Twenty-Two and Twenty-Three Hadeeths
It was narrated that Al-Mugheerah ibn Shu‘bah, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: "Once I was in the company of the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, on a journey and I dashed to take off his Khuffs (i.e. socks made from thick fabric or leather). He, peace and blessing be upon him, ordered me saying: “Leave them as I had put them after performing ablution.” So he, peace and blessing be upon him, passed wet hands over them. (1).
It was also narrated that ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: “The Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, set a limit of three days and nights for the traveler, and one day and night for one who is not travelling.” (2).
Such two great Hadeeths have many benefits and we will review them in the following points:
Firstly, his saying "Once I was in the company of the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, on a journey…” refers to the battle of Tabook as it was expressed by this in a narration reported by Imam Maalik and Abu Daawood, may Allaah have mercy upon them, and that this was during Fajr prayer.
His saying: “…and I dashed to take off his Khuffs (socks made from thick fabric or leather)…” means I have stretched my hands to get them out from his feet.
His saying: “…He, peace and blessing be upon him, ordered me to leave them…” refers to the two Khuffs.
As for “…as he, peace and blessing be upon him, had put them after performing ablution...”, it refers to his feet.
Secondly, Muslim scholars have deduced from such two Hadeeths and the like the permissibility of wiping over Khuffs for the one who is traveling and the one who is resident (i.e. not a traveler). There are many Hadeeths reported concerning the legality of wiping over the Khuffs. Imam Ahmad, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: “There are forty traceable Hadeeths of the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, indicating its permissibility.”
Ibn Al-Munthir reported that Al-Hasan Al-Basri, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: “I was told by seventy of the Companions of Allah’s Messenger, peace and blessing be upon him, that he used to wipe over his Khuffs (with his wet hands during ablution).”
No one goes against the permissibility and legality of wiping over Khuffs except some of the deviant sects.
Thirdly, also scholars have deduced from the Hadeeth of Al-Mugheerah, may Allaah be pleased with him, that it is stipulated for wiping over Khuffs the complete ritual purity of the feet for the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, said: “Leave them as I had put them after performing ablution.”
Accordingly, it is obligatory upon the one who wants to wipe over his Khuffs to be in a state of complete ritual purity (i.e. a state of ablution). So, if one washes one foot during his ablution and then put on one Khuff or sock and then washes the other and put on the other Khuff, then this will not be permissible because he is not completely pure. Thus, the ruling of permissibility depends on washing both of them and then wearing both Khuffs. This is the opinion adopted by the majority of Muslim scholars.
Fourthly, it was stated in this Hadeeth that the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, wiped over Khuffs which are, as we have defined, two leather socks completely cover the feet up to the ankles. Is it permissible to wipe over normal socks? The correct opinion in this regard, Allaah Willing, is that it is permissible to wipe over socks if they are thick enough to cover underneath and completely cover the feet up to the ankles. Some other scholars stipulated that they should be durable and strong enough to continue walking in.
Fifthly, the Hadeeth narrated by ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib, may Allaah be pleased with him, indicates that the period of the permissibility of wiping over the Khuffs is one day and night for a resident and three days and nights (during which one can wipe over his Khuffs) for a traveler. It was reported from Imam Maalik and others that there is no specific period for wiping over the Khuffs and thus one wipes over his Khuffs no matter how long the period is. However, all the proofs introduced by those who adopted such opinion are weak and cannot fit to be quoted as evidence. The correct opinion then, Allaah Willing, is that the resident wipes over his Khuffs for one day and night while the traveler wipes over his Khuffs for three days and nights. According to this opinion, the period of permissibility of wiping over the Khuffs starts from the time of being in a state of ritual impurity (caused by passing urine, stool or wind) after wearing the Khuffs (as ritual impurity necessitates ablution for prayer). So, if one puts them on at the morning, for example, however, does not have ritual impurity except after Zuhr, thus wiping over the Khuffs starts from the time of being in a state of ritual impurity i.e. starts wiping over his Khuffs after Zuhr not from the morning.
There is another opinion states that the period starts from the first time one wipes over the socks, where if one put on Khuffs at the morning and had ritual impurity after Zuhr; however, he does not start wiping except at performing ablution for the ‘Asr prayer, then the period starts from the time of performing ablution to ‘Asr prayer. However, the first opinion is preferable and more on the safe side. Allaah Knows best.
Sixthly, it should be noted that wiping is permissible only in case of purification from the state of minor ritual impurity, but not major ritual impurity (e.g. Janabah - being in a state of need for a ritual bath due to menstruation, ejaculation etc.). Accordingly, ritual bath makes wiping over Khuffs invalid and interrupts the period for the traveler and resident alike.
One should know that wiping is to applied to the upper part of the Khuffs not the under for Abu Daawood and At-Tirmithi and others reported that ‘Ali, may Allaah be pleased with him, said: “If the religion were based on opinion, it would be more important to wipe over the under parts of the leather socks than the upper, but I have seen the Messenger of Allaah, peace and blessing be upon him, wiping over the upper parts of his leather socks. At-Tirmithi said: “It is Hasan Saheeh (good and authentic) (3) Hadeeth. As for the way wiping over the Khuffs is performed, it is to be by passing one’s wet fingers from the toes towards the leg. One also should open one’s fingers during wiping. Wiping over the most part of the feet is really sufficient. This is the opinion expressed by Ibn Qudaamah, may Allaah have mercy upon him.
1) Reported by Imam Al-Bukhaari in the Book of Wudoo’ (i.e. Ablution), the chapter 49, Hadeeth no. 206, 1/309 and Imam Muslim in the Book of Tahaarah (i.e. Purification), the chapter to pass wet hands over Khuffs [two leather socks covering the ankles] 1/230, no. 274.
2) Reported by Imam Muslim in the Book of Tahaarah (i.e. Purification), the chapter of the time limit for wiping over the shoes, 1/232, no. 27.
3) Reported by Abu Daawood in the Book of Tahaarah (i.e. Purification), the chapter of the way of performing wiping over Khuffs, 1/42, no. 162.