Wiping over the socks

Discussion in 'Islamic Discussion' started by mkrahman, Jan 25, 2007.

  1. mkrahman
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    mkrahman New Member

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    I have heard many different tales on wiping over the socks for wudu. What is the truth about wiping over the socks? Can you do it when you are traveling and how long can you redo wudu with wiping over the socks? Can you also do wiping over the socks for wudu even if you are not traveling?
  2. Happy 2BA Muslim
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    Happy 2BA Muslim Islamophilic

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    Four conditions apply to wiping over the socks.

    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: “The Prophet (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 debate.


    Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen
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    When and how to wipe over the slipper or socks

    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. See the answer to question no. 9640.

    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, 1/43).

    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 that.

    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

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