of wiping over socks
Praise be to
Four conditions apply to wiping over
The first condition:
That they should have been put on when one
was in a state of tahaarah (purity, i.e., when one has wudoo’). The
evidence for that is what the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to al-Mugheerah ibn
Shu’bah: “Don’t worry, because I put them one when
I was clean.”
The second condition:
That the khufoof (leather slippers which
cover the ankle) or socks should be taahir (pure). If they are naajis
(impure) then it is not permissible to wipe over them. The daleel for
that is that the Messenger of Allaah
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) led his companions in prayer
one day wearing shoes, which he took off whilst he was praying. He said
that Jibreel had told him that there was something dirty on them. This
was narrated by Ahmad from the hadeeth of Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may
Allaah be pleased with him) in his Musnad. This indicates that it is not
permissible to pray wearing anything that is naajis, because if the
naajis thing is wiped over, the person will be contaminated by that
najaasah (impurity), so he cannot be considered to be taahir (pure).
The third condition:
They may be wiped over when one is
purifying oneself from minor impurity (i.e., doing wudoo’ after passing
wind, urine or stools), not when one is in a state of janaabah (major
impurity following sexual activity) or when ghusl is required. The
evidence for that is the hadeeth of Safwaan ibn ‘Assaal (may Allaah be
pleased with him) who said: “The Messenger of
Allaah (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) commanded us, when we were travelling, not to remove
our khufoof for three days and three nights, except in the case of
janaabah. But we could keep them on and wipe over them in the case of
stools, urine and sleeping.” This was narrated by Ahmad from the
hadeeth of Safwaan ibn ‘Assaal (may Allaah be pleased with him) in his
Musnad. So the condition is that wiping the socks may be done when
purifying oneself (doing wudoo’) from minor impurity, and it is not
permissible in the case of major impurity, because of the hadeeth which
we have mentioned here.
The fourth condition:
That the wiping may be done within the
time specified by sharee’ah, which is one day and one night in the case
of one who is not travelling, and three days and three nights in the
case of one who is travelling. This is because of the hadeeth of ‘Ali
ibn Abi Taalib (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said:
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stated one day and one night
for the one who is not travelling, and three days and three nights for
the one who is travelling, i.e., for wiping over the khufoof.”
This was narrated by Muslim. This period starts from the first time one
wipes over the socks when doing wudoo’ after some minor impurity, and it
ends twenty-four later for the one who is not travelling, and
seventy-two hours later for the one who is travelling.
So if we assume that a person purifies
himself for Fajr prayer on Tuesday and remains taahir (pure, i.e., keeps
his wudoo’) until ‘Isha prayer on Tuesday evening, then he sleeps and
wakes up to pray Fajr on Wednesday, and he wipes his socks at five
o’clock zawaali time , then the period begins from 5 a.m. on Wednesday
and lasts until 5 a.m. on Thursday. If we assume that he wiped his socks
before 5 a.m then he can pray Fajr on Thursday with this wiping and pray
as much as he wants as long as he remains taahir, because according to
the most correct scholarly opinion, wudoo’ is not broken when the time
period for wiping over the socks expires.
That is because the Messenger of Allaah
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not set a time limit for
tahaarah, rather he set a time limit for wiping over the socks. Once
that time limit expires, one cannot wipe over the socks again, but if a
person remains in a state of tahaarah then his tahaarah is still valid,
because this is what is implied by the shar’i evidence, and whatever is
proven by shar’i evidence cannot be invalidated unless there is further
shar’i evidence to that effect. There is no evidence to suggest that
wudoo’ is broken when the time limit for wiping over the socks expires,
because what the basic principle is that he remains as he is (i.e.,
taahir) until it becomes apparent that this is no longer the case.
These are the conditions which apply to
wiping over the khufoof. There are other conditions which were mentioned
by some of the scholars, but some of these are subject to further
I’laam al-Musaafireen bi Ba’d Aadaab wa Ahkaam al-Safar wa maa yakhuss
al-Mallaaheen al-Jawwiyyeen by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen,
If he wipes over his socks then
takes them off, is his wudoo’ invalidated thereby?
Praise be to
The scholars differed
concerning the ruling on one who does wudoo’ and wipes over his socks,
then takes them off.
Some scholars say that it is sufficient
for him to wash his feet, and his wudoo’ is completed thereby.
This is a weak view, because wudoo’
requires continuity, i.e., there should not be a long time between the
washing of the various parts, rather they should be washed one after
another, in a continuous sequence.
Hence Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy
on him) narrated in al-Mughni (1/367) that this view is based on the
idea that there is no need for continuity in wudoo’, and this is weak.
Others said that the person’s wudoo’ is
invalidated thereby, and if he wants to pray he has to repeat his
wudoo’. They quoted as evidence the fact that wiping takes the place of
washing, and if the socks are removed the purity of the feet is no
longer valid, because now they are unwashed and unwiped. If the purity
of the feet is invalidated then the entire wudoo’ is invalidated because
it cannot be divided up. This view was favoured by Ibn Baaz (may Allaah
have mercy on him), as is stated in his Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 10/113.
