Inability to use water because of old age

Q: A ninety year old crippled woman experiences great hardship when performing Wudu’ (ablution) and Ghusl (full ritual bath), especially in times of severe cold. Since the place of Wudu’ is far, is she permitted to perform either Tayammum (dry ablution with clean earth) for every Salah (Prayer) or combine Salahs with one Wudu’?


A: All praise be to Allah Alone, and peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, his family and Companions. To proceed: If the case is as mentioned, the woman concerned should try to perform Wudu’ as her ability allows, even by having water brought to her place if possible. However, if she is not able to do this by herself or with the help of others, it is permissible for her to perform Tayammum, for Allah (Exalted and Glorified be He) says: So keep your duty to Allâh and fear Him as much as you can As for urination and defecation, it is sufficient for her to perform Istijmar (cleansing the private parts with solid material after urination or defecation) with a substance that can remove the dirt and cleanse the area such as stones, dry clots of clay, or clean tissues. The cleansing process should be performed at least three times for each of the front and back passages. If three times are not enough, the process should be repeated until the area becomes clean. Also, she is permitted to combine both Zhuhr (Noon) and ‘Asr (Afternoon) Prayers at the due time of either one. The same can be done in Maghrib (Sunset) and ‘Isha’ (Evening) Prayers, as she falls under the same ruling as sick people. (Part No. 5; Page No. 357) May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

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