Is circumambulating the Kaaba better than a nafilah prayer? Is it regarded worshipping to watch the Kaaba?

Details of the Question

Is circumambulating the Kaaba better than a nafilah prayer? Is it regarded worshipping to watch the Kaaba?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

- The Prophet (pbuh) states the following in a hadith included in Sunan books:Circumambulating the Kaaba is a kind of prayer but Allah allows speaking in circumambulation. He who speaks while circumambulation should not speak anything that is not good.” (Ibn Hajar, 3/482; Hakim, 2/267)

We can understand from the hadith that circumambulation (tawaf) is also a virtuous deed of worship like performing prayers. A fard circumambulation is like a fard prayer; a nafilah circumambulation is like a nafilah prayer.

- According to a narration, when Abdullah b. Abbas was asked which one was more virtuous, he said, “Prayer is more virtuous for the people of Makkah and circumambulation for the guests.” (see al-Fakihi, Akhbaru Makkah, 1/468-Shamila)

Said b. Jubayr holds the same view. (see ibid, 1/470)

According to a narration reported from Hz. Aisha, the Prophet (pbuh) said, “It is a deed of worship to look at the Kaaba.” (see Kanzul-Ummal, h. No: 34647)

The Kaaba does not consist of the stone building situated there only. It is like a luminous pole from the earth to the sky (Throne). The intention of those who turn toward the Kaaba is to obey Allah's order and turn toward the direction ordered by Allah. The Kaaba is the first mosque built on earth.

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