The Permissibility of Praying with Shoes On

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

In one post you stated the ibaha of praying with shoes on. Some of the tulaab al’ilm who taught us were unaware of this ruling in the madhab and so I wondered if you could provide a (or some) reference(s) for it, and perhaps slightly elaborate on the matter w.r.t. whether it is the relied-upon opinion, or a well-known opinion, or rare, etc., please.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

In Durr al-Mukhtar (in the section on ‘What is Disliked in the Prayer’), Imam al-Haskafi (Allah have mercy on him) said,

“And praying in sandals is better.”

Allama Ibn Abidin commented in his Radd al-Muhtar,

“… if they are free of filth, because of the hadith [of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)], ‘Pray in your sandals, and do not be like the Jews,” [who did not do so] as reported by al-Tabarani, as recorded in [Imam al-Suyuti’s]al-Jami` al-Saghir, where it is stated that this is a rigorously authenticated hadith. From this, some Hanbalis even said that it is a sunna even if one walks in the market, because the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and his companions used to walk the streets of Madina and then pray in them. I say [Ibn Abidin]: However, if one fears dirtying the masjid’s carpets, then one should not do so, even if they are free of filth.”

Therefore, scholars tell us, if one sees to apparent traces of filth on one’s shoes, and can bend them enough that one’s toes face towards the Qibla, which is a confirmed sunna, then there is nothing wrong with praying in shoes.

This makes life much easier for those at work or on the move, because it is often difficult or inconvenient to take off one’s shoes.

And Allah knows best.

Faraz Rabbani

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