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Section II: Sunnah Acts Related to Circumambulation


Firstly: Exposing the Right Shoulder
1. The meaning of idtiba` (exposing the right shoulder)
Linguistically, idtiba` is derived from dab`, which is the upper arm. It was so named because one of the upper arms is exposed.
Technically, idtiba` is that one puts on one’s cloak, keeping it under the right underarm and throwing it over the left shoulder. One covers the left shoulder and exposes his right shoulder.
2. The ruling of exposing the right shoulder
Exposing the right shoulder is one of the sunnah acts of circumambulation. It is for men to the exclusion of women. This is the position of the majority: the Hanafis, Shafi`is, and Hanbalis.


3. When exposing the right shoulder is called for in circumambulation
Exposing the right shoulder is called for in the arrival and `umrah circumambulations only. This is the position of the Hanbali school and one position amongst Shafi`is. This is the position of choice of Ibn Baz and Ibn `Uthaymin.


4. Exposing the right shoulder in all rounds
It is sunnah to expose the right shoulder in all rounds of circumambulation. This is the position of the majority: the Hanafis, Shafi`is, and Hanbalis.
Secondly: Trotting
1. The definition of trotting
Linguistically, trotting means to walk quickly. The verb ramala means to walk quickly and move one’s shoulders.
Technically, trotting means walking with quick, short steps during the first three rounds of the arrival and `umrah circumambulations. This is specific to men.


2. The ruling of trotting
Trotting is a sunnah for one in ihram. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.


3. Trotting during the first three rounds
Trotting is during the first three rounds of circumambulation. Consensus on this was related by Ibn `Abd al-Barr, Ibn Qudamah, and al-Nawawi.


4. Trotting is specific to the arrival and `umrah circumambulations
Trotting is specific to the arrival and `umrah circumambulations. Consensus on this was related by Ibn `Abd al-Barr and Ibn Qudamah.
Thirdly: Touching the Black Stone and Kissing It
1. The ruling of touching the Black Stone and kissing it
It is sunnah to touch the Black Stone and kiss it. [1015] However, if one performing circumambulation finds that people are struggling with each other to reach it, then one avoids harming others. It is sufficient to point at the Black Stone with one’s hand. This is because struggling harms oneself and others, and harm might occur as a result. It also dissipates humility and dissolves the purpose of circumambulation: worshipping Allah. One might even partake in foul speech, argumentation, or fighting. Consensus on touching the Black Stone being sunnah was related by Ibn Hazm, Ibn `Abd al-Barr, Ibn Rushd, and al-Nawawi.
2. Saying Allahu Akbar at the Black Stone with every round
It is sunnah to say Allahu Akbar whenever touching – or pointing at – the Black Stone in every round. [1016] Saying Bismillah before saying Allahu Akbar has been authentically narrated from Ibn `Umar as his own judgment [i.e. not the Prophet’s ﷺ].


3. How to point at the Black Stone
If one does not touch the Black Stone and kiss it, one may touch it and kiss one’s hand, touch it with something in one’s possession and kiss that, or point at it with one’s hand without kissing it.
Fourthly: Touching the Yemeni Corner
It is mustahabb to touch the Yemeni Corner, which is the corner preceding before the Black Stone. One does not kiss it or what one touches it with. Consensus on this was related by Ibn `Abd al-Barr and Ibn Rushd.
Touching other than the two Yemeni corners
It is not sunnah to touch anything other than the two Yemeni corners i.e. the Yemeni Corner and the Black Stone.
Fifthly: Invocation and Supplication during Circumambulation
It is mustahabb that one make much invocation and supplication during one’s circumambulation. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.
1. What to say between the Yemeni Corner and the Black Stone
Among the received invocations to recite between the Yemeni Corner and the Black Stone is to say: “Our Lord, give to us in this world good, and good in the Hereafter, and guard us against the chastisement of the Fire.”


2. Speaking during circumambulation
It is makruh to speak during circumambulation without need. This is the position of the majority: the Hanafis, Malikis, and Hanbalis.
Sixthly: Reciting the Qur’an during Circumambulation
Scholars are of two positions regarding reciting Qur’an during circumambulation:
The first position: It is mustahabb to recite the Qur’an during circumambulation though received invocation is superior. This is the position of the Hanafi [1017] However, they predicate that it be done quietly, reciting it to himself without raising the voice so as not to disturb others, as this would keep them from supplicating. and Shafi`i schools, one of two narrations from Ahmad, and it was narrated from a group of the Salaf. This is the chosen position of Ibn al-Mundhir.
The second position: It is makruh to recite the Qur’an during circumambulation. This is the position of the Maliki school, one position amongst Hanafis, a narration from Ahmad, and the position of a group of the Salaf.
Seventhly: Proximity to the Ka`bah
It is mustahabb that one performing circumambulation be close to the Ka`bah. This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.
Eighthly: Offering Two Units of Prayer behind The Station after Circumambulation
1. The ruling of praying two units behind The Station after circumambulation
Praying two units behind The Station after circumambulation is a confirmed sunnah. This is the position of the Shafi`i (according to the soundest) and Hanbali schools. This is the chosen position of Ibn Hazm, Ibn Baz, and Ibn `Uthaymin.


2. Where to pray the two units after circumambulation
Praying the two units is legislated to be behind The Station. Al-Nawawi and Ibn Taymiyyah related consensus on this.


3. Those not able to pray the two units behind The Station
If one is unable to offer the two units of prayer after circumambulation behind The Station due to crowds or some other reason, one prays them wherever it is easy to do so anywhere in The Mosque. [1018] Ibn `Uthaymin says: “The mistake here is that some people believe that the two units after circumambulation must be offered behind The Station or close by. The issue is not as they think. Rather, these two units are valid anywhere in The Mosque. Rather, a person may place The Station between them and the Ka`bah even at a distance. In this way, they accomplish the sunnah act without harming those circling the Ka`bah or anyone else.” (Majmu` Fatawa wa Rasa’il Ibn `Uthaymin, 22/413) This is by agreement of the four schools of jurisprudence.
Ninthly: Touching the Black Stone after Completing Circumambulation
It is sunnah – after finishing circumambulation and praying the two units after it – to return to the Black Stone and touch it. Consensus on this was related by Ibn `Abd al-Barr, Ibn Qudamah, and al-Nawawi.


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