Can I Recourse to Tayammum If I Have Trouble Washing My Feet?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch


Because my right leg is shorter than my left, I have difficulty balancing when not supported by my shower wall. So, at work, where such facilities do not exist, may I perform tayammum instead of wudu?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

In general, when one has undue difficulty performing an act of worship, the Sacred Law will yield a concession.

That said, if one can circumvent the difficulty with reasonable means, it is an obligation to do so. The concessions of the Sacred law are only afforded according to the extent of the difficulty.

Alternative Options

The following are suggested alternatives. Consider which of them works best for you:

1) Finding a place where one can perform the ablution without the difficulty of balancing;

2) Using footgear in place of washing.

The Sacred law offers an alternative to washing the feet when performing the ablution (wudu). There are specific conditions for this to be done correctly, but it may grant you much ease in this regard.

Please take a look at the rules of footgear here.

In short, if after performing a full ablution (wudu), including washing your feet, you wear the above footgear – the subsequent ablutions can be performed with wiping on this footgear in place of washing the feet.

If you perform a complete ablution at home, you can wipe on the sock while outside.

Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch teaches Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York, where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences.

He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he studied for three years in Dar al-Mustafa under some of the most outstanding scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib.

In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Quran and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Quranic exegesis, Islamic history, and several texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.