Lexically, tayammum means purpose.
As a religious term, it means to wipe the arms and face with clean earth in a special way.
Tayammum is a convenience peculiar to this ummah only. In case of lack of water or the impossibility of using water due to an illness, etc despite its existence, believers get rid of hadath (the state of having no wudu or being junub) thanks to tayammum. Thus, they do not miss worshipping Allah due to something beyond their power.
The Messenger of Allah states that tayammum is a special grace and grant of Allah to this ummah as follows:
"I was given five things that had not been given to anybody before me. One of them is that the earth was rendered a mosque and a cleaning substance. Therefore, when it is time for a prayer, perform it wherever you are."
(The previous ummahs were able to worship only in certain places like churches.)
As it is understood from the hadith above, the earth was rendered a clean substance (unless it has some impurity to prevent praying) to perform prayers on for Muslims and a cleaning agent to replace water in case of lack of water through tayammum.
Tayammum was made legitimate during the expedition of Banu Mustaliq in the 5th or 6th year of the Migration by verse 6 of the chapter of al-Maida.
The following is stated at the end of the verse declaring the decree about tayammum:
"Allah doth not wish to place you in a difficulty, but to make you clean, and to complete His favor to you, that ye may be grateful."
It is understood from the statement above that tayammum is ease and a favor for believers and that it is a means of ensuring their spiritual cleaning.
Like wudu, tayammum is wajib for sane Muslims who have reached the age of puberty.
Tayammum becomes legitimate due to mainly two reasons:
1 - Lack of water actually.
2 - Lack of water virtually.
It means not having any or enough water with or around somebody who will worship. Such a person has to look for water around in order to make tayammum:
* If the person who lacks water is in a city or a place like a city, he has to look for water because he is likely to find water if he looks for it in such a place.
* Having no water for wudu and ghusl, the existence of water in a very distant place that cannot be reached easily either on foot or by a vehicle, the existence of a danger on the way to the water, lack of security of life and property on the way to the water, lack of tools to draw water are examples of lack of water actually. The person is to decide himself; if he thinks that he has a legitimate and justifiable excuse, he can benefit from this permission of the religion.
In the following cases, although water exists, it is regarded as if there is no water:
1 - If there is enough water for cleaning but if it is medically harmful to use it due to an excuse or illness, or cold weather or cold water, it becomes wajib to make tayammum.
2 - If the water that is available is to be used for a more urgent need like drinking or cooking other than cleaning, tayammum is made instead of wudu or ghusl.
3 - If a person cannot afford to buy water or if the price of water is much more expensive than its usual price, tayammum can be made. The person is to decide himself; if he thinks that he has a legitimate and justifiable excuse, he can benefit from this permission of the religion.
The following conditions are necessary for tayammum to be sound and valid in the eye of Allah:
1 - To make niyyah.
Tayammum cannot be without niyyah. Tayammum made without intending to be purified of hadath and janabah is not valid. On the other hand, niyyah is not necessary for ghusl and wudu; it is sunnah.
2 - Lack of water or the occurrence of states that prevent water from being used.
3 - Non-existence of thick substances like wax, oil paint, nail polish, etc that cover the skin.
Tayammum made without cleaning these substances is not valid.
4 - While making tayammum, there must not be any states that invalidate wudu.
For instance, it is not valid to make tayammum or wudu while one's nose is bleeding.
5 - The earth to be used for tayammum must be clean.
The thing to be used for tayammum does not have to be made of pure earth. Tayammum can be made with substances that are extracted from the ground like sand, gypsum, marble, brick, mineral salts, emerald and ruby, or substances that are regarded to be the same type as earth.
6 - Tayammum is made by touching the earth twice with the palms of the hands. After the first touching, the face is wiped; after the second touching, the arms are wiped.
7 - In tayammum, wiping is carried out by using the whole hands or at least three fingers of each hand. Tayammum is not valid if wiping is made by two fingers.
8 - It is necessary to wipe the whole face and arms.
For instance, the hairless part between the beginning place of the beard and the ear, the part between the eyebrows and the eyes, the whole nose have to be wiped; the rings on the fingers have to be moved; the parts between fingers have to be wiped with the fingers of the other hand.
