بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم

اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِيْن،وَالصَّلاۃ وَالسَّلامُ عَلَی النَّبِیِّ الْکَرِيم وَعَلیٰ آله وَاَصْحَابه اَجْمَعِيْن۔

Rulings of Masah (Wiping) on Socks and Jurrab

Allah has revealed in the holy Qur’an, “O you who believe, when you rise for Salah, (prayer) wash your faces and your hands up to the elbows, and make Mash (wiping by hands) of your heads and (wash) your feet up to the ankles.” (Surah al-Mae’dah: 6)

In this verse Allah has asked us to make Wudhu (Ablution)before offering Salah, in which four things are necessary to be done, without these Wudhu would not be complete. These four things are, washing the face, washing hands up toelbows, wiping head by wet hands and washing legs up to ankles.

All Mufassireen, Muhadditheen, Jurists and other Ulama of Ahle Sunnat wal Jama’at have opined in the light of this verse of the Holy Qur’an and Mutawatir Ahadeeth,that washing legs is compulsory in Wudhu. Wiping on legs like wiping wet hands on head is not enough.

Whereas, it is clearly mentioned in Mutawatir Ahadeeth that the holy Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) had wiped sometimeson his leather socks with wet hands instead of washing his legs.

Imam Abu Hanifah (RHA) has said, “Washing legs is clearly mentioned in the holy Qur’an”. I was not agreed on wiping on leather socks till I came across the acts of the prophet (PBUH) by Mutawatir Ahadeeth in this regard.

It is clearly mentioned in the Holy Qur’an that washing both legs in Wudhu to be completed is compulsory.Whereas, if any person wears leather socks after making Wudhu, he can wipe on it for one day and one night if he is in his hometown and in case he is a traveller, he can wipe on it for three days and three nights while making Wudhu, as it is confirmed by Mutawatir Ahadeeth. If any person wears socks of nylon or cotton instead of leather socks, the consensus of Muslim Ummah is that wiping on these kinds of socks is not permissible but washing the legs is compulsory.

It is better to have a look at the kinds of socks before understanding the Islamic rulings;

  1. If it is made of leather then it is called Khuffain.
  2. If it is made of cotton and there is leather on its two sides (upper & lower) then it is called Mujalladain.
  3. If it is made of cotton and there is leather on its lower part only then it is called Muna’alain.
  4. If it is made of cotton or nylon or wool then it is called Jaurab and Jurrab.

Wiping on the first three kinds of socks is permissible. The Jurists and Ulama have written in the light of Ahadeeth that wiping on Jurrab (socks made of cotton, nylon and wool) will be permissible only when these are thickenough.It means that these should be made of thick cloth, if water is dropped on it, the water will not reach onto the legs.Wiping on such socks is permissible.

Islamic Jurists of Indo-Pak and even Ahle Hadeeth Jurists have written that wiping is not permissible on common socks which are generally made of cotton, cloth, nylon and wools and which are commonly used nowadays.Rather we have started wiping on common socks after seeing some persons, in spite of the fact that, they are not well acquainted with the Rules and Regulations of wiping on socks.

The clerics of Indo-Pak,who prefer the opinion of famous Taba’ee of 80Hijrah, Imam Abu Hanifah (RHA) in the controversial Masail (issues), have said that Allah has clearly said in the holy Qur’an that “washing of legs is compulsory” and as far as the wiping on the leather socks is concerned only those socks will be wiped which were usually wiped by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) or he (PBUH) gave instructions of wiping on them and it is proved by Sahih Ahadeeth. Doubtful sayings or “Khabre Ahaad” will not be accepted against the clear words of the holy Qur’an as we do not find any proof of wiping on Jurrab (socks of cotton, cloth, nylon and wool) in Ahadeeth.

A famous Ahle Hadeeth scholar Maulana Abdur Rahman Mubarak Puri had dealt the topic with a detailed description in his famous commentary of Tirmizi entitled Tuhfatul Ahwazi ShrahJami’it Tirmizi. Its summary is that “Any kind of evidences of wiping on common socks which are worn nowadays, are not mentioned anywhere neither in the holy Qur’an nor in Ahadeeth. Moreover, it is neither certified by the consensus of Ulama nor supported by Qiyase Sahih. Some sayings of the Prophet (PBUM) are found to support the wiping on leather socks, and on which is the consensus of Ulama. Due to Mutawatir Ahadeeth, the clear text of the Qur’anwas also ignored to act upon these. Ahadeeth which are found to wipe on the common socks (which are used nowadays are very much criticized,then why one should ignore the clear text of the Qur’an in the presence of such weak Ahadeeth. It is not wise to compare Jurrab used by the companions of the prophet (RA) with thin socks of today. Whereas, if someone wears Jurrab similar to one worn by the companions (RA) then there is nothing wrong in wiping on it.

Another famous Ahle Hadeeth Jurist Shaikh Nazir Husain Dehlawi was asked, it was permissible or not to wipe on Jurrab (common socks made of cotton, cloth, nylon and wool).He replied that it is not permissible to wipe on the aforesaid Jurrab, because no such evidence is found either in the holy Qur’an or in Sunnah. There are different kinds of doubts in the argumentation of those who say it is permissible, then after mentioning some doubts, he wrote there is no evidence of wiping on Jurrab. (Fatawa Naziria)

Salah is the most important and basic pillar of Islam after the faith (Eiman), hundreds of verses are there in the holy Qur’an which stress on offering Salah. There is consensus in the Muslim Ummah that Salah cannot be offered without Wudhu (Ablution). The washing of legs is clearly mentioned in the Holy Qur’an as a part of Wudhu, so wiping will be permissible in accordance with the conditions and socks which are mentioned in sound Ahadeeth.

No evidence is found in the sound Ahadeeth for wiping on Jurrab i.e. normal socks worn nowadays. So do not wipe on the normal socks of today. If someone wants to do wiping, he must use the leather socks otherwise, wash the foot. So that Salah, in which there lay coolness of the eyes of the prophet (PBUH) could be offered in a proper way.

Mohammad Najeeb Qasmi (www.najeebqasmi.com)