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The Nafl Tawaf

Bismi Llahir Rahmanir Rahim

by Naielah Ackbarali

Similar to how one can perform a voluntary (nafl) prayer, one can also perform a voluntary (naflṭawāf while in Makkah.

Scholars note that it is more praiseworthy for a non-resident of Makkah to perform the nafl ṭawāf than to engage in praying many nafl prayers.

The details related to the nafl ṭawāf are discussed in our FREE course: Umra For Women.

How to Perform the Nafl Tawaf

nafl ṭawāf basically consists of circumambulating the Ka’ba for seven rounds. Its performance is not conditioned by any particular time. However, if one owes the performance of a higher ranking ṭawāf – like the umrah ṭawāf – that ṭawāf must be performed first.

After completing the seven rounds, one owes a two rakaʿāt prayer. Performing this prayer is mandatory (wājib) and it is sinful to leave it. One must pray it in a time that is not disliked. Praying it in the Sacred Mosque is best although one may perform it anywhere. It is disliked to delay offering this prayer until a later time because the sunna is to pray it immediately after finishing the ṭawāf – unless one possesses an excuse.

It must be noted that once one commences a nafl ṭawāf, one is obliged to complete all seven rounds.

Differences Between the Nafl Tawaf & The Umrah Tawaf

The main differences between the nafl ṭawāf and the umrah ṭawāf are:

  • The penalty for performing it in minor ritual impurity (requires wudu) is giving a stipulated amount in charity.
  • There is no condition to be in a state of ihram for its validity.
  • There is no sa’y afterwards.
  • There is no exposing of the shoulder for men (iḍṭibāʿ).
  • There is no ramal in first three rounds for men.
  • There is no greeting the Black Stone for a 9th time because one will not perform the sa’y.

Incurring Penalties

The mandatory acts of ṭawāf still apply.

If a mandatory act of the ṭawāf is left, the ṭawāf technically counts, but one must repeat the ṭawāf  correctly or a penalty will be due. Furthermore, if the mandatory act was left purposely, one is sinful.

Therefore, if one repeats the entire ṭawāf before leaving Makkah in the correct way, the penalty is dropped. However, a tawba is still due if the violation was committed purposely.

Yet, if one does not repeat the ṭawāf before leaving Makkah, then depending on the violation committed, the penalty will either be to offer a sheep slaughtering or to give in charity.

The sheep slaughtering must be carried out within the haram (sacred precinct) in Makkah. Giving charity can be given anywhere. The amount due for charity is the same amount as sadaqat al-fitr, namely half ṣā’ of wheat, which is about 2.2 kilos of wheat or its monetary value.

Please consult a scholar for further details inshaAllah.

Check out our FREE Umrah course for more details about the rulings related to umrah, as well as practical advice.

Read our Step-By-Step Umrah Guide.


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Naielah Ackbarali

Ustadha Naielah Ackbarali is the founder and CEO of Muslima Coaching. She is passionate about inspiring Muslim women by way of spreading the beauty of living an Islamic life. Ustadha Naielah is a trained strategic relationship coach, certified life coach, and a certified NLP Master Practitioner. Combined with her knowledge of the shariah sciences, coaching experience, and personal marriage of 15 years, she also offers faith-based marriage coaching and relationship advice.