First look at the Holy Kabaah feels like it is the best place on the earth you can ever be. Beautiful sight of Holy Kabaah is breath taking. You experienced fear and love of ALLAH at the same time. In Umrah or Hajj when you reached near the Holy Kabaah you desperately want to merge with those who are circumambulation the Kabaah. Tawaf or Circumambulation of Holy Kabaah is Farz in Umrah.
To go round something is called Circumambulation. This act shows the utmost degree of love to the extent that a lover wishes to sacrifice himself for the beloved. A real pilgrim who has thirst for meeting his Beloved has been detached from everything. By going round the House of the Beloved, he wishes to prove that he desires nothing but God.
Importance of Tawaf is highlighted in different Quranic Verses. In Surah Hajj ALLAH (S.W.T) says that:
“And remember when We showed Ibrahim the right place of the Sacred House (mosque) and commanded that, “Do not ascribe anything as a partner to Me, and keep My House clean for those who encircle it and those who stay in it (for worship) and those who bow and prostrate.”
Another verse from 2nd chapter (siparah) of Holy Quran ALLAH (S.W.T) says that:
“And remember when We made this House (at Makkah) a recourse for mankind and a sanctuary; and take the place where Ibrahim stood, as your place of prayer; and We imposed a duty upon Ibrahim and Ismail (Ishmael), to fully purify My house for those who go around it, and those who stay in it (for worship), and those who bow down and prostrate themselves.”
Tawaf is Sunnah of all Messengers of ALLAH from Adam (A.S) to our beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. A hadith narrated by Abu Dawood (1888) Ummul Mu’minin ‘Aa’ishah said: The Prophet ﷺ says: “Circumambulation of the House, going between as-Safa and al-Marwah, and stoning of the Jamaraat were only ordained in order to establish the remembrance of Allah.” (Sunan Abi Dawud 1888)
Another Hadith narrated by At- Tirmidhi (959) that Ibn-e-Umar (May ALLAH pleased with him) said, I heard the Holy Prophet ﷺ says: “Whoever performs Tawaf around this House seven times and he keeps track of it, then it is as if he freed a slave.” And I heard him saying: “One foot is not put down, nor another rose except that Allah removes a sin from him and records a good merit for him.” (Jami` at-Tirmidhi 959)
Ibn-e-Abbas said that the Prophet ﷺ says: “Tawaf around the House is similar to Salat except that you talk during it. So whoever talks in it, then let him not say but good.” (Jami` at-Tirmidhi 960)
Tawaf is done in anti-clockwise direction; it starts from Hajar-e-Aswad on your left and green lights on your right. It is recommended that 1st three circles of Tawaf in jogging movement to show our strength that Muslims are powerful. It is also recommended that during 1st three circles of Tawaf for men to bare their right shoulder so it is easier for them to jog. Rest 4 circles of Tawaf done by covering both shoulders. After completion of Tawaf, offer 2 rakat prayers in front of Maqam-e-Ibraheem. The sky has seven layers; man has seven souls, each turning around the Kaaba represents a phase or a stage. It means to rise from the lowest stage of the soul, which has seven steps, to the highest one. That is, from nafs al-ammarah (soul commanding the evil) to nafs al-mutmainnah (tranquil self); from the animal life to the spiritual life.
May ALLAH (S.W.T)! Grant us the opportunity to visit His Holy House and also give us chance of circumambulation of Kabaah with admiration, love, faith and truthfulness to ALLAH. (Aameen)