Prayer of Someone Who Can Neither Perform Ablution nor Tayammum
Fatwa No: 86380

Question

What one should do if none of the conditions of the prayer are met? For example not to be in Wudu, no water available, no way to perform Tayammum, not to know the direction of Qiblah, etc. What should one in such situation do?

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.

Whoever is unable to find water to perform ablution either because of its unavailability or because of a certain barrier or obstacle preventing its use, then he is allowed to shift to the option of Tayammum (dry ablution). If he could not do Tayammum either, there is a difference of opinion among the jurists on this matter which came to be known as "the prayer of the one who lacks the two purifiers (ablution by using water or Tayammum).

The Hanafi scholars argue that he should not perform prayers, but he is to imitate those who perform the prayer due at that time, in respect for the prayer time, then he has to repeat the prayer when he gets access to water or soil (for Tayammum).

As for the Maaliki scholars, they are of the opinion that he must neither pray nor repeat it. The Shaafi'i jurists are of the opinion that he should pray and then repeat his prayer, in order to be on the safe side. The Hanbali jurists are of the view that he should perform the prayer and then should not repeat it (when water becomes available or Tayammum becomes possible).

If he performs the prayer (acting according to the opinion of those who say that he must pray), he has to perform the obligatory one only without the supererogatory one. If it happens that he does not know the direction of the Qiblah (Ka'bah), then he has to do his best to know it.

Imam An-Nawawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said in Al-Majmoo': “He who is far away from Makkah and therefore does neither know the Qiblah, nor find a niche (a place of prayer where the direction of Qiblah is known), nor find someone to tell him the direction, then he has to exert his effort to know it and turn his face according to what could be more likely the Qiblah direction.

For more benefit that Tayammum is impermissible if water is available, please refer to Fataawa 357823, 106625, and 84036.

For more benefit on Tayammum, please refer to Fataawa 241396, 88999, 237019, 92216, and 91484.

For more benefit on how to perform Tayammum, please refer to Fatwa 85128.

Allah knows best.

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