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Ruling of all the four imams regarding wiping on socks.

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulUloomTT.net


Asalaamualaikum wa rehmatullahi wa barakaatuhu mufti sahab.

Could you please tell me the ruling of all the four imams regarding wiping on socks.

Please provide reference of the book and the name of the author.

There are some scholars who say that in the hadith shareef there is no distinction between thick or thin socks cosider these hadith shareef in this regard.

Volume 1, Book 4, Number 201:Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar:Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas said, “The Prophet passed wet hands over his Khuffs.” ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar asked Umar about it. ‘Umar replied in the affirmative and added, “Whenever Sa’d narrates a Hadith from the Prophet, there is no need to ask anyone else about it

.”Volume 1, Book 4, Number 202:Narrated Al-Mughlra bin Shu’ba:Once Allah’s Apostle went out to answer the call of nature and I followed him with a tumbler containing water, and when he finished, I poured water and he performed ablution and passed wet hands over his Khuffs.

Volume 1, Book 4, Number 203:Narrated Ja’far bin ‘Amr bin Umaiya Ad-Damri:My father said, “I saw the Prophet passing wet hands over his Khuffs.

“Volume 1, Book 4, Number 204:Narrated Ja’far bin ‘Amr:My father said, “I saw the Prophet passing wet hands over his turban and Khuffs (leather socks)

.”Volume 1, Book 4, Number 205:Narrated ‘Urwa bin Al-Mughira:My father said, “Once I was in the company of the Prophet on a journey and I dashed to take off his Khuffs. He ordered me to leave them as he had put them after performing ablution. So he passed wet hands or them.
What is the meaning of khuffs.

JazakAllahu khair.

Asalaamualaikum wa rehmatullahi wa barakaatuhu.


Wa Alaikum As Salaam,

All the traditions you have narrated have mentioned the word “Khuffs”. Khuff itself means leather socks. In the famous Arabic dictionary, ‘Al Mujam Al Waseet’ khuff is defined as, ‘That which is worn upon the foot and made of thin leather’. Similarly, in the dictionary of Islamic legal terminology (Mujam Lughah Al Fuqaha), khuff is defined as ‘Boot made of light leather’. (Mujam Lughah Al Fuqaha Pg. 197 – Idaratul Quran Wal Uloom Al Islamiya Karachi Pakistan).
In Al Qamoos al Fiqhi, khuff is defined as ‘That which is worn upon the foot and made of thin leather’ (Al Qamoos Al Fiqhi Pg. 118 – Idaratul Quran Wal Uloom Al Islamiya Karachi Pakistan).

From this, it is evident that khuff means socks made from leather. All the four Imams and scholars of Islam have clearly stated that masah is permissible on these socks. There are no differences regarding this since the leather socks (khuff) have been explicitly mentioned in the Ahadith.

As for the cotton socks and the nylon socks that are commonly worn today, it is about these the Fuqaha have given details about.

The explanation is as follows:

According to the Mazhab of Imam Abu Hanifa (A.R.), the following conditions must be met:

1. It stays up for itself on the feet.

2. A person can walk with these socks (alone) to a distance of three miles without the socks being torn.

3. It is so thick that water is not able to seep through the socks to enter the feet.

4. A person is not able to see his feet through the socks.

According to the Mazhab of Imam Malik (A.R.), it states that these socks, (cotton or cloth) must be made with leather inside and outside so that it resembles the leather socks (Khufain) and a person may be able to walk upon them. Only then, it would be permissible to make masah over them.

According to the Mazhab of Imam Shafi (A.R), it states that an allowance would be granted to perform masah over these socks, (cotton or cloth), when the following conditions are met:

1. They must be thick and heavy to the extent that it is not transparent and nothing can penetrate it (like water) and one can walk continuously upon them.

2. The sole of these socks must be made with leather.

According to Imam Ahmad (A.R), he says that the following conditions must be met in order that a person performs masah on these socks:

1. It must be very thick, to the extent that no part of one’s foot becomes visible.

2. It remains firmly gripped onto the feet and a person is able to walk continuously with these socks.

All the above great Imams possessed great knowledge in the Sciences of Tafseer, Hadith and Fiqh and their explanations are in accordance to what is mentioned in the traditions concerning masah over the non-leather socks.

These traditions have been misunderstood by many; hence many people continue to make masah over their regular cotton socks which in reality is opposed to the meaning of the traditions.

In the traditions, it is evident that the Prophet (S.A) made masah over the leather socks (known as Khufain in Arabic) and he also made masah over the non-leather socks (known as Jurabain in Arabic). However, the ‘Jurabain’ or non-leather socks which were worn by him were such that they were thick being covered with leather at times or having the sole as leather at other times. (Al Fiqhul Islami Wa Adilatihi Vol. Pg. 498).

It is based on the nature of socks worn by the Prophet (S.A) that the Imams of Fiqh and other great scholars have concluded that the above mentioned conditions must exist in order to perform masah over the non leather socks.

One reason for the misunderstanding which is present among many is the usage of the word ‘socks’ by many authors when translating the original Arabic words of ‘Khufain’ or ‘Jurabain’. Many authors do not explain ‘the type of socks’ referred to in the traditions, hence many understand it to be the modern day cotton, woolen or nylon socks, which is a grave error and misunderstanding.

It is the unanimous agreement (Ijmaa of all the Imams of Fiqh) that if the socks are thin and water can seep through and enter into them, masah would not be permissible upon them. (Bada’ius Sana’i)

With this explanation, it is clear that the present day cotton and nylon socks do not fulfill the conditions mentioned above. As such, it will not be permissible to make masah over these socks.

And Allah Knows Best.
Mufti Waseem Khan.


This answer was collected from DarulUloomTT.net, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Waseem Khan from Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago.

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