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yāayyuhā
يَٰٓأَيُّهَا
O you
alladhīna
ٱلَّذِينَ
who
āmanū
ءَامَنُوا۟
believe[d]!
لَا
(Do) not
taqrabū
تَقْرَبُوا۟
go near
l-ṣalata
ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ
the prayer
wa-antum
وَأَنتُمْ
while you
sukārā
سُكَٰرَىٰ
(are) intoxicated
ḥattā
حَتَّىٰ
until
taʿlamū
تَعْلَمُوا۟
you know
مَا
what
taqūlūna
تَقُولُونَ
you are saying
walā
وَلَا
and not
junuban
جُنُبًا
(when you are) impure
illā
إِلَّا
except
ʿābirī
عَابِرِى
(when) passing
sabīlin
سَبِيلٍ
(through) a way
ḥattā
حَتَّىٰ
until
taghtasilū
تَغْتَسِلُوا۟ۚ
you have bathed.
wa-in
وَإِن
And if
kuntum
كُنتُم
you are
marḍā
مَّرْضَىٰٓ
ill
aw
أَوْ
or
ʿalā
عَلَىٰ
on
safarin
سَفَرٍ
a journey
aw
أَوْ
or
jāa
جَآءَ
came
aḥadun
أَحَدٌ
one
minkum
مِّنكُم
of you
mina
مِّنَ
from
l-ghāiṭi
ٱلْغَآئِطِ
the toilet,
aw
أَوْ
or
lāmastumu
لَٰمَسْتُمُ
you have touched
l-nisāa
ٱلنِّسَآءَ
the women
falam
فَلَمْ
and not
tajidū
تَجِدُوا۟
you find
māan
مَآءً
water,
fatayammamū
فَتَيَمَّمُوا۟
then do tayammum
ṣaʿīdan
صَعِيدًا
(with) earth
ṭayyiban
طَيِّبًا
clean
fa-im'saḥū
فَٱمْسَحُوا۟
and wipe (with it)
biwujūhikum
بِوُجُوهِكُمْ
your faces
wa-aydīkum
وَأَيْدِيكُمْۗ
and your hands.
inna
إِنَّ
Indeed,
l-laha
ٱللَّهَ
Allah
kāna
كَانَ
is
ʿafuwwan
عَفُوًّا
Oft-Pardoning,
ghafūran
غَفُورًا
Oft-Forgiving.

yaaa aiyuhal lazeena aamanoo laa taqrabus Salaata wa antum sukaaraa hatta ta'lamoo ma taqooloona wa la junuban illaa 'aabiree sabeelin hatta taghtasiloo; wa in kuntum mardaaa aw 'alaa safarin aw jaaa'a ahadum minkum minal ghaaa'iti aw laamastumun nisaaa'a falam tajidoo maaa'an fatayam mamoo sa'eedan taiyiban famsahoo biwujoohikum wa aideekum; innal laaha kaana 'Afuwwan Ghafooraa

Sahih International:

O you who have believed, do not approach prayer while you are intoxicated until you know what you are saying or in a state of janabah, except those passing through [a place of prayer], until you have washed [your whole body]. And if you are ill or on a journey or one of you comes from the place of relieving himself or you have contacted women and find no water, then seek clean earth and wipe over your faces and your hands [with it]. Indeed, Allah is ever Pardoning and Forgiving.

1 A. J. Arberry

O believers, draw not near to prayer when you are drunken until you know what you are saying, or defiled -- unless you are traversing a way -- until you have washed yourselves; but if you are sick, or on a journey, or if any of you comes from the privy, or you have touched women, and you can find no water, then have recourse to wholesome dust and wipe your faces and your hands; God is All-pardoning, All-forgiving.

2 Abdul Haleem

You who believe, do not come anywhere near the prayer if you are intoxicated, not until you know what you are saying; nor if you are in a state of major ritual impurity- though you may pass through the mosque- not until you have bathed; if you are ill, on a journey, have relieved yourselves, or had intercourse, and cannot find any water, then find some clean sand and wipe your faces and hands with it. God is always ready to pardon and forgive.

3 Abdul Majid Daryabadi

O Ye who believe! approach not prayer while ye are intoxicated until ye know that which ye say, nor yet while ye are polluted, save when ye be way faring, until ye have washed your selves. And if ye be ailing or on a journey, or one of you cometh from the privy have touched women, or ye and ye find not water, then betake your selves to clean earth and wipe your faces and your hands therewith; verily Allah is ever Pardoning, Forgiving.

