It is a form of purification that replaces and substitutes wudu’ and ghusl in case water is lacking or inaccessible. It enables us to do whatever wudu and ghusl allow us to do, including prayer, touching the Qur’an and the like. The Qur’an states: “And if you are ill, or on a journey, or one of you comes after answering the call of nature, or you have been in contact with women and you find no water, perform Tayammum with clean earth and wipe over your faces and hands. Indeed, Allah is ever Pardoning and Forgiving.” [4:43]
Factor that make tayammum permissible
- Lack of water. Umran ibn Al-Hussain narrated that: “Allah’s Messenger ( s ) said: “saw a man sitting alone and that he did not perform prayer in congregation. He asked him what prevented him from joining prayer. The man told him that he had major ritual impurity (Janabah) in absence of water. The Prophet said: Make use of earth, for it suffices you.” (Agreed upon)
- In case water is harmful to the body in the case of a person who is wounded or sick and the use of water is likely to delay healing or increase sickness. Jabir said: “We set out on a journey. One of us was hit with a stone that wounded his head, then he had a wet dream. He asked his companions if it was permissible for him to perform Tayammum. They said: We do not think that you can use earth while water is accessible, so he took a bath and died. When we came back to Allah’s Messenger , he was told of the story. He said: ‘They killed him! May Allah kill them! Why didn’t they ask if they didn’t know? Inquiry is the cure of ignorance. It would have been enough for him to perform Tayammum, or bandage his wound, wipe over the bandage and bathe the rest of his body.” (Tirmidhi)
- If a person has limited water, but he needs it now or later for drinking and/or cooking, in such a case he may perform Tayammum and keep the water for drinking or cooking. Abu Dhar heard Allah’s Messenger ( s ) say: “Clean earth is a means of purification for Muslims even if they stayed without water
for ten years. When they find water it will be good for them to use it.”
(Tirmidh,Nasai, Abu Daud)
Ali ibn Abi Talib, answering a question about a passenger who has “Janabah” while he has little water and he is afraid of thirst, said: “He should resort to Tayammum and should not wash with water.” (Daraqutni)
- If the search for water will risk his life, honor or wealth, such as: if there was an enemy or there was a distance from water that would expose him to the danger of wild animals.
- In case the available water is too cold and he cannot heat it, being almost sure that the use of cold water will cause him harm. Amr ibn Al-As said:
- In case the available water is too cold and he cannot heat it, being almost sure that the use of cold water will cause him harm. Amr ibn Al-As said: “At a very cold night during Dhat Al-Salasel expedition, I had a wet dream. I was afraid to risk my life if I took a bath, therefore, I performed Tayammum and lead my companions in prayer. They told the Prophet ( s ) about the incident, upon which he called me and asked me: ‘O Amr! Did you led your companions in prayer while you were in state of Janabah? I told him the reason that prevented me from taking a bath, and said to him: I heard Allah, glory be to Him, say (the meaning of which is translated as): “Do not kill yourselves. Verily Allah is All-Merciful towards you.” Allah’s Messenger ( s) laughed and said nothing. The Prophet’s silence is a sign of an approval because he never accepts or keeps silent if he sees a wrongful act.” (Abu Daud)
Description og tayammumA person who wants to perform Tayammum should intend purification or the removal of ritual impurity. Then he says ‘Bismillah’ and touches or strikes the clean earth once with the palm of his hand while his fingers are spaced. Then he should wipe his face using the inner side of his fingers and wipe his hands with his palms up to the wrists. As in the narration of Ammar (may Allah be pleased with him): ‘I had a seminal emission and did not find water (for taking bath), I rolled in dust and did prayer. I mentioned that to the Prophet of Allah ( s) and he said: “It was enough for you to do like this” the Prophe ( s) thereupon struck the ground with his palms and then blew (the dust) and then wiped his face and palms.” (Agreed upon) In another narration by al-Darqutnee: ‘It was enough for you to strike your palms on the ground, then blow and then wipe your face and palms’.
Things that invalidate tayammum
- Every thing that invalidates wudu’ will similarly invalidate Tayammum.
- Finding water (for those who have no water for wudu)
- When the excuses or constraints that prevent one from using water are over
If a person performs Tayammum and then completes his prayer, then finds water or the constraints which prevented the use of water are over after completion of prayer, he is not required to repeat that prayer, even if there is still time. Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri said: “Two men set out on a journey. When the time for prayer came they had no water, so they performed Tayammum and prayed. Later they found water, and one of them re-performed that prayer, but the other did not. When they met Allah’s Messenger ( s) and told him what happened to them, the Messenger( s)said to the latter: ‘you have done the sunnah’ and said to the former: ‘You have double reward.’” (Abu Daud & Nasai)
However if he finds water or the constraints are over during his prayer, his prayer becomes invalid and he is required to perform wudu’ and repeat the prayer. Abu Dhar said: I heard Allah’s Messenger( s)say: “Clean earth is a means of purification for a Muslim if he does not find water, even for ten years. When he finds it he must use it, for that would be better for him.” (Tirmidh, Abu Daud, Nasai)
A person who performs Tayammum in case of major ritual impurity (Janabah, for instance) for some acceptable reason that justifies Tayammum, is not required to repeat his prayer. Upon finding water or when the reasons for one’s Tayammum are over, he must take a bath to remove ritual impurity. Omran ibn Al-Hussain narrated that: “Allah’s Messenger( s)saw a man sitting alone and that he did not perform prayer in congregation. He asked him what prevented him from joining prayer. The man told him that he had major ritual impurity (Janabah) in absence of water. The Prophet( s)said: “Make use of earth, for it suffices you.” Omran added that after they had found water, Allah’s Messenger( s)gave a container of water to the man who was in a state of Janabah and said to him: Go and pour it on yourself.” (Agreed upon)