Combining Prayers Due to Ritual Purity Issues
Fatwa No: 419986

Question

I want a clear explation about a person with spinal cord injury who is unable to control and feel his bladder and bowel movement and used catheter and diaper and a care giver change his diaper currently the person use teymum to perform udu whenever the time is due for salah each morning and evening a care giver change his diaper. Is it obligatory to flash the urine from the urine bag every prayer time and what about the diaper since there is no sensation it is difficult to know there is a stool or not given that unable to change the diaper by himself so the care giver come 2 times a day morning and evening do the cleaning therefore when the azan is called simply make teymum using soil and pray is it ok to do that. JezakAllah khair

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

The basic principle is that it is incumbent to remove ritual impurity before praying. Similarly, performing ablution is the basic principle rather than Tayammum (dry ablution). However, if the situation of that man is as described in the question, being unable to control the discharge of urine or stool, change the diaper and the urine bag for each prayer, and perform ablution by himself and there is no one to help him perform it, (then know that) Allah, The Exalted, does not charge a soul except with what is within its capacity. So in such a condition, he should perform Tayammum and pray. If the healthcare provider comes before the time of the respective prayer expires, he should not perform it until the healthcare provider comes and purifies him from the ritual impurity. If he can get him water for him to perform ablution or help him perform it, it would be great; otherwise, he should perform Tayammum and pray. If he can combine the prayers in order to perform them in a state of perfect ritual purity, it is better than performing each prayer separately at its prescribed time while being in a state of imperfect purity. Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in his book Majmoo‘ Al-Fataawa about the prayer of the people with excuses, such as sickness and inability to perform ritual purification: “The excuse permits two things for him: it warrants him to leave out what he is unable to perform (of the obligations of the prayer), and it allows him to combine between the prayers. Therefore, when a person is unable to perform some obligations of the prayer, they are waived and are not required of him. Allah, The Exalted, Says (what means):

• {So, fear Allah as much as you are able.} [Quran 64:16]

• {Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity.} [Quran 2:286]

A sick person should pray according to his condition. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said to ‘Imraan ibn Husayn, may Allaah be pleased with him: ‘Pray while standing and if you cannot, pray while sitting down, and if you cannot, then pray while lying on your side.’ In this case, the obligations that he cannot perform such as standing up, sitting down, or completing the Rukoo‘ (bowing) and Sujood (prostration) are waived. Instead, he should perform what he is able to perform (of the obligations). If he can perform ritual purification (Wudhoo’) with water, he should do so. If he cannot do so because of the unavailability of water or fear of harm when using it, he should perform Tayammum and pray, and he is not required to make up for the prayer due to missing some obligations of the prayer such as standing up and sitting down according to the consensus of scholars. Similarly, he is not required to make up for the prayer when performing it with Tayammum according to the scholarly consensus of opinion. Even if there is a ritual impurity on his body and he is unable to remove it, he should perform the prayer, and he is not required to make up for it according to the opinion of the general majority of scholars.” [End of quote]

Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him also said about giving priority to combining the prayers while being in a state of perfect ritual purity: “The same applies to all the excuses warranting opting for Tayammum. If a person can combine the prayers while performing ritual purification with water, it is better than performing the prayers separately (on their prescribed times) with Tayammum. As for combining the prayers for those who have a valid excuse like rain and a cold, strong wind; those who suffer from urine incontinence; and women in a state of Istihaadhah (bleeding outside the monthly menses), combining the prayers while being in a state of perfect ritual purity is better than performing the prayer separately in a state of imperfect purity. Moreover, a sick person may also combine the prayers, especially if his prayers are more perfected when combined either due to being in a state of perfect purity or his ability to stand up in the prayer.” [End of quote]

Allah Knows best.

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