4 Abdullah Yusuf Ali

O ye who believe! Approach not prayers with a mind befogged, until ye can understand all that ye say,- nor in a state of ceremonial impurity (Except when travelling on the road), until after washing your whole body. If ye are ill, or on a journey, or one of you cometh from offices of nature, or ye have been in contact with women, and ye find no water, then take for yourselves clean sand or earth, and rub therewith your faces and hands. For Allah doth blot out sins and forgive again and again.

5 Abul Ala Maududi

Believers! Do not draw near to the Prayer while you are intoxicated until you know what you are saying nor while you are defiled - save when you are travelling - until you have washed yourselves. If you are either ill or travelling or have satisfied a want of nature or have had contact with women and can find no water, then betake yourselves to pure earth, passing with it lightly over your face and your hands. Surely Allah is All-Relenting, All-Forgiving.

6 Ahmed Ali

O you who believe, do not perform your service of prayer when you are intoxicated until you are sure of what you are saying, nor when in a state of seminal pollution, until you have taken a bath, except when you are travelling. But in case you are ill or are travelling, or you have relieved yourself of nature's call, or cohabited with a woman, and cannot find water, then take wholesome dust and pass it over your face and hands: God is benign and forgiving.

7 Ahmed Raza Khan

O People who Believe! Do not approach the prayer when you are intoxicated until you have the sense to understand what you say, nor in the state of impurity until you have bathed except while travelling; and if you are ill or on a journey or one of you returns from answering the call of nature or you have cohabited with women, and you do not find water, then cleanse (yourself) with clean soil – therefore stroke your faces and your hands with it; indeed Allah is Most Pardoning, Oft Forgiving.

8 Ali Quli Qarai

O you who have faith! Do not approach prayer when you are intoxicated, [not] until you know what you are saying, nor [enter mosques] in the state of ritual impurity until you have washed yourselves, except while passing through. But if you are sick or on a journey, or any of you has come from the toilet, or you have touched women, and you cannot find water, then make your ablution on clean ground and wipe a part of your faces and your hands. Indeed Allah is all-excusing, all-forgiving.

9 Ali Ünal

O you who believe! Do not come forward to (stand in) the Prayer while you are in (any sort of) state of drunkenness until you know what you are saying, nor while you are in the state of ritual impurity (requiring the total ablution) – save when you are on a journey (and then unable to bathe) – until you have bathed (done the total ablution). But if you are ill, or on a journey, or if any of you has just satisfied a call of nature, or you have had contact with women, and can find no water, then betake yourselves to pure earth, passing with it lightly over your face and hands (and forearms up to and including the elbows). Assuredly God is One Who grants remission, All-Forgiving.

10 Amatul Rahman Omar

O you who believe! do not go near Prayer when you are not in full possession of your senses, until you understand all that you say (in your Prayers); nor (occupy yourselves in Prayer) when you are unclean (and under an obligation to have a bath) until you have bathed yourselves. But (you can do without a bath) when you are travelling a long way. If you are taken ill or (are) on a journey, or if one of you comes from the privy, or you have had (sexual) contact with women and you find no water (for bathing or ablution) then have recourse to pure and clean dust and wipe your faces and your hands (therewith). Indeed, Allâh is Most Benign, Great Protector.

11 English Literal

You, you those who believed, do not approach the prayers and you are intoxicated , until you know what you are saying, and nor distant from God/impure , except crossing a road/way, until you wash yourselves with water , and if you were sick/diseased or on a long distance travel, or any of you came from the safe and hidden depression in ground used for human discharge (toilet) or you touched repeatedly/touched and felt repeatedly (could mean: had intercourse with) the women, so you did not find water, so wipe your hands and face with dust , pure/good dust, so wipe with your faces and your hands, that God was/is often forgiving/pardoning, forgiving.

12 Faridul Haque

O People who Believe! Do not approach the prayer when you are intoxicated until you have the sense to understand what you say, nor in the state of impurity until you have bathed except while travelling; and if you are ill or on a journey or one of you returns from answering the call of nature or you have cohabited with women, and you do not find water, then cleanse (yourself) with clean soil - therefore stroke your faces and your hands with it; indeed Allah is Most Pardoning, Oft Forgiving.

