There are certain conditions in which dry ablution is allowed and valid for Muslims.  To perform dry ablution successfully one must form the intention first and make sure the rest of the conditions are available.

Conditions allowing dry ablution

Dry ablution is valid if it fulfils the following conditions:

1-Intention to uplift minor or major impurity: Intention is required in all types of worship, and dry ablution is an act of worship.

2-Possession of mental faculties: Dry ablution is invalid if done by an insane person or performed for an unconscious person.

3-Awareness: It is not valid if done by one who does not distinguish actions, such as a child below seven years of age.

4-Inability to use water for ablution: This may be due to the unavailability of water.

:Allah says

‘If you can find no water, then have recourse to pure dust, passing therewith lightly over your faces and your hands.’


:The Prophet (peace be upon him) said

‘Pure dust is a source of purification for a Muslim when he does not find water, even if this continues for 10 years. If water is available, he should use it for ablution.’

 as this is better.’ Alternatively, the inability to use water may be due to fear that it causes harm. This may apply to a person who is ill and fears that water might aggravate his complaint or delay his recovery. In the Qur’anic verse mentioning ablution, Allah mentions illness as a valid reason for dry ablution. Moreover,

Jabir reports: ‘We were on travel and one of us was hit by a stone which caused a cut in his head. Then he slept and had a wet dream. He asked his companions: “Do you think I can resort to dry ablution in my condition?” They said that the concession did not apply to him as water was available. He, therefore, took a bath, and he died soon after. When we returned, we mentioned this to

:the Prophet (peace be upon him) he said

‘not know? Asking gives information to one who does not know. It would have been sufficient for him to resort to dry ablution and put a bandage over his wound, wipe over it and wash the rest of his body.’

Related by Ahmad, hadith No. 3,056; Abu Dawud, hadith No. 336; Ibn Majah, hadith No. 572; al-Hakim, vol. 1, pp. 284–5

 Again, dry ablution may be resorted to in very cold weather when the use of water may be harmful.

:Amr ibn al-'As reports that once on an expedition

‘I had a wet dream on a very cold night. I feared that I might die if I had a bath, and resorted to dry ablution. I then led my companions in the Fajr prayer.’

Related by Ahmad, hadith No. 17,812; Abu Dawud, hadith No. 334; al-Hakim, vol. 1, p. 285; al-Daraqutni, hadith No. 681

5-Dry ablution must be with pure dust that has not been contaminated by any impurity. For example, it is invalid if the dust had been urinated upon and it was not subsequently purified. It should also be dry with fine dust attaching to one’s hand when it is struck.

:Ibn 'Abbas explained the Qur’anic statement

‘If you can find no water, then have recourse to pure dust, passing therewith lightly over your faces and your hands.’


 stating that it means ‘soil that had not been contaminated with impurity’. If such soil is unavailable, one may do the dry ablution on whatever surface can be found, such as sand, stone, etc. 

:Allah says

‘So fear Allah as much as you are able.’


 Imam al-Awza'i confirms that sand is adequate.