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masah over socks

Last updated: 19th September 2005
Question ID: #798
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I wanted to ask a question concerning masah over socks or shoes. we have jumah here in school every friday. Most of the kids here go do wudu in the public bathrooms since we dont have a bathroom set aside for just muslim students. I wanted to ask is it allowed to just wipe over our shoes or do we have to take off our shoes and wipe over our sock or do we have to take off our shoes and socks and wipe over our feet and then put everything on.

JazakAllah Kahir

In the name of Allah the Magnificent

It is not permissible to make masah (to use wet hands) over shoes and the regular socks which are worn in today's environment.

Socks are of three types:

(1) The socks which are called KHUFFAIN, (Leather socks). It is permissible to make masah over KHUFFAIN as it is proven from Hadith:

Ja`far bin `Amr bin Umaiya Ad-Damri narrates: My father said, "I saw Rasulullah passing wet hands over his Khuffs (socks made from leather)."(Bukhari)

(2) Thick socks which are not made from leather, but are so thick that they characterize the qualities of leather. E.g. they are waterproof. The conditions are that the socks are so durable that one is able to walk three or four miles without them tearing. It is permissible to make Masah over such socks.

(3) Socks which have a leather soul. It is permissible to perform Masah on such socks.

(4) Thin socks, not made of leather, nor do they possess the qualities of leather, but are like the regular socks made from cotton, wool, nylon etc. It is not permissible to make masah on such socks as it is not established with enough evidence that would enable one the leave the order of washing the feet as mentioned in the Qur'an.

In regards to the masah over the shoes I have included a brief article which was written by Sheikh Mufti Taqi Uthmani.

Making masah over shoes

Some Fuqaha allow performing masah over the Jowrab (stokings, long socks) when it is thick, but none of them allow making masah on shoes. Sheikh Yusuf Benori (R.A.) writes, "None of the Imaams have given permission to make masah over shoes."(Ma'arifus-Sunan Vol. 1, p. 347).

The reason for this is that Rasulullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) wiped over his shoes only when he already was in the state of Wudhu. He would perform a fresh Wudhu for every prayer, because he was already in the state of Wudhu, instead of washing his feet he would wipe over his shoes. The proof of this is in Sahih Ibn Khuzaimah, "It is reported from Ali (Radhi Allahu anhu) that he asked for a glass of water, he then performed a brief ablution and wiped over his shoes. He then said, this is how the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) used to perform his wudhu when his wudhu was not broken. (Sahih Ibn Khuzaimah, Vol. 1, Hadith 300, Chapter 154, p. 100).

From this Hadith we learn that a person who does not have Wudhu, can't wipe over his shoes. After the clear evidence has been brought, there is no flexibility in the issue.

It is quite apparent that to perform Masah over shoes such as trainers, running shows or other footwear and gear is not permissible at all.

In conclusion, I would suggest that for the Salaats which you pray in the school which includes Jummah, that you wear the leather socks from home after performing Wudhu and thereafter if the necessity to renew the Wudhu arises you perform masah over the leather socks after removing only your shoes. It is even better to stand on your shoes and perform the masah as one is aware that school lavatory floors could be impure.

And Allahn knows best
20th September 2005

Sahih Al-Bukhari
Al-Hidayah, Vol 1
Bada'ee us Sanaeh, Vol. 1 pg 83

Answer last updated on:
21st September 2005
Answered by:
Ulamaa ID 05
Location: Batley, England