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How to Perform Tayammum

Three Parts:Recognizing the Need for TayammumPreparing Yourself for TayammumPerforming the Ritual

Imagine you are in a situation in which you need to perform Wudu but you don’t have access to any water. Or you are calling in sick and you can't touch water with your bare hands. In these instances, you can perform tayammum, an alternative to wudu, which does not require the use of water. Tayammum is the cleansing of the body before religious acts when there is no water available to perform wudu.

Part 1
Recognizing the Need for Tayammum

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    Practice cleanliness. For Muslims, it is required to purify the body through washing before praying and performing salah, or handling and reading the Qur’an.
    • Purification of the body and clothes before prayer is called taharah.[1]
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    Look for water. Usually water is required to cleanse one’s body before performing salah. This kind of washing ritual is called wudu, which requires that you clean your hands, forearms, face, head, and feet.[2]
    • There is a more intense cleansing called ghusl that is required after instances of “uncleanliness” (such as sexual intercourse, menstruation, and child birth). Ghusl involves bathing the entire body.[3]
    • Wudu is nullified after any natural discharge (urine, gas, stool, ejaculation), after falling asleep, or after any type of unconsciousness. If one of these things has happened to you, you must perform wudu again before you engage in salah.[4]
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    Know when tayammum is allowed. Tayammum is permitted in the following instances[5]:
    • When acceptable water is not available within a one mile radius.
    • When there is a legitimate fear that an enemy or a dangerous animal is near the water.
    • When using your water for wudu would risk not having enough water to drink later.
    • When there is no means of getting water out of the well (no rope or bucket to draw the water).
    • When using water would be dangerous to your health.
    • When you don’t have enough money to purchase water that is being sold.
    • When water is being sold at an unreasonable price.
    • When there is no trace of water and no person to ask about where to find water.
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    Determine if you have enough acceptable water. If you cannot find enough water to perform wudu, or if using the water you have would endanger your health or that of your dependents, it is appropriate to perform tayammum instead of wudu.[6]
    • Permitted types of water include fresh water from a pond or well, melted snow, well water, or river/sea/spring water.[7]
    • Prohibited kinds of water include unclean water, water whose color has changed, water into which something impure has fallen, water extracted from fruit and trees, water left over after animals have been drinking it, or water previously used in wudu or ghusl.[8]
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    Choose tayammum if you have no water. When you find yourself in a position where you need to cleanse your body before performing salah, but there is no acceptable water to use, you can perform tayammum with clean earth/dirt instead.
    • Items on which tayammum is accepted include[9]:
      • Taahir (pure) earth
      • Sand
      • Stone
      • Limestone
      • Baked earthen pots
      • Walls made of mud, stone, or brick
      • Clay
      • Any item with a thick covering of dust
    • The first preference is fresh earth, but if none is available you can choose clay, a lump of sand, or even a stone if necessary.[10]
    • Items that are not acceptable to perform tayammum on include[11]:
      • Wood
      • Metal
      • Glass
      • Food items
      • Anything that burns to ash or melts

Part 2
Preparing Yourself for Tayammum

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    Find a clean place. This location can be anything natural like a rock, sand, or grass. The location must be clean to maintain the purity of the ritual.
    • If the location of tayammum is impure, you must purify it with water.
    • If there is no water to purify the location, you can use any of the items that are permitted to use for tayammum (listed above).
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    Remove unnecessary items. To perform tayammum, you must clean your body and clothing thoroughly (this is called tahir). This means that you should remove any unnecessary coverings like rings or nail polish.[12]
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    Determine if you need to perform ablution for your feet. If you put on your socks or shoes while you have a valid wudu, it is unnecessary to take them off and wash your feet every time you must renew your wudu. You may leave your shoes/socks on and simply wipe the top of each covered foot one time with your wet hands instead of washing your entire foot.
    • If you have no water to wet your hands, you can use any of the items that are permitted for tayammum (listed above) to wipe the top of each of your covered feet.
    • You can do this for up to 24 hours. However, if you are traveling, this method will work for three days.[13]
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    Memorize the order. All parts of tayammum must be performed in the correct order, so it is important that you know the order of the steps so that you can follow them accurately.[14]
    • If you make a mistake in the order, you must begin your tayammum from the beginning again.

Part 3
Performing the Ritual

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    Recite the following:

    Bismillaah hirahmaan nirrahiim "In the name of Allah, the most Gracious, the most Compassionate"
    • This phrase begins the first verse of the first chapter of the Qur’an. This fact emphasizes the importance of beginning your tayammum in the name of Allah.[15]
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    Make your niyyah. This is the way that you announce your intention to perform tayammum. You do this by saying “I am doing tayammum in place of wudu, for the pleasure of Allah and to seek closeness to him.[16]
    • It is important to announce your intention for tayammum so that the entirety of the sacred ritual is maintained and respected.
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    Place your hands on the ground. This is the part where the clean earth is necessary. Strike your palms simultaneously on the earth (or clay, sand, or stone, according to preference and availability).[17]
    • It is not necessary to cover your hands completely with the earth – just touch it with your palms.
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    Rub your face with your hands. The face encompasses the right ear to the left ear. Place your palms on your forehead at the hairline and pull your hands down until they reach the bridge of your nose. Only use your palms during this process..[18]
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    Cover each hand. Move the palm of your left hand so that it covers the entire back of your right hand from the wrist bone to the fingertips. Then repeat this action with the right palm covering your left hand.[19]
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    Repeat the process of placing your hands on the ground. Once more, strike your hands simultaneously on the ground so that they come into contact with the clean earth.[20]
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    Repeat the process of rubbing your face with your hands. Cover each hand again (beginning with the left and moving on to the right) to conclude the tayammum ritual.[21]

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Categories: Islam