Provisions of Tayammum in Islam

Islam Contributor
Tayammum in Islam

Meaning of Tayammum in Islam

The Arabic word ‘Tayammum’ literally means an ‘aim’ or ‘purpose’. In Shari’ah terminology, Tayammum is said to be the wipe of the face and hands with holy soil for the purpose of attaining holiness.

The Qur’an and Sunnah contain the solution to all the problems of human life. As a means of attaining holiness, Islam has generally prescribed ablution and bathing. But what is to be done to attain holiness when water is not available or a person becomes ill and unable to use water? It is in this context that Allah has given the rule of Tayammum.

The rulings of Tayammum in Islam

If water cannot be found or if one is unable to use it, it is obligatory to perform Tayammum in order to perform an obligatory act of worship. For example, praying or reciting the Qur’an. And it is Nafl to perform Tayammum for those acts of worship which are Nafl. For example, before going to sleep.

Allah says, “… And if you do not find water, then seek clean earth and wipe over your faces and hands with it. Allah does not intend to make difficulty for you, but He intends to purify you and complete His favor upon you that you may be grateful.” (5: 6)

The wisdom behind Tayammum in Islam  being included in the Shari’ah

1) To make the Shari’ah easy for the Ummah of Muhammad (SAW).

2) To eliminate the conditions in which there is a risk of harm to a person as a result of using water. For example, if you get sick, in severe winter, etc.

3) To maintain the relationship of the servant with worship. That is, the servant should never be separated from the worship due to lack of water.

When to perform Tayammum

1) In the absence of water. Allah says, “And if you do not find water, then perform Tayammum.”

2) If water is present but one is unable to use it. For example, a sick or old person who cannot move on his own and does not have a person who will help him in performing ablution or bathing.

3) If there is a risk of physical harm as a result of using water. For example, if water will increase one’s illness. Or if there is no system to heat the water in extreme cold and there is a strong idea that using water will increase the illness. In this case, it is permissible to perform Tayammum. Or if a person is somewhere far away from the source of water and there is little water left to drink with him and there is no possibility of getting fresh water.

When Tayammum is valid in Islam

If the following eight conditions are not met together, the Tayammum will not be valid under any circumstances.

1. Intend to perform Tayammum.

2. There must be the presence of an excuse or inability to perform Tayammum.

The inability to validate Tayammum is:

  • If the distance between a person and the water is at least one mile or more.
  • If there is a strong possibility of increasing disease due to the use of water or there is a risk of death.
  • The amount of water is so little that if you use this water, you or others will get thirsty and suffer.
  • There is a well nearby. But the water in it is so low that there is no way to get water out of it.
  • Water is nearby, but unable to collect water due to enemies or any terrifying animal.
  • There is a strong idea that if you perform ablution, the Eid or Funeral prayer will be missed. Then Tayammum can be done. Because there is no alternative to Eid or Funeral prayer.

Other factors

3. Tayammum should be done with sacred soil or earthenware. Such as — stone, sand, dust, etc. So if you perform Tayammum with plants, gold, silver, etc., then Tayammum will not be valid.

4. Must be wiped up to the entire face and elbows of both hands.

5. Must be wiped by the entire palm of the hand or most of the part. So, if one wipes with two fingers, his Tayammum will not be valid.

6. The palms of both hands should hit the ground twice. One time for face and another time for both hands. Even if it is struck twice in the same place, Tayammum will be valid. In the same way, if there is dirt on the body, then even if you wipe for the purpose of Tayammum, then Tayammum will be valid.

7. When wiping by hand, there should be no barrier on the skin of the body such as wax or fatty products. If there are, these objects must be removed. Otherwise, the Tayammum will not be valid.

8. Not having or doing anything that breaks the Tayammum. For example, if a woman performs Tayammum during menstruation, it will not be valid.

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