I suffer from a skin disease called psoriasis. It causes patches of raised red skin covered by a flaky white buildup on my face and arms. Sometimes it also causes intense itching and burning.
The problem is that my condition worsens after my skin has been in touch with water. This of course causes problems for me since I have to perform wudhu.
Do I have a reasonable excuse to be exempted from performing wudhu?
The Qur’an says:
… and if you are ill, or on a journey, or one of you cometh from offices of nature or you have been in contact with women and you find no water, then take for yourselves clean sand or earth, and rub therewith your faces and hands. Allah does not wish to place you in a difficulty, but to make you clean, and to complete His favour to you, that you may be grateful. (Al Ma’idah 5:6)
Dear brother, your answer has been clearly given by God almighty in the abovementioned portion of the verse of Al Ma’idah 5:6. In this verse, after the directives about Wudhu (ablution) and Ghusl (ritual bath), the conditions in which one can perform Tayammum instead of Wudhu or Ghusl are described. One of these conditions is to be ill.
As for your excuse being reasonable or not, as long as you truly believe that performing Wudhu is harmful for you (because of touching water), then you have every reason to consider yourself allowed to perform Tayammum. As God almighty have made it clear in this verse, the whole idea of Wudhu or Ghusl or Tayammum is not at all to put you in a state of difficulty, but to make you clean. Tayammum is a symbolic way of performing Wudhu and becoming clean for those who have difficulties in reaching or touching water.
In need of your prayers.
January 18, 2004