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يَا أَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَقْرَبُواْ ٱلصَّلَٰوةَ وَأَنْتُمْ سُكَٰرَىٰ حَتَّىٰ تَعْلَمُواْ مَا تَقُولُونَ وَلاَ جُنُباً إِلاَّ عَابِرِي سَبِيلٍ حَتَّىٰ تَغْتَسِلُواْ وَإِنْ كُنْتُمْ مَّرْضَىٰ أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ أَوْ جَآءَ أَحَدٌ مِّنْكُمْ مِّن ٱلْغَآئِطِ أَوْ لَٰمَسْتُمُ ٱلنِّسَآءَ فَلَمْ تَجِدُواْ مَآءً فَتَيَمَّمُواْ صَعِيداً طَيِّباً فَٱمْسَحُواْ بِوُجُوهِكُمْ وَأَيْدِيكُمْ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ كَانَ عَفُوّاً غَفُوراً
-An-Nisâ’ ( النساء )

Tafsir al-Jalalayn

O you who believe, draw not near to prayer, that is, do not perform prayer, whilst you are inebriated, by a drink: this was revealed concerning being drunk during the congregational prayer; until you know what you are saying, when you have sobered up; nor whilst you are defiled, as a result of [sexual] penetration or ejaculation (junuban, ‘defiled’, is in the accusative because it is a circumstantial qualifier, and may be used to refer to the singular or plural) — unless you are traversing, crossing, a way, a route, that is, [unless] you are travelling — until you have washed yourselves, in which case you may perform prayer: a proviso is made for the traveller because a different stipulation applies to him, as will follow. It is said that the purpose [of this verse] is to prohibit the approach to places of prayer, that is, mosques, the exception being if one were merely passing through and not staying. But if you are sick, with an illness made worse by [contact with] water, or on a journey, that is, [or] travelling whilst you are [ritually] defiled or impure, or if any of you comes from the privy (al-ghā’it), a place designated for relieving nature, that is to say, [or if any of you] have defecated, or you have touched women (lāmastum, a variant reading has lamastum: both mean lams, that is, ‘touching with the hand’, as stated by Ibn ‘Umar; this is also the opinion of al-Shāfi‘ī, and it extends to touching with other parts of the skin; according to Ibn ‘Abbās, however, it is [referring to] sexual intercourse); and you can find no water, with which to purify yourselves for prayer, having made the effort to seek it out and search for it — the sick being exempt in this case — then resort to, seek, when the time [for the prayer] has commenced, wholesome soil, clean earth, strike it twice, and wipe your faces and your hands, with it, up to the elbows (the verb masaha, ‘to wipe’, may stand on its own with a direct object or take a particle [before the direct object, sc. masaha bi-]). God is ever Pardoning, Forgiving.

Tafsir al-Jalalayn, trans. Feras Hamza
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