“Thereafter, let them tidy themselves up and fulfil their vows and circumambulate the Ancient House.”
(Al-Qur’ān – 22:29)
On the 10th of Dhū al-Hijjah, the Day of Sacrifice, after the pilgrims finish offering their sacrifices, they may remove their ihrām, have their hair cut, and take a bath; in sum, the offering of the sacrifice marks the end of the restrictions which are binding upon pilgrims while they are in a state of ihrām. The word tafath literally means the dirt and filth caused by travelling. However, in the context of Hajj the usage carries a special meaning which is alluded to above. For, as long as a pilgrim does not complete certain rituals of Hajj and sacrifice, he may neither cut his hair, clip his nails, nor clean his body in certain other ways. It may be noted in this regard that even after a pilgrim has offered sacrifice and become free of the restrictions imposed on him, one restriction nonetheless still remains: he may not have sexual intercourse with his spouse until the completion of tawāf al-ifādah.
The expression ‘ancient house’ for Ka‘bah is significant. To say that some place is ‘atīq (ancient) conveys the following meanings in Arabic: (1) that it is hallowed by time; (2) that it is independent and does not form anyone’s property; and (3) that it is an object of reverence and veneration. All these apply to the place for which the word ‘atīq is used in the verse. The word tawāf here signifies tawāf al-ifādah or tawāf al-ziyārah which is performed after one has made the sacrificial offering on the Day of Sacrifice, and after one has removed the pilgrim’s garb. This particular tawāf should be performed after one has offered the sacrifice, removed the ihrām and taken a bath.