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Home News What is Dry Ablution (Tayammum) and how is it performed?

What is Dry Ablution (Tayammum) and how is it performed?

IslamicFinder  .  Friday December 02, 2022
 . Knowledge

Tayammum means an 'Aim' or 'purpose in Arabic.' According to Shariah, it refers to: 'Aiming for or seeking soil to wipe one's face and hands with the intention of purification and preparing oneself to pray, whenever there is a water shortage or any other valid circumstance.


1- References of its Legitimacy

This act of ritual cleansing is proven by the Quran, Sunnah, and Ijmaah (consensus of Muslim scholars). 

Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said:

" …. The earth has been made for me (and for my followers) a place for praying and a thing to perform Tayammum. Therefore my followers can pray wherever the time of a prayer is due …. ” (Sahih Bukhari: 438)

Finally, there is a consensus that Tayammum forms a legitimate part of the Shari'ah (Islamic Law), as it replaces ablution with water or Ghusl, under specific circumstances.



2- When to Make Tayammum 

One is permitted to make Tayammum in any of the following cases:

a) Cannot find water or water is insufficient for ablution:

Allah's Messenger (S.A.W.) saw a person sitting aloof and not praying with the people.

He (S.A.W.) asked him, "O so and so! What prevented you from offering the prayer with the people?"

He replied, "O Allah's Messenger (S.A.W.)! I am Junub (not pure) and there is no water."

The Prophet (S.A.W.) said, "Perform Tayammum with clean earth and that will be sufficient for you." (Sahih Bukhari: 348)


b) Injury or Illness:

If one is in this condition and thinks that using water will worsen it (he does not have to be absolutely sure, but may base his assumption on past experience or what a knowledgeable person has told him), he may perform Tayammum.


Jaabir (R.A.) said: ‘We were on a journey and one of us was injured. Later, he had a wet dream.

He asked his companions, 'Can I perform Tayammum?'

They said, 'No, not if you have water.'

He performed Ghusl, which caused him to die. When news of this came to the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.), He (S.A.W.) said: "They killed him! May Allah kill them! Do you not ask if you do not know? The remedy for ignorance is to ask. He could have performed Tayammum and not dropped water on his wound, or wrapped it with something, then wiped over the wrapping, and then washed the rest of his body." (Abu Dawud: 336)


c) Water is cold enough to physically harm the user:

Tayammum is allowed when water is available but is too cold and cannot be heated, or there is no public bathroom available.

Amr Ibn Al-Aas (R.A.) narrated that:

‘I had a sexual dream on a cold night in the battle of Dhat as-Salasil. I was afraid if I washed I would die. I, therefore, performed Tayammum and led my companions in the dawn prayer. They mentioned that to the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.).

He (S.A.W.) said: Amr, you led your companions in prayer while you were sexually defiled?

I informed him (S.A.W.) of the cause which impeded me from washing. And I said: I heard Allah say: "…Do not kill yourselves [or one another]. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful." (Surah An-Nisa 4:29)

The Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) smiled at this and did not say anything.’ (Abu Dawud: 334)


d) Water is nearby, but one cannot fetch it due to fear:

If one fears for his life, family, and wealth, [for example, if an enemy (beast or human) is nearby or if one is a prisoner, and so on], he may perform Tayammum. This is also allowed if there is water but one lacks the proper means to get it, or if one fears some accusation against him if he gets it.


e) Saving water for later use:

This could be for dough, cooking, or removing an impurity that is not pardonable.


Imam Ahmad said: "Many of the Companions (R.A.) performed Tayammum to save their water for drinking."

Ali (R.A.) said: "A man who is traveling and becomes unclean because of sexual intercourse, or a wet dream, can perform Tayammum if he fears he will go thirsty. He should perform Tayammum and not Ghusl." (narrated by Ad-Daaraqutni)


3- How to Perform Tayammum:

First, one must have the intention to perform ablution and purify himself, then he mentions Allah's name (Bismillah), strikes the soil with his hands, and wipes his face and hands up to the wrist, starting with the right hand. (According to Hadith mentioned in Ibn Majah: 569)



4- Conclusion

Islam has made everything easier for the Muslim Ummah so that we can always remain in touch with Allah. It is our moral duty to use these lenient opportunities to be closer to Allah. 


May Allah bless us to be regular in our daily prayers and allow us to prepare ourselves for the day of Judgement Ameen.


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