Archive | November 17, 2010

Tawaf for Non-Hajjis

Tawaf for Non-Hajji’s

By Hwaa Irfan

While many Muslims around the world commemorate ‘Eid ul Adha, the hajjis would have arranged to have their own animal sacrifice on the 10th Dhul-Hijjah in commemoration of the sacrifice Prophet Ibrahim/Abraham made. Many would have purchased a sacrifice voucher from Mecca so that they would not be distracted from the pilgrimage. The sacrificial meat would then be packaged, as it has been allocated and shipped for charitable purposes in order to feed the hungry around the world. This is a practice that many Muslims, especially in North America, have adopted to feed the hungry in the localities in which they live, many of whom are non-Muslims. With the global economic crisis, and growing problem of starvation in the U.S., the bounties of the animal sacrifice grows tenfold, insha’Allah.

Also, on the 10th , hajjis will return to Masjid El-Haram in Mecca to circumambulate, to do the first tawaf az-Ziyarah. The circular dance of the Sufi Whirling Dervishes exemplifies the tawaf , representing the way in which the planets turn according to the Laws that define their hemisphere, without ever colliding ir going off course. The foundation of Islam, is the Laws of Nature, but as we become increasingly pulled to act according to the laws of man, we increasingly step outside the Laws of Nature.

We do not realize the importance of this, as we have lost sight of what that means, it is only with increasing problems that complicate human relations, and our relationship with our environments that we may reflect and seek answers, but how much more simply could it stated when Allah (SWT) said:

{Then set your face upright for religion in the right state – the nature made by Allah in which He has made men; there is no altering of Allah’s creation…} (Ar-Rum 30: 30).

Tawaf is to following the course of nature, and the nature of the planets, each in its own orbit, as each hajji will circumambulate the Ka’aba in Masjid El-Haram in their own orbit, just as the cytoplasm of each cell of our body circumambulates around the nucleus of that cell. Are you in balance or out of balance? Ask yourself this question, and then look at whatever imbalances you and then ask the question why?

The energy of the hajjis moving anticlockwise around the Ka’aba adds to the notion of fixing the axis of a sacred place. The Ka’aba is an exact cube with the corners oriented towards the points of the compass, with the east and west walls aligned to the sunrise of the summer solstice, and the sunset of the winter solstice. The southern wall points towards the rising of the brightest star Canopus of the constellation Sirius.

{And when we assigned to Ibrahim the place of the House, saying: Do not associate with Me aught, and purify My House for those who make the circuit and stand to pray and bow and prostrate themselves} (Al Hajj 22: 26).

In Western Gnosticism, the  Ka’aba acts as a mithaq, a primordial covenant between Allah, the Creator, and man, the created. It represents the balance between stillness/the Supreme Reality, the Ka’aba and movement, the circumambulation of the hajjis, the manifest. “Squaring the Circle”, which is what happens when hajjis circumambulate the Ka’aba, and is known in Sacred Geometry as transformation of heaven onto earth, thus uniting the elements to a primordial state.

This highlights the sanctity of our relationship with our Creator, and a greater purpose than living our lives as automatons, and/or slaves to our desires. When water goes down a drain once a plug is pulled, spiraling anticlockwise with the rotation of the earth. Repeat this seven times around the Ka’aba, and we have seven, the number of the universe, the microcosm = us going round the macrocosm – the universe – seven is also the first number to combine the physical and the spiritual with the law of seven repeated in the major planets, circles of the universe, ages of man, pillars of wisdom, days of the week, and notes of the musical scale.

All His creation manifests according to the Laws of Nature, the nature we now deny within and without us! How many of us are ruled by our minds, instead of our souls, when the soul is who we are?

{O mankind! Be careful of (your duty to) your Lord, Who created you of a single soul…} (An-Nisa 4: 1)


Cooper, J. C. “An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Traditional Symbols.” Thames and Hudson, U.K. 1988.

Related Topic:

It’s Time to Get Real About Halal/Kosher Meat!

Mudhafilah for Non-Hajjis

Mount Arafah for Non-Hajji’s

Hajj Changed My Life!

Preparing for Life!

A Sacred Place

The Patterns of Our Lives