The Performance of Tayammum

I take refuge with Allaah, the Exalted, from the accursed devil.

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Raheem: In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

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May the Peace and Blessings of Allah Azza wa Jal, our Lord Glorified and Praised be He, be upon our beloved  Prophet, his Family, and Companions.

The Performance of Tayammum.

يَـأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَلاَ تَقْرَبُواْ الصَّلَوةَ وَأَنتُمْ سُكَـرَى حَتَّى تَعْلَمُواْ مَا تَقُولُونَ وَلاَ جُنُباً إِلاَّ عَابِرِى سَبِيلٍ حَتَّى تَغْتَسِلُواْ وَإِنْ كُنتُم مَّرْضَى أَوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ أَوْ جَآءَ أَحَدٌ مِّنْكُمْ مِّن الْغَآئِطِ أَوْ لَـمَسْتُمُ النِّسَآءَ فَلَمْ تَجِدُواْ مَآءً فَتَيَمَّمُواْ صَعِيداً طَيِّباً فَامْسَحُواْ بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَفُوّاً غَفُوراً

(43. O you who believe! Do not approach Salah while you are in a druken state until you know what you are saying, nor while Junub (sexually impure), except while passing through, until you bathe (your entire body), and if you are ill, or on a journey, or one of you comes from the Gha’it (toilet), or from Lamastum (touching) women, but you do not find water, then perform Tayammum with clean earth, rubbing your faces and hands. Truly, Allah is Ever Oft-Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving.)

Surah 4 An Nisaa Verse 43

Tafsir Ibn Kathir

The Prohibition of Approaching Prayer when Drunk or Junub.

Allah forbade His believing servants from praying while drunk, for one does not know the meaning of what he is saying in that state, and He forbade them from attending the Masjids while sexually impure, except when one is just passing through the Masjid from one door to another. This Ayah was revealed before alcohol consumption was completely prohibited, as evident by the Hadith that we mentioned in Surat Al-Baqarah when we explained Allah’s statement,

(They ask you about alcoholic drink and gambling). In that Hadith, the Messenger of Allah recited this Ayah to `Umar, who said, “O Allah! Explain the ruling about Khamr (intoxicants) for us in a plain manner.” When this Ayah (4:43) was revealed, the Prophet recited it to `Umar, who still said, “O Allah! Explain the ruling about Khamr (intoxicants) for us in a plain manner.” After that, they would not drink alcohol close to the time of prayer. When Allah’s statement,

(O you who believe! alcoholic drinks, gambling, Al-Ansab, and Al-Azlam are an abomination of Shayatan’s handiwork. So avoid that in order that you may be successful. ) (5:90), until,

(So, will you not then abstain) (5:91) was revealed, `Umar said, “We abstain, we abstain.” In another narration, when the Ayah in Surat An-Nisa’ was revealed,

(O you who believe! Do not approach Salah while you are in a druken state until you know what you are saying,) at the time of prayer, the Messenger of Allah would have someone proclaim; “Let not any drunk approach the prayer.” This is the wording collected by Abu Dawud.

Causes of Its Revelation.

Ibn Abi Hatim has recorded some reports about the incident of its revelation: Sa`d said, “Four Ayat were revealed concerning me. A man from the Ansar once made some food and invited some Muhajirin and Ansar men to it, and we ate and drank until we became intoxicated. We then boasted about our status.” Then a man held a camel’s bone and injured Sa`d’s nose, which was scarred ever since. This occurred before Al-Khamr was prohibited, and Allah later revealed,

(O you who believe! Approach not AsSalat (the prayer) when you are in a drunken state). Muslim recorded this Hadith, and the collectors of the Sunan recorded it, with the exception of Ibn Majah. Another Reason Ibn Abi Hatim narrated that `Ali bin Abi Talib said, “Abdur-Rahman bin `Awf made some food to which he invited us and served some alcohol to drink. When we became intoxicated, and the time for prayer came, they asked someone to lead us in prayer. He recited `Say, `O disbelievers! I do not worship that which you worship, but we worship that which you worship (refer to the correct wording of the Surah: 109).”’ Allah then revealed,

(O you who believe! Do not approach Salah when you are in a drunken state until you know what you are saying). ” This is the narration collected by Ibn Abi Hatim and At-Tirmidhi, who said “Hasan (Gharib) Sahih.” Allah’s statement,

(until you know what you are saying) is the best description for when one is intoxicated, that is, when he does not know the meaning of what he is saying. When a person is drunk, he makes obvious mistakes in the recitation and will not be able to be humble during the prayer. Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas said that the Messenger of Allah said,

