What is the ruling on wiping over the khuff (leather socks) and jawrab(socks)? Is there a time limit on how long a person can wear his khuffs and wipe over them instead of washing his feet?
The ruling on wiping over khuffs, whilst performing one’s wudu’, instead of fully washing the feet, is that it is a dispensation (rukhsa), which is permitted by the Shari’a (as opposed to a dispensation which is recommended or sunna, such as shortening the prayer while travelling). It is not a condition that the person wearing them is travelling, he may wipe over them regardless of whether he is at home or travelling, even if his journey is of a forbidden type (such as setting out to rob people). As for jawrabs, it is only permitted to wipe over them if they are covered on the outside by leather (NOTE: So basically what is meant by a jawrab is a khuff whose inside is cotton or wool to make it more comfortable). If they are not covered by leather, then it is not permissible to wipe over them and the person performingwudu’ must remove them and wash his feet.
There is no time limit to how long a person can continue to wear his khuffs and so there is no time limit to how long he can continue to substitute wiping over them for washing his feet in wudu’ – he may do so for a year if he so wishes. If he removes them in that period, however, he must perform a full wudu‘, in which he washes his feet, before he is permitted to wipe over them again. (NOTE: The reason the issue of the time limit is mentioned is because, in some of the madhhabs, it is not permissible for a person to wear khuffs for longer than a day (or three days if the person wearing them is travelling) [ME: for example in the Hanafi Madhhab], after which he has to perform a full wudu’, in which he washes his feet, before he is permitted to wipe over them again).
What are the preconditions for wiping over the khuff and jawrab?
There are eleven preconditions which must be met before a person is permitted to wipe over his socks in wudu’; six preconditions relating to that which is wiped and five preconditions relating to the person who performs the wiping:
There are six preconditions relating to that which is wiped (in other words, the khuff. If any of these preconditions is lacking then it is not permitted to wipe over it):
1. That it is made from leather. If it is made from other than leather then it is not permitted to wipe over it.
2. That it is in itself pure. If it is made from the skin of an animal which died on its own or was not slaughtered properly then it is not valid to wipe over it, even if that skin has been tanned [NOTE: Just as the khuff must itself be pure, there must also not be anything impure (such as human urine or faeces) on it].
3. That it is put together with stitching. If the khuff is glued or cellotaped together, then it is not permitted to wipe over it.
4. That it covers the place which it is obligatory to wash when washing the feet in wudu’. In other words the khuff must completely cover the ankles. If thekhuff stops short of the ankles or does not completely cover them, then it not permitted to wipe over it.
5. That it is possible to walk normally in it. If the khuff is so large that it will slip off when he walks with it (or so tight that it is impossible to walk whilst wearing it, or so thin that it will tear when he walks on it), then it is not permitted to wipe over it.
6. That there is no barrier between the water and the khuff, such as wax and the like.
There are five preconditions relating to the person who performs the wiping. (If any of these preconditions are lacking then it is not permitted for that person to wipe over the khuff):
1. That he put them on when he was in a state of ritual purity (i.e. he must be inwudu’ before he puts them on). If he put them on when he was not in a state of ritual purity then he may not wipe over them and he must remove them when he wants to perform wudu’.
2. That his state of ritual purity was obtained using water, not earth (in other words, he may not performtayammum in order to put on his khuffsand then still wipe over them, it must be wudu’).
3. That his state of ritual purity was complete before he put on the khuffs. This means that, if he were to put on his khuffs before completing his wudu’ (orghusl), such as by washing his feet, putting on his khuffs and then wiping his head (after putting on his khuffs), it would not be permitted for him to wipe over them [NOTE: His wudu would be valid as the correct order is a sunnaelement of wudu’, not an obligatory element]. Similarly, if he were to wash his right foot (whilst performing wudu’or ghusl), put his right khuff on, and then wash his left foot and put his leftkhuff on, it would not be permitted for him to wipe over his khuffs, as he put one of them on before he was in a complete state of ritual purity.
4. That he put them on for a valid reason. Valid reasons for wearing them include: following the sunna of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace; protecting oneself from the cold; protecting the feet from the ground when is very hot; protecting the feet from scorpions; or because it comes with the uniform (such as when worn by soldiers or judges, when that is the custom). If, however, a person were to wear the khuffs without valid reason, such as when he wears them to show off his importance and high station in society, or wears them to ensure that the henna he put on his feet (without a valid medical reason for doing so) is not washed in wudu’, or wears them just to sleep in, or wears them to protect his feet from fleas and the like (unless of course he is someone who is allergic to fleabites, in which case wearing khuffsbecomes a necessity in order to safeguard his health), then he is not permitted to wipe over them.
5. That the act of wearing is not in itself an act of disobedience to Allah. It is not permitted for a man who is in a state ofihram during a hajj or umra to wipe over khuffs (as he is forbidden to wear any garment which is stitched), except if he is compelled to wear them (for health reasons and the like), in which case he may wipe over them. As for women, they are permitted to wear stitched garments in ihram and so are also permitted to wipe over khuffs if they are wearing them. Another category of person not permitted to wipe over khuffs, is the person who has forcibly taken (ghasb) those khuffs from another person without their consent.
