Could you please give information about the leather-made socks (Khuffs) ?

Details of the Question
Could you please give information about the leather-made socks (Khuffs) ?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

A light-weight shoe with a short leg, which is worn in the house and worn in the shoes outside and made of soft leather. It can be wiped over for ablution. As a term of Islamic Law, “mast” (khuff) has the meaning of a sort of shoe which is worn on the foot covering the heel, and which has a certain length and durable for long trips and which is thick enough to stand without laces, which does not let the water in the feet immediately and which is made of substances like leather or felt.

Wiping over such shoes is permissible for any Muslim whether male or female, who may be travelling or settled. A majority of the Honored Companions and scholars of Islamic Jurispuridence are in an agreement on this. A well-known hadith “A settled person can wipe over a ‘khuff’ for a day and a night and a travelling person can do it for three days and nights”, reported by a community who narrated from the Prophet (pbuh) stands as a proof for this. Besides, the Honored companions came to an agreement on the legality of wiping over ‘khuff’ and they applied it. Moreover, Imam Karhi stated “ I am afraid that those who regard it unacceptable to wipe over leather-made socks will fall into unbeief”.  Hasan al-Basri also said, “ Some seventy of Honored Companions informed me that they saw the Prophet (pbuh) wipe over his leather-made socks”. (as-Sarakhsi, al-Mabsut, Cairo 1324, 31, I, 97-98; al-Kasani, Badayius-Sanayi, Cairo, 1327-28 / 1910, I, 7-8; Ibnu’l Humam, Fathu’l Qadir, Bulak 1319, I, 126-127; for Hadiths, see Wensinck, Muccem, Leiden 1943, II, 51-52; VI, 210-214).

The following conditions need to be complied with for the validity of wiping over leather-made socks:

1. Such socks should be worn after the feet have been washed as a part of ablution. Wiping over a foot or a bandage on the foot due to an excuse is under the decree of washing. Wiping over leather-made socks which have been worn in this way is acceptable.

2. Ablution should be broken due to a different reason than impurity (due to ejaculation etc.), menstruation and puerperium. The validity of wiping over leather-made socks is broken if impurity, menstruation or puerperium occurs and  these socks can be worn after a complete cleansing of the body.

3. These socks must cover the heels.

4. If there is a rip over a leather-made sock three toes long according to the size of the small toes smallest finger of the foot, it is not acceptable to wipe over them. The decree does not change whether the rips are under or over, whether they are on the side of a leather-made sock or not. This amount is defined not according to the total size of the rips on different socks but on either of them. For example, if there is a two-finger-sized rip on one sock and one-finger-sized on the other one, then it is acceptable to wipe over those socks. If one of the socks has a one-finger-sized rip in the front and, another one-finger-sized on the rear and another one on the side, it is acceptable to wipe over those pair of socks. Here is the decree of rips that hinders the validity of wiping : Rips, which open and display beneath or which stay together; however, displaying beneath while walking is deemed as hindrance to wipe over leather-made socks. Even if a rip is bigger or longer than three-fingers’ size if it does not display the foot, it is not regarded as a hindrance for wiping. If a sock is ripped but has a lining to hinder this rip to display beneath or if the hole or rip is sewn, it is not an hindrance for wiping.

5. Such wiping needs to be done over leather-made socks. Wiping underneath is not acceptable.

6. Obligatory amount of wiping over leather-made socks is there-finger-sized place in the front part of the socks as measured according to the smallest finger of a hand. Wiping from the tips of the feet upwards is appropriate to sunnah. However, it is also acceptable to pour water on such socks or wetting them with a sponge or a piece of cloth or wiping over the socks horizontally or beginning to wipe from the leg of a sock. However, such wiping is not in accordance with the sunnah.

7. Such socks need to be durable and strong enough to allow walking twelve thousand consecutive steps.

8. At least three-finger-sized space should be available in the front part of the feet.

9. These socks should stand without laces.

10. These socks should not allow the water in.

11. They should not be too transparent to display the feet. (as-Sarakhsi, ibid, I, 99-101; al-Kasani, ibid, I, 9-12; Ibnu’l-Humam, ibid, I, 128-134; Tahtawi, Hashiya Ala Maraqil Falah, Istanbul, 1095, p. 103-105; al-Fatawa’l Hindiyya, Bulaq 1315, I, 32-34).

