The Earth is as Pure as Water tayammum

The Earth is as Pure as Water

The Earth is as Pure as Water

Author: Muhammad Abdul Majid (Mahasiswa Ma’had Ali Al-Imam Asy-Syafii Jember)

At a time, The Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- performed salat, then he saw a man who was moving aside and didn’t pray in congregation. And among the method of his enjoin and the perfection of his mannerism, he didn’t scorn or mock a person in haste because of the person’s mistake, until he found out what made him did it. Thus, upon seeing the man, he gently asked, “O so-and-so, what prevent you from praying in congregation?”. He answered, “O Messenger of Allah, I had a wet dream and am not pure yet, and I don’t find water yet.” Hearing his reason, the Prophet said, “Use the earth soil, because indeed, it is enough for you.” (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim).

Replacement of Water

Allah the Glorified and Exalted decreed, “And if you are in the state of ritual impurity, purify yourselves (by taking a bath). But if you are either ill, or travelling, or have satisfied a want of nature or have had (intimate) contact with women and find no water, then have recourse to clean earth and wipe your faces and your hands therewith.  Allah does not want to lay any hardship upon you; rather He wants to purify you and complete His favours upon you so that you may give thanks.” (Chapter Al Ma’ida/The Table Spread:6). This noble verse revealed that Allah has explained to us how to perform ablution to purify ourselves from minor and major impurities using water, then He makes that water as something pure and purifying. Thus, it is compulsory for us to ablute using water as long as we’re able to. But when we find ourselves unable to or having difficulty in finding water, or there is water but we are unable to use it due to certain causes, Allah, with His graces and mercies upon us, offers us a solution by laying out the rite of tayammum as the replacement of water, by using clean earth as the purifying tool. Tayammum is an exclusivity among many of exclusivities that Allah bestows upon the muslims; Allah has simplified for us every affairs and shari’a laws, and has created solvencies for every hardship that we encounter. The Messenger of Allah – peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said, “”I have been given five things which were not given to any one else before me. 1. Allah made me victorious by awe, (by His frightening my enemies) for a distance of one month’s journey. 2. The earth has been made for me (and for my followers) a place for praying and a thing to perform Tayammum, therefore anyone of my followers can pray wherever the time of a prayer is due. 3. The booty has been made Halal (lawful) for me yet it was not lawful for anyone else before me. 4. I have been given the right of intercession (on the Day of Resurrection). 5. Every Prophet used to be sent to his nation only but I have been sent to all mankind.” In another narration it is said, “Then that is his place to pray and his purifying tool.” (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim).

Definition of tayammum

Etymologically, tayammum means al qashd (intend), whereas in shari’a terminology, tayammum is defined as deliberately using the earth’s surface to purify oneself in order to be able to perform anything that is allowed after doing ablution and taking bath.

The meaning of “ash shoiid” in chapter Al Maida:6

In the dictionary of “Lisaanul Arab”, it is said that “Ash Shoiid” means earth soil. Some said: pure soil. And some said, all of the pure dust.

Abu Ishaq said, “Ash shoiid” is the earth’s surface. It is compulsory for one who does tayammum to pat both of his hands on the earth’s surface regardless of whether it is covered with dust or not. Because ash shoiid is not dust. It is the earth’s surface, whether it is dust or anything else,”. He continued, “Had all of the earth’s surface was rock without dust on it, and one who does tayammum pat his hands on that rock, it is enough to purify him if he wipes it on his face.”

Reasons That Justify Tayammum

Tayammum might replace water as purification tool based on several reasons as follow:

  1. When there’s no water found, whether during traveling or not.
  2. When a person has water, but he fears for himself, his traveling friend, or his mount, of thirst if he uses it.

Ibnul Mundzir said, “All of the scholars we know had agreed that a traveler who is afraid of his own safety from thirst, while he has a little water that is just enough for ablution, shall spare the water for his drink and do tayammum.”

Ibn Qudama said, “A person who is worried about the safety of his mount and worried that his wealth will spent in vain is just as one who finds water but is intercepted by some robbers or beasts hence he is worried over his mount’s safety or his wealth. If he is thirsty, and fear that he’ll perish, he must drink the water and do tayammum.”

  1. When a sick person afraid that if he used water, it’ll worsen his illness or delay his recovery.

Majority of the scholars, namely Abu Hanifa, Malik, Asy Syafi’i in one of his opinions, and Ibn Hazm reckoned that it is not required for the sick one to fear of his death to justify him to do tayammum. In fact, if performing ablution worsen his illness or delays his recovery, he is allowed to do tayammum; based on the generality of the verse in chapter Al Maida, and on the generality of Allah’s decree, -Glorified and Exalted be He-, which can be translated as, “Allah wants ease and not hardship for you.” (Chapter Al Baqara/The Cow:185)

  1. When a person is unable to use water when he’s sick, in which he can’t move his body to perform ablution and no one is there to help him perform it whereas he’s afraid of losing the time of prayer.
  2. When a person is afraid for himself due to the coldness of the water, and there’s nothing to warm it.

The Correct Method of Tayammum

The correct method of tayammum is as narrated in valid hadith, from the Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him-, that is, by patting both hands on earth’s surface once, then blow it and wipe it on face and both palms. On the authority of ‘Ammar ibn Yasir, he said, “I was in a state of impurity and I had no water with me, then I rolled back and forth on earth then prayed. I told the Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- about it, and he said, ‘Indeed, it is enough for you to do such and such, the Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- The Prophet stroked the earth with his hands and then passed them over his face and the backs of his hands (while demonstrating Tayammum).