Yet others said that his wudoo’ is not
invalidated thereby unless he breaks his wudoo’ in some other way (by
breaking wind etc). This was the view of a number of the salaf,
including Qataadah, al-Hasan al-Basri and Ibn Abi Layla. It was
supported by Ibn Hazm in al-Muhalla (1/105), and was the view favoured
by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah and Ibn al-Mundhir. Al-Nawawi said in
al-Majmoo’ (1/557): this is the strongest view.
They quoted a number of things as evidence
1 – That purity is not invalidated except
by hadath (breaking one's wudoo’ by breaking wind etc.) and taking off
the socks is not hadath.
2 – The purity of one who wipes over his
socks is established by shar’i evidence, and it cannot be ruled to be
invalid except by further shar’i evidence, and there is no evidence to
indicate that purity is invalidated by taking off the socks.
3 – The analogy with
shaving the hair after doing wudoo’. If a person does wudoo’ and wipes
over his hair, then shaves his head, he remains in a state of purity and
it is not invalidated by that. The same applies to one who wipes over
his socks then takes them off.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said:
If a person takes off his socks after
wiping over them, his wudoo’ is not invalidated thereby, and he may pray
as he likes until he breaks his wudoo’ (hadath), according to the
End quote, from Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn
Is wudoo’ broken by taking off
Praise be to Allaah,
and blessings and peace be upon the Messenger of Allaah.
If he takes off his
leather slippers (khufoof) or socks after wiping over them that does not
invalidate his wudoo’, according to the correct scholarly view, because
when a person wipes over his socks, he has completed his wudoo’
according to what is implied by the shar’i evidence. So if he takes them
off, this wudoo’ is still valid according to the shar’i evidence and
cannot be broken except by something for which there is shar’i evidence.
There is no evidence to indicate that taking off leather slippers or
socks that have been wiped invalidates wudoo’. On this basis, then, his
wudoo’ remains valid. This was the view favoured by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn
Taymiyah and a group of the scholars.
But if he puts his
socks back on after that and breaks his wudoo’, then he wants to wipe
over them again, that is not allowed, because he has to put the socks on
after doing wudoo’ in which he washed his feet, according to what was
stated by the scholars. And Allaah knows best.
Fiqh (jurisprudence and Islamic rulings) – al-masah ‘ala’l-Khuffayn
(wiping over the leather slippers)
In order to be allowed to wipe over one’s socks, they have to have been
put on at the same time, after completing wudoo’ or ghusl
Praise be to Allaah.
You cannot wipe over
your socks in this case, because you put the first sock on before
completing the act of purification (wudoo’ or ghusl).
Ruling on wiping over socks that have holes or are very thin
Praise be to Allaah.
It is permissible to
wipe over them instead of washing one's feet when doing wudoo’, if they
were put on when one was in a state of tahaarah (purity), unless the
holes are bigger than is ordinarily acceptable, or the socks are so thin
that the feet would be judged to be naked because they show the colour
of skin beneath them.
One who wipes his socks although
he was not in a state of tahaarah (purity) when he put them on
Praise be to Allaah.
You must repeat and
make up those prayers which you did when you were wiping your socks
although you had not been in a state of tahaarah when you put them on.
Wudoo’ is a prerequisite for
wiping on socks
Praise be to
It is not permissible
for the person to pass wet hands over the socks unless he put them on in
a state of purity. You can find the evidence in the following Hadith
narrated by Al-Mughirah Ibn-Shu’bah, may Allaah be pleased with him, in
which he said:
"I was traveling with our Prophet Muhammad SAW (peace be upon him) and
the Prophet SAW asked me saying, "Have you got any water?" I said, "Yes"
… and poured out water so that the Prophet SAW washed his face and
hands... and his arms then wiped his head. Then I bent over to pull off
his khuff (a type of thick sock) but the Prophet SAW said "Leave them
for I put on my khuff in a state of purification" then he wiped over
them. (narrated by Al-Bukhari, Fath ul-Baari No. # 5353)
Ibn Hajar, may Allaah
bless him, quoted the following in his explanation of the portion of
this Hadith in which the Prophet’s SAW said "I put
them on a state of purification":
Al-Hamidy related in
his Musnad that the Prophet SAW was asked whether one could pass wet
hands over the khuff, the Prophet SAW answered saying:
"Yes if the person puts them on in a state of
Ibn Khuzayma said that
according to Hadith narrated by Safwan Ibn Assal,
"the Prophet SAW ordered us to wipe over khuff if we put them on in a
state of purification, for 3 days during traveling and for one day and
night in residency".
although it is sahih, does not meet the conditions defined by
Al-Bukhari. But al-Mughirah’s hadith is in agreement with it in its
indication of the stipulation of being in a pure state before putting on
And Allah Knows Best
Sheikh Muhammed Salih
How to wipe over the slippers
Praise be to
With regard to the beginning of the period
when one may wipe over the slippers or socks, it begins from the first
time one wipes over them after breaking one’s wudoo’, not from the
moment one puts them on.
