Wearing Leather Socks over Normal Socks and Performing Mash

Following on from last Friday’s fiqh gathering (given by Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam every week on Fridays in Leicester) on the subject of doing masah on leather socks, I would like to know if it is still permissible to do masah on leather socks if you are wearing ordinary socks underneath the leather socks.

ANSWER

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

Yes, it is permissible to wipe (perform mash) over leather socks that are worn over normal and ordinary socks.

Imam Ibn Nujaym (Allah have mercy on him) mentioned in his al-Bahr al Ra’iq, a major reference work in Hanafi fiqh, regarding the wearing of under socks as follows:

“The permissibility of performing Mash on leather socks becomes known, which one wears over socks made of cotton or a broadcloth etc… which are in themselves not permissible to perform Mash over.” (al-Bahr al-Ra’iq, 1/191, Also see: Ahsan al Fatawa, 2: 65)

The reason for this permissibility seems (and Allah knows best), that the Jurists (fuqaha) mention that the leather socks (khuffayn) prevent the impurity (hadath) from entering the feet. This is the reason why the feet must be washed if the leather socks are removed, as the previous Hadath (which was prevented by the socks) enter the feet. (See Bada’i al-Sana’i, 1/13)

Now, when leather socks (khuffayn) are worn over normal socks, they prevent the Hadath to go through to the normal socks, thus it will be permissible to perform Mash over the leather socks.

However, if normal socks (on which Mash is not permissible) are worn over leather socks (khuffayn), then performing Mash over them will not be valid. The reason being is that normal socks do not prevent Hadath from entering the feet and entering the leather socks worn underneath. Thus, the impurity (hadath) enters the leather socks, whilst the person is wiping over the normal socks, which will not be permissible.

And Allah Knows Best

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK

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