Dry Ablution (التيمم)

Dry Ablution (Tayamum)

(The Performance of Tayaamum) permits (all acts of worship) that are made permissible by Wudu’ or Ghusl for the one who cannot find water or fears hardship if he uses water. The limbs (that are to be cleansed during the Tayaamum are) the face and the two hands; wiped over one single time while having Niyaah and saying بسم الله (BISMILLAH).

Amaar related: “We became sexually impure and had no water, so we rolled in the dirt and prayed. This was mentioned to the prophet (s) who said: “This would have been enough for you”. He (s) then struck the earth with his hands, blew in them, then wiped his face and hands on right, up to the wrist.” (Agreed Upon)

“At-Tayammum” is a means of using the soil to wipe one’s face and hands with the intention of preparing oneself to perform prayer. Proof of its legitimacy is found in the Holy Qur’an as follows:

– سورة النساء –

“ And if you are ill, or on a journey, or one of you cometh from offices of nature, or ye have been in contact with women, and ye find no water, then take for yourselves clean sand or earth, and rub therewith your faces and hands, for Allah does blot out sins and forgives again and again” (Qur’an 4:43).

The Prophet (peace be upon him), also said:

“ All of the earth has been made a pure place of prayer for me and my Ummah (Nation). Whenever a person from my nation wants to pray, he has something with which to purify himself … that is the earth” (Reported by Imam Ahmad).

Purification by At-Tayammum has the same validity as Wudhu and Ghusl performed with water, but becomes invalidated in the following cases:

  • All actions and conditions that nullify Wudhu also nullify At-Tayammum.
  • If after performing At-Tayammum, water is found for Wudhu or Ghusl.

Instances when At-Tayammum is Permitted

At-Tayammum is permitted only on specific instances as follows:

  1. Where the person cannot find water or the amount of water is not sufficient for Wudhu. However, before performing At-Tayammum, the person is required to look for water earnestly from any possible source.
  2. When a person is injured or ill and believes that the use of water will worsen his/her condition, then, At-Tayammum is allowed.
  3. When water is too cold such that it may harm the person, At-Tayammum is allowed if the user cannot find means of heating the water.
  4. When water is nearby, but the person is not able to fetch it due to fear for his/her life, family and wealth, (e.g. from an enemy either beast or human in the vicinity) then, At- Tayammum may be performed.
  5. When there is not enough water and one is forced to save what is available for drinking and/or cooking, then, At-Tayammum is allowed.

The Earth (Soil) to be used for At-Tayammaum

This should be pure earth or soil and can be sand, stone or gypsum which produce dust when hit with the hands.

How to Perform At-Tayammum

a)    The person should first intend by heart to perform At-Tayammum.

b)    The person then strike the soil with the palms of both hands.

c)    The person then wipes the face using both palms.

d)    Thereafter, the person uses the left palm to wipe over the back of the right hand up to the wrist, and then, uses the right palm to wipe over the back of the left hand upto the wrist.


i.        If any dust clings to the hands upon striking the earth, it should be blown out first before wiping the face and the hands to avoid the dust.

ii.        Only one strike on the earth is sufficient for wiping both the face and hands.

iii.        For persons who are required to perform Ghusl, but are unable to find water, then, At-Tayammum as discussed would suffice.

This entry was posted in كتاب الطهارة (Book Of Purification) and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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