Obligatory acts of Tawaf
Seven things are obligatory in Tawaf:
First and Second
Tawaf should be begun from al-Hajar al-Aswad (the black stone) and should finish at al-Hajar al-Aswad. It is enough that beginning and finishing is accepted by the normal place from al-Hajar al-Aswad, and it is not necessary to notice in part of body to be parallel to the parts of al-Hajar al-Aswad, but it is obligatory precaution to start Tawaf a little before al-Hajar al-Aswad and finish it a little after al-Hajar al-Aswad in order to be sure about performing seven complete rounds.
It is obligatory to perform Tawaf in the way that the Kaa’ba is at the left side of the body as is common among Muslims, and Tawaf on the upper levels of Masjid al-Haraam is not free of problem in other than the cases of necessity.
It is not necessary that the left shoulder always be parallel to the Kaa’ba and it is enough if the pilgrim circumambulates normally. If sometimes he/she faces Ka’ba and then continues the round it has no problem, and it is not necessary to perform the thing which others do that is the left shoulder should always be parallel to Ka’ba (even when they reach Hijr Ismael).This act has no necessity of performance, and even if it is vilified, their Tawaf has problem. It is better that they have the presence of heart (getting rid of all secular problem and only think of Allah) and pray to Allah and circumambulate Ka’ba like other Muslims instead of these unnecessary observations about the left shoulder to be always parallel to Ka’ba.
It is obligatory to include Hijr Ismael into Tawaf, which means to perform Tawaf of Hijr Ismael from outside and if someone performs Hijr Ismael from inside then he/she should not count that round and begin from al-Hajar al-Aswad (but because in these cases returning back is not possible because of congestion of people, then it is better that performer continues with other people and completes that round without intention and when he/she reaches al-Hajar al-Aswad makes intention and begin the next round).
Tawaf should be performed out of the house of Ka’ba. Tawaf inside Ka’ba is not permitted. Also it is not permitted to perform Tawaf on that part of side of Ka’ba which is called Shadherwan (although today Shadherwan has been made in the way that practically Tawaf is not possible on that) and it is not permitted to go on the wall of “Hijr Ismael” and perform Tawaf.
Putting the hand on the wall of Ka’ba or the wall of Hijr Ismael or on the al-Hajar al-Aswad does not harm Tawaf, but the Mustahab precaution is to abstain from putting the hands on the wall of Ka’ba on the side which Shadherwan is placed.
If a person enters the Ka’ba during Tawaf then his/her Tawaf is invalidated and he should redo it, and whenever one performs Tawaf from inside of Hijr Ismael then that round should be performed again from al-Hajar al-Aswad is, as has been said before. But if someone performs on the wall of Hijr Ismael or Shadherwan then only that distance should be retaken.
Whenever one leaves Tawaf deliberately but does not go out of the mosque and returns before that sequence is completed and continues from the place that he/she had left, then this Tawaf is correct.
It is famous among Faqihs that Tawaf should be performed in the distance between the Maqam Ibrahim and the house of Ka’ba (it is less than thirteen meters) and this distance should be observed from each side.
Therefore, the Tawaf zone is less than three and a half meters in the side of Hijr Ismael, because the size of Hijr Ismael is ten meters and it subtracts from the whole distance.
But it was so much better that Tawaf could be performed in all parts of Masjid al-Haraam although it is better to observe the precaution. It means that if performing Tawaf in the defined distance is not hard then the Muhrim does not go out of that zone; and performing Tawaf in upper levels is not free of problem in other than necessary cases.
Sequence is one of the conditions of Tawaf; it means that the performer should circumambulate seven complete rounds around the house of Ka’ba. Less than seven rounds is not enough, but as we said before, sequence is not one of the condition of a supererogatory Tawaf.
Whenever the time of obligatory or supererogatory “Vitr” prayer comes during obligatory Tawaf, then the performer can leave Tawaf, perform the prayer and then return and continue the rest of Tawaf, only if it is before the completion of four rounds or after that.