Imam Ilyas Sidyot

Questions and Answers

Question: 019

Assalamualikum, This question is regarding Wudhu. I have heard that if one does wudhu once completely and properly (let's say at fajr time) then for the rest of the day, it is permissible for that individual to make masah (wipe) over the top of one's socks or shoes. If one wipes over their shoes, they must pray with their shoes on. If one wipes over their socks, one must pray with their socks on.

I've also heard that opinion for women to do masah over their hijab. However, I came across this Hadith: Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Amr: Once the Prophet remained behind us in a journey. He joined us while we were performing ablution for the prayer which was over-due. We were just passing wet hands over our feet (and not washing them properly) so the Prophet addressed us in a loud voice and said twice or thrice: "Save your heels from the fire." (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 3 (Book of Knowledge), Hadith 57) If you could please provide me with a better understanding of this issue, and whether it is permissible to do what I heard, and the message this Hadith is conveying.


As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Wiping Shoes and Socks During Wudhu.

Answered by Shaykh Omar Subedar.

Unfortunately the opinion that has been shared with you is an unsubstantiated one and hence any adherence to it must be avoided.

The issue of wiping socks or shoes in lieu of washing feet during ablution (wudhu) is one that is often discussed and practiced without any insight within certain circles of our community.

Washing the feet until the ankles while performing wudhu is mandatory (fardh). Allah the Exalted has instructed, “O you who have believed, when you rise to [perform] prayer, wash your faces and your forearms to the elbows and wipe over your heads and wash your feet to the ankles.” [5:6]

It is for this reason Allah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم warned his companions against failing to wash their feet properly whilst performing wudhu in the following incident;

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr reported, “We returned with Allah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم from Makka [and were on our way] to Madina. We came across some water on the way. Some people hurried at the time of ‘Asr; they performed wudhu while they were rushing. [When] we reached them, their heels were apparently [dry]; water had not touched them. Allah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم proclaimed, “May the heels be ruined by the fire! Complete [your] wudhu.” [Muslim: 570]

As for wiping ones footgear in lieu of washing their feet during wudhu, it is important to understand that a few types of footwear have been mentioned in various narrations upon which this action was apparently performed;

Khuff [a light leather sock]:

Shaykh Muhammad Yusuf Al Binōri has written in Ma` ärif Al Sunan, “Ibn Abi Shayba has reported in his Al Musannaf along with Ibn Al Mundhir in his Al Ashräf and Ibn Daqeeq al Eid in Al Imam, “Hasan Al Basari said, “Seventy companions of Allah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم have told me that they wipe [their] khuffs [during wudhu in lieu of washing their feet].”

It is permissible for a non traveller (Muqeem) to wipe his khuffs with a wet hand when making wudhu for 24 hours. The 24 hour period will begin from the time he renews his wudhu for the first time after putting them on. A traveller (Musäfir) may wipe them up to 72 hours. Both are required to put them on after washing their feet for wudhu.

Imam Muhammad ibn Hasan Al Shaybäni (the student of Imam Abu Hanëfa) writes, “Wiping [the khuffs] is only permissible for every ritual impurity that necessitates wudhu, not ghusl [a mandatory bath]. It is only permissible to wipe [them during wudhu] when [a person] puts them on after completely purifying himself [by performing wudhu]. If he was to wear his khuffs and then nullified [his wudhu] before completing it, it is impermissible for him to wipe them [when renewing his wudhu]...” [Al Mabsōt, Sarakhsi]

Mughëra ibn Shu’ba related, “We were with Allah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم in a caravan and I had a container (of water) with me. He went to relieve himself and then returned. I confronted him with the container and poured [water out] for him. He washed his hands and his face and then attempted to take his forearms out [from the sleeves]. He had a woollen jubbah on that was made in Rome and had tight sleeves. They were too tight for him [to take his arms out] so he took them out from underneath.

I then bent down to take his khuffs off [so he may wash his feet] however he instructed, “Leave the khuffs [on] because I put them on my feet while they were pure.”