According to another view, it is enough if three-fourths of the tayammum organs are wiped.
There are two fards of tayammum.
1 - Niyyah
2 - To touch the clean earth with the hands twice and wipe the whole face and the arms.
The face is wiped after the first touching and the arms after the second one.
The main sunnahs of tayammum are as follows:
1 - To start with basmala.
2 - To put the hands with fingers wide open on the soil or a material made of soil, and to move the hands forward.
3 - To move the hands backwards after moving them forward.
4 - To shake off the dust after removing the hands from the soil.
5 - To do the acts in order: that is, to wipe the face first and to wipe the arms after it.
6 - Not to do anything else between the two wiping; not interrupting the wiping.
A person who wants to make tayammum makes niyyah through his heart and tongue first. He opens his hands and keeps his fingers separate from one another; he places his hands on clean earth and wipes them forward and then backward. Then, he claps his hands to shake off the extra dust. Then, he wipes his face with both hands covering the whole face. Thus, the first touching and wiping is fulfilled.
He touches the clean earth again with both hands, moves his hands forward and backwards and shakes off the extra dust. Then, he separates the index finger of his left hand from his right thumb; he wipes the back of his right hand up to his elbow with the inside of the remaining three fingers . He wipes the inside of the arm with the thumb and index finger. Thus, the wiping of the right arm is completed.
When the left hand is wiped like that, tayammum is completed.
As it is seen, first, intention is made for tayammum; then, the hands touch the clean earth twice; after the first touching, the face is wiped; after the second touching, the right and left arms are wiped.
1 - Whatever invalidates wudu and necessitates ghusl invalidates tayammum; for instance, if the nose of a person who has made tayammum bleeds, his tayammum is invalidated.
2 - If the excuse that makes tayammum legitimate disappears, tayammum is invalidated. For instance, if water is found, or the excuse or necessity preventing the usage of water disappears.
There are three cases of finding water or the disappearance of the states preventing using water:
a) If water is found before a person starts to perform a prayer or if the state of excuse disappears, tayammum is invalidated at once. It becomes necessary to make wudu to perform prayers.
b) If water is seen or the state of excuse disappears while performing a prayer, both tayammum and the prayer are invalidated. It becomes necessary to make wudu and to perform that prayer again.
c) If water is found or the state of excuse disappears after a prayer is performed, tayammum is invalidated but it is not necessary to perform that prayer again.
Many people can make tayammum from the same clean soil. When a person touches the soil, it is not regarded to have been used; soil is not like water.
* More than one fard and supererogatory prayer can be performed with one tayammum.
According to Imam Shafii, only one fard but more than one supererogatory prayer can be performed with one tayammum. It is recommended to make a new tayammum for each fard prayer to be free from controversy.
* If a person has wounds on half or more of his wudu organs, he makes tayammum.
* If a person is imprisoned or put into a cell where there is no water or clean soil, he delays his prayer and performs it later according to Imam Azam and Imam Muhammad. According to Abu Yusuf, he performs the prayer without reading anything. In other words, he imitates the prayer. He performs it again when he leaves the prison.
* If hajjis cannot find any water and if they have zamzam water that they are carrying with them, they can make ghusl with zamzam. They cannot make tayammum.
* If a person has to make ghusl but finds water that is enough only for wudu, he makes tayammum. He does not have to use that water.
* Tayammum can be made before the time for a prayer starts but it is more appropriate to delay tayammum if the person hopes to find water before the recommended time for the prayer passes.
According to the other three madhhabs other than Hanafis, tayammum cannot be made before the time for a prayer starts.
- What conditions are necessary for the validity of tayammum?
- What are the fards of tayammum?
- What are the sunnahs of tayammum?
- Wiping (Masah)
- Some issues related to tayammum
- Tayammum: Cleaning with Soil
- How to make tayammum in accordance with the sunnah?
- What is Wudu (Ablution)?
- Wiping over Khuffs (Waterproof Footwear)
- the proper way to perform Wudhu.