The way in which one wipes over them is to
put one’s wet fingers on the toes then pass them over the feet to the
shin; the right foot should be wiped with the right hand and the left
foot with the left hand. The fingers should be spread when wiping and it
should not be repeated.
(See al-Mulakhkhas al-Fiqhi by al-Fawzaan,
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen
(may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “This means
that what should be wiped is the top of the sock, passing one's fingers
from the toes to the shin only, and one should wipe with both hands over
both feet together, i.e., the right hand should wipe the right foot and
the left hand should wipe the left foot at the same time, just as one
wipes the ears, because this is the apparent meaning of the Sunnah, as
al-Mugheerah ibn Shu’bah said, ‘Then he wiped them both.’ He did not say
that he started with the right, rather that he ‘wiped them both’. So
this is the apparent meaning of the Sunnah. If we assume that he cannot
use one of his hands then he should start with the right before the
left. Many people wipe the right foot with both hands then the left foot
with both hands, but there is no basis for this as far as I know. No
matter how it is done, wiping the top of the slipper (or sock) is
sufficient but what we have said here is best.”
(See Fataawa al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah, vol.
1, p. 250)
You should not wipe
the sides or back of the sock because there is no report concerning
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen
said: “Someone may say that it is the bottom of
the slipper or sock that should be wiped, because this is what is in
contact with dust and dirt. But if we think about it we will see that
wiping the top of the sock is what makes sense, because this wiping is
not for the purpose of cleaning, rather it is an act of worship; if we
were to wipe the bottom of the sock that would make it more dirty.”
And Allaah knows best.
See al-Sharh al-Mumti’ by Ibn ‘Uthaymeen,
vol. 1, p. 213.
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid
Is it better to wipe over the
socks or to wash the feet?
Praise be to
The majority of
scholars, including Abu Haneefah, Maalik and al-Shaafa’i, are of the
view that it is better to wash the feet. They said: that is because the
basic principle is washing the feet, so that is better.
See al-Majmoo’, 1/502
Imam Ahmad was of the
view that wiping over the socks is better. He gave the following
evidence for that:
1 – It is easier, and
the Messenger of Allaah
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was never given the choice
between two things but he chose the easier of the two, so long as it was
not a sin; if it was a sin he would be the furthest removed of the
people from it. Narrated by al-Bukhaari (3560) and Muslim
2 – It is a concession, and the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“Allaah loves concessions to be taken as He hates sin to be committed.”
Narrated by Ahmad, 5832; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Irwa’
3 – Wiping over the
socks involves being different from the people of bid’ah who reject it,
such as the Khaarijis and Raafidis.
There are many ahaadeeth from the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) which indicate that he did
both: he washed his feet and he wiped over his khuffayn (leather
slippers). This led some scholars to say that wiping and washing are the
same. This was the view favoured by Ibn al-Mundhir (may Allaah have
mercy on him).
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah and his
student Ibn al-Qayyim were of the view that either may be better
depending on the circumstances of his feet. If a person is wearing socks
it is better to wipe over them, and if his feet are bare, it is better
to wash them, and he should not put socks on in order to wipe over
This is indicated by the hadeeth of
al-Mugheerah ibn Shu’bah (may Allaah have mercy on him) who wanted to
take off the Prophet’s khuffayn in order to wash his feet. The Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to him:
“Leave them, for I put them on pure,” so he wiped
over them.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 206; Muslim, 274. This
indicates that wiping is better for one who is wearing socks.
This is also indicated by the report
narrated by al-Tirmidhi (96) from Safwaan ibn ‘Assaal (may Allaah be
pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of
Allaah (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) used to tell us when we were travelling not to take
off our kufoof for three days and nights, except in the case of
janaabah, but if one defecated, urinated or slept (there was no need to
take them off). Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Irwa’
al-Ghaleel, 104. The command to wipe indicates that it is better, but
that applies to one who is wearing socks.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said:
Conclusion: what is
better for each one is that which is suited to his circumstances. For
the one whose feet are bare, it is better for him to wash them, and he
should not put on socks so that he can wipe over them, because the
Prophet (peace and blessings of
Allaah be upon him) used to wash his feet when they were bare, and he
would wipe over them if he was wearing khufoof. End quote from
Ibn al-Qayyim said in Zaad al-Ma’aad
He is not required to do more than is required with regard to the
situation of his feet. If he is wearing khufoof, he should wipe over
them and not take them off, and if his feet are bare he should wash
them, and he should not put on socks so that he can wipe over them. This
is the most correct opinion concerning the issue of whether wiping or
washing is better. This is the view of our Shaykh (i.e., Shaykh al-Islam
Ibn Taymiyah). End quote.