13 Hamid S. Aziz

But Allah knows best who your enemies are, and Allah suffices as a Patron (or protecting friend), and sufficient is Allah as a Helper.

14 Hilali & Khan

O you who believe! Approach not As-Salat (the prayer) when you are in a drunken state until you know (the meaning) of what you utter, nor when you are in a state of Janaba, (i.e. in a state of sexual impurity and have not yet taken a bath) except when travelling on the road (without enough water, or just passing through a mosque), till you wash your whole body. And if you are ill, or on a journey, or one of you comes after answering the call of nature, or you have been in contact with women (by sexual relations) and you find no water, perform Tayammum with clean earth and rub therewith your faces and hands (Tayammum). Truly, Allah is Ever Oft-Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving.

15 Maulana Mohammad Ali

On that day will those who disbelieved and disobeyed the Messenger desire that the earth were levelled with them. And they can hide no fact from Allah.

16 Mohammad Habib Shakir

O you who believe! do not go near prayer when you are Intoxicated until you know (well) what you say, nor when you are under an obligation to perform a bath-- unless (you are) travelling on the road-- until you have washed yourselves; and if you are sick, or on a journey, or one of you come from the privy or you have touched the women, and you cannot find water, betake yourselves to pure earth, then wipe your faces and your hands; surely Allah is Pardoning, Forgiving.

17 Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

O ye who believe! Draw not near unto prayer when ye are drunken, till ye know that which ye utter, nor when ye are polluted, save when journeying upon the road, till ye have bathed. And if ye be ill, or on a journey, or one of you cometh from the closet, or ye have touched women, and ye find not water, then go to high clean soil and rub your faces and your hands (therewith). Lo! Allah is Benign, Forgiving.

18 Muhammad Sarwar

Believers, do not pray when you are drunk, but, instead, wait until you can understand what you say. Also, do not pray when you have experienced a seminal discharge until after you have taken a bath, unless you are on a journey. If, while sick or on a journey, you can find no water after having defecated or after having had carnal relations, perform tayammum by touching your palms on the pure earth and wipe the (upper part of) your face and the backs of your hands. God is Gracious and All-forgiving.

19 Qaribullah & Darwish

Believers, do not come close to prayer when you are drunk, until you know what you are saying, nor when you are in a state of impurity, unless you are crossing through the way (prayer area) until you have bathed yourselves. If you are ill or on a journey, or if any of you comes from the toilet or you have touchedwomen, and you cannot find water, so touch pure dust and wipe your faces and your hands. Allah is the Pardoner, the Forgiver.

20 Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

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.

21 Wahiduddin Khan

Believers, do not approach your prayers when you are drunk, until you understand what you say, nor when you are in a state of impurity, -- except when you are on a journey -- till you have bathed. And if you are ill, or on a journey or have relieved yourselves or when you have consorted with women and you cannot find any water, then find some clean sand and wipe your face and your hands with it. God is gracious and forgiving.

22 Talal Itani

O you who believe! Do not approach the prayer while you are drunk, so that you know what you say; nor after sexual orgasm—unless you are travelling—until you have bathed. If you are sick, or traveling, or one of you comes from the toilet, or you have had intercourse with women, and cannot find water, find clean sand and wipe your faces and your hands with it. God is Pardoning and Forgiving.

23 Tafsir jalalayn

O you who believe, draw not near to prayer, that is, do not perform prayer, whilst you are inebriated, by a drink; this was revealed concerning being drunk during the congregational prayer; until you know what you are saying, when you have sobered up; nor whilst you are defiled, as a result of [sexual] penetration or ejaculation (junuban, `defiled', is in the accusative because it is a circumstantial qualifier, and may be used to refer to the singular or plural) -- unless you are traversing, crossing, a way, a route, that is, [unless] you are travelling -- until you have washed yourselves, in which case you may perform prayer; a proviso is made for the traveller because a different stipulation applies to him, as will follow. It is said that the purpose [of this verse] is to prohibit the approach to places of prayer, that is, mosques, the exception being if one were merely passing through and not staying. But if you are sick, with an illness made worse by [contact with] water, or on a journey, that is, [or] travelling whilst you are [ritually] defiled or impure, or if any of you comes from the privy (al-gh'it), a place designated for relieving nature, that is to say, [or if any of you] have defecated, or you have touched women (lmastum, a variant reading has lamastum; both mean lams, that is, `touching with the hand', as stated by Ibn `Umar; this is also the opinion of al-Shfi`, and it extends to touching with other parts of the skin; according to Ibn `Abbs, however, it is [referring to] sexual intercourse); and you can find no water, with which to purify yourselves for prayer, having made the effort to seek it out and search for it -- the sick being exempt in this case -- then resort to, seek, when the time [for the prayer] has commenced, wholesome soil, clean earth, strike it twice, and wipe your faces and your hands, with it, up to the elbows (the verb masaha, `to wipe', may stand on its own with a direct object or take a particle [before the direct object, sc. masaha bi-]). God is ever Pardoning, Forgiving.

