Prayers are one of the obligatory practices in Islam. If you are conscious of prayers,you must be curious to know ways of purification in Islam, like Tayammum. 

Indeed, Islam never tells us to take things just like how they are being told. Tayammum is one such topic that most people need to be well aware of. Luckily, you are about to find both the minor and major things you need to know about Tayammum in Islam. 

What is Tayammum?

The word Tayammum is an Arabic word that means “aiming.” Tayammum in Islam aims to purify one’s hands and face with soil to prepare for prayers. This might raise several questions for those who are entirely unaware of the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah regarding Tayammum. 

In Surah An Nisa 4:43 Qur’an says:

…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 [i.e., had sexual intercourse] and find no water, then look for clean earth and wipe over your faces and your hands [with it]. Indeed, Allah is most Merciful and Forgiving.”

The leniency of Allah almighty through such verses makes it clear that religion is not a tool for oppression and limitation. The teachings regarding Tayammum are not only given in Qur’an but our Prophet (ﷺ) showed Tayammum with his actions and advised other Muslims to do Tayammum given certain situations. 

"Perform Tayammum with clean earth and that will be sufficient for you."

 (Sahih Bukhari: 348)


How to do Tayammum?

Just like the directions for wudu or ghusl (bathing), Islam has given teachings about the ways Tayammum can be done. To do Tayammum, one can follow a step-by-step procedure given below: 

  • Strike both hands on the ground. Anything that you feel clingy on your hands should be shaken off. 
  • Use both your hands to wipe your face while following the movements done during the wudu. 
  • Don’t forget to wipe the cartilage of the upper ears. 
  • Strike your hands to the ground a second time. 
  • Wipe your left hand and arm with your right hand and vice-versa. 
  • Wipe the inner side of the left hand with the right hand and the inner side of the left hand with the right hand. 

In Islam, it is also believed that this kind of purification is a blessing from God. If you are at some place where it's prayer time and do not have water in your vicinity, then you can always opt for tayammum.


Tayammum can replace obligatory wudu or bathing under specific circumstances, which are discussed below:

1. Absence or Lack of Sufficient Water

The foremost reason for Tayammum is the absence of water or the water you have is insufficient for purification. For prayers and other practices in Islam, such as touching or reciting Quran, it is essential to purify yourself.

These practices are considered holy and should be done with complete hygiene. Tayammum is advised when it is time to pray and you do not have access to water. In such conditions, Qur’an and Sunnah have allowed performing Tayammum.

Also, if you are sure that you will not be able to access water till the time of prayers, then you can perform Tayammum for prayers. 

2. During Journey

Travelling is part of our everyday life. In such a situation, one can get clean with the act of Tayammum. If someone cannot find water before prayer, he/she is allowed to do Tayammum.

The absence of water during the journey is also a condition for this ablution. Otherwise, in case there is the availability of water and one can perform wudu, then Tayammum is not advised. 

3. Injury or Bad Health Condition

Illness or injury can be a reason for Tayammum. Individuals with poor health conditions are given much lenient ways for prayers. For purification before prayers, an ill or incapable individual can do Tayammum.

If one has a condition that exposure to water can compromise his/her health, then in such case, this way of purification is allowed. 

4. Harmful Water

Given such a situation where there is the availability of water but can harm, then Islam allows you to do Tayammum. For example, if the water is cold enough to harm you and cannot be heated, then in this case, you can purify yourself through this procedure.

In Qur’an, Allah says: 

"…Do not kill yourselves [or one another]. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful."

(Surah An-Nisa 4:29)

5. Saving Water

Islam understands and provides ways of convenience according to the needs of a human being. In this regard, one can perform Tayammum if the water is too little and only enough to use for survival, like cooking, making dough, or purifying something forgivable. 

During the times of Muhammad (ﷺ), many companions would save their drinking water during journeys and do Tayammum for prayers. 

6. Avoiding Danger

If reaching water and fetching it brings danger to the life of the one who wishes to purify himself/herself, then Tayammum is the answer. Such kind of situation can be faced by travelers. During journeys, it is not safe to leave your possessions to fetch water for wudu, which is why Islam advises purifying through Tayammum and protecting your property. 

7. Uncertainty of Reaching Water

This condition for Tayammum is related to performing the prayers on time. If one is still deciding whether to get access to water for wudu on time, then he/she should go for Tayammum. This way, you will be able to perform your prayers on time. 

On the other hand, if someone is confident that he/she will find access to water, then Tayammum can be avoided until the last minute. In this case, Tayammum can be delayed in getting access to water for either wudu or ghusl (Bathing).


Bottom Line

In case one is entirely sure about the unavailability of water, then it is recommended that he/she should do Tayammum at the beginning of time. Making oneself clean for obligatory practices such as prayers and recitation of the Qur’an is crucial.

The concept of Tayammum in Islam gives extensive knowledge about the importance of purification in Islam. Given certain conditions, Tayammum in Islam gives us a possible way of purification to practice our religion.


Written by Dur-e-Sabih


About the Author 

Dur-e-Sabih provides ghostwriting and copywriting services. Her educational background in Accountancy helps her in tackling topics ranging from career and business productivity to web development, finance, and digital marketing. 

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