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

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

Dear Brother / Sister,

1. (Leather-made) socks (khuffs) should be worn after the feet have been washed for ablution. Wiping over a bare foot or a bandage due to an excuse complies with the decree of ablution and wiping over (leather-made) socks worn afterwards is also acceptable.

2. Leather-made socks should cover the feet with the heels. Wiping over socks, boots or slippers that are shorter than the heels is not acceptable.

3. It should be possible to walk at least 3 miles (about 5 kms) with the leather-made shoes on.

4. There should be no rips or splits below the heels of leather-made socks more than three toes long according to the small toes of a foot. If rips and splits are present, each sock is regarded separately.

5. Leather-made socks should be thick enough to stand without laces.

6. Leather-made socks should not let the water outside come into and wet the feet immediately.

7. An empty space measured as at least the smallest finger of a hand should be available in the front part of each foot. For this reason, a person who does not have the front part of one foot or two feet cannot wipe their leather-made socks. However, a person who does not have one of their feet can wipe the leather-made sock they wear on the other foot. (al-Kasani, ibid, I, 7, ff; Ibn Abidin, ibid, I, 261, ff; al-Fatawa’l Hindiyya, I, 32,34; Mehmed Zihni, Nimet-i Islam, Istanbul, p. 76; O. Nasuhi Bilmen, Buyuk Islam Ilmihali, Istanbul 1985, p. 82 ff).

The Time Limit of the Validity of Wiping over Leather-made Socks:

The time limit of the validity of wiping over leather-made socks is a day and a night, that is, twenty-four hours for a settled person and three days and three nights for a travelling person who makes at least an eighteen-hour travel. And this equals to seventy-two hours. These time limits are defined in the hadiths. (Nasai, Taharah, 98; Ibn Majah, Taharah, 86). The deadline of the validity of wiping over leather-made socks begins not from the moment they are worn and onwards but when the ablution is broken. For example, if a person who has made ablution in the morning and wears leather-made socks over his feet breaks his ablution at twelve, noon, the period begins at twelve.

A settled person who becomes a travelling person acts in accordance with the period of travelling and completes that period. However, if a travelling person becomes settled after wiping over his leather-made socks for a day and night, his period ends. Now, he must wash his feet while making an ablution. The legality or illegality of the purpose of travelling does not affect the validity of wiping. According to Imam Shafii and Ahmad b. Hanbal, the time limit of the validity of wiping is twenty-four hours for a travel with illicit purposes.

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