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Wudu in Front of Others: Can I do tayammum? (And: wiping over regular socks) 

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Qibla.com

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

I am a Sister and work full-time hours during the weekdays. Unfortunately, at my place of work, there are no private washrooms, so I am forced to use the public washroom for making my wudu.  I am the only sister in this Company of 2000+ employees, right in the heart of our downtown City.  I find myself uncomfortable making my wudu in front of non-Muslim women, for I fear they will look at me for the sake of seeing what my features are like, and become lustful, jealous, and even tell others how I look, especially men.  In cases like these, what can I do?  Is tayammum an option for me?  I wouldn’t be asking such a question if this truly wasn’t a hardship for me.

Answer:
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalamu alaikum,

The Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace) said, “Allah is more deserving of one’s shyness than people are.” [Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, and others]

We should feel more shy of not fulfilling the commands of Allah than of what people think.

The scholars explain that when such shyness leads to the non-fulfillment of the commands of Allah, it is in fact sinful: the means to sin are themselves sinful.

Hijab

You do not even need to take your hijab off for wudu: just loosen your hijab and insert a wetted hand under it.

Feet

If washing feet is an issue, get “goretex” waterproof hiking socks [http://www.the-outdoor.co.uk/ishop/853/shopscr135.html ; http://www.mtbbritain.co.uk/sealskinz_gloves_socks.html ; http://www.sealskinz.com/ ]

It is valid to wipe on such socks (though not on regular socks — see attached answers). They are also very useful in the winter because they keep one’s feet dry and comfortable. They are thinner and more comfortable for most people than leather footgear (khuffs)

This answer was indexed from Qibla.com, which used to have a repository of Islamic Q&A answered by various scholars. The website is no longer in existence. It has now been transformed into a learning portal with paid Islamic course offering under the brand of Kiflayn.

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