Tayammum: Cleaning with Soil


• What is tayammum?



Tayammum lexically means intention, having a goal.



As a religious term, it means to wipe the arms and the face with clean soil in a special way.



Tayammum is a kind of convenience peculiar to this ummah. Believers can be freed from hadath (impurity) through tayammum when there is no water around or it is impossible to use the water. Thus, they do not miss worshipping Allah due to something that they cannot do anything about.  



The Messenger of Allah states that tayammum is a special 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 the fact that the earth (soil) was given to me as a mosque and cleaner. Therefore, when the time for a prayer starts, perform praying wherever you are.”



(The previous ummahs could worship only in buildings like churches and synagogues that were allocated for worshipping.)



As it is understood from the words of the Prophet, soil was rendered both a clean place for worshipping (unless there is something dirty on it that prevents praying) and a means of cleaning to replace water when there is no water available.



Tayammum was made legitimate on the fifth or sixth year of Hijrah, during the military expedition against Bani Mustaliq by the sixth verse of the chapter al-Maida. 



The following is stated at the end of the verse that informs about the decree of 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 this statement that tayammum is a means of convenience and mercy for believers and that it prevents believers from lacking spiritual cleaning.  

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