Book of Tayammum

The Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari

by Imam Bukhari
Translated by: Ustadha Aisha Bewley

Chapter 7: Book of Tayammum

Allah's words, "If you cannot find any water, then do tayammum with pure earth, and wipe your faces and your hands." (5:6)

327. It is related that 'A'isha, the wife of the Prophet, said, "We went out with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, on one of his journeys until, when we had reached al-Bayda, or Dhat al-Jaysh, my necklace broke and the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, stayed to look for it and everyone else stayed with him. There was no water there, so the people went to Abu Bakr as-Siddiq and said, 'Do you not see what 'A'isha has done? She has caused the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and everyone else to halt at a place where there is no water for them nor are they carrying any water with them?' Abu Bakr came and found that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, had gone to sleep with his head against my thigh. He said, 'You have held up the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and everyone else in a place where there is no water and they are not carrying any water with them!' Abu Bakr rebuked me saying what Allah wished him to say and started to poke me in the side with his hand and the only reason I did not move was that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was against my thigh. At first light the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, got up and found that there was no water. Then Allah sent down the verse of tayammum. So they did tayammum." Usayd ibn al-Hudayr said, 'Family of Abu Bakr, this is not the first blessing you have brought!'." 'A'isha continued, "We made the camel I was on get up and found the necklace underneath it."  (Muwatta, Book 2, 91)

[*A place between Makka and Madina.]

328. It is related that Jabir ibn 'Abdullah said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'I have been given five things which no one before me was given: I have been helped to victory by terror flooding (my enemies') hearts up to a month's journey away; for me, the whole earth has been made a mosque and made pure (for purification by tayammum) - wherever a man of my community finds himself when the time of prayer comes, he can pray; taking booty has been made lawful for me when it was not lawful for anyone before me; I have been given the right of intercession; and whereas every other Prophet was sent only to his people, I have been sent to all mankind.'"

I: When neither water nor earth is available

329. It is related that 'A'isha said that she borrowed a necklace from Asma' and it disappeared. The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, sent a man who found it. The time of the prayer found them with no water so they prayed but then voiced their anxiety about doing that to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and Allah sent down the Ayat of Tayammum. Usayd ibn Hudayr said to 'A'isha, "May Allah reward you! By Allah, nothing unpleasant ever happens to you, without Allah making it a means of good for both you and the Muslims."

II: The performance of tayammum by a resident when there is no water available and he fears that he will miss the prayer

'Ata' and al-Hasan said that when a sick person has water but cannot find anyone to hand it to him, he can do tayammum. Ibn 'Umar was coming from his land in al-Jurf and the time for 'Asr came when he reached Marbad an-Na'am. He prayed (doing tayammum) and then entered Madina while the sun was still high, but did not repeat the prayer.

[al-Jurf is a place close to Madina used sometimes as a military camp before expeditions. Marbad an-Na'am is where the camels are kept]

330. It is related that 'Umayr, the mawla of Ibn 'Abbas, was heard to say, "'Abdullah ibn Yasar, the mawla of Maymuna, the wife of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and I went to visit Abu Juhaym ibn al-Harith ibn Simma al-Ansari. Abu Juhaym said, 'Once the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was coming from the direction of Bi'r Jamal*. A man met him and greeted him but the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, did not reply to him until he came to a wall. He wiped his face and hands and then returned his greeting.'"

[*A place close to Madina. It is also said to be al-Jurf.]

III: Can someone doing tayammum blow on his hands?

331. 'Abdu'r-Rahman ibn Abza related that his father said, "A man came to 'Umar ibn al-Khattab and said, 'I was junub and could not find any water.' 'Ammar ibn Yasir said to 'Umar ibn al-Khattab, 'Do you remember once when you and I were on a journey and you did not pray but I rolled on the ground and prayed? I mentioned that to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'It would have been enough for you to do this.' The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, beat the earth with his hands, blew on them and then wiped his face and hands with them."

