#300: Recording or Sharing Live During Tawaf

Question:

Assalamualaikum ustaz. What is the ruling if I wanted to share my experience of tawaf by recording, taking selfies or sharing my tawaf live? Hope for an explanation.

Answer:

Waalaikumussalam wrt. wbt.,

Alhamdulillah, praise and gratitude to Allah SWT for His countless blessings for us all. Praise and salutations to our beloved Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his family, companions, and all those who follow his footsteps until the Final day.

We start with the statement of Allah SWT:

وَأَمَّا بِنِعْمَةِ رَبِّكَ فَحَدِّثْ

“But as for the favour of your Lord, report [it].” [1]

The above verse is interpreted as Allah SWT commanding us to narrated to others the blessings granted by Allah SWT on us, as well as showcasing the blessings to others, as a form of our gratitude. However, there is another opinion that states the ‘favours’ meant here means al-Quran, of which Allah SWT commanded to recite and convey to others. [2]

Likewise, there is also the commandment to showcase our gratitude by telling others of the blessing we are granted. In a narration from al-Nu’man bin Basyir RA, where Rasullullah PBUH said:

التَّحَدُّثُ بِالنِّعَمِ شُكْرٌ

“Telling of the blessings is a form of gratitude.” [3]

This, the above hadith clearly shows us that we are commanded to showcase our gratitude for all the blessings we received. Then, among the signs of gratitude is by telling or narrating it to others verbally, through pictures, video recordings and others.

However, Ibn al-‘Arabi stated that the act of telling others of one’s good deeds should be done with sincerity in front of trusted people because it may lead to riya’ (pretending virtuousness) and leads to misunderstanding for the listeners. [4]

Valid conditions for tawaf

Generally, a tawaf is considered valid when it fulfils all of its conditions. Among them are:

  1. Valid conditions of tawaf are the same as the valid conditions of prayer which are, intention, pure from minor and major hadas, free from najis on one’s body, clothing or place of tawaf and covers the aurah.
  2. During tawaf, any parts of the body are impermissible to enter the boundary of the Kaaba. Thus, one should perform tawaf outside of the Hijr Ismail area for it is also considered as a part of the Kaaba area and it is impermissible to do tawaf inside of it.
  3. Furthermore, tawaf must begin from Hajar Aswad with the Kaaba on the left side of the person. Whoever begins the tawaf before the line of Hajr Aswad, isn’t considered as tawaf until he arrives at the line again. Next, he has to complete all 7 times of his tawaf. [5]

Performing tawaf and recording at the same time

Basically, the act of recording videos remains with its original ruling of a certain action that is permissible. However, in this issue, the act of recording a video relates to another act which is worship. Hence, it should be analyzed whether the act of recording is permissible during tawaf or otherwise?

Regarding tawaf, the act is characterized by the Prophet PBUH the same as the worship of prayer. The only difference is while performing tawaf, a person can talk which is different from prayer. There is a hadith from Ibn Abbas R.Anhuma, where the Prophet PBUH said:

الطَّوَافُ حَوْلَ البَيْتِ مِثْلُ الصَّلاَةِ ، إِلاَّ أَنَّكُمْ تَتَكَلَّمُونَ فِيهِ ، فَمَنْ تَكَلَّمَ فِيهِ فَلاَ يَتَكَلَّمَنَّ إِلاَّ بِخَيْرٍ

“The circumambulation of the House is like prayer, except that you speak while performing it; but he who speaks must speak only what is good.” [6]

Al-Amir al-San’ani stated that the tawaf is similar in prayer in terms of their rewards and the conditions of purification. Other than that, this hadith also shows that it is permissible for a person to talk with others when performing tawaf. As for words such as dhikrs during tawaf is sunnah. [7]

Moreover, Imam al-Syafi’I and the ashab are of the opinion that talking in tawaf is permissible. The act of talking doesn’t invalidate tawaf and isn’t also ruled as makruh. However, leaving the act of talking is prioritized except good speech such as amar makruf nahi mungkar, teaching ignorant people, issuing fatwa (answering a question) or others. [8]