” (Muttafaq alaihi,Abu Daud and An-Nasa-i). As for the stance of some scholars who said that tayammum is done with twice patting, one for face and another for hand until elbow, it is a weak opinion, based on several evidences below:

  1. Indications supporting this stance are weak, and none of it statused as valid hadith that could be traced back to the Messenger of Allah.
  2. Ruling of tayammum is related to hand in an absolute way, and arm is not considered included in it, as in the ruling of cutting the hand of a stealer. The proof is an argumentation of Ibn Abbas regarding the limit of hand-cutting for a stealer by using the verse about tayammum, which can be translated as, “then have recourse to clean earth and wipe your faces and your hands therewith.” )Chapter Al Maidah/The Table Spread:6)

Things that Invalidate Tayammum

Tayammum is invalidated by things that invalidate ablution, if it is performed in the place of ablution and is invalidated by things that causes a person to bath if it replaces bathing. It is also invalid with the existence of water for those who haven’t find it in prior. It is said that it is also invalid with the existence of ability for those who are previously unable to use water. As for the prayer that has been done, it is still valid and doesn’t need to be repeated. On the authority of Abu Said al Khudri, he said, “”Two men went on a journey and time of praying came, whereas they didn’t have water. Then they performed tayammum using the earth and prayed. Some times later, they found some water. One of them performed ablution and repeated his prayer, whereas the other didn’t. Then they came to the Messenger of Allah -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- and told him their story. Then he said to the one who didn’t repeat his prayer, “You’ve done according to the sunnah and your prayer is sufficient for you.” And he -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- said to the one who performed ablution and repeated his prayer, “You’ve got twice the reward.” (Narrated by Abu Daud and An Nasa’i).

Several Matters related to Tayammum

  1. One who does tayammum and prays, then there’s water during his prayer, should he continue his prayer or not?

The scholars’ opinions are divided into two:

First opinion: he should discontinue his prayer and perform ablution, and repeat his prayer all over again.

This is the opinion of Abu Hanifa and Ahmad, and also voiced by Ats Tsauri and Ibn Hazm. Their reasons were:

  • The saying of Allah’s messenger -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him-, “Good ground is a purification tool for muslim, even though he doesn’t find water for as long as ten years. And if it is found, then clean your body.” They said, because he has found water.
  • They said because he is now able to use water, thus his tayammum is not valid anymore, as a person who discontinue his prayer.
  • They said that because tayammum is a kind of purification method used in emergency situation, it is invalid when the emergency is not exist any longer, just as the case of a woman who suffers from continuous menstruation, when the blood eventually stops.

Second: he should continue his prayer, there’s no need to discontinue it,

This is the opinion of Malik and Asy Syafi’i and the second opinion narrated from Ahmad. It is said that he had canceled his first opinion. This is also the opinion voiced by Abu Tsaur, Daud, and Ibn al Mundzir. Their reasons were:

  • Allah Almighty’s decree, which can be translated as, “Believers, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and do not cause your works to be nullified. “(Chapter Muhammad:33). They said that, based on this verse, he shouldn’t nullify his prayer.
  • As with prayer, purification has its own timing, thus a person is not burdened to perform purification rite during his prayer. In this case, because he has performed tayammum as ordered, and he already stepped out of the time for purification by reciting takbeer (i.e., takbiratul ihram). He shouldn’t cancel his purification which timing is already off, nor canceling the prayer that he currently performs as he is ordered to. He shouldn’t cancel it except by an indication from the Qur’an, sunnah, and consensus of muslims (ijma’).

As for the strongest between the two opinions according to majority of the scholars (and the one that is closest to the truth) is that he should continue his prayer after he commenced it. It is as a person who performs expiation fast, if he already commenced his fast, then he finds a female slave, he doesn’t need to cancel his fast. And Allah knows best.

  1. When a person has performed prayer with tayammum as his purification method, then he finds some water, whereas it is still during the time frame of that prayer, should he repeat his prayer or not?

Whoever performs prayer with tayammum, then some water is found, during the time frame of that prayer, is not obliged to repeat his prayer, according to the most valid between two opinions among the scholars, as voiced by Malik, Ats Tsaur, Al Auza’i, Al Muzani, Ath Thahawi, Ahmad -in one of his opinions-, and Ibn Hazm. Whereas Abu Hanifa and Asy Syafi’i stated that he should repeat his prayer if he is able to use the water. And Allah knows best.

It is Allowed to do Tayammum by using Wall

From Ibn Abbas, he said, “I and Abdullah Ibn Yasar, ex-slave of Maimuna, wife of the Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- visited Abu Juhaim Ibn a Harits Ibn ash Shimmah al Anshori. Then Abu Juhaim said, “The Prophet -peace and prayer of Allah be upon him- came from the direction of Bir Jamal. A man met him and greeted him. But he did not return back the greeting till he went to a (mud) wall and smeared his hands and his face with its dust (performed Tayammum) and then returned back the greeting. ” (Muttafaq alaihi,also narrated by Abu Daud and An-Nasa-i). This hadith contains a lesson that it is allowed to perform tayammum with wall that has dusts on it if a hand is clenched on it, since tayammum could be done on the earth’s surface, whether it is in the form of ground, dust, or else (without any dust at all).

The Nobility of Islam

This is several brief explanations regarding the function and the use of earth soil (ground) in our life. If we look closer to this noble religion’s rite, we’ll find that Islam emphasizes on cleanliness. Indeed, Allah has ennobled Islam and its followers by making purification as the key to the most prominent of worship; the prayer. Thus, a muslim’s prayer will not be accepted until his body, clothes, and place of worship is clean. At the time when there’s no water for purification, Allah has created tayammum as the replacement of ablution and bath, thus we’ll find no weakness nor drawback in this religion. Therefore, it is appropriate for us to praise Allah Who has perfected this religion, and thus, we shall not tarnish its perfect state by creating or inventing innovations, by adding or reducing anything from the noble teaching of this straight religion.


Leave a Reply