What is the amount of water, which if available, one should not perform Tayammum?

Q: I live in the desert and possess cattle, sheep and camels. These animals are supplied with water through the tank vehicles we have. We have different models of vehicles, the biggest of which are water tank trucks in addition to GMC and Chevrolet models. In case some of us have not performed Wudu’ (ablution) or Ghusl (ritual bath) for Salah (Prayer), what is the religious ruling? Also, if we are a company of three persons and only two of the three performed Wudu’, can the third person join the prayer for it to be congregational? What is the amount of water, which when present, negates the validity of performing Tayammum (dry ablution with clean earth)? Please enlighten us, may Allah reward you with the best and grant you protection!


A: All praise be to Allah Alone, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger, and his family and Companions. The Permanent Committee issued a Fatwa on the necessity to use water for Wudu’ (ablution) if available. This is based on the Qur’anic Ayah (verse) in which Allah (Exalted be He) says (what means): O you who believe! When you intend to offer As-Salât (the prayer), wash your faces and your hands (forearms) up to the elbows, rub (by passing wet hands over) your heads, and (wash) your feet up to ankles. If you are in a state of Janâba (i.e. after a sexual discharge), purify yourselves (bathe your whole body). But if you are ill or on a journey, or any of you comes after answering the call of nature, or you have been in contact with women (i.e. sexual intercourse), and you find no water, then perform Tayammum with clean earth and rub therewith your faces and hands. (Part No. 5; Page No. 337) Taharah (ritual purification) is essentially performed by means of water. In the absence of water, or when it is found but is barely enough for nutrition purposes, or feeding cattle, Tayammum can be performed for Salah, out of Allah’s mercy towards His Slaves and to make things easy for them. If, however, the water tanks mentioned are located in a nearby place, or vehicles for transporting water are available, or one can bring water before the time for Salah ends, then Tayammum becomes invalid and Salah should be repeated if it is performed after Tayammum. Two persons are enough for prayer to be congregational. This is based on the Hadith in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) told Malik ibn Al-Huwayrith and his companion: “When the time for prayer comes, announce the Adhan (call to Prayer), then the Iqamah (call to start the Prayer) and let the oldest of you lead you in prayer.” (Agreed upon by Al-Bukhari and Muslim). This is the wording reported by Muslim. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

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