Not only that, Badruddin al-‘Aini cited from Imam al-Syafi’I from the narration of Ibn Umar, where he said:

أَقِلُّوا الْكَلَامَ فِي الطَّوَافِ، فَإِنَّمَا أَنْتُم فِي صَلَاةِ

“Lessen speech in tawaf for indeed you’re in prayer.” [9]

Imam al-Tirmizi further added saying that it has been the practise of most scholars that they prefer if a person doesn’t talk when performing tawaf except if there is a necessity or dhikr to Allah or knowledge. [10]

Moreover, cited from Abu Umar from ‘Ata’ that he disliked talking while performing tawaf except if there is a need. The same for Mujahid who’d recite Quran in his tawaf. Imam al-Syafi’i said: “I prefer to recite the Quran in tawaf because it is the best of speech for people.” [11]

The same for the ruling of eating and drinking during tawaf is makruh. However, the makruh ruling for drinking is lighter. Even if this is so, tawaf isn’t invalidated by one of these two acts or even if both are done at the same time. Imam al-Syafi’i stated that it is fine to drink while performing tawaf and I don’t rule it makruh – not sinful – but I prefer if it is left for leaving it is better in terms of its manners.

Furthermore, a person performing tawaf should actually humble himself and ensure that his heart is present properly both outwardly and inwardly in every situation, action and what they see. The reason is tawaf is the same as prayer, hence be mindful of the manners and feel the greatness of Allah SWT in his heart. [12]

Other than that, according to the hadith of Ibn Abbas, talking in tawaf must be bound with the encouragement of saying only good speech when performing tawaf.

According to the above-stated opinions of scholars, we’d also like to add that every permissible action is done in tawaf, it must not distract other congregants as emphasized by Syeikh Mulla Ali al-Qari when he commented on the above hadith of Ibn Abbas, included as good speech are dhikrs to Allah SWT, teaching in the form of not bothering the other congregants who are performing tawaf. [13] If this happens, it should be avoided. For example, the act of recording a video while performing tawaf. If a person performs the tawaf while recording a video by placing the camera on a video stick, surely it will distract or disturb the movement and attention of other congregants.

Conclusion

According to the above discussion, in our opinion, the act of recording a video when performing tawaf is makruh and should be avoided. The reason is it will distract the attention of the person recording who should focus on the worship being performed with khusyuk. Furthermore, there is concern that it could deviate the original purpose of the congregant to worship in the Holy land. Moreover, the act could also disturb the other congregants who are also performing tawaf.

The time for tawaf should actually be the time for worship where one should focus his attention on worships such as dhikrs, supplication, recitation of the Quran, praise and salutations of the Prophet PBUH, feeling the greatness of Allah SWT in his heart and others.

May Allah SWT grant us all a clear understanding in religion. Amin.

Wallahu a’lam.

[1] Surah al-Dhuha: 11

[2] See Zubdah al-Tafasir min Fath al-Qadir by al-Asyqar, pg. 812

[3] Narrated by Ibn Abi al-Dunya dalam al-Syukr (64); Narrated by Ahmad (18449); Narrated by al-Qadha’i dalam Musnad al-Syihab (44)

[4] See Ahkam al-Quran, 4/356

[5] See al-Fiqh al-Manhaji, 2/141

[6] Narrated by al-Tirmizi (960)

[7] See al-Tanwir Syarh al-Jami‘ al-Saghir, 7/183

[8] See al-Majmu‘ Syarh al-Muhazzab, 8/46.

[9] See ‘Umdah al-Qari, 9/263.

[10] See Sunan al-Tirmizi, 2/285.

[11] See ‘Umdah al-Qari, 9/263.

[12] See al-Majmu‘ Syarh al-Muhazzab, 8/46

[13] See Mirqah al-Mafatih Syarh Misykah al-Masabih, 5/1789.

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