June 22, 2024
daleel at talib
Daleel at-Talib: Unit#5: Wiping Over the Leather Socks & Bandage | Wiping over the leather socks is permissible with some conditions.

This section from Daleel at-Talib belongs to Wiping Over the Leather Socks & Bandage.

Wiping over the leather socks[1] is permissible when the following seven conditions are fulfilled[2]:

[1] It is important to note that the majority of Muslim scholars believe that Allah Almighty commanded to wash the feet during Wudhu in the Holy Qur’an. According to this opinion, washing the feet is required in normal circumstances. But if you are traveling or you are sick, then the scenario changes. During traveling availability of water is not sure but speculated. That is why the Messenger of Allah (May Allah shower His blessings and peace on him) used to wipe over leather socks while traveling to distant places. The Messenger of Allah (May Allah shower His blessings and peace on him) used to wash his feet while he was at home, except on cold nights or when he was not well. That is why wiping over leather socks is not permissible in normal circumstances. Though Imam Ahmad R.A, along with many other scholars, allows wiping without the aforementioned excuses, they all agree that it should not be habitual. One exception might be for the people living on high latitudes for extremely cold weather throughout the year. Moreover, they put seven conditions for wiping over leather socks. This is all to limit the use of this concession.

Shuraih b. Hani said: I came to Ayeshah (May Allah be pleased with her)  to ask her about wiping over the socks. She said: You better ask (Ali) son of Abu Talib for he used to travel with Allah’s Messenger (blessings and peace be upon him). We asked him and he said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace be upon him) stipulated (the upper limit) of three days and three nights for a traveler and one day and one night for the resident.

Note it please, why did Ayesha (May Allah be pleased with her) say “You better ask (Ali) son of Abu Talib  for he used to travel with Allah’s Messenger (blessings and peace be upon him)”

The reason behind this advice was that she had not observed the Messenger (blessings and peace be upon him) wiping over the leather socks while making ablution at home. This is because he (blessings and peace be upon him) seldom wiped over the leather socks at home. We know that he used to make ablutions at home while not traveling. However, he used to wipe while traveling. Ali (blessings and peace be upon him) used to accompany the Messenger (blessings and peace be upon him) during traveling. So he observed the Messenger (blessings and peace be upon him) several times, wiping over leather socks while traveling.  It is noteworthy that Ayesha (May Allah be pleased with her) has been mentioned among those who were reluctant to wipe over the leather socks. (Ash-Shawkani, Nail-ul-Awtar:1/267)

[2] It means if any one of these seven conditions is skipped, one is not allowed to wipe over the leather socks.

(i)       Leather socks would have been put on after perfect purification with water (Wudhu)[3]

[3] It is impermissible to wipe over the socks if one wears them after Taymmum (dry ablution).

(ii)            Covering the part that is obligatory (to wash) even if these are tied[4]

[4] Leather socks should cover the parts of feet that are obligatory to wash i.e. up to ankles. If the ankles and upper of the foot are not covered properly, then one is not allowed to wipe over them.

(iii)           Possibility of walking with them customarily[5]

[5] One can walk usually while wearing socks. Though a minimum distance is not specified, still it should be as usual as one walks on foot customarily.

(iv)           Staying on their feet by themselves[6]

[6] Socks should be kept intact to the feet on their own. Though binding them is allowed, it should not require shoes to be kept intact.

(v)              Leather socks should be lawful [7]

[7] This condition has two important aspects:

1. The user of leather socks should have legal rights to use these socks. If these are misappropriated or snatched or stolen then wearing them is Haram and wiping over them is impermissible.

2. The material of leather socks should be lawful. It means socks made of dead or Haram animals’ skin is not allowed to wear and wiping over them as well.

(vi)           These should be made of clean material [8]

[8] The leather socks should not be made of unclean material like the skin of dead animals or Haram animals. If the skin is taken from a Halal animal but some filth pollutes it, then it is again unlawful to wear them and wipe them over them.

(vii)         These should not reveal the skin [9]

[9] Leather skin should cover the feet properly and no obligatory parts should reveal. It implies that there should be no holes in the socks.

So a resident[10] and a sinful traveler [11] may wipe over (leather socks) from breaking the ritual purity after wearing them[12], till one day and night[13], while a legal traveler [14] (may wipe over) till three days and nights[15].

