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Mustahab Ghusls » Things with which performing tayammum is valid (ṣaḥīḥ) → ← Rules related to a dying person » Recommended (mustaḥabb) ghusls

Rules related to a dying person » Dry ablution (tayammum)

Tayammum must be performed in place of wuḍūʾ or ghusl in seven situations [which are set out below].

1.
Not having water

Ruling 637. If a person happens to be in a populated area, he must search for water for performing wuḍūʾ and ghusl until such time that he loses hope in finding water. The same applies if one happens to be staying in a desert, like those who stay in tents. If a person is on a journey in a desert, he must search for water on the way and in the places near to where he is staying. The obligatory precaution is that if the ground is uneven, or, if due to some other reason the road is difficult to traverse – for example, because it has a lot of trees – one must go in search of water in the area around him as far as the distance that a shot arrow travels as it would have been shot from a bow in the past.(1) If the land is even, however, one must go in search of water in the area around him up to the distance that two shot arrows travel.(2)

Ruling 638. If some of the area around a person is even and some uneven, he must search for water in the even area up to a distance that two shot arrows travel, and in the uneven area up to a distance that one shot arrow travels.

Ruling 639. It is not necessary to search for water in any area in which one is certain there is no water.

Ruling 640. If the time for performing prayers is not short, and one has time to procure water, and he is certain or confident that there is water in a place that is further than the distance he is obliged to go up to in search of water, he must go there to procure water unless it is so far that he would commonly be considered to be someone who does not have water. However, if he merely supposes that there is water in a place, it is not necessary for him to go there.

Ruling 641. It is not necessary for a person to go in search of water himself; rather, he can suffice with the statement of someone who has searched for water and whose word he trusts.

Ruling 642. If someone deems it probable that there is water in his travel luggage, or in his house, or with the group of people he is travelling with, he must search for water in those places until he becomes confident that there is no water or until he loses hope in finding some, except if previously in a particular situation there was no water and now he deems it probable that water will be found, in which case it is not necessary for him to search.

Ruling 643. If a person searches for water before the time for prayers and does not find any, and he remains in that place until the time for prayers, in the event that he deems it probable that he will find water, the recommended precaution is that he should go in search of water again.

Ruling 644. If a person searches for water after the time for prayers has set in and does not find any, and he remains in that place until the time for the next prayers, in the event that he deems it probable that water will be found, the recommended precaution is that he should go in search of water again.

Ruling 645. If the time for performing prayers is short, or there is a fear of thieves and predatory animals, or searching for water is so difficult for someone that usually people in his situation would not be able to endure it, it is not necessary to search for water.

Ruling 646. If a person does not go in search of water until the time for performing prayers becomes short, and in case he had gone he would have found some, he will have committed a sin; however, the prayer he performed with tayammum is valid.

Ruling 647. If someone is certain that he will not find water and does not go in search of it, and he performs prayers with tayammum and afterwards realises that if he had searched for water he would have found some, then based on obligatory precaution it is necessary for him to perform wuḍūʾ and to perform the prayer again.

Ruling 648. If a person does not find water after searching for it and loses hope in finding some and performs prayers with tayammum, and afterwards he realises that there was water in the place where he had searched, his prayer is valid.

Ruling 649. If someone who is certain that the time for performing prayers is short does not search for water and performs prayers with tayammum, and after his prayers – but before the time for the prayer ends – he realises that he had time to search, the obligatory precaution is that he must perform the prayer again.

Ruling 650. If a person has wuḍūʾ and knows that if he invalidates his wuḍūʾ it will not be possible to find water or he will not be able to perform wuḍūʾ, then in the event that he can keep his wuḍūʾ, based on obligatory precaution he must not invalidate his wuḍūʾ, whether that be before or after the time for prayers has set in. However, one can have sexual intercourse with his wife even if he knows that he will not be able to perform ghusl.

Ruling 651. If a person has water that is only sufficient for performing wuḍūʾ or ghusl with, and he knows that were he to spill the water he would not be able to find any more, in the event that the time for prayers has set in, it is unlawful for him to spill the water; and the obligatory precaution is that he must not spill it even before the time for prayers has set in.

Ruling 652. If someone who knows he will not find water invalidates his wuḍūʾ or spills the water he has, he commits a sin but his prayer performed with tayammum is valid. However, the recommended precaution is that he should make up that prayer afterwards.

2.
Not having access to water

Ruling 653. If a person does not have access to water on account of old age, weakness, fear of a thief or an animal and suchlike, or on account of not having the means to draw water out from a well, he must perform tayammum.

Ruling 654. If a bucket, rope, or a similar thing is needed for drawing water out from a well and one would need to purchase or hire it, he must do so even if he has to pay much more than the usual price for it. Similarly, if water is being sold at a much higher price [he must purchase it]. However, if purchasing these requires so much money that it would harm him financially, it is not obligatory on him to purchase them.

Ruling 655. If in order to procure water a person has to borrow money, he must do so. However, it is not obligatory to borrow money if one knows or supposes that he will not be able to repay the loan.

Ruling 656. One must dig a well in order to obtain water as long as it is not excessively difficult to do so.

Ruling 657. One must accept water if it is given to him without any obligation.

3.
Using water is harmful

Ruling 658. If using water would result in a person dying, or it would make him ill, or inflict him with some defect, or prolong an illness he has, or make his illness worse, or make it difficult to treat, in all of these cases, he must perform tayammum. However, if one can reduce the harm of using water – for example, by heating it – he must do so and thereby perform wuḍūʾ or ghusl as required.

