A Necklace was lost. Every body started searching for it. They were on a journey and they did not have any water left. The necklace belonged to the wife of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him) mother of the believers Aisha (R.A). Aisha (R.A) narrates this in Sahih Bukhari:
We set out with Allah’s Apostle on one of his journeys till we reached Al-Baida’ or Dhatul-Jaish, a necklace of mine was broken (and lost). Allah’s Apostle stayed there to search for it, and so did the people along with him. There was no water at that place, so the people went to Abu- Bakr As-Siddiq and said: “Don’t you see what ‘Aisha has done? She has made Allah’s Apostle and the people stay where there is no water and they have no water with them.” Abu Bakr came while Allah’s Apostle was sleeping with his head on my thigh, He said, to me: “You have detained Allah’s Apostle and the people where there is no water and they have no water with them.”
So he admonished me and said what Allah wished him to say and hit me on my flank with his hand. Nothing prevented me from moving (because of pain) but the position of Allah’s Apostle on my thigh. Allah’s Apostle got up when dawn broke and there was no water. So Allah revealed the Divine Verses of Tayammum. So they all performed Tayammum. Usaid bin Hudair said, “O the family of Abu Bakr! This is not the first blessing of yours.” Then the camel on which I was riding was caused to move from its place and the necklace was found beneath it. [Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 7, Number 330]
These verses were revealed in Quran:
“And if you are ill, or on a journey or one of you comes after answering the call of nature, or you have been in contact with women and you find no water, perform Tayammum with clean earth and rub therewith your faces and hands (Tayammum) Truly, Allah is Ever Oft-Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving.” [An-Nisa:43]
So, Tayammum replaces ablution or ghusl under specific circumstances. It is a blessing from Allah.
Narrated Jabir bin ‘Abdullah (R.A) The Prophet (P.B.U.H) said: “I have been given five things which were not given to any one else before me.
1. Allah made me victorious by awe, (by His frightening my enemies) for a distance of one month’s journey.
2. The earth has been made for me (and for my followers) a place for praying and a thing to perform Tayammum, therefore anyone of my followers can pray wherever the time of a prayer is due.
3. The booty has been made Halal (lawful) for me yet it was not lawful for anyone else before me.
4. I have been given the right of intercession (on the Day of Resurrection).
5. Every Prophet used to be sent to his nation only but I have been sent to all mankind. [Bukhari,Volume 1, Book 7, Number 331]
There is no excuse for Prayers even though one doesn’t have water; they are supposed to perform Tayammum and Pray.
Allah is merciful towards mankind and doesn’t order us to do something that is beyond our limits. Like if one doesn’t have Water nearby he is not supposed to search for the water whole day, He can perform Tayammum.
Islam is the most natural religion known as Deen-ul-Fitrah (the natural religion of Man) and it has substitute for every problem we face. Like when the necklace got lost and the verses of Tayammum were revealed Usaid ibn Huzhair said to Aisha (R.A): “May Allah give you good recompense. Allah never reveals an order with respect to you except that He removes by it some hardship and gives the Muslims some benefit.” [Bukhari Volume 1, Book 7, Number 332]
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is the best example to follow. He was best towards his wives. When the necklace got lost He (PBUH) stayed there and search for it and didn’t say anything to Aisha (R.A).