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Fiqh Rules for Married Couples - Tayammum

Times when tayammum can be performed instead of Ghusl

There are six conditions of when tayammum is allowed instead of Ghusl, of which the following are the most applicable to married couples:

1. When it is not possible to obtain sufficient water to perform Ghusl

If one is living in a populated area, one should make their best efforts to procure water for Ghusl until such time that all hope is lost. 46

Therefore, if one would like to do Ghusl in order to pray and there is currently no water available, but one is sure that before the Sala-t becomes qada- water will become available one must wait until water arrives so that Ghusl can be performed. Tayammum cannot be performed in this case even if the time of Sala-t has set in (it is fadhilah) or if congregational prayers is being recited. 47

Even if there is a glimmer of hope that the water will become available before Sala-t time, one cannot perform tayammum to pray until one loses hope altogether that water will not become available before the prayers become qada-. 48

However, if one is absolutely sure that water will not be available before qada-, then one can perform tayammum and pray at the earliest possible time. 49

2. When it is almost qada- time

A person should perform tayammum when the time remaining for the Sala-t to become qada- is so little that if a person does Ghusl, there will be no time left to offer the Sala-t. 50

Even if a person doubts whether or not enough time will be left for prayer if he performs Ghusl or Wudu-, he should perform tayammum. 51

3. Danger to health

If a person fears that if he uses water he will suffer from some ailment or physical defect, or the illness he is already suffering from will be prolonged, or become acute or some more complications may arise, then he should perform tayammum. For example, if a person has an eye disease or an injection where water is not permitted over it for 24 hours, tayammum should be performed. However, if one can avoid the harm by using warm water, they should prepare warm water and do Ghusl. 52

It is not necessary to be absolutely certain that water is harmful to someone. If one feels that there is a probability of harm and that probability is justified by popular opinion, giving cause for some fear, then tayammum should be performed. 53


46 Islamic Laws, Rule 655

47 Islamic Laws, Rule 723

48 Islamic Laws, Rule 723

49 Islamic Laws, Rule 723

50 Islamic Laws, Rule 686

51 Islamic Laws, Rule 688

52 Islamic Laws, Rule 677

53 Islamic Laws, Rule 678

Adapted from the book: "From Marriage to Parenthood; The Heavenly Path" by: "Abbas and Shahin Merali"

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