[10] Who is a resident:
A person who stays in his hometown regularly or a person who intends to stay outside his hometown for more than four days is considered a resident from a religious point of view.

[11] Sinful Traveller:

A sinful traveler is a traveler who intends something illegal by traveling, is said to be a sinful traveler. For example, if a person sets off with the intention of looting people on the road, killing someone, or stealing something etcetera is considered a sinful traveler; so he is considered a resident and he can wipe over the leather socks during a time period that is specified for a resident.

[12] After wearing leather socks, in a state of ritual impurity, the maximum time period in which wiping over socks is allowed starts from the first breaking of Wudhu.

[13] The time period in which a resident and a sinful traveler can wipe over the leather socks lasts one day and night after the first breaking of Wudhu. It is noteworthy that the nullification of Ghusl  (ritual shower) also nullifies the Wudhu.

[14] Legal Traveller:

In Islam, a legal traveler is defined as someone who is on a journey that takes them away from their hometown and its surrounding areas, and who intends to return home after completing the journey.

In Hanbali Madhab, the minimum distance that is required to qualify for being a legal traveler is four Bareeds which equals 48 Hashimi miles. While 48 Hashimi miles is a distance that equals to 90 kilometers approximately.

Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him):

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: “Do not shorten the prayer (while traveling) for a distance of less than four Burud; from Makkah to ‘Usfan.” [ad-Daraqutni reported it through a weak chain of narrators, and the right opinion is that it is Mawquf (saying of a companion, i.e. Ibn ‘Abbas). Ibn Khuzaima reported it as such]

Imam Ata bin Abi Ribah (May Allah have mercy on him), who was a resident of Mecca, said that he asked Abdullah bin Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) whether he should shorten his prayers during the journey to Arafat or Mina. He said that Ibn Abbas replied that he should not shorten his prayers in this case (because the distance was less than the prescribed limit) but he should shorten his prayers while traveling to Taif or Jeddah. Shorten your prayers for a distance of a full day (24 hrs) don’t shorten less than it.”

[Musannaf Abd al-Razzaq:H#4341]

Imam Ata bin Abi Ribah (May Allah have mercy on him) said: “I asked Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him), ‘Should I shorten my prayer when I go to Arafat?’ He said, ‘No.’ I asked, ‘Should I shorten it when I go to Muzdalifah?’ He said, ‘No.’ I asked, ‘Should I shorten it when I go to Taif or Usfan?’ He said, ‘Yes, and that is at a distance of 48 (Hashimi) miles.’ He held up his hands to demonstrate the distance.” [Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaibah:H#8356]

However, most scholars from Salaf put one more condition for being a legal traveler, that he should spend at least one night out of his hometown.

Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “The Jumuah prayer in congregation is obligatory upon him who can return to his family by the night (after saying Jumuah prayers).” [Jami at-Tirmidhi: H#502]

Imam Ahmad declared this Hadith weak, however, it suggests that the obligation of attending the Jumuah congregational prayer applies to those who can return to their families after the prayer. In other words, if a person is traveling and is not able to return home after attending the Friday prayer by the night, then he is exempted from the obligation of attending it. This exemption is granted to travelers because they face additional hardships and difficulties on the road, and it is more important for them to take care of their safety and well-being during their journey.

This Hadith indicates that in the Prophet’s time, a person was not considered a legal traveler until he spent a night out of his hometown. Another authentic Hadith supports this view.

Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “It is not permissible for a woman who believes in Allah and the Last Day to travel for one day and one night without a Mahram accompanying her.” [Musnad Ahmad: H#9228, Sahih al-Bukhari: H#1088]

This Hadith implies that a traveler who does not spend a night out of his place of residence is not considered a legal traveler.

Abdullah bin Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him)said: “ One can shorten prayers when he intends to travel the distance of one day and night.” [Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaibah:H#8336]

Imam Ata bin Abi Ribah (May Allah have mercy on him) said: Abdullah Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said: ‘Shorten your prayers when traveling for a full day (24 hours), don’t shorten it less than this distance. [Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaibah:H#8365]

Imam Ibn Sirin (May Allah have mercy on him) said: “They used to say that the journey in which prayers can be shortened is the journey in which one carries bags and baggage.”

[Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaibah:H#8371]

“Salim (May Allah have mercy on him) reported that Abdullah ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him did not shorten the prayers, at a distance of less than one full day. 

[Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaibah:H#8351]

Nafe’a reported the same from Abdullah ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him)

[Musannaf Abd al-Razzaq:H#4345]

Abdullah ibn Masood’s (may Allah be pleased with him) statement is very clear on this issue. He said: “The shortening (of prayers) is only (allowed) during travel when you spend the night from one horizon to another.”

[Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaibah:H#8373]

The classic Imams of Fiqh differed on how much time it took to travel four Bareed or 48 Hashimi miles. Imam Abu Hanifah thought it would take three days while Imam Shafiyee thought it would take two days. While Sayeduna Abdullah ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) believed that this distance could be traveled in one full day and night. Due to this difference of opinion, they differed on the number of nights to be spent out of one’s hometown to qualify as a legal traveler. I go with Abdullah ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him).

Please note that no one gave the ruling of shortening prayers during a journey of a few hours in the early centuries. Rather, this ruling was established after the invention of the railway engine. Although technology and shortening prayers have no connection. So one should be very careful in this regard. One should not shorten prayers or leave Jumuah or wipe over leather socks if he does not intend to spend a night out of his hometown. Though,  this is not the official position of Hanbali scholars. Allah knows the best.

[15] The time period for wiping over leather socks lasts three consecutive days and nights for a legal traveler.

And whoever wipes while a traveler and then reaches his place of residence – or vice versa – or he is doubtful about the beginning time of wiping over, he should not exceed the period in which wiping is allowed for a resident.[16]

[16] The text is saying that if a person wipes over leather socks  while traveling and then reaches their destination (or vice versa – if they wipe over leather socks  at their destination and then begin traveling), or if they are unsure about the beginning time of the wiping over (such as if they forgot when they started wiping over their socks), they should not exceed the maximum time period that is allowed for wiping over the leather socks for a resident *one day and night)

In Hanbali jurisprudence, the maximum time period for wiping over leather socks is 24 hours for a resident (someone who is not traveling) and 72 hours for a traveler. So if a person is unsure about the time period or if they are transitioning between being a traveler and a resident, they should not exceed the maximum time period for wiping over that is allowed for a resident.

Wiping over the upper of the leather socks is required while wiping the sole or back is neither permissible nor recommended.[17] 

[17] Narrated ‘Ali (May Allah shower His blessings and peace on him):

If the religion were based on opinion, it would be more important to wipe over the underparts of the leather socks than the upper, but I have seen Allah’s Messenger (May Allah shower His blessings and peace on him) wiping over the upper parts of his leather socks. [Sunan Abi Dawood: H#162]

When Ghusl (Major Ablution) becomes obligatory, or some obligatory part (of feet) is uncovered, or the wiping period is over, it invalidates Wudhu[18]

[18] In the following cases, the Wudhu breaks, and one is required to make Wudhu again after putting off the leather socks.

1.      When major ablution or Ghusl becomes obligatory.

2.      Some obligatory part is revealed from socks.

3.      Prescribed wiping period is over

If the owner of the medical bandage [19] dressed it in a state of purity and did not exceed the location where the need for it arose[20], then washing and wiping it with water is sufficient. If not, then it is obligatory to perform “Tayammum” (a dry ablution) for it along with washing and wiping it. [21] 

[19] “الجبيرة” refers to a medical bandage or dressing that is used to cover and protect a wound or injury.  In Islamic jurisprudence, there are specific rules and guidelines for performing ritual purification (wudhu) and washing (ghusl) of the body and clothing. These rules also apply to the cleaning of medical bandages or dressings that have been worn by someone in need of them.

[20] “محل الحاجة” actually refers to the location or spot where the need arose to wear the medical bandage. It does not necessarily refer to the spot of the body covered by the bandage, but rather the spot where the injury or wound is located and requires the use of the bandage.

[21] if the owner of a medical bandage wore it while in a state of purity (meaning they had performed wudhu or ghusl before wearing it), and the bandage did not exceed the location where the need for it arose (meaning it did not cover any part of the body that was not injured or affected), then simply washing the healthy parts and wiping the bandage with water is sufficient to clean it.

However, if the bandage was worn in a state of impurity (for example, if the person did not perform wudhu or ghusl before wearing it), or if the bandage covered a larger area than was necessary (i.e. it covered parts of the body that were not injured or affected), then in addition to washing and wiping the bandage with water, the person must perform tayammum (a dry ablution) for the bandage