(If one feels sleepy while he is praying, let him sleep for a while so that he knows the meaning of what he is saying.) This was also recorded by Al-Bukhari and An-Nasa’i. In some of the narrations of this Hadith, the Messenger said,

(…For he might want to ask for forgiveness, but instead curses himself!) Allah said,

(nor while Junub (sexually impure), except while passing through, until you bathe (your entire body),) Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that Allah’s statement,

(nor while Junub (sexually impure), except while passing through, until you bathe (your entire body,) means, “Do not enter the Masjid when you are Junub, unless you are just passing by, in which case, you pass through without sitting down.” Ibn Abi Hatim said that similar is reported from `Abdullah bin Mas`ud, Anas, Abu `Ubaydah, Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib, Abu Ad-Duha, `Ata’, Mujahid, Masruq, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i, Zayd bin Aslam, Abu Malik, `Amr bin Dinar, Al-Hakam bin `Utaybah, `Ikrimah, Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Yahya bin Sa`id Al-Ansari, Ibn Shihab and Qatadah. Ibn Jarir recorded that Yazid bin Abi Habib commented on Allah’s statement,

(nor while Junub (sexually impure), except while passing through,) when some men from the Ansar, whose doors literally opened into the Masjid, were sexually impure, and they did not have water, their only way to get water was to pass through the Masjid. So, Allah sent down,

(nor while Junub (sexually impure), except while passing through,).” What supports this statement by Yazid bin Abi Habib, may Allah have mercy upon him, is Al-Bukhari’s report in his Sahih, that the Messenger of Allah said,

(Close all the small doors in this Masjid, except that of Abu Bakr.) This is what the Prophet commanded at the end of his life, knowing that Abu Bakr will be the Khalifah after him, and that he would need to enter the Masjid on numerous occasions to manage the important affairs of the Muslims. Yet, the Messenger of Allah commanded that all the small doors that open into the Masjid be closed, except Abu Bakr’s door. Some of the Sunan compilers recorded the Prophet saying that only `Ali’s door should remain open, but this is an error, what is in the Sahih is what is correct. In his Sahih, Muslim recorded that `A’ishah said, “The Messenger of Allah said to me,

(Bring me the garment from the Masjid.) I said, `I am having my period.’ He said,

(Your period is not in your hand.) Muslim also collected a similar narration from Abu Hurayrah. This Hadith indicates that the woman is allowed to pass through the Masjid during menses or post-natal bleeding, and Allah knows best.

Description of Tayammum.

Allah said,

(and if you are ill, or on a journey, or one of you comes from the Gha’it (toilet), or from Lamastum (touching) women, but you do not find water, then perform Tayammum with clean earth, rubbing your face and hands. Truly, Allah is Ever Oft-Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving.) As for the type of illness which would allow Tayammum, it is an illness that one fears would be aggravated by using water, which could be detrimental to a part of the body, or when doing so would prolong an illness. Some scholars said that any type of illness warrants Tayammum, because of the general indications of the Ayah. As for travelling on a journey, it is known, regardless of its length. Allah then said,

(or comes from the Gha’it). The Gha’it is, literally, the flat land, and this part of the Ayah refers to the minor impurity. Allah then said,

(or you Lamastum women), which was recited Lamastum and Lamastum, referring to sexual intercourse. For instance, Allah said in another Ayah,

(And if you divorce them before you have touched them, and you have appointed unto them the dowry, then pay half of that) (2:237), and,

(O you who believe! When you marry believing women, and then divorce them before you have touched them, no `Iddah (period of waiting) have you to count in respect of them) (33:49). Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that Allah’s statement,

(or Lamastum women) refers to sexual intercourse. It was reported that `Ali, Ubayy bin Ka`b, Mujahid, Tawus, Al-Hasan, `Ubayd bin `Umayr, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Ash-Sha`bi, Qatadah and Muqatil bin Hayyan said similarly. Allah said,

(but you do not find water,them perform Tayammum with clean earth,) In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that `Imran bin Husayn said,

(Allah’s Messenger saw a person sitting away from the people and not praying with them. He asked him, `O so-and-so! What prevented you from offering the prayer with the people, are not you Muslim’ He replied, `Yes, O Allah’s Messenger! I am Junub and there is no water.’ The Prophet said, `Perform Tayammum with clean earth and that will be sufficient for you.’) The linguistic meaning of Tayammum is to intend, as Arabs say, “May Allah Tayammamaka (direct at you) His care.” `Clean earth’ means dust. In his Sahih, Muslim recorded that Hudhayfah bin Al-Yaman said that the Messenger of Allah said,

