Lecture for Year 2 Semester 1 PPSD session on October 3, 2006 by Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr.

Definition of dry ablution

Dry ablution is touching the earth with the hands and wiping the face and touching the earth again and wiping the two forearms. It is done in situations in which ritual ablution with water is not possible. A physician dealing with Muslim patients in a Muslim community needs to know about dry ablution as an alternative that can be recommended to patients who otherwise in ignorance could use water with consequent negative medical complications.


Situations in which dry ablution is recommended

Dry ablution is carried out when there is little water that must be saved for drinking and cannot be used for ablution.  It is also carried out in extreme cold and disease conditions that would be aggravated by use of water. It is for example carried out when there is a wound or a burn.


Etiquette of dry ablution in general

Dry ablution is wiping the face, hands, and forearms after lightly touching soil with dry hands. If soil is not available touching a wall suffices. The actions must be undertaken in order and consecutively with no interruption.


Etiquette of dry ablution in the hospital

The patient washes the parts that can safely be washed and makes dry ablution for the remaining parts that cannot be washed safely. If no part of the body can be washed safely then dry ablution is carried out for all parts. The patient or the attendant can wipe over the bandage. If a person has no hands, he can make dry ablution on any remaining rudiments of the limbs or where they were supposed to be attached.


Bringing soil or sand to the hospital

It is also not advisable to bring soil to the hospital to be used by patients in dry ablution unless there is assurance that the soil is completely sterile otherwise it can spread infection. A company in Malaysia has started manufacturing sand sterilized by microwave heat and sealed in a bottle.

Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr October 2006