Wiping (Masah)

The religion of Islam regards performing prayers as one of the fundamental obligation of the religion; it gives special importance to eliminate all kinds of difficulties and provide ease. One example of it is the ease of wiping over the khuffs (leather socks) and bandage while making wudu; thus, it enables people to perform worshipping when they face difficulties.

Masah means to move the hands over something and to wipe that thing with the hand. In fiqh, masah is an act of virtual cleaning; it is a symbolic cleaning made by wiping the wet hand over an organ, khuffs or a bandage during wudu, and by wiping the face and the arms with soil during tayammum. To wipe over the head, neck and the ears are primary acts of wudu; wiping over khuffs and a bandage is an act that replaces the primary act.

After the khuffs are worn for a while when one is on wudu, it is necessary to start it again when wudu is broken. After that period ends, the feet have to be washed with water and wudu has to be made; then khuffs can be put on again. On the other hand, the wudu of a person who has made wudu by washing his feet is not invalidated by taking off and putting on the khuffs as long as his wudu continues. A person who has made wudu by wiping over the khuffs can complete his wudu only by washing his feet when he takes of his khuffs.

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