Proofs for the Hanafi Method of Tayammum

Proofs for the Hanafi Method of Tayammum

It is the view of the majority of the scholars and jurists, including the Shafi‘i and Hanafi madhhabs, and one opinion of the Maliki madhhab, that the procedure of Tayammum is to strike the earth two times, the first to wipe the face and the second to wipe the arms up to the elbows.

Quoted below are two authentic hadiths as proof for this method.

Hadith One

Al-Daraqutni narrated in his Sunan (Mu’assasat al-Risalah, 1:335, no. 691):

حدثنا محمد بن مخلد وإسماعيل بن علي وعبد الباقي بن قانع، قالوا: حدثنا إبراهيم بن إسحاق الحربي، حدثنا عثمان بن أحمد الأنماطي، حدثنا حرمي بن عمارة، عن عزرة بن ثابت، عن أبى الزبير عن جابر عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم، قال:

التيمم ضربة للوجه، وضربة للذراعين إلى المرفقين

Muhammad ibn Makhlad, Isma‘il ibn ‘Ali and ‘Abd al-Baqi ibn Qani‘ narrated to us, they said: Ibrahim ibn Ishaq al-Harbi narrated to us: ‘Uthman ibn Ahmad al-Anmati narrated to us: Harmi ibn ‘Umarah narrated to us from ‘Azrah ibn Thabit from Abu l-Zubayr from Jabir from the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace), he said:

“Tayammum is a strike for the face and a strike for the two lower arms up to the elbows.”

Al-Hakim also narrated it in al-Mustadrak ‘ala l-Sahihayn (Dar al-Haramayn, 1:275, no. 641) as follows:

حدثنا علي بن حمشاذ وأبو بكر بن بالوية قالا: ثنا إبراهيم بن إسحاق، ثنا عثمان بن محمد الأنماطي، ثنا حرمي بن عمارة عن عزرة بن ثابت عن أبى الزبير عن جابر عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال:

التيمم ضربتان ضربة للوجه وضربة لليدين إلى المرفقين

‘Ali ibn Hamshadh and Abu Bakr ibn Baluyah narrated to us, they said: Ibrahim ibn Ishaq narrated to us: ‘Uthman ibn Muhammad al-Anmat narrated to us: Harmi ibn ‘Umarah narrated to us from ‘Azrah ibn Thabit from Abu l-Zubayr from Jabir from the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace), he said:

“Tayammum is two strikes: a strike for the face and a strike for the two hands up to the elbows.”

His chain meets up with al-Daraqutni’s at Ibrahim ibn Ishaq al-Harbi after which it is the same.

Al-Bayhaqi narrated it also in his Sunan from his teacher, al-Hakim, with his chain and text as above (al-Sunan al-Kubra, 1:319, no. 999)

Al-Hakim said the chain is sahih and al-Dhahabi agreed with him.

Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani said the chain is hasan (al-Dirayah, Dar al-Ma‘rifah, p. 68).

After mentioning the authentication of al-Hakim and al-Dhahabi, ‘Allamah Badr al-Din al-‘Ayni says, “No attention will be paid to the statement of the one who denies its authenticity.” (Nukhab al-Afkar, Dar al-Nawadir, 2:442)

Here is a brief analysis of the narrators of the chain:

  1. Ibrahim ibn Ishaq al-Harbi (198 – 285 H) was a great imam and scholar. Al-Daraqutni said he is thiqah (Tarikh Baghdad, 6:537). In another report form al-Daraqutni, he said: “He was an imam. He used to be compared to Ahmad ibn Hanbal in his asceticism, his knowledge and his scrupulousness.” (ibid)
    .
  2. ‘Uthman ibn Muhammad ibn Sa‘id al-Anmati is trustworthy (thiqah) according to Abu Dawud as he is one of his shaykhs in his Sunan, and Abu Dawud only narrated from those he regarded as thiqah. Al-Daraqutni considered him thiqah. Although Ibn al-Jawzi said, “They spoke (negatively) of him,” Ibn Daqiq al-‘Id refuted him saying that Ibn Abi Hatim mentioned him and cited no criticism of him. Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani said in Tahdhib al-Tahdhib: “I saw no (negative) statement on him from anyone.” Shu‘ayb al-Arna’ut and Bashshar ‘Awwad Ma‘ruf concluded, he is “reliable (saduq), hasan in hadith.” (Tahrir al-Taqrib, Mu’assasat al-Risalah, 2:445-6) 
  3. Harmi ibn ‘Umarah (d. 201 H), a narrator found in the Sahihs of al-Bukhari and Muslim, was considered trustworthy by Ibn Hibban and al-Daraqutni. (Tahrir al-Taqrib, 1:261 ) 
  4. ‘Azrah ibn Thabit is also a narrator found in the Sahihs of al-Bukhari and Muslim, declared thiqah by Ibn Ma‘in, Abu Dawud and al-Nasa’i. (Tahdhib al-Kamal, Mu’assasat al-Risalah, 20:50) 
  5. Abu l-Zubayr Muhammad ibn Muslim al-Makki is a narrator found in all six of the famous collections of hadith, and is a well-known companion of Jabir ibn ‘Abd Allah. He was declared thiqab by Ibn Ma‘in, Ya‘qub ibn Sufyan, al-Nasa’i, Ibn ‘Adi and al-‘Ijli (Tahdhib al-Kamal, 26:408-10).

Hadith Two

Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani said:

وعن عمار بن ياسر قال: كنت فى القوم حين نزلت الرخصة فأمرنا فضربنا واحدة للوجه ثم ضربة أخرى لليدين إلى المرفقين، أخرجه البزار بإسناد حسن

“[It was narrated from] ‘Ammar ibn Yasir, he said: ‘I was amongst the people when the concession [of Tayammum] was sent down, so we were given instructions, whereupon we struck once for the face, and then another strike for the two hands up to the elbows.’ Al-Bazzar transmitted with a hasan chain.” (al-Dirayah, p. 68)

Concluding Remarks

There are many supporting (albeit weak) marfu‘  hadiths (from ‘A’ishah, Ibn ‘Umar, Abu Umamah, al-Asla‘, Abu l-Juhaym, ‘Abd Allah ibn Abi Awfa and Abu Hurayrah) which add further strength to these two authentic hadiths. (For details, see Amani al-Ahbar, Idarat Ta’lifat Ashrafiyyah, 2:134-5.) It is also established as the practice of ‘Abd Allah ibn ‘Umar as narrated by Imam Malik in his Muwatta’ with an authentic chain (Awjaz al-Masalik, 1:568-71) It is also supported by the apparent implication of the verse of Surah al-Ma’idah (5:6) describing the laws of Wudu’ and Tayammum.

The proof of the other famous view on this issue (ascribed to Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal) is a single hadith narrated in the two Sahihs from ‘Ammar ibn Yasir that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) taught that Tayammum is performed by one strike for the face and the hands (i.e. up to the wrists). However, al-Tahawi regarded ‘Ammar’s narration as mudtarib (inconsistent), since conflicting accounts are narrated from him. (Sharh Ma‘ani al-Athar, Maktabah Haqqaniyyah, 1:86-7)

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