The time limit for the validity of such wiping is one day and a night for the settled people and three days and nights for the travelling people. Intention is not necessary in wiping.  Wiping over the socks with wet hands and by putting right hand fingers over the right sock and the left fingers over the left sock and by wiping from down the tips of socks up to the ankles with fingers open is what is appropriate to the sunnah. This time limit commences right after the ablution is broken. For example, if a person has worn leather socks complying with the conditions of the noon prayer and his ablution is broken in the time of the afternoon prayer, the period begins after the time of the afternoon prayer. A person who is afraid of getting frozen by cold can continue wiping over the socks even if the deadline ends. For a person whose deadline of wiping ends and who still preserves his ablution, it is sufficient to wash his feet by putting off the socks; he does not need to make an ablution again. A settled person who goes on a trip before the period of wiping ends is subject to the time limit of wiping on travel. A person who travels and finishes a day and a night and becomes settled, then his period of wiping ends. A person whose deadline ends and goes on a trip should take his socks off and make an ablution and then wear the socks. (as-Sarakhsi, ibid, I, 98-99, 103-104; al-Kasani, ibid, I, 8-9; Ibnu’l Humam, ibid, 130-131; al-Fatawa’l Hindiyya, I, 33-34,36; Mulla Khusraw, Duraru’l Hukkam, Istanbul, 1979, I, 35; Tahtawi, ibid, p.105).

Wiping over socks:

It is acceptable to wipe over thick socks which are durable and strong enough to walk with. It is also acceptable to wipe over felt-made socks. According to the general aspect, it is not acceptable to wipe over socks which are permeable to water. (as-Sarakhsi, ibid, I, 102-103; al-Kasani, a.n.b, I, 10; al-Fatawal-Hindiyya, I, 32)

Wiping over boots:

It is acceptable to wipe over boots or shoes resembling boots worn over leather-made socks after socks are worn and without having wiped over socks and if they are worn without the ablution being broken. If they are worn after the ablution is broken, it is not acceptable to wipe over them.

It is not acceptable to wipe over gloves, veils, fez, hats and turbans. (as-Sarakhsi, ibid, I, 101-103; al-Kasani, ibid, I, 10-11; Mulla Khusraw, ibid I, 36; al-Fatawal-Hindiyya, I, 32)

Things that break the validity of wiping:

Anything that breaks the ablution also breaks the validity of wiping. For this reason, if the deadline has not ended yet, one should wipe over the socks and bandages in the next ablution.

The validity of wiping breaks due to the conditions listed below:

1. Exceeding the deadline of wiping. When the deadline ends, if a person does not have ablution, he should take the socks off and put them on back again with a new ablution. If a person still preserves his ablution even if the deadline of wiping ends, then he should only take the socks off and wash his feet and wear them back on.

2.  One or both of the socks coming out of the feet. When one sock comes out, a person should take the other one off and take ablution or if he has ablution, he should wash his feet and put them back on. Feet coming out up to the leg of the socks means it has completely come out.

3. If one of the feet becomes mostly wet in the socks due to water entering in the socks.

4. The case of impurity, menstruation and puerperium, which necessitates a complete ablution (ghusl) of the body.

5. Having a three-finger-sized rip on the socks as measured according to the size of the smallest finger on a foot. (al-Kasani, ibid, I, 12-13; Ibnu’l Humam, ibid, I, 134-135; Molla Khusraw, a.n.b, I, 37; Tahtawi, ibid, p. 105-107; al-Fatawa’l-Hindiyya, I, 34-35).

Wiping over a bandage:

Wiping over bandages over body parts which have been injured or wounded or cut is acceptable if washing them is harmful. If a bandage covers more place than the wound, one should wash the extra parts and if this is harmful, though, wiping over the bandage is sufficient. If wiping over the wound is not harmful, it is not acceptable to wipe over the bandage. If wiping over the bandage is also harmful, then wiping should be quitted. It is sufficient to wipe over the most parts of the bandage while wiping.

If the bandage comes out over the wound, if it comes out while praying without the full recovery of the wound, then one can continue to pray. If it comes out when a person does not pray, then he should wrap it again and he does not need to wipe over it again. The time limit of wiping over a bandage depends on the full recovery of the wound. Also, one does not have to have ablution while wrapping the bandage. In wrapping a bandage, a person without ablution is the same as an impure person (due to ejaculation etc.) After the recovery of the wound, if the bandage comes out while praying, the prayer becomes invalid.

If something leaks through the bandage over a wound, it breaks the ablution.

It is not acceptable to wear a sock on a foot while another one has a bandage over it and to wipe over it. It is acceptable to wipe over the socks  worn after that the bandage is wiped and the other foot is washed.

Intention is not necessary while wiping over the bandages. ( al-Kasani, ibid, I, 13-15; Ibnu’l Humam, ibid, I, 140-141; Molla Kusraw, a.n.b, I, 38-39; Tahtawi, ibid, p. 107-110; al-Fatawa’l Hindiyya, I, 35-36).

Saffet KÖSE

Author: Islamic Encyclopedia,

To have more information, please click on the links given below;

What are the necessary conditions for the validity of wiping over (Leather- Made) Socks (Khuffs) ?

Ablution is a problem for working women. Is it sufficient to wipe over thin socks while taking ablution, like wiping over the top of the feet without a complete wash of the feet?

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