(We were given preference over people in three things. Our lines (in prayer) were arranged in rows to resemble the rows of the angels, all of the earth was made a Masjid for us, and its dust was made clean for us when there is no water.) The Messenger mentioned the favor of making dust a purifyer for us, and if there were any other substance to replace it for Tayammum, he would have mentioned it. Imam Ahmad and the collectors of Sunan, with the exception of Ibn Majah, recorded that Abu Dharr said that the Messenger of Allah said,

(Clean earth is pure for the Muslim, even if he does not find water for ten years. When he finds water, let him use it for his skin, for this is better.) At-Tirmidhi said, “Hasan Sahih”. Allah’s statement,

(rubbing your faces and hands (Tayammum)) indicates that Tayammum is a substitute for normal ablution, not that it involves cleaning the parts that normal ablution does. Therefore, it is sufficient in Tayammum to just wipe the face and hands, as the consensus concurs. The face and hands are wiped with one strike on the sand in this case, as Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdur-Rahman bin Abza said that a man came to `Umar and asked him, “I am Junub, but there is no water.” `Umar said, “Then, do not pray.” `Ammar said, “Do you not remember, O Leader of the Faithful! You and I were on a military expedition when we became Junub and did not find water. You did not pray, but I rolled myself in the sand and then prayed. When we went back to the Prophet, we mentioned to him what had happened. He said to me,

(This would have been sufficient for you), and the Prophet stroked his hand on the earth once, blew into it and wiped his face and hands.” The Muslim Ummah, rather than all other nations, was favored with the allowance of Tayammum. In the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Jabir bin `Abdullah said that the Messenger of Allah said,

(I have been given five things which were not given to any (Prophet) before me: Allah made me victorious with fright that covers a month’s distance. The earth has been made for me (and for my followers) a place for praying and an object to perform purification with. Therefore let my followers pray wherever the time of a prayer is due – and in another narration – he will have his means of purity and his Masjid. The spoils of war have been made lawful for me and it was not made so for anyone else before me. I have been given the right of intercession (on the Day of Resurrection.) Every Prophet used to be sent to his nation exclusively, but I have been sent to all mankind.) We also mentioned the Hadith of Hudhayfah that Muslim recorded;

(We were preferred with three things over people. Our lines (in prayer) were arranged in rows to resemble the rows of the angels, all of the earth was made a Masjid for us, and its dust was made clean for us when there is no water.) Allah said in this Ayah,

(rubbing your faces and hands. Truly, Allah is Ever Oft-Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving.) meaning, a part of His pardoning and forgiving is that He allows you to use Tayammum and to pray after using it when there is no water, to make things easy for you. This Ayah sanctifies the position of the prayer, it being too sacred than to be performed in a defecient manner, like in a state of drunkenness, until one becomes aware of what he is saying, or sexually impure, until he bathes (Ghusl), or after answering the call of nature, until he performs ablution. There are exceptions when one is ill or when there is no water. In this case, Allah allows us to use Tayammum, out of His mercy and kindness for His servants, and to facilitate them, all praise is due to Allah.

The Reason behind allowing Tayammum.

Al-Bukhari recorded that `A’ishah said, “We set out with Allah’s Messenger on one of his journeys until we reached Al-Bayda’ or Dhat-ul-Jaysh, where a necklace of mine was broken (and lost). Allah’s Messenger stayed there to search for it, and so did the people along with him. There was no water source or any water with them at that place, so the people went to Abu Bakr As-Siddiq and said, `Don’t you see what `A’ishah has done! She has made Allah’s Messenger and the people stay where there is no source of water and they have no water with them.’ Abu Bakr came while Allah’s Messenger was sleeping with his head on my thigh. He said to me, `You have detained Allah’s Messenger and the people where there is no source of water and they have no water with them.’ So he admonished me and said what Allah wished him to say and hit me on my flank with his hand. Nothing prevented me from moving (because of pain) but the position of Allah’s Messenger on my thigh. Allah’s Messenger got up when dawn broke and there was no water. So Allah revealed the verses of Tayammum, and they all performed Tayammum. Usayd bin Hudayr said, `O the family of Abu Bakr! This is not the first blessing of yours.’ Then the camel on which I was riding was moved from its place and the necklace was found beneath it.” Al-Bukhari and Muslim recorded this Hadith.

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