24 Tafseer Ibn Kathir

The Prohibition of Approaching Prayer When Drunk or Junub

Allah says;

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ امَنُواْ لَا تَقْرَبُواْ الصَّلَةَ وَأَنتُمْ سُكَارَى حَتَّىَ تَعْلَمُواْ مَا تَقُولُونَ

O you who believe! Do not approach Salah while you are in a drunken state until you know what you are saying,

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 Surah Al-Baqarah when we explained Allah's statement,
يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِر
(They ask you about alcoholic drink and gambling). (2;219)

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,

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ امَنُواْ إِنَّمَا الْخَمْرُ وَالْمَيْسِرُ وَالَانصَابُ وَالَازْلَامُ رِجْسٌ مِّنْ عَمَلِ الشَّيْطَانِ فَاجْتَنِبُوهُ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ


O you who believe! alcoholic drinks, gambling, Al-Ansab, and Al-Azlam are an abomination of Shaytan's handiwork. So avoid that in order that you may be successful (5;90) until,
فَهَلْ أَنتُم مُّنتَهُونَ
So, will you not then abstain! (5;91) was revealed.

Umar said, "We abstain, we abstain."

In another narration, when the Ayah in Surah An-Nisa'was revealed,
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ امَنُواْ لَا تَقْرَبُواْ الصَّلَةَ وَأَنتُمْ سُكَارَى حَتَّىَ تَعْلَمُواْ مَا تَقُولُونَ
(O you who believe! Do not approach Salah while you are in a drunken 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,
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ امَنُواْ لَا تَقْرَبُواْ الصَّلَةَ وَأَنتُمْ سُكَارَى
(O you who believe! Approach not As Salat (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,
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ امَنُواْ لَا تَقْرَبُواْ الصَّلَةَ وَأَنتُمْ سُكَارَى حَتَّىَ تَعْلَمُواْ مَا تَقُولُونَ
(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 GharibSahih."

Allah's statement,

حَتَّىَ تَعْلَمُواْ مَا تَقُولُونَ

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,

إِذَا نَعَسَ أَحَدُكُمْ وَهُوَ يُصَلِّي فَلْيَنْصَرِفْ فَلْيَنَمْ حَتَّى يَعْلَمَ مَا يَقُول

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,

فَلَعَلَّهُ يَذْهَبُ يَسْتَغْفِرُ فَيَسُبَّ نَفْسَه
For he might want to ask for forgiveness, but instead curses himself!

Allah said,

وَلَا جُنُبًا إِلاَّ عَابِرِي سَبِيلٍ حَتَّىَ تَغْتَسِلُواْ

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,

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-Nakhai, 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,
وَلَا جُنُبًا إِلاَّ عَابِرِي سَبِيلٍ
(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,
وَلَا جُنُبًا إِلاَّ عَابِرِي سَبِيلٍ
(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,

سُدُّوا كُلَّ خَوْخَةٍ فِي الْمَسْجِدِ إِلاَّ خَوْخَةَ أَبِي بَكْر

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 Aishah said,

"The Messenger of Allah said to me,

نَاوِلِيِني الْخُمْرَةَ مِنَ الْمَسْجِد

Bring me the garment from the Masjid.

I said, `I am having my period.'

He said,

إِنَّ حَيْضَتَكِ لَيْسَتْ فِي يَدِك

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,

وَإِن كُنتُم مَّرْضَى أَوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ أَوْ جَاء أَحَدٌ مِّنكُم مِّن الْغَأيِطِ أَوْ لَامَسْتُمُ النِّسَاء فَلَمْ تَجِدُواْ مَاء فَتَيَمَّمُواْ صَعِيدًا طَيِّبًا

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.

