What Is the Ruling of Istilam during the Tawaf?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch


Istilam in the Hanafi madhab is done by waving both hands and kissing them. Is this wajib? What if istilam is done without kissing the hands or just waving with one hand? Is Tawaf valid? Finally, is the round valid if you did istilam before or after the line of the Black Stone, as it is difficult to be exact on this line?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

Istilam (or gesturing towards the Black Stone) is an emphasized sunna action of the Tawaf. [Ibn ‘Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

Ideally, one would place their hands on it and kiss it if the opportunity arose without harming others. If this is not possible, or if doing so would cause harm to others, one can gesture towards the Stone from afar. [Ibid.]

Istilam is an established sunna action of the Tawaf. Not performing it does not affect the validity of the Tawaf but diminishes its reward unless one omitted it due to an excuse or forgetfulness.

Hope this helps

Allah knows best

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and a number of texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.