What Does Someone Do When They are Incapable of Washing Their Feet for Wudhoo’?

Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Umar Baazmool (may Allaah preserve him) said:

You have asked – may Allaah give you success – about someone who can not wash his own feet because of old age, as he is unable to reach out his hands all the way to his feet, while he is able to complete all the other actions of the wudhoo’, except for washing the feet or wiping over footwear.  This is while there is no one else available to wash his feet for him. 

So should someone like this suffice with washing the other parts (without the feet being washed), fearing Allaah to the best of his ability?  Or is tayammum legislated in this case?  And if there is someone available to wash his feet for him, can he still make tayammum or must he seek that person’s assistance to complete the washing of the feet?

The answer: It is legislated for anyone who can not fulfill the complete washing of all the body parts of wudhoo’ to make tayammum.

Should he wash the parts he is able to wash, and then make tayammum for the parts he cannot?  It seems that what is obligatory upon him to make tayammum alone.

And if there were someone available to help him complete the wudhoo’ by washing his feet, then it would be obligatory in his case to request that assistance, even if it were for a fee, so long as he can afford it. This is based on the principle that the things needed to accomplish obligations are also obligatory themselves.

If he doesn’t find anyone available, then Allaah does not burden a soul beyond its ability, so tayammum would be sufficient, as has preceded, and Allaah knows best.

Source: The shaykh’s personally written answer sent by email (original Arabic text below), dated 1433/1/3.

Translated by: Moosaa Richardson

سالت – وفقك الله – عن من كان لا يستطيع غسل القدمين لكبر سنه فلا يقدر على مد يديه إلى القدمين بحال ويستطيع جميع أعمال الوضوء غير غسل القدمين والمسح عليهما، ولا يجد من يغسلهما له

 فهل [يكتفي] بالوضوء دون غسل القدمين ويتقي الله ما استطاع؟ أو يشرع التيمم حينئذ؟  وإذا وُجد من يغسلهما له هل يجوز التيمم حينئذ، أو يجب الاستعانة بمن حوله على غسل القدمين؟

والجواب :

من لم يقدر على استيعاب أعضاء الوضوء فإن المشروع في حقه أن يتيمم.

 وهل يتوضأ في الأعضاء التي يقدر عليها ويتيمم لما لم يستطع غسله؟ الظاهر أن فرضه التيممم فقط.

وإذا وَجد من يستعين به على الوضوء وغسل القدمين، فإن الواجب عليه أن يطلب ذلك ولو بدفع أجرة إذا كان يقدر عليه، من باب ما لا يتم الواجب إلا به فهو واجب.

فإن لم بجد فلا يكلف الله نفساً إلا وسعها فيكفيه التيمم. كما سبق ، والله اعلم.

2 thoughts on “What Does Someone Do When They are Incapable of Washing Their Feet for Wudhoo’?

  1. salaam alaikum brother Moosa,
    During wudhoo, is it a correct understanding that washing the feet upto/including the ankles is obligatory while increasing in that by washing the shin (as reported by Abu Huraira (radhiallaahu anhu) in saheeh muslim) is sunnah. Furthermore, is this increased washing of the shin understood as part of the area that will shine on the Day of Judgement?

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