer and supplicate afterwards in Masjidil Haram.
  • Supplicate in Multazam.
  • Kiss al-Hajar al-Aswad.
  • Perform sunnah safar prayer.
  • Perform the obligatory prayer if the muezzin is calling out the adhan or after he calls out the adhan.
  • The same to those who are in their hotel rooms or near the Masjidil Haram, they should perform the obligatory prayer with the imam in Masjidil Haram.
  • Taking pictures quickly is permissible, although this is discouraged.

Second: After Tawaf (in hotel or accommodation)

  • Eat and drink in the hotel.
  • Qadha hajat (answer the call of nature).
  • Zikr and recital of the Quran while waiting.
  • Take one’s begs and belongings that were left in one’s accommodations.
  • Search for missing wife, family members, heirs and friends.
  • Carry one’s belongings.
  • Sleep in one’s room while waiting for the bus or transportation.
  • Visit sick wife, relatives and friends in hospitals/clinics (for exigent situations).
  • Any matters related to the journey, whether to Jeddah or Medina, such as buying food and drinks for the journey and others.
  • Waiting for transportation (if the transportation is delayed due to traffic or others).
  • Donate or give charity while waiting for transportation.
  • Pay dam (fine). However, the dam is encouraged to be paid before tawaf wada’.

Hopefully, this explanation will answer the issues regarding tawaf wada’ and what is permissible and not.