Bidding Al-Masjidul-Nabawy farewell

Q: Answer us, may Allah reward you with the best, about whether a person performing `Umrah (lesser pilgrimage) at a time other than that of Hajj has to perform Tawaf-ul-Wada` (circumambulation around the Ka`bah on leaving Makkah). In fact, I have performed three `Umrahs at times other than that of Hajj performing no Tawaf-ul-Wada` basing my act on the book of Sheikh Ibn Jarul-Lah, may Allah forgive him, his parents and all Muslims. In the book, the Sheikh mentioned (Part No. 11; Page No. 363) fundamentals and pillars of `Umrah giving no mention of Tawaf-ul-Wada`. However, I was told by some people that one has to perform Tawaf-ul-Wada` for `Umrah. Moreover, as for visiting Al-Masjid Al-Nabawy and saluting Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him); is there Wada` (farewell) of visiting it and saluting Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him)? Actually, mentioned in the copies of supplications are the Wada` of Al-Masjid and saluting the Prophet (peace be upon him).

A: First: It is not obligatory on a person who performs `Umrah at a time other than that of Hajj to perform Tawaf-ul-Wada`. Accordingly, you are liable to nothing for leaving Makkah after performing `Umrah without performing Tawaf-ul-Wada`. However, it will be good to perform Tawaf-ul-Wada`. Second: Visiting the grave of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is a Sunnah (a commendable act) which is based on the general purport of Hadith exhorting us to visit graves. Nevertheless, one should not undertake a journey specifically for that purpose. Thus, the grave of the Prophet (peace be upon him) should be visited by those living in Al-Madinah or its suburb whose moving to Al-Madinah may not be considered travel. Accordingly, undertaking a journey to Al-Madinah specifically to visit his grave is not permissible, for he (peace be upon him) forbade it in the Hadith: Do not undertake journey but to three Masjids (mosques): this Masjid of mine, Al-Masjid Al-Haram and Al-Masjid Al-Aqsa. However, if someone travels to Al-Madinah for a certain other purpose such as trade, seeking knowledge and the like or travels to it to offer Salah (Prayer) in Al-Masjid Al-Nabawy seeking the doubled reward, he should offer Salah first then visit the Prophet (peace be upon him), the Shar`y (Islamic legal) visit invoking blessings and peace upon him and saluting Abu Bakr and `Umar, asking Allah to be pleased with them and supplicating Allah for them. Anyway, this is to be done without rubbing oneself against the grave or its surroundings or kissing anything thereof. This is also to take place without supplicating the Prophet or seeking his help, for, in fact, supplicating him and seeking his help after (Part No. 11; Page No. 364) his death is like supplicating any other dead person which is an act of major Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship). It suffices to invoke peace and blessings on him and ask Allah to be pleased with Abu Bakr and `Umar (may Allah be pleased with them both).May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.