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Ihram Footwear

15th August 2017

There has been a confusion about the footwear for Ihram and this confusion can be caused by different opinions from other valid schools of thoughts. Many of us see others wearing sandals covering the entire foot and so on.

Therefore, InshaAllah this post may help identify the differing rulings of the slippers / flip-flops that are allowed, specifically in the Hanafi School of thought.

Below are two question and answers (edited) with an ilustration of the bones in question. For further clarification, one should consult a scholar or show them the slipper when on the foot as each slipper and foot will be described and fit differently per person.


Question 1

Answered by Shaykh Sikander Hashmi
What bone on the foot cannot be covered during Hajj? Is a sandal that has a strap across the upper part of the toes and another one just under the ankles ok? Is it allowed if the strap is over the ankles?


In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful:

It is stated in the Hanafi fiqh classical text Al-Hidayah:

وَلَا يَلْبَسُ قَمِيصًا وَلَا سَرَاوِيلَ وَلَا عِمَامَةً وَلَا خُفَّيْنِ إلَّا أَنْ لَا يَجِدَ نَعْلَيْنِ فَيَقْطَعُهُمَا أَسْفَلَ مِنْ الْكَعْبَيْنِ

( الهداية, كتاب الحج – باب الإحرام)

The same text is found in the Arabic Hanafi text Mukhtasar al-Quduri. In the English translation of the book, the passage is translated as:
“He should not wear a shirt, nor pants, nor a turban, nor a cap, nor a gown. Nor [should he wear] khuffs [Leather Slipper type] unless he cannot find shoes, in which case he should cut them below the tarsus.”

(Mukhtasar al-Quduri, Book of Hajj)

The tarsus is defined as “the area of articulation between the foot and the leg, comprising the seven bones of the instep: the talus, calcaneus, navicular, three cuneiform, and cuboid bones.” (The American Heritage Stedman’s Medical Dictionary)

Thus it is the area containing the talus, calcaneus, navicular, three cuneiform, and cuboid bones that mustn’t be covered by the sandal straps. Therefore, it will be incorrect to wear a sandal whose straps cover the ankle or the heel. There would be no problem with a strap across the upper part of the toes or just above them.

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari has previously explained “One may also wear slippers under the condition that the bone on the foot where the shoelace is normally placed, remains exposed. If one does not have such slippers, it will also be allowed to cut the socks to the extent of that bone and then wear them. (See: Radd al-Muhtar, 2/490 & other fiqh references)” 

Verily, Allah knows best.
Sikander Ziad Hashmi
Montreal, Canada

Image for illustration only.

Question 2
As-salaamu alaykum,

Please advise which sandals can be worn during Umrah and Hajj?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

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

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said,
“He (a person in ihram) should not wear a shirt, nor pants, nor a turban, nor a cap, nor a gown. Nor [should he wear] khuffs unless he cannot find shoes, in which case he should cut them below the ka’b.” 

There is a difference of opinion regarding the connotation of the word ka’b.  This has resulted in a difference of opinion in the style of the foot gear one should wear.

The ka’b is everything which protrudes.  Specifically, the protruding bone on the ankle and the protruding bone on the upper foot are both referred to as ka’b.

The Maliki, Shafi’i and Hanbali schools are of the opinion that the word ka’b in the above hadith refers to the ankle.  Hence, for those who adhere to these three schools, they must leave the ankle exposed.

The Hanafi scholars, in particular Imam Muhammad al-Hassan ash-Shaybaani ruled that the ka’b is the instep on the foot.  The reasoning behind this is that as the ankle and instep are both referred to as ka’b; to take the meaning of the instep in this issue will be greater precaution.  Ihraam is a garment of humility which is reflected by being dishevelled, untidy and the exposing of the limbs. Precaution here would be to leave more of the foot exposed, as it coincides with the concept of Ihraam.  Just as the face and head are left exposed, the feet should also be left exposed as much as possible.  In addition, by taking the meaning of the instep, the ankle is also left exposed, so this opinion is encompassing of all opinions.

There is a lot of confusion regarding straps on foot wear which go around the back end of the foot.  Hadhrat Mufti Ahmed Khanpuri (Allah preserve him) has issued a ruling in Mahmud al-fatawa that it is not necessary to have the back end of the foot exposed.  It will be permissible to wear sandals which have a strap covering the back end of the foot.  However, the strap must not cover the area parallel to the ankle at the back of the foot.  If the strap partially covers the area parallel to the ankle, then it will be overlooked.  The main criteria are that the ankle and the instep remain exposed.

In conclusion, according to the Hanafi school of thought, only those sandals will be allowed to be worn in ihram which leave the instep exposed.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Mawlana Faraz Ibn Adam,
Student of the Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

Additional Images for illustration only.

Tags: slippers, flip flops, chappel, straps, sandals, socks, ihram, ihram, Hajj, Umrah
posted by abu mohammed on 15th August 2017 - 0 comments


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