IV: Tayammum is for the face and hands

332. Sa'id ibn 'Abdu'r-Rahman ibn Abza related from his father that 'Ammar said that. Shu'ba beat the earth with his hands and brought them up to his mouth and then wiped his face and hands with them.

'Ammar said, "Pure earth is a sufficient means of purification for a Muslim in the event of there being no water."

333. 'Abdu'r-Rahman ibn Abza related that once while his father was with 'Umar, 'Ammar said to 'Umar, "We were on an expedition and became junub." And he said that he had blown on his hands.

334. It is related that 'Abdu'r-Rahman said, "'Ammar said to 'Umar, "I rolled in the dust and came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, who said, 'Your face and hands would have been enough.'"

335. 'Abdu'r-Rahman said, "I saw 'Umar when 'Ammar said to him" and the hadith continues.

336. It is related that 'Ammar said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, beat the earth with his hands and wiped his face and hands."

V: Pure earth is a sufficient means of purification for a Muslim in the event of there being no water.

Al-Hasan said, "Tayammum is enough as long as you do nothing to break it." Ibn 'Abbas led the prayer after doing tayammum. Yahya ibn Sa'id said, "There is nothing wrong in doing the prayer on salty land or in using it for doing tayammum."

337. It is related that 'Imran said, "We were on a journey with the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and we travelled until late in the night when we stopped at a place, and no stop is more welcome in the eyes a traveller than that. We were woken up by the heat of the sun. The first of us to wake up was so-and-so and then so-and-so. (Abu Raja' named them, but 'Awf forgot.) The fourth person was 'Umar ibn al-Khattab. When the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, slept, we would not wake him until he woke up of his own accord because we did not know what might be happening to him while he was asleep. Being a strict man, when 'Umar woke up and saw what had happened to everyone he called out, 'Allah is greater!' in a loud voice. He continued to call out the takbir loudly until the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was woken up by his voice. When he woke up, the people expressed their anxiety to him about what had happened to them. He said, 'There is no harm - or it will not cause harm. Travel on.' They went on a short distance and then stopped. The Prophet called for wudu' water and did wudu'. The call for the prayer was given and he led the people in the prayer. When he had finished the prayer, he noticed a man who had kept himself apart and not prayed with the people. He said, 'So-and-so! What kept you from praying with everyone else?' He said, 'I am in janaba and there is no water.' The Prophet said, 'You must use the bare earth. That will be enough for you.'

"Then the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, travelled on and the people complained to him that they were thirsty. He stopped and called someone (Abu Raja' named him but 'Awf forgot) and 'Ali and said, 'Go and look for water.' They went off and came across a woman on a camel sitting between two water bags. They asked her, 'Where is the water?' She said, 'I was at the water this time yesterday and our people are behind me.' They said to her, 'Come then.' She said, 'Where to?' They said, 'To the Messenger of Allah.' She said, 'The one known as "as-Sabi'?"* They said, 'The very same; so come along with us.'

"They brought her to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and told him the story. He said, 'Help her dismount from her camel.' The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, called for a container and opened the mouths of the bags into it. Then he closed their mouths.and opened their lower openings. The people were told, 'Drink and water the animals.' Whoever wished drank from it and whoever wished watered from it.and finally the Prophet gave the man who was junub a jug of water and said, 'Go and pour it over yourself.' The woman was standing there watching what was being done with her water and, by Allah, when the bags were handed back, it seemed to us that they were fuller than they had been at the beginning! The Prophet. may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, 'Make a collection for her,' They collected for her enough of the best dates, flour and sawiq to make a meal and put it in a cloth. They then put her on her camel and placed the cloth in front of her. He said to her, 'We did not take any of your water, but Allah is the One who gave us water.'

