Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE

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Circumambulation
(1,361 words)

Circumambulation (Ar. ṭawāf, verbal noun of ṭāfa, walk, run, circumambulate) is the ritual act of walking or running around a sacred object, such as a stone or altar. The rite is known in many pre-Islamic cultures, Judaism, and Christianity and among Persians, Indians, Buddhists, Romans, and others. In Islam the circumambulation is performed around the Kaʿba, seven times in succession, the first three at a fast pace, beginning and ending at the Black Stone (al-ḥajar al-aswad). The Kaʿba must be kept to one’s left, so that one moves counterclockwise, contrary to the reported pre-Islamic ṭ…

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Rubin, Uri, “Circumambulation”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE, Edited by: Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Devin J. Stewart. Consulted online on 15 July 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_ei3_COM_25135>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: 9789004209831, 2011, 2011-4



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