Dry ablution “Tayamum” is performing ablution using dust when water is not available. In this case, pure dust is passed lightly over one’s face and hands. It is a legitimate concession granted for Muslims.
The Arabic word tayammum, which is translated as ‘dry ablution’, means wiping one’s face and arms with dust in a particular way as an act of worship when using water is not possible.
Dry ablution is a legitimate concession granted by Allah says in the Qur’an to His servants. It is one of the distinctive aspects of Islamic law and it is peculiar to the Muslim community.
:Allah says in the Qur’an
‘Believers, when you are about to pray, wash your faces, and your hands and arms up to the elbows, and pass your wet hands lightly over your heads, and wash your feet up to the ankles. If you are in a state of ceremonial impurity, purify yourselves. But if you are ill, or on a journey, or if one of you has come from the toilet, or if you have been in intimate contact with women and can find no water, then have recourse to pure dust, passing therewith lightly over your faces and your hands. God does not want to impose any hardship on you, but He wants to purify you, and to bestow on you the full measure of His blessings, so that you may be grateful.’
:The Prophet (peace be upon him) said to one of his Companions
‘Pure dust is adequate, even if you continue to be without water for 10 years. When you have water, then use it to wash yourself.’
Related by Ahmad, hadith No. 21,568; Abu Dawud, hadith No. 333; al-Tirmidhi, hadith No. 124; al-Nassa’i, hadith No. 322; al-Hakim, vol. 1, p. 284; al-Bayhaqi in Al-Sunan al-Kubra, hadith No. 880
:He also said
‘The entire earth is made a place of worship and purification for me.’
Related by al-Bukhari, hadith No. 335; Muslim, hadith No. 521
Scholars are unanimous that dry ablution is perfectly legitimate when the conditions for it apply. They also agree that it replaces purification with water, making it permissible to pray, perform the tawaf, recite the Qur’an, etc.