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.

أَوْ عَلَى سَفَرٍ

or on a journey,

As for traveling on a journey, it is known, regardless of its length.

Allah then said,

أَوْ جَاء أَحَدٌ مِّنكُم مِّن الْغَأيِطِ

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,

أَوْ لَامَسْتُمُ النِّسَاء

or you Lamastum women,

which was recited Lamastum and Lamastum, referring to sexual intercourse.

For instance, Allah said in another Ayah,

وَإِن طَلَّقْتُمُوهُنَّ مِن قَبْلِ أَن تَمَسُّوهُنَّ وَقَدْ فَرَضْتُمْ لَهُنَّ فَرِيضَةً فَنِصْفُ مَا فَرَضْتُمْ

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,

يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ إِذَا نَكَحْتُمُ الْمُوْمِنَـتِ ثُمَّ طَلَّقْتُمُوهُنَّ مِن قَبْلِ أَن تَمَسُّوهُنَّ فَمَا لَكُمْ عَلَيْهِنَّ مِنْ عِدَّةٍ تَعْتَدُّونَهَا

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,
أَوْ لَامَسْتُمُ النِّسَاء
(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,

فَلَمْ تَجِدُواْ مَاء فَتَيَمَّمُواْ صَعِيدًا طَيِّبًا

but you do not find water, then 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,

يَا فُلَانُ مَا مَنَعَكَ أَنْ تُصَلِّيَ مَعَ الْقَوْمِ أَلَسْتَ بِرَجُلٍ مُسْلِمٍ


`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,

عَلَيْكَ بِالصَّعِيدِ فَإِنَّهُ يَكْفِيك

`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,

فُضِّلْنَا عَلَى النَّاسِ بِثَلَثٍ

جُعِلَتْ صُفُوفُنَا كَصُفُوفِ الْمَلَيِكَةِ

وَجُعِلَتْ لَنَا الاَْرْضُ كُلُّهَا مَسْجِدًا

وَجُعِلَتْ تُرْبَتُهَا لَنَا طَهُورًا إِذَا لَمْ نَجِدِ الْمَاء

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 purifier 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,

الصَّعِيدُ الطَّيِّبُ طَهُورُ الْمُسْلِمِ وَإِنْ لَمْ يَجِدِ الْمَاءَ عَشْرَ حِجَجٍ فَإِذَا وَجَدَهُ فَلْيُمِسَّهُ بَشَرَتَهُ فَإِنَّ ذَلِكَ خَيْر

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,

فَامْسَحُواْ بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَأَيْدِيكُمْ

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,

إِنَّمَا كَانَ يَكْفِيك


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,

أُعْطِيتُ خَمْسًا لَمْ يُعْطَهُنَّ أَحَدٌ قَبْلِي

نُصِرْتُ بِالرُّعْبِ مَسِيرَةَ شَهْرٍ وَجُعِلَتْ لِيَ الاَْرْضُ مَسْجِدًا وَطَهُورًا

فَأَيُّمَا رَجُلٍ مِنْ أُمَّتِي أَدْرَكَتْهُ الصَّلَأةُ فَلْيُصَل

فَعِنْدَهُ طَهُورُهُ وَمَسْجِدُهُ

وَأُحِلَّتْ لِيَ الْغَنَايِمُ وَلَمْ تَحِلَّ لاِأَحَدٍ قَبْلِي

وَأُعْطِيتُ الشَّفَاعَةَ وَكَانَ النَّبِيُّ يُبْعَثُ إِلى قَوْمِهِ

وَبُعِثْتُ إِلَى النَّاسِ عَامَّة

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;

فُضِّلْنَا عَلَى النَّاسِ بِثَلَثٍ

جُعِلَتْ صُفُوفُنَا كَصُفُوفِ الْمَلَيِكَةِ

وَجُعِلَتْ لَنَا الاَْرْضُ مَسْجِدًا

وَتُرْبَتُهَا طَهُورًا إِذَا لَمْ نَجِدِ الْمَاء

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,

فَامْسَحُواْ بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَأَيْدِيكُمْ إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ عَفُوًّا غَفُورًا



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 deficient 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 Aishah 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 Aishah 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