Fiqh-us-Sunnah - 1.64

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The reason for its legitimacy

Said 'Aishah, "We went out with the Messenger of Allah on one of his journeys until we reached Baida'. At this place, one of my bracelets broke and fell somewhere. The Messenger of Allah and others began to look for it. There was no water at that place, nor did anyone have any water with him. The people went to Abu Bakr and said, "Do you see what your daughter has done?" Abu Bakr came to me, while the Prophet was sleeping on my thigh. He blamed me and said to me whatever Allah willed him to say. He also poked me in my side. I could not move, for the Prophet, upon whom be peace, was sleeping on my lap. He slept until the morning without any water available. Then, Allah revealed the verse of tayammum. As-Sayyid ibn Hudhain said, 'That was not the first blessing from the family of Abu Bakr.' The camel that I was on got up and we found the necklace underneath it." (Related by "the group," except for at-Tirmidhi.)

One cannot find water, or the amount one finds is insufficient for ablution

'Imran bin Husain said, "We were with the Messenger of Allah during a journey. When he led the people in prayer, one man stayed apart. He asked him, "What prevented you from praying?" He said, 'I need a post-nocturnal bath and there is no water.' He said, 'Use the soil, for it is sufficient.''' (Related by al-Bukhari and Muslim.)

Abu Dharr related that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, "The soil is a purifier for a Muslim, even if he does not find water for twenty years." (Related by "the four." At-Tirmidhi grades it hassan sahih.) But before one makes tayammum, he must look for water from any posible source. If he is sure water is not to be found or it is too far away, he does not have to look for it.

One is injured or ill

If one is in this condition, and believes water will worsen it (he does not have to be absolutely sure, but may base his opinion on past experience or what a knowledgeable person has told him), he may perform tayammum. Jabir said, "We were on a journey and one of us got injured. Later, he had a wet dream. He asked his companions, 'Can I perform tayammum?' They said, 'No, not if you have water.' He performed ghusl and died. When they came to the Messenger of Allah, they informed him of what had transpired. He said, 'They killed him, Allah will kill them. Do you not ask if you do not know? The rescue of the ignorant person is the question. He could have performed tayammum and dropped water on his wound or wrapped it with something and wipe over the wrapping, and wash the rest of his body." This is related by Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, ad-Daraqutni and Ibn as-Sakin, who said it is sahih.

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