Viral Photo: Man performs tawaf of Kaaba in neck-deep water

As mentioned in the biography of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the first person to perform Tawaf in floodwater was the sahabi (the prophet’s companion) `Abd Allah Al-Zubayr.

Riyadh: Makkah has seen many large floods throughout history, including the years 1727, 1728, 1913 and 1941. But according to historians and media reports, during the rains of 1941, the Grand Mosque was submerged by floodwater that rose to a height of six feet for the first time in the history of Islam’s holiest site.

Performing Tawaaf by swimming is a rare form of worship. During the 1941 floods, a Bahraini man, Sheikh Ali Al-Awadhi performed Tawaf of the Kaaba wading through neck-deep water after its premises were flooded.

In a rare photo of the floods, a 12-year-old Al-Awadhi could be seen almost submerged in water while he encircled the Kaaba, in front of Maqam Ibrahim while his brother and friend sat by the door of the Kaaba in the back, Saudi Gazette reported.

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Al-Awadhi, who passed away in 2015, recalled his memories of performing Tawaf in floodwater speaking in an interview with Kuwait’s Al-Rai television in 2013, videos of which are now going viral on social media platforms.

He said, “I was a student in Makkah at the time when the holy city witnessed torrential rain for nearly one week incessantly throughout day and night, resulting in flashfloods inundating all parts of the holy city. I saw several people, vehicles and animals washed away by flashfloods and several houses and shops inundated.”

On the last day of the rain, he decided to go to the mosque along with his brother and two friends, to see what was going on.

“As children, we were delighted to see the flooded mataf. Being a good swimmer, I was struck by the idea of performing Tawaf and my brother and friends also joined me,” said Awadhi.

The policeman tried to stop them from swimming in case they tried to grab the Black Stone from one of the corners of the Kaaba or if they got harmed.

He tried to persuade the policeman to allow him to complete the tawaf while the others could not continue and took shelter by climbing the doorstep of the Kaaba and awaiting rescue.

“I experienced the joy of having a great opportunity to perform the ritual in a unique way and the fear that the policeman would shoot me with his gun for disobeying him. Later I discovered that there were no bullets in his gun,” he added.

Al-Awadhi was not the first to perform tawaf while swimming. As mentioned in the biography of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the first person to perform tawaf in floodwater was a companion of the prophet ‘Abd Allah Al-Zubayr’.

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