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What are the proofs for the Istilaam during tawaf?

Answered by: Maulana Tahsin Alam


Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah

From learning about how to do Istilaam, it seems the Hanafis say first to stand facing the Hajr aswad, stand and raise the hands up to the ear lobes or shoulders and say the takbeer. This is one action. Let’s call this the iftitaata.

Then you do Istilaam, which is touching the hajr with both hands, then kissing with the lips and then making sujud on it. If this is not possible, then touching with the hands and kissing the hands. If this is not possible, then touching with a stick and then kissing it. If this is not possible then making a gesture with both the hands and kissing the hands. Let’s call all this Istilaam.


1.  Now, what is the proof for a separate Iftitaah?


2.  And what is the proof for making Ishaarah with both the hands?

It seems the Hadith used “The hands are not raised except in seven places…” is being used as proof for both a separate Iftitaah and for doing Istilaam with both the hands? Am I right? I went to this seminar and the speaker was saying there is no proof for a separate 
iftitaah and isharah should be done with one hand.


3. He also said that there is no proof to kiss the hands after making ishaara, What proof do the Hanafis have for this?


بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah

A person intending ṭawāf should first make an intention, then face the black stone (al-ḥajr al-aswad) and make takbīr, then raise their hands (up to their ears) just as in ṣalāh. Now they should do istilām, which is that they should try place both of their hands in the silver dome holding the black stone and kiss it, if not they should touch it with either two hands or one (preferably the right), then kiss their hand. If not, they should try to touch it with a stick or something similar, then kiss that object. If all of this is not possible, they should stand in-line, whilst facing the black stone, then raise their hands (palms facing the black stone) up to its height, then do takbīr, then finally kiss their palms. They should then repeat the action of istilām in every round of ṭawāf.[1]

1.    The ‘iftitaah’ is only done once, at the beginning of ṭawāf.

2.    Ibrāhīm al-Nakhʿī narrates “The hands are raised in seven occasions. The opening of the ṣalāh, the takbīr for qunūt during witr, during [ṣalāh] of the two ʿīds, during istilām, during [saʿī] of ṣafā and marwāh, during ʿarafah and muzdalifah and whilst pelting the jamratayn.” Such a narration is deemed to be a statement of the companions or their followers, as it is not possible to be conjured up from one’s intellect.[2]

3.    Nāfi’ says, “I saw Ibn ʿUmar RA do istilām of the black stone with his hands, he then kissed his hands.” (Narrated by Bukhāri and Muslim)

Abū Ṭufayl said, “I saw the Prophet SAW do ṭawāf, whilst doing istilām of the kaʿbah with a stick (similar to a crosier), he then kissed that stick. (Muslim)[3]

Only Allah Ta’ala knows best

Written by Maulana Tahsin Alam

Checked and approved by Siddiqa al-Farsiyyah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

[1] Mufti Ashiq Ilahi, Tashīl al-Ḍarūri, pg. 144-145.

Muhammad Moinuddin Ahmad, A Handbook of Hajj and Umrah (translated by Prof. Jalil Ahmad), pg. 31-33.

[2] Maulana Zafar Ahmad Uthmani, ʿIlā al-Sunan, volume 10 pg. 67.

[3] Ibid, pg. 68.

This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.

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