Q. What is the ruling of Ramal and Idhtibaa’ in Tawaaf? Is it done in all rounds of Tawaaf?
A. Idhtibaa’ refers to covering the left shoulder and exposing the right should (during Tawaaf).
Ramal refers to a brisk walk whilst lifting ones shoulders (during Tawaaf).
Idhtibaa’ is Sunnah during all 7 rounds of Tawaaf (Tawaaf of Umrah/Hajj) and Ramal is Sunnah during the first 3 rounds of Tawaaf only. (Shaami 2/495 – Jawaahirul Fiqh 4/125/126)
Sayyiduna Ibn Abbaas Radhiyallahu Anhu reports that Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam placed the cloth/Ihraam under his right armpit with the end over his left shoulder (Idhtibaa’), made Istilaam (of the Black Stone), recited Takbir and walked briskly (Ramal) in three rounds of Tawaaf. When they (the Companions) reached the Yamani corner, and disappeared from the eyes of the Quraysh, they walked as usual; When they appeared before them, they walked briskly. Thereupon the Quraysh said: They look to be the deer (that are jumping i.e. active). Ibn Abbas Radhiyallahu Anhu said: “Hence, this became the Sunnah.” (Abu Dawood)
Sayyiduna Ibn Abbaas Radhiyallahu Anhu reports: Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam and his Companions came (to Makkah Mukarramah) and the polytheists (of Makkah Mukarramah) said: “A people have come to you, whom the fever of Yathrib (Madinah Munawwarah) has weaken them.” Thereupon, Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam commanded his companions to make Ramal (walk briskly whilst lifting their shoulders) in the first three rounds and walk between the two corners, so that the polytheists should see their endurance. The polytheists then said (to one another, ‘You were under the impression that fever had emaciated them, whereas they are stronger than so and so. Ibn Abbas said: He (the Holy Prophet) did not command them (the Muslims) to walk quickly in all the circuits out of kindness to them.
Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ismaeel Bassa