He then wiped them both.” [Abu Däwōd: 151]

Khuzayma ibn Thäbit reported, “The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “Wiping the khuffs is permissible for three days for a traveller (Musäfir) and one day and one night for a non traveller (Muqeem).” [Abu Däwōd: 157]

Jawrab [a regular sock]

There are mixed views amongst the jurists (Fuqahä) regarding the permissibility of wiping regular socks whilst making wudhu. It is important to note that the narrations pertaining to wiping regular socks are all weak (Dha’ëf) and hence cannot be used to overturn or modify the directive of the Qur’än.

Abu Däwōd has recorded in his Sunan: Mughëra ibn Shu’ba reported, “Allah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم performed wudhu and wiped his jawrabs and na’ls.” [159]

He then writes, “`Abdur Rahman ibn Mahdi would avoid relating this hadëth because the popular report from Mughëra is that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم wiped his khuffs. This account has also been reported by Abu Musa Al Ash’arë however its transmission chain is disconnected and weak.”

Surprisingly Tirmidhë has also recorded Mughëra ibn Shu’ba’s report on the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم wiping his jawrab [hadëth no.99] in his Jäme’ with the exact same transmission chain as Abu Däwōd and has labelled it as authentic. Regarding this Shaykh ‘Abdur Rahman Al Mubarakpuri writes in Tuhfat Al Ahwadhi, the commentary of Jäme’ Tirmidhë, “Bayhaqë has recorded this hadëth of Mughëra’s and has said, “This is a Munkar hadëth. Sufyän al Thawri, `Abdur Rahman ibn Mahdi, Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Yaĥyä ibn Mo’een, `Ali ibn Madeeni and Muslim ibn Hajjäj have all labelled this hadëth as weak (Dha’ëf).”

He further states, “Nawawë said, “The scholars of hadëth unanimously agree upon its weakness, hence Tirmidhë’s assertion of it being authentic is unacceptable.”

In respect to the ruling on wiping regular socks, Imam Muhammad writes, “As for wiping socks, it is permissible to wipe them provided they are thick and have leather soles.”

`Alläma Abu Bakr al Sarakhsi writes in the commentary of this statement, in Al Mabsōt,

“It is impermissible to wipe them [during wudhu] if they are thin (such as sports socks and dress socks)...

According to Imam Abu Hanëfa, it is impermissible to wipe them if they are thick and do not have leather soles. This is because it is not possible to walk in them continuously [without tearing] while on a journey. Hence they will share the same ruling as thin socks.

According to Imam Abu Yusuf (another distinguished student of Imam Abu Hanëfa) and Imam Muhammad, it is permissible to wipe thick socks that do not have leather soles.

It is reported that Imam Abu Hanëfa wiped his socks during his illness and said to his visitors, “I have done what I have been preventing people from doing.”

They perceived this as a retraction of his previous view.”

Hence according to the Hanafi School of Jurisprudence it is permissible to wipe socks that are thick to the extent that one can walk a considerable distance in them without tearing.

Socks manufactured by Sealskinz and Gortex fit this criterion and hence can be wiped during wudhu according to the conditions outlined for khuffs.  Regular sports socks and dress socks do not fit the criterion and hence cannot be wiped.

Jarmōq [overshoes/galoshes]

Imam Muhammad writes, “It is permissible to wipe jarmōqs [that are worn] on top of khuffs.” [Al Mabsōt, Sarakhsi]

Belal reported, “The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم would go out to relieve himself. [When he would finish] I would take water to him and he would perform wudhu and wipe his turban and mōqs.” [Abu Däwōd: 153]

In conclusion it is impermissible to wipe the shoes or socks that are commonly worn today as they do not fall under any one of the aforementioned categories.

As for women wiping their headscarf in place of wiping their head, Imam Muhammad writes, “A woman cannot wipe her headscarf [while performing wudhu].” [Al Mabsōt, Sarakhsi]

`Alläma Abu Bakr al Sarakhsi writes in the commentary of this statement, in Al Mabsōt,

“This is due to `Ä’isha’s hadëth in which it is reported that she put her hand under her headscarf and wiped her head [while performing wudhu]. She then remarked, “This is what Allah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم instructed me to do.”

If however a woman wipes her headscarf and the wetness [of her hand] penetrates to her head to the extent that a quarter of her head becomes wet, it will be sufficient for her.”

And Allah Knows Best.

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