Voluntary Tawaf vs voluntary prayer
Fatwa No: 44470


What is the ruling on performing tawaf (circumambulation) and sa‘y (going back and forth between Mount Safa and Marwah) by a non-pilgrim? I want to perform tawaf and sa‘y and supplicate Allaah Almighty.


All perfect praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

Performing sa‘y is not prescribed for those who perform neither Hajj nor ‘Umrah. As for voluntary tawaf, it is recommended, as it is considered a prayer, and the prayer is one of the best acts of worship. It is even recommended for non-Meccan Hajj or ‘Umrah pilgrims to seize the opportunity of staying in Mecca by performing tawaf and prayer at the Sacred Mosque every so often. It is mentioned in Tabyeen Al-Haqa’iq:

Perform tawaf whenever you are able to do so since it resembles prayer. The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: "Tawaf is a prayer."

Since prayer is one of the best acts of worship, tawaf is one of the best acts or worship as well. Voluntary tawaf for non-Meccans is better than voluntary prayer. For the Meccans, however, prayer is better than tawaf, because it is better in fact. But in the case of non-Meccans, they cannot perform tawaf except when they are in Mecca for the Hajj or ‘Umrah. So it is better to engage in tawaf more. However, there shall be no sa‘y after all these voluntary tawafs; since sa‘y is obligatory for one time and performing voluntary sa‘y is not prescribed (by Sharee'ah).  

Allaah Knows best.

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