Praise be to Allaah.
With regard to uncertainty about the number of circuits
performed, one of two scenarios must apply:
He is still performing the act
of worship. In this case, he should proceed on the basis of the lesser
number. If he is not sure whether he did five or six circuits, he should
assume that he did the lesser number, i.e., five, because this is what is
certain, but there is some doubt about the higher number (i.e., six). The
evidence for that is the words of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah
be upon him): “If one of you is uncertain about his prayer and does not know
whether he prayed three or four (rak‘ahs), let him ignore the uncertainty
and proceed on the basis of that which he is certain of.”
Narrated by Muslim, 888
Ibn Qudaamah (may Allah have mercy on him): If he is not sure
of the number of circuits, he should proceed on the basis of what he is
certain of. Ibn al-Mundhir said: All of the scholars from whom we learned
are agreed on that. And because it is an act of worship, so if one is
uncertain about it whilst still doing it, he should proceed on the basis of
what he is certain of, as in the case of prayer.
End quote from al-Mughni, 3/187
If the uncertainty arises after
one has finished the act of worship. In that case he should not pay any
attention to it, according to the correct scholarly view, because the basic
principle is that acts of worship are free of shortcomings, so that one will
not open the door to waswasah (whispers from the Shaytaan).
It says in al-Mawsoo‘ah al-Fiqhiyyah, 29/125: If he is
uncertain after finishing tawaaf, he should not pay any attention to that,
according to the majority of scholars, apart from the Maalikis who regarded
doubt during tawaaf or after finishing it as being the same. End quote.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Uncertainty after completing an act of worship does not mean anything. For
example, if a person is unsure as to whether he did five or six circuits of
tawaaf, we say: If that arises during tawaaf, he should do that which he is
uncertain of, and that is the end of the matter. If that arises after he has
finished tawaaf and moved away, and he says: By Allah, I do not know whether
I did six or seven circuits, that uncertainty does not mean anything. So he
should ignore the uncertainty and assume that he did seven.
This is a useful principle: if a person feels a great deal of
uncertainty, he should not pay any attention to it, and if the uncertainty
arises after he has finished the act of worship, he should not pay any
attention to it unless he is certain. If he is certain then he has to do
what he omitted.
End quote from Fataawa Noor ‘ala ad-Darb
And Allah knows best.