It is Sunnah for a pilgrim to perform the following acts while performing Tawaf:

1- Facing the Black Stone

2- Al-‘Idtiba` (Uncovering one’s shoulder)

3- Ramal or Jogging

4- Touching the Yemeni Corner

5- Offering Two rak`ahs After Tawaf

Elaborating more on these supererogatory acts, we cite what Sheikh Sayyed Sabiq states in his well-known book, Fiqh As-Sunnah:

It is Sunnah to perform certain acts during Tawaf as given below:

1- Facing the Black Stone at the beginning of Tawaf while uttering takbir (Allahu-Akbar), and tahlil (La ilaha illahlah), and raising one’s hands as they are raised in prayer, and if possible touching it with both hands and kissing it lightly, or placing one’s cheek on it. Otherwise, one may touch it with one’s hand, kiss the hand, or touch it with something, and then kiss it, or if even that is not possible, one may just point to it with a stick, etc. as is mentioned in some of the hadiths referred to below.

Ibn `Umar said: “Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) faced the Black Stone, touched it, and then placed his lips on it and wept for a long time.” Likewise, `Umar also wept for a long time. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: ‘O `Umar, this is the place where one should shed tears.”’ (Al-Hakim)

2- Al-‘Idtiba` (Uncovering one’s shoulder)

It is reported by Ibn `Abbas that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and his companions stated their intention to perform `Umrah from al-Ji`ranah by wearing the clothing of ihram but leaving their right shoulders uncovered, bringing their ihram up from under their right armpits while covering the left shoulder. (Ahmad and Abu Dawud) The majority of scholars hold a similar view and claim that doing so is helpful in ramal (jogging) while making Tawaf. Malik is of the opinion, however, that doing so is not recommended, for it is not a known (practice), nor did he see anyone doing so. There is a consensus of opinion that it is undesirable to do so during the Tawaf prayer (salatul Tawaf).

3- Ramal or Jogging

Ramal means walking quickly and vigorously while moving one’s shoulders and taking small steps, giving a sense of strength and energy. Ibn `Umar reported that Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) jogged from the Black Stone around the Ka`bah and back to the Black Stone again three times, and then walked the remaining four rounds. (Muslim and Ahmad) If a person does not jog during the first three rounds, then he is not required to make up for it in the last four rounds. Ramal (Jogging) and ‘idtiba` (uncovering one’s right shoulder) are prescribed for men only while making Tawaf for `Umrah. When a pilgrim performs Hajj, Tawaf is always followed by Sa’I (walking between As-Safa and Al-Marwah).

Women are not obligated to jog or uncover their right shoulders, because they must cover themselves properly. Ibn `Umar said: “Women are not obligated to jog around the Ka`bah nor while making Sa`i between As-Safa and Al-Marwah.” (Al-Baihaqi)

4- Touching the Yemeni Corner

This is based on the statement of Ibn `Umar in which he said: “I never saw the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) touching any other parts of the Ka`bah except the two corners: the Black Stone and the Yemeni corner.” And he added, “No matter how hard and difficult the circumstances, I have never failed to touch these two corners – the Yemeni Corner and the Black Stone – ever since I saw the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) doing so.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

5- Offering Two Rak`ahs After Tawaf

It is sunnah to offer two rak`ahs after completing the Tawaf at the Station of Ibrahim (peace and blessings be upon him), or at any other place in the Sacred Mosque, regardless of whether it is a supererogatory Tawaf or an obligatory one (as in Hajj or `Umrah).

Jabir reported: “When the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) came to Makkah, he circumambulated the Ka`bah seven times, then went to the Station of Ibrahim and recited the verse, (And take of the Station of Abraham a place of prayer.) (Al-Baqarah 2:125) He prayed behind it, and then went to the Black Stone and kissed it.” (At-Tirmidhi)

In these two rak`ahs, it is sunnah to recite Surat Al-Kafirun in the first rak`ah, and Surat Al-Ikhlas in the second rak`ah, after reciting Al-Fatihah. (Muslim and others) These two rak`ahs may be offered at any time of the day or night including the prohibited times.