"When she reached her people from whom she had been kept back, they said, "So-and-so! What delayed you?' She said, 'A strange thing happened! Two men met me and took me to the man called "as-Sabi' and he did such-and-such. By Allah, he is either the greatest sorcerer between here and there - and she used her middle and index fingers and raised them towards the sky, meaning between the heaven and the earth - or he is indeed truly the Messenger of Allah.'

"After this the Muslims would attack the idolaters around her but never touched the tents where she lived. One day, she said to her people, 'I think that these people leave you alone deliberately. Is there not something for you in Islam?' They responded to her and entered Islam."

[*as-Sabi' means someone who changes religion.]

VI: If someone who is in janaba fears that he will become ill or die or is afraid of thirst, he can do tayammum.

It is mentioned that 'Amr ibn al-'As was in janaba on a cold night and did tayammum and recited from the Qur'an, "Do not kill yourselves. Allah is merciful to you." (4:29) That was mentioned to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and he did not object to it.

338. It is related from Abu Wa'il, "Abu Musa said to 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud, 'If you cannot find any water, should you pray or not?' 'Abdullah said, 'If you were to give them a dispensation (to do tayammum) in this instance, they would do this (i.e. tayammum) even if they found water and it was cold and pray.' Abu Musa said, 'What do you make of what 'Ammar said to 'Umar?' He said, 'I do not think that 'Umar was happy with what 'Ammar said.'"

339. It is related that Shaqiq ibn Salama was heard to say, "I was with 'Abdullah and Abu Musa and Abu Musa said to him, ´Abu 'Abdu'r-Rahman, what do you think someone should do if he is in janaba and cannot find any water?' 'Abdullah said, 'He should not pray until he finds water.' Abu Musa said, 'So what about 'Ammar´s statement that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said to him, 'It (tayammum) would have been enough for you?' He replied, 'Don't you see that 'Umar was not happy with that?' Abu Musa said, 'All right, putting aside what 'Ammar said, what do you make of this ayat (of tayammum)?''Abdullah did not know what to say and then said, ''If we were to give them a dispensation (to do tayammum) in this instance, even if they the water they found was cold, they would probably leave it and do tayammum, ' I said to Shaqiq, "Did 'Abdullah [ibn Mas'ud] dislike doing tayammum because of this?" He said, "Yes."

VII: Tayammum is done by striking the earth once

340. It is related that al-A'mash said that Shaqiq said, "While I was sitting with 'Abdullah and Abu Musa al-Ash'ari, Abu Musa said to him, 'If someone is in janaba and cannot find any water for a month, can he do tayammum and pray? In that case, what do you make of this verse in Surat al-Ma'ida: 'If you cannot find any water, then do tayammum with pure earth' 'Abdullah said, 'If this dispensation were given to them, then, even if they had water but it was cold, they would probably do tayammum with pure earth.' I asked Shaqiq, ´You dislike tayammum because of that?' He said, 'Yes.'

"Abu Musa continued, ´Have you not heard what 'Ammar said to 'Umar? - "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, sent me on some errand and I became junub and could not find any water so I rolled in the dust like an animal does. I mentioned that to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and he said, 'It would have been enough for you to do this,' and he beat the earth once with his hands, blew on them and then wiped the back of his right hand with his left or the back of his left hand with his right hand and then wiped his face with both of them.' 'Abdullah said, 'Don't you see that 'Umar was not happy with what 'Ammar said?' "

341. Al-A'mash added that Shaqiq said, "I was with 'Abdullah and Abu Musa when Abu Musa said, 'Did you not hear what 'Ammar said to 'Umar? "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, sent me and you and I was in janaba and rolled in the dust .We came to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and told him and he said, 'Like this would have been enough for you' and he wiped his face and hands once."

342. It is related from 'Imran ibn Husayn al-Khuza'i that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, saw a man apart who who had not prayed with everyone else. He said, "So-and-so! What stopped you praying with everyone else?" He said, "I am on janaba and there is no water." The Prophet said, "You must use the pure earth. That will be enough for you."