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TAWAF

the ritual during Hajj of running between two mountains that was supposed to commemorate Hagar's fetching of water for Ishmael. This ritual was practiced by the pagan Arabs in the jahiliya, and the adoption into Islam caused some Muslims to be uncomfortable with it. The following hadith surfaced to explain that it is allowed:

ibn al 'Arabi (A.H. 543) reports from ibn Sihab that 'Urwa said:
I asked 'Aisha, "What is your view of Q 2.158?: 'There shall be no blame on him who performs tawaf between Safsa and Marwa.' Surely there can be no blame on anyone who does not perform this tawaf?" 'Aisha replied that were the case as 'Urwa supposed, the verse would read: 'There shall be no blame on him who does not perform the tawaf.' The Ansar, feeling certain scruples about this ceremony, on account of the locality's former association with idols, consulted the Prophet. God revealed Q 2.158. The Prophet then laid down the sunna of performing the tawaf. It is thus incumbent upon pilgrims not to omit it. (Abu Bakr Muhammad b. 'Abdulla b. al 'Arabi, Ahkam al Qur'an, 4 vols (Cairo, 1957/1376), vol 1, p.46, quoted by John Burton, The Collection of the Qur'an, p. 12)


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