Wiping Socks in Ablution

Assalam Alaikum,

Dear Brother,

Following questions need your kind reply.

Most of Arab / Muslims in Saudi Arabia do not wash their feet during Wadhu (ablution) before Prayers. They say it is not required once you had Wadhu in the morning and has put on ordinary Nylon / Cotton mix Socks before putting on Shoes. It is OK to do Massah (wiping with wet hands) instead washing it completely even after attending Urination or a motion.

Mohamed Abdul Waheed

June 2011

Dear Brother

Wa alaikum us salam wa Rahmatullah

It is a pleasure to receive your mail. I’ll appreciate if you please introduce yourself. All scholars agree that the Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم allowed wiping socks instead of washing the feet in order to make the life easy for people. You can find Ahadith related to it in all Hadith books under the title المسح على الخفين. However, Hanafi jurists disagree with other schools on the basis of material of socks. They maintain that wiping is allowed only in case of waterproof socks while Hanbali (also Imam Abu Yusuf and Muhammad from Hanafis) believe that it is allowed in case of all socks, whether waterproof or not.

The first group maintains so because they think that the permission is linked to the impermeability of socks while the later group believes that the permission was given to make life easy and it has nothing to do with the permeability of socks. I agree with the second group because a Hadith is reported in Tirmidhi and Abu Dawood:

حدثنا عثمان بن أبي شيبة، عن وكيع، عن سفيان الثوري، عن أبي قيس الأودي هو عبد الرحمن بن ثروان عن هزيل بن شرحبيل، عن المغيرة بن شعبة، أن رسول اللّه صلى الله عليه وسلم توضَّأ ومسح على الجوربين والنعلين

“Mughira ibn Shu’ba repoted that the Prophet performed ablution and wiped his socks and shoes.” (Abu Dawood, the book of Taharah, Hadith 159)

The word الجوربين is used in Arabic for socks made of cloth and we use this word in Urdu as well. The leather socks are called الخفين which are waterproof. Therefore, in my opinion, wiping socks is allowed for all socks, whether their material is leather, cloth or anything else because Allah wants to make our lives easy. I saw that many people in offices leave their prayer in order to avoid the hassle of removing shoes and socks and when they are informed about this permissibility, they start performing prayer. Allah, the Almighty, has made His religion easy for us and the Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم also directed us to not create difficulties for us. 

We should remember one condition to the permission of wiping the socks is that this allowance is available to us for 24 hours in our normal life. It means that it is essential to remove the socks and wash the feet at least once in 24 hours. The permission for a traveler is extended to 72 hours. This allowance is provided to us in a Hadith of Muslim.

وحدثنا إسحاق بن إبراهيم الحنظلي. أخبرنا عبدالرزاق. أخبرنا الثوري عن عمرو بن قيس الملائي، عن الحكم ابن عتيبة، عن القاسم بن مخيمرة، عن شريح بن هانئ؛ قال:  أتيت عائشة أسألها عن المسح على الخفين: فقالت: عليك بابن أبي طالب فسله. فإنه كان يسافر مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم. فسألناه فقال: جعل رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ثلاثة أيام ولياليهن للمسافر. ويوما وليلة للمقيم. قال وكان سفيان إذا ذكر عمرا أثنى عليه.

Shuraih Ibn Hani reported: I came to A’yesha رضی اللہ عنہما and asked her about wiping on socks. She said: You should ask A’li رضی اللہ عنہ for that as he used to travel with the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم. We asked him, and he replied; “The Allah’s Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم allowed it for three days and three nights for a traveler and one day and one night for a non-traveler.  (Muslim, the book of Taharah, Hadith 276)

Please feel free to write if any other question arises in your mind.


Muhammad Mubashir Nazir

Don’t hesitate to share your questions and comments. They will be highly appreciated. I’ll reply ASAP if I know the answer. Send at mubashirnazir100@gmail.com.

Wiping Socks in Ablution
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