Ruling 659. It is not necessary for one to be certain that water is harmful for him; rather, if he deems it probable that it is harmful, in the event that his deeming it probable would be considered by people to be reasonable, he must perform tayammum.

Ruling 660. If someone is certain or deems it probable that water is harmful for him and performs tayammum, and before prayers he realises that water is not harmful for him, his tayammum is void. If he realises this after prayers, he must perform the prayer again with wuḍūʾ or ghusl unless performing wuḍūʾ or ghusl while being certain of harm, or deeming it probable, would cause an anxiety which would be difficult to endure.

Ruling 661. If someone who is certain that water is not harmful for him performs ghusl or wuḍūʾ, and afterwards he realises that water was harmful for him, his wuḍūʾ or ghusl is void.

4.
Hardship (ḥaraj) and excessive difficulty (mashaqqah)

Ruling 662. If procuring water or using it causes someone hardship or excessive difficulty that could not normally be endured, he can perform tayammum. However, if he endures it and performs wuḍūʾ or ghusl, his wuḍūʾ or ghusl is valid.

5.
Needing water to quench thirst

Ruling 663. A person must perform tayammum if he needs water to quench his thirst. It is permitted to perform tayammum for this reason in two cases:

1.
if one uses water for wuḍūʾ or ghusl, he will presently or later on become thirsty which will cause him to die or to become ill, or it will require him to endure excessive difficulty;
2. one fears for someone who is dependent on him – even if the person is not among those whose life is legally protected – if the affairs of the person’s life matter to him because of his intense affection for the person, or because if the person dies it will harm him financially, or because caring for the person is commonly considered to be necessary, as is the case with a friend or a neighbour.

Apart from these two cases, it is possible for thirst to be a valid reason for performing tayammum, but not from the perspective mentioned above; rather, from the perspective that preserving life is obligatory, or because the death or restlessness of someone [due to thirst] would assuredly cause one hardship.

Ruling 664. If apart from having pure water for wuḍūʾ or ghusl a person also has impure water that is sufficient only for drinking, he must keep the pure water for drinking and perform prayers with tayammum. However, in the event that one wants the pure water for those who are dependent on him, he can perform wuḍūʾ or ghusl with the pure water even if his dependents are compelled to quench their thirst with the impure water. In fact, if they are unaware of the water being impure, or they do not refrain from drinking impure water, it is necessary for him to use the pure water for wuḍūʾ or ghusl. Similarly, if one wants water for his animal or for a child who is not bāligh, he must give them the impure water and perform wuḍūʾ or ghusl with the pure water.

6.
Performing wuḍūʾ or ghusl conflicts with another legal responsibility that is more important or just as important

Ruling 665. If someone has a little water and his body or clothing is impure, and if he were to perform wuḍūʾ or ghusl with that water there would not be enough left over with which he could wash his body or clothing, he must wash his body or clothing with the water and perform prayers with tayammum. However, if one does not have anything with which he can perform tayammum, he must use the water for wuḍūʾ or ghusl and perform prayers with his impure body or clothing.

Ruling 666. If a person only has water or a utensil [in which there is water] that is unlawful to use – for example, the water or utensil is usurped and he does not have any other water or utensil – he must perform tayammum in place of wuḍūʾ and ghusl.

7.
Shortage of time

Ruling 667. Whenever the time remaining [to perform prayers within their prescribed time] is so little that if one performs wuḍūʾ or ghusl he will have to perform the entire prayer or part of it after its time, he must perform tayammum.

Ruling 668. If someone intentionally delays the prayer to the extent that he does not have time to perform wuḍūʾ or ghusl, he commits a sin but his prayers performed with tayammum are valid. However, the recommended precaution is that he should make up that prayer afterwards.

Ruling 669. If a person doubts whether or not he will have time to perform prayers if he performs wuḍūʾ or ghusl, he must perform tayammum.

Ruling 670. If someone performs tayammum due to shortage of time and after the prayer he is able to perform wuḍūʾ but does not, and now he does not have the water he had previously, in such a case, if his duty now is to perform tayammum, he must perform tayammum again for subsequent prayers even if he has not done anything that invalidates tayammum.

Ruling 671. If someone has water but due to shortage of time he starts performing prayers with tayammum, and during prayers the water he had is lost, in the event that his duty now is to perform tayammum, it is not necessary for him to perform tayammum again for subsequent prayers, although it is better that he does.

Ruling 672. If a person has just enough time to perform wuḍūʾ or ghusl and to perform prayers without doing the recommended acts, such as iqāmah and qunūt, he must perform ghusl or wuḍūʾ and perform prayers without doing the recommended acts. In fact, if one does not have time to recite even the surah [of the Qur’an, following the recitation of Sūrat al-Ḥamd], he must perform ghusl or wuḍūʾ and perform the prayer without reciting the surah.



(1) There is a difference of opinion [among jurists] regarding the distance a shot arrow travels. The most often quoted distance is 480 cubits, which is equivalent to approximately 220 metres. (See Minhāj al-Ṣāliḥīn, vol. 1, p. 113, Ruling 342). [Author]

(2) Based on the distance quoted in the previous footnote, this would equate to approximately 440 metres.
Mustahab Ghusls » Things with which performing tayammum is valid (ṣaḥīḥ) → ← Rules related to a dying person » Recommended (mustaḥabb) ghusls
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