Kitab Al-Salaah (The book of Prayer)
(Ablution Using The Earth)
"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:“ 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”
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).
Instances when At-Tayammum is Permitted
At-Tayammum is permitted only on specific instances as follows:
- 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
- When a person is injured or ill and believes that the use of
water will worsen his/her condition, then, At-Tayammum is allowed.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- The person should first intend by heart to perform
- The person then strike the soil with the palms of both hands.
- The person then wipes the face using both palms.
- 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.
- 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
- Only one strike on the earth is sufficient for wiping both
the face and hands.
- For persons who are required to perform Ghusl, but are unable
to find water, then, At-Tayammum as discussed would suffice.
Matters which Nullify At-Tayammum
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
- If after performing At-Tayammum, water is found for Wudhu or