What are the disliked elements of wiping over the khuff?
There are three disliked elements of wiping over the khuff:
1. Washing the khuff instead of wiping it. This is excess in the Deen and doing so might damage the khuffs. If a person does this, however, then his wudu’ is valid so long as he washed them with the intention of that being part of hiswudu’ or with the intention of lifting the state of ritual impurity. If his intention was merely to remove physical impurity (such as horse dung or urine) from the khuff, not his state of ritual impurity, then that washing does not take the place of wiping and his wudu’would not be valid.
2. Trying to wipe inside every crease and crevice of the khuff.
3. Wiping the khuff more than once.
What invalidates wiping over the khuff?
There are three things which invalidate wiping over the khuff:
1. Those things which make ghuslobligatory: That is to say, the insertion of the head of the penis into the vagina (or anus, which is forbidden), the emission of semen, the onset of menstruation and the onset of lochia (post-natal bleeding). If one is in a state of major ritual impurity then it is invalid to wipe over the khuff until such time as he has removed the state of major ritual impurity by performing aghusl.
2. Rips or tears in the khuff amounting to a third the length of the foot or more, regardless of whether those tears have opened up to reveal the foot beneath or whether the two sides of the tears are still holding together in places (such as when the stitching has come apart, but parts of the leather are still stuck together). If the rips or tears amount to less than a third the length of the foot, then wiping over the khuff is valid, except when the rips have completely opened up to reveal the foot beneath. If the rips (that amount to less than a third) have only opened up a little, however, whereby the moisture of the hand does not reach the foot beneath during the wiping, then wiping is valid.
3. Removing most of one’s foot from thekhuff (according to the position of Shaykh Khalil in the Mukhtasar). If a person either completely takes off hiskhuff or partially takes it off so that most of his foot (not just the heel) is outside it, then wiping becomes invalidated. According to the other position, which is generally considered to be the stronger (this position is from the Mudawwana), removing most of the foot from the khuff does not invalidate wiping, it is only by completely removing it that it is invalidated.
What is the ruling when a person removes his khuffs whilst in a state of ritual purity? What is the ruling when a person removes his khuffs whilst he is in a state of ritual purity and he is wearing another pair of khuffs beneath them?
If a person performs a wudu’ in which he wipes over his khuffs and then removes those khuffs, he must wash his feet immediately upon removing them. If he is wearing another pair of khuffs underneath the original khuffs, then he must wipe that second pair of khuffs straight away)*. Similarly, if he were to remove only onekhuff, it would become incumbent upon him to remove the other khuff and immediately wash his feet. If he were to delay washing his feet or wiping over the second pair of khuffs for a long time, then his wudu would be rendered invalid. The reason for him having to wash his feet immediately is in order to preserve the consecutiveness of the wudu’. What is meant by ‘a long time’ here is the time it takes for an average-sized limb to dry in a moderate climate, as is explained more fully in section 29 in the chapter on wudu’.
*[NOTE: If a person wants to wear more than one pair of khuffs and wipe over them, he must ensure that he put on all the khuffswhen in a state of ritual purity. If he put on the first pair when he was in a state of ritual purity and then put on a second pair over the top of them when he was not (in a state of ritual purity), then he may not wipe over the second pair and must remove them and wipe over the first pair.]
What are the recommended elements of wiping over the khuff?
There are two recommended elements of wiping over the khuff:
1. Removing the khuffs on every Jumu’a, even if he put them on on Thursday. If he does not remove them on Jumu’a, it is recommended for him to remove them on the same day on which he put them on (i.e. a week later. For example, if he put the khuffs on on Tuesday and did not remove them on Jumu’a, it is recommended that he remove them the following Tuesday).
2. Performing it in the recommended way, which is to: Place the palm of the right hand on top of the toes of the right foot and the palm of the left hand under the toes of the same foot and then, in a single motion, to pass the hands over the khuff until he reaches the top of the ankles (wiping the topside of the khuffwith the right hand and the underside and heel of the khuff with the left hand). He then does the same thing with the left foot, but this time places the right hand on the underside and the left hand on the topside.
What is the ruling on wiping the topside and the underside of the khuff?
It is obligatory to wipe the topside of the khuff (the side which faces the sky when a person is standing). If the person performing the wiping does not wipe the topside and then prays with that wudu’, his prayer is invalid. If he were to neglect to wipe the underside (the side facing the ground when a person is standing) of thekhuff, however, and then pray with thatwudu’, his prayer would be valid, as it sunna, not obligatory, to wipe the underside. It is recommended, however, for the person who omitted the underside to repeat his prayer in the ikhtiyari time.
The rulings mentioned above, concerning the omission of the topside or underside of the khuff in the wiping, are equally applicable to the one who only omits part of the topside or part of the underside. Thus, if a person left out part of the topside, any prayers he prayed with that wudu’would be invalid, and if a person left out part of the underside, it would be recommended for him to repeat, in theikhtiyari time, any prayers he prayed with that wudu’.
Original Source (Fiqh Summary of the School of the Maliki Masters by Muhammad al-‘Arabi al-Qarawi, translated by Habib Bewley)