What is the importance of dry ablution? | Noor Academy 

dry ablution
Sometimes you want to pray or read Quran but you can’t access any water to perform Wudu, that’s when dry ablution in Islam comes important.

Allah mentioned dry ablution in the holy Quran as a means to purify oneself. Allah says:  

“Believers when you are about to pray, wash your faces, and your hands and arms up to the elbows, and pass your wet hands lightly over your heads, and wash your feet up to the ankles. If you are in a state of ceremonial impurity, purify yourselves. But if you are ill, or on a journey, or if one of you has come from the toilet, or if you have been in intimate contact with women and can find no water, then have recourse to pure dust, passing therewith lightly over your faces and your hands. God does not want to impose any hardship on you, but He wants to purify you, and to bestow on you the full measure of His blessings, so that you may be grateful.”

Jabir bin Abdullah narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) said:

” The earth has been made for me (and for my followers) a place for praying and a thing to perform Tayammum. Therefore, my followers can pray wherever the time of a prayer is due”

Dry ablution is a blessing from Allah to us and a means of making our life easier. Jabir bin Abdullah narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) said:

” I have been given five things which were not given to any amongst the Prophets before me. These are:

  1. Allah made me victorious by awe (by His frightening my enemies) for a distance of one month’s journey.
  2. The earth has been made for me (and for my followers) as a place for praying and a thing to perform Tayammum. Therefore my followers can pray wherever the time of a prayer is due.
  3. The booty has been made Halal (lawful) for me (and was not made so for anyone else).
  4. Every Prophet used to be sent to his nation exclusively but I have been sent to all mankind.
  5. I have been given the right of intercession (on the Day of Resurrection.).”

Now let’s learn how to perform Tayammum and when is it allowed.

How to perform tayammum dry ablution?

The first thing you must do is to find a clean place; it could be anything natural like sand, grass, or rock. However, if the place is not clean you must clean it first. You can purify the place with water but if there is no water to clean with you can use any of the items that are allowed to do dry ablution like sand and stone.

Then if you are wearing a ring or there is nail polish on your nails then you must remove them to do tayammum. Also, when performing wudu you don’t have to take off your shoes or socks, you simply wipe the top of each covered foot one time with your wet hands.

While doing tayammum you can do the same but instead of water, you will use any of the following items:

  •       pure earth
  •       Sand
  •       Stone
  •       Limestone
  •       Baked earthen pots
  •       Walls made of mud, stone, or brick
  •       Clay
  •       Any item with a thick covering of dust

And wipe the top of each covered foot one time.

How to do dry ablution?

Here are the dry ablution steps:

  1.     Recite Bismillaah irahmaan irrahiim “In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, and the most Compassionate “.
  2.     Make the intention to perform tayammum and say “I am doing tayammum in place of wudu, for the pleasure of Allah and to seek closeness to him”.

The intention is important before doing anything, that’s why you should make the niyyah before you perform dry ablution. But keep in mind that you don’t have to say it verbally, just have it in your heart that is how the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) used to do it.

  1.     After you make the niyyah touch the ground, clay, sand, stone, or whatever item that you have. You don’t need to cover your hands with the earth or clay, just touch it with your palms then dust your hands off.
  2.     Cover your hands by moving 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.
  3.     Now rub your face starting from 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.

Abu Dawud narrated about the prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) when he was performing dry ablution and said “He struck his hands on the ground and dusted them off, then he struck his right hand with his left hand, and his left hand with his right hand, then he wiped his face.”

What is dry ablution called?

Dry ablution is called Tayammum in Arabic. And it means to perform Wudu without water through the use of dust if water is not accessible for any reason.

When can we do dry ablution?

There are certain cases when performing dry ablution is allowed, and here they are:

  1.     If there’s no water or the water you have isn’t enough to perform Wudu.

Imraan Ibn Husain Al-Khuzai said: “Allah’s Messenger (S.A.W.) saw a person sitting aloof and not praying with the people. He (S.A.W.) asked him, “O so and so! What prevented you from offering the prayer with the people?”He replied, “O Allah’s Messenger (S.A.W.)! I am Junub (not pure) and there is no water.” The Prophet (S.A.W.) said, “Perform Tayammum with clean earth and that will be sufficient for you.”

  1.     If the person has an injury or illness that prevents him/her from performing Wudu. If the use of water will worsen the person’s injury or illness then dry ablution should be performed.
  1.     If the water is too cold that it might hurt the person.
  1.     If there’s water but the person can’t reach it due to fear of getting hurt.
  1.     If there’s not enough water to drink and perform Wudu.

Imam Ahmad said: “Many of the Companions (R.A.) performed Tayammum to save their water for drinking.”

 What is the difference between ablution and tayammum?

Ablution is the normal act of purification for prayer or Quran recitation through using water. While tayammum or as it’s called in English “dry ablution” is the term used to describe performing Wudu without the use of water.

Tayammum is the alternative act to wudu, so anything you can do with wudu is allowed with tayammum. But when can you do tayammum instead of wudu? If any of the conditions we discussed in the above section is present then you can perform Tayammum instead Wudu.

To perform wudu you need fresh water like fresh water from a pond or well, melted snow, river, sea, or spring water.

Dry ablution can be performed with clean earth; here is what is accepted to perform tayammum with:

  •       pure earth
  •       Sand
  •       Stone
  •       Limestone
  •       Baked earthen pots
  •       Walls made of mud, stone, or brick
  •       Clay
  •       Any item with a thick covering of dust

Be careful you can’t perform dry ablution with the following items:

  •       Wood
  •       Metal
  •       Glass
  •       Food items
  •       Anything that burns to ash or melts


Dry ablution in Quran.

Tayammum dry ablution was mentioned in detail in the holy Quran surah Nisa. Allah says in the holy Quran:

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ لَا تَقْرَبُوا۟ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَأَنتُمْ سُكَـٰرَىٰ حَتَّىٰ تَعْلَمُوا۟ مَا تَقُولُونَ وَلَا جُنُبًا إِلَّا عَابِرِى سَبِيلٍ حَتَّىٰ تَغْتَسِلُوا۟ ۚ وَإِن كُنتُم مَّرْضَىٰٓ أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ أَوْ جَآءَ أَحَدٌۭ مِّنكُم مِّنَ ٱلْغَآئِطِ أَوْ لَـٰمَسْتُمُ ٱلنِّسَآءَ فَلَمْ تَجِدُوا۟ مَآءًۭ فَتَيَمَّمُوا۟ صَعِيدًۭا طَيِّبًۭا فَٱمْسَحُوا۟ بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَأَيْدِيكُمْ ۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ كَانَ عَفُوًّا غَفُورًا ٤٣

“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 traveling 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.” [An-Nisa]

That’s it for today’s article, I hope you found it useful, for more information or if you have any questions visit our website Noor Academy.

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