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Following an Imam Who Wipes on Socks

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Shafiifiqh.com


as-salamu alaykum, is it ok to pray behind an imam who wipes over thin socks? JazakAllahu khairan.

Country: Canada


Wa alaykum salam wa rahmatuLlahi wa barakatuHu,

In the instance that an imam would wipe on footgear which does not fulfill the requisite conditions in the Shafi’i Madhhab, it is possible that the imam follows another Madhhab which maintains such a view.

Some differ on the conditions permitting wiping on the jawrab. Imam Ahmad, Qadi Abu Yusuf, and Muhammad b. Hasan al-Shaybani’s, for example, conditions allow for wiping on the jawrab which maintain that it must be thick enough that one’s foot cannot be seen and one must be able to walk around in them without them falling off. (al-Mawsu’at al-Fiqhiyyah v. 37, p. 271)

On the topic of following an imam if one considers his prayer invalid, in Sharh al-Muhadhdhab v. 4, p. 288, Imam Nawawi related a difference of opinion on this matter from the Shafiyyah. He related the relied-upon as stated by Abu Ishaq al-Marwazi, Abu Ishaq al-Isfarayini, Bandiniji, Qadi Abu al-Tayyib, and the majority, to be that if one verified that the imam has omitted something that the Madhhab considers, then following him is not sound. While if one verified that he has performed all of it, or doubts, then it is valid.

Additionally, there is another view in the Madhhab, related from Qaffal, that the ma’mum’s following such an imam is valid. This view is stated to be the preferred view by Siraj al-Din al-Bulqini. (Hawashy al-Rawdah v. 1, p. 344; Tahrir al-Fatawi v. 1, p. 335)

This difference manifests from another angle too. In the instance that one of another Madhhab prays in a way invalid according to his Madhhab, then according to Qaffal, a Shafi’s following him is not sound. According to the first view, it be sound if according to the ma’mum’s validity is achieved. The first view takes into consideration what the ma’mum considers and Qaffal’s view what the imam considers. (Rawdat al-Talibin v. 1, p. 347)

The relied-upon opinion takes into consideration the i’tiqad of the ma’mum.

Purity is a condition of the prayer, if one knows that the imam has wiped on socks which do not fulfill the necessary conditions for wiping [mash] in the Shafi’i Madhhab but do in another Madhhab, it is not valid to follow that imam in prayer in accordance to the relied-upon opinion. The Madhhab does transmit the aforementioned view of Qaffal and Bulqini as well.

And Allah knows best.

Shafiifiqh.com Fatwa Dept.


This answer was collected from Shafiifiqh.com which was a repository of Islamic answers as per the Shafi’i madhhab. The website no longer functions. At its peak, many ‘ulama were involved with the site including Shaykh Mawlana Taha Karaan, Shaykh Abdul-Fattah ibn Abdullah, and Shaykh AbdurRagman Khan.

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