Assalamualaikum ustaz. What is the ruling of performing Tawaf Wada’ if we are performing umrah during this time when the infectivity of the COVID-19 virus is still very much present?
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 Last Day.
According to the current situation (November 2021), the COVID-19 situation in Saudi Arabis has drastically decreased, a result of the careful active and comprehensive steps taken by their Ministry of Health and national vaccination program. Subsequently, the new COVID-19 infection rate is very low. However, they issued a strict and careful Standard operating Procedure in order to contain the spread of COVID-19.
In relation to the issue of umrah, although it is permitted through the Eatmarna application, however, there are several conditions set. Among them is that Tawaf Wada’ is still isn’t allowed. Thus, pilgrims are allowed to only perform just the umrah.
In answering the above question, we state the following:
Tawaf wada’ is greatly encouraged and it is encouraged by the Messenger PBUH. This can be seen in a hadith from Ibn ‘Abbas R.Anhuma, where he said:
كَانَ النَّاسُ يَنْصَرِفُونَ فِى كُلِّ وَجْهٍ فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم : لاَ يَنْفِرَنَّ أَحَدٌ حَتَّى يَكُونَ آخِرُ عَهْدِهِ بِالْبَيْتِ
“The people used to go out (from Mecca) by all sides. The Prophet (ﷺ) said: No one should leave (Mecca) until he performs the last circumambulation (Tawaf al-Wada’) of the House (the Ka’bah).” 
Imam al-Nawawi said: “This hadith contains the dalil for the opinion which obligates Tawaf Wada’ and when a person leaves it, he must pay Dam (fine). This is the sahih opinion according to our madhhab and the opinion of the majority of scholars.” 
Imam al-Nawawi also said: “Our ashab stated, “Whoever has completed his manasik and he wishes to reside in Mecca, then there is no Tawaf al-Wada’ for him. There is no khilaf on this matter. Regardless of whether he is a resident of Mecca or otherwise. If he wants to leave Mecca to head back to his country or other countries, then he must perform Tawaf al-Wada’” 
According to Syeikh Ibrahim al-Bajuri who cited the words of Imam Ibnu Qasim dan Abu Syuja’ in his commentary, he said: “For the weak opinion which states that it is sunnah to perform Tawaf Wada’ if one wants to travel out of Mecca, regardless of whether the journey of far or close. While the azhar (strong) opinion is that it is obligatory to perform Tawad Wada’ and this is the final opinion.” 
However, Imam al-Nawawi also said: “Syafi’iyyah scholars have differing opinions as to whether Tawaf Wada’ is included as specific worship of hajj or is it also encouraged outside of the worship of hajj. In this matter, according to Imam al-Haramain, Tawaf Wada’ is specific for hajj, which means hajj pilgrims who have left Mecca are no longer encouraged or deserve to perform Tawaf Wada’. And according to al-Baghawi, Abu Siad al-Mutawalli and others said, Tawaf wada’ isn’t specific for the worship of hajj. However, it is still commanded for a person who is leaving Mecca for a distance which permits him to perform qasar prayer, whether they are residents of Mecca or others.” 
Once again, we present the opinion of Imam al-Nawawi through his book al-Majmu’, where among others he said there are two opinions regarding Tawaf Wada’ which are:
First: Obligatory. This is the opinion of Ibnu Abbas and others.
Second: Not obligatory. The reason is if it is obligatory then surely, it isn’t ruled as permissible for menstruating women to leave it.
Al-Qadhi Abu al-Tayyib and al-Bandaniji said that it is sunnah and if one leaves Tawaf Wada’ then it is also sunnah to pay the Dam. This is also the opinion of Imam al-Syaife according to his qaul qadim. 
Thus, in this issue, according to the current situation, we are of the opinion that it is sunnah for whoever wants to leave Mecca after completing his umrah and he isn’t fined with dam if he leaves it for there is a cogent excuse that prevented him in terms of trying to contain the spread of the COVID-19.
If the situation returns to normal and COVID-19 is no longer a threat as well as the authorities have allowed Tawaf Wada’ and Sunnah Tawaf, then at his time, in our opinion Taawf Wada’ returns to be obligatory as famously stated in madhhab Syafi’I and for those who leave it, they have to pay dam except for menstruating women before they return to their homeland.