Tuesday 17 Muḥarram 1446 - 23 July 2024

Can a sick person do tayammum, put more than two prayers together, or pray in a dirty diaper?


There is a man who is disabled and cannot move, and he has no one to care for him except his sister, who tends to his needs and avoids looking at his ‘awrah as much as possible. He prays, praise be to Allah, and she changes his diapers three times a day, but that is extremely difficult for the patient and for her, as he suffers from incontinence? He prays Fajr, and he puts Zuhr and ‘Asr together, and put Maghrib and ‘Isha’ together. She is asking about the ruling on her washing him and keeping him clean. Is there a concession allowing him to put more than two prayers together? Because he and she are both suffering a great deal with doing istinja’ and wudu. Is it permissible for him to do tayammum, or is it permissible for him to pray without changing the diaper?


Praise be to Allah.


The basic principle with regard to the man’s ‘awrah is that it is not permissible for his mother or sister to see it, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Guard your ‘awrah [and do not let anyone see it] except from your wife or female slave.”

Narrated by Abu Dawood (4017) and at-Tirmidhi (2794), who said: This is a hasan hadith. It was also classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh at-Tirmidhi.

But it is permissible for a sister to wash her brother if he is unable to clean himself and he does not have a wife who could serve him and help him to clean himself, and there are no men who could do that for him, because it is permissible to uncover the ‘awrah and touch it in cases of necessity and great need. But as much as she is able to avoid looking at it or touching it with her hand, she must avoid doing that, and it is better to use a barrier such as a piece of cloth or gloves, and the like.

See also the answer to question no. 50805.


The basic principle with regard to prayer is that it must be done on time, according to what one is able to do, because Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Indeed, prayer has been decreed upon the believers a decree of specified times”

[an-Nisa’ 4:103].

It is permissible to put Zuhr and ‘Asr together, and to put Maghrib and ‘Isha’ together, at the time of the earlier or later prayer, in some situations such as when travelling, when sick, and so on.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said in Majmoo‘ al-Fatawa (22/293):

With regard to putting prayers together, the reason for doing that is when there is a need or a reason. So if a person needs to do that, he may put prayers together when travelling, whether the journey is short or long. Prayers may also be put together in the event of rain and the like, or when one is sick and the like, and for other reasons. The purpose behind that is to relieve the ummah of hardship. End quote.

See also question no. 97844.

There is no text to suggest that there is a concession allowing the putting together of more than two prayers, and it is not permissible for the sick person to delay the prayer until after its time is over except in the case of putting two prayers together as is prescribed. Hence it is not permissible to put together more than two prayers, because this is not prescribed in Islamic teachings.

The Permanent Committee was asked about a sick woman who delays prayers until the time for them is over because of her sickness, and because she keeps being transferred from one hospital to another.

They replied: It is not permissible to delay prayer until the time for it is over. You have to offer the prayers on time in the manner that you are able to do, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Pray standing; if you cannot, then sitting; if you cannot, then lying on your side; and if you cannot, then lying on your back.” The sick person may put Zuhr and ‘Asr together at the time of either of them, and he may put Maghrib and ‘Isha’ together at the time of either of them.

End quote from Fatawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah (8/83).


It is not permissible to do tayammum when water is available and one is able to use it. But if the sick person is not able to use water, or he fears that he may suffer harm as a result of using it, or he faces extreme hardship in using it, then it is permissible for him to do tayammum.

Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“And if you are ill or on a journey or one of you comes from the place of relieving himself or you have contacted women and find no water, then seek clean earth and wipe over your faces and your hands [with it]. Indeed, Allah is ever Pardoning and Forgiving”

[an-Nisa’ 4:43].

Al-Qaadi Ibn al-‘Arabi said in Ahkaam al- Qur’an (1/560):

Sickness is of two types, mild and severe. The sick person may fear harm as a result of using water, or there may not be anyone who can get it for him, and he himself is unable to get it. The general wording of the verse indicates that doing tayammum is permissible for any sick person, if he fears harm as a result of using water. End quote.

The Permanent Committee for Issuing Fatwas was asked: I am bedridden and unable to move. How can I purify myself [do wudu] in order to pray, and how can I pray?

They replied:

Firstly, with regard to purification [wudu], the Muslim is required to purify himself with water. If he is unable to use it because of sickness or any other reason, he may do tayammum using clean earth. If he is unable to do that, then the obligation of purification is waived in his case, and he should pray as he is. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “So fear Allah as much as you are able” [at-Taghaabun 64:16] and “and [Allah] has not placed upon you in the religion any difficulty” [al-Hajj 22:78]. With regard to emissions of urine and stools, in that case it is sufficient to clean oneself with stones or clean tissue, wiping the place three times or more until the place is clean.

End quote from Fatawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah (5/346).


It is not permissible for the sick person to pray wearing a diaper containing impurities when he can do without that by keeping near him a vessel or the like in which he can relieve himself, and clean himself with water or stones or tissues, and the like.

But if it is easier for him to use a diaper, then before praying he must take it off and replace it if it has become impure, and he must also cleanse himself of impurity.

If he is suffering from urinary incontinence, then he must wash the site of the impurity, then put on something that will prevent the urine spreading and do wudu after the time for the prayer has begun, if something has come out of him. But he does not have to re-wash the site and or replace the diaper for every prayer, unless he has fallen short and been negligent in taking precautions.

See also the answers to questions no. 106751 and 126293.

And Allah knows best.

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Source: Islam Q&A