Unable to perform ghusl for health reasons: Perform tayammum and not wudu

Answered by Shaykh Sohail Hanif, SunniPath Academy Teacher

Now if she is able to make Wudu can she make wudu instead of doing Tayammum. From my understanding she had surgery on her foot and had a bone removed. When told she should wrap the foot up and cover it so that water doesn’t get to the wound, she said that the doctor told her not to do that nor to take a shower.

Answer:
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalamu alaykum

In the sacred law, if one is unable, for whatever reason, to perform a purificatory bath (ghusl), one performs a tayammum (dry ablution) in its place. A wudu is never a substitute for a ghusl. If one has wounds on one’s body then one may leave the purificatory bath and perform a tayammum in its stead if the wounds cover more than a half of one’s body or are in a part of the body where it would be impossible to perform a ghusl without getting it wet and causing harm. (al-Hadiyya al-‘Ala’iyya, 37, Muhammad Sa’id al-Burhani)

And Allah knows best.

Sohail Hanif