Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen on Removing Part of the Footwear and then Continuing to Wipe Over it

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful…

The Prophet (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) allowed residents to wipe over their footwear when performing wudhoo’ (instead of washing the feet) for a period of one day. Travelers are allowed to do so for three entire days. This is founded upon clear evidences from the Quran and the authentic Sunnah.

From the important issues of this gracious concession is that once the footwear is removed for any reason, the period of wiping over it ends, and a person may only wipe over it again once he puts the footwear back on in a state of purity (having already made wudhoo’).

One of our visitors asked about when there is a need to uncover only a small part of the foot just under the ankle, like to rub it, is that considered “removal” of the footwear or not?

The great scholar, Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen [d.1421] – may Allaah have Mercy on him – was asked:

ما حكم خلع الشراب أو بعض منها ليحك بعض قدمه أو يزيل شيئاً في رجله كحجر صغير ونحوه؟ 

What is the ruling on removing the footwear or part of it in order to scratch part of the foot or remove something like a small pebble or anything similar (from inside of the footwear)?

The shaykh replied by saying:

إذا أدخل يديه من تحت الشراب (الجوارب) فلا بأس في ذلك ولا حرج ، أما إن خلعها فينظر إن خلع جزءاً يسيراً فلا يضر ، وإن خلع شيئاً كثيراً بحيث يظهر أكثر القدم فإنه يبطل المسح عليهما في المستقبل.

If he reaches in under the footwear with his hand, there is no problem with that, nothing wrong at all. However, if he removes it (the footwear), then we need to understand: If he only removed a small part of it, there is no harm (i.e. he may continue to wipe over it). If he removed a large part of it, exposing most of his foot, then his (period of) wiping ends at that time.

Source: Question #17 of his book, Fataawaa fil-Mas-h ‘alal-Khuffayn, as found on the official website of his charitable foundation (here).

Based on this fatwaa from Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have Mercy on him), a person may continue wiping over his footwear after uncovering a small part of the foot under the ankle, as mentioned in the original question, and Allaah knows best.

Written by: Moosaa Richardson

21 thoughts on “Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen on Removing Part of the Footwear and then Continuing to Wipe Over it

  1. Assalamu alaykum. May Allah bless you and grant you His Mercy and a good portion in the hereafter for your continued work at striving to bring correct knowledge. I hope you dont mind me asking this question here i only ask because it has to due with wudoo. My wife asked me if she can make wudoo over her hijab. I thought i had read she can and i found a fatwaa on ******* that it is permissible. Is this a concensus of the scholars or do you know of a hadeeth that would go with this? Thank you.

  2. If one removes the footwear in the state of wudu and puts it back on in the state of wudu he can continue to wipe over them? is this correct?

    • Yes, since he put them on in a state of tahaarah, as is mentioned explicitly in the hadeeth about wiping: دعهما، فإني أدخلتهما طاهرتين، فمسح عليهما “Leave them (don’t wash my feet), as I have put them in (the socks) in a state of purity” and then he wiped over them, from the hadeeth of al-Mugheerah in Bukhaaree and Muslim. However, there are some scholars who consider removing the footwear to be something that nullifies the wudhoo’. I do not believe it to be correct, but I remember the Muftee Shaykh Abdul-‘Azeez Aal Shaykh (may Allaah bless and preserve him) supported this position when I visited him last year. Based on that opinion, he must make wudhoo’ again before putting the socks back on.

  3. Asalamu Alaykum,
    I make wudu and then put my socks and shoes on. I then lose my wudu and wipe over my shoes. I pray with my shoes off. Is this ok? And then I put my shoes back on and continue wiping over them and taking them off for prayer throughout the day.

    • wa ‘alaykas-salaamu wa rahmatullaah. Notice the reliance on the word “footwear” which includes all types of socks and shoes. The definition of a “khuff” which can be wiped over is footwear that covers the entire foot up to at least the ankles (including the ankles). This is understood from the Prophet’s order (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) for those people on Hajj who are wearing khuffs to alter them to expose the ankle (which excludes them from being called khuffs).

      Also, shoes that cover one’s ankles and boots may be wiped over. And multiple layers of khuffs do not prevent one from wiping. And Allaah knows best.

      • Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuhu. Is there a difference of opinion on the issue of wiping over footwear below or above the ankles? A post in reply to yours on salafitalk says “… Ibn Hazm (rahimahullaah) said in Al-Muhallaa (2/103):

        “So if the footwear (khuff) are cut so that they fall beneath the ankles, then wiping over them is permissible. This is the opinion of Al- Awzaa’ee and it has been reported on him that he said: ‘The muhrim may wipe over his shoes that come beneath the ankles…’ Others have stated: ‘He may not wipe over them unless they go over the ankles.'”

        This was taken from: http://www.salafitalk.net/st/viewmessages.cfm?forum=10&topic=9456

        Jazaakum Allaahu khayran wa ahsana ilaykum

  4. Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullaah akhee,

    JazakAllaah Khair for your website and your regular post.

    I was wondering if there is a method to wiping over the footware e.g. Do you have to wipe over the whole of the sock (or boot) up to the shin (where the sock ends) or only up to the ankle? Also it it permissible to wipe both feet at the same time. Or is wiping over the footware a concession and it is up to the individual how they do it?

    Sorry if these questions are pointless and please ignore them if they are of no benefit.

  5. Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullaah akhee,

    JazakAllaah Khair for your website and your regular post.

    I have a question that is bothering me, I made wudoo and wiped over my sock then prayed, however later in the day I noticed a hole under my sock, does this hole in my sock invalidate my wudoo and my prayer. May Allah reward you. Ameen.

    • wa ‘alaykas-salaamu wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. The socks of the Companions had holes as described by their students from the Taabi’een. They made wudhoo’ with tattered and worn out socks, wiping over them. The scholars who say there can be no holes in the socks for valid wiping have not taken this reality into account, and thus what is correct is the Deen of the Companions, and not the opinion of those who opposed it, while our respect for those great scholars of Islaam who erred in this issue remains fully intact. And Allaah knows best.

  6. Assalmu alaykum ustath,

    I read a fatwa even if you remove part of the sock for example after when you’ve [not] broken your wudu then your wudu is invalidated. Is there a difference of an opinion?

    BarakaAllahu feek [message truncated and ammended for clarity by admin]

    • wa ‘alayk as-salaamu wa rahmatullaah. Yes, there is differing on this issue. Read back through the comments, and you will find some mention of the differing.

  7. What is the ruling of someone who have started wiping his socks during the period of allowance,like a day and night for the resident, during this period he removed his socks and later wore it during the period while still in the state of wudhu. Those he have to start recounting his period of allowance or the initial period still stands. I hope my question is clear.

    • The hadeeth which establishes the legality of wiping over the socks mentions that the Prophet (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) said (what means), “I have put them on (the socks), whilst they (the feet) were purified.” Since he did not say that he put them on while he himself was upon purity, but rather that the two feet had been purified, the matter is connected to the state of the feet, and this indicates that putting them while merely being in a state of purity does not include the permissibility of wiping over them, since he has not put on the socks after washing his feet specifically, and this is what most of the scholars hold to, and Allaah knows best.

  8. As Salaam Walaikum Wa Rahmaatullah Wa Barakatu,
    I’ve been very curious lately: Is there any ruling on praying in shoes that don’t cover the ankle? Please respond, Insha’Allah

    • Wa ‘alayk as-salaamu wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. You can pray in any kind of shoes, provided they are free of najaasah. This article is about wiping over the footwear, which may only be done with footwear that covers the ankle.

  9. Assalaamu alaikum
    I am from Trinidad and Tobago which is mostly hanafi and there is a misconception by most of the Muslims here that wiping over cotton socks that are not water proof and also that none of the madhabs approve of wiping over regular cotton socks and that there are no strong evidences for it.
    Is it possible for you to give me all the authentic proof to support wiping over the socks please reply

    • Wa ‘alaykum as-salaamu wa rahmatullaah. The Companions wiped over their footwear, the footwear that they had in their time and place. Since the Messenger (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) allowed us to wipe over our khuffs (footwear that covers the ankles), what proof is there to restrict that to leather only or to certain materials and not others? The burden of proof lies upon the one who makes such a claim.

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