Tayammum Looks Hard, But It Isn’t
Wudu (ablution) is a requirement for Muslims to purify themselves before performing ritual prayers. Sometimes, however, we do not find water for ablutions. For example, when at the time of a trip that does not allow us to stop at a mosque, or when pain is caused to a part of the body should it be exposed to water. This includes those are not able or even possible to go to the washings to take ablutions. As Islam does not intend to make it difficult, Islam gives relief to those not in contact with water to make ablution by allowing the use of dust/soil. The process taking ablutions using dust/soil instead of water is called Tayammum. This process can be used even when we are in a state of junub (after menstruation, postpartum, wet dreams, or sexual intercourse).
The following are passages about Tayammum in the Qur’an and hadith:
And if you are sick or on a journey and one of you come from the privy, or you have been in contact with the women (by sexual relations) and you cannot find water, then perform tayammum with clean earth and rub your faces and hands therewith.” (QS Al-Maidah: 6)
Abu Dharr (RA) reported that Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said: verily clean earth (is fit) for ablution for a Muslim, even if he does not find water for ten years and when he finds water he should perform wudu with water as that is better. (Tirmidhi: 134, Abu Dawud: 332)
Imran (RA) reported Allah’s Messenger (SAW) as saying: We were along with Allah’s Messenger (SAW) in a journey. He led the people in prayer and when the prayer was over (he found) a person away from prayer (who) did not say prayer with the (other) people. He said: O so and so, why did you not observe prayer along with the people. He said: I became Junubi and there was no water. He said: you must have made use of the earth and that would have sufficed you. (Bukhari: 344, Muslim: 682)
Ammar (RA) said: I was in a journey (and I had a seminal emission) I rolled in dust and observed prayer and I made a mention of that to Allah’s Apostle (SAW) and he said: this much had been enough for you. And Allah’s Apostle (SAW) struck his palms upon the earth and then blew (the dust) from his hands. He then wiped his face and his hands. (Bukhari: 338, Muslim: 368)
Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri (RA) reported: two persons set out on a journey and there came the time for prayer, but there was no water available for them. So they both performed tayammum with the help of clean earth and both of them observed prayer. Then they found water at that time. One of them repeated prayer with ablution, but the other one did not repeat that. Then they came to Allah’s Messenger (SAW) and made a mention of that to him. The Holy Prophet said to the one who had not repeated (the prayer): you have observed sunnah and sufficient is your prayer. And he said to one who had performed ablution and repeated the prayer: for you is the double reward. (Nasai)
Ibn Abbas (RA) reported: we set out on a journey when a person among us was hit with a stone upon his head and he also saw a wet dream. He asked his companions: do you find any relaxation for me that I may perform tayammum? They said: we do not find any relaxation for you, for water is available to you. So he took a bath and died. When we came back to Allah’s Apostle (SAW) he was informed of it and he said: they have killed him, may Allah kill them. Why did not they ask, when they did not know (about a religious verdict). Verily the remedy of the lack of knowledge is to make an inquiry. (Abu Dawud: 337).
Abdullah bin Umar (RA) said: if a bandage has been bound over the wound then wipe water on it and wash the rest of the limb while performing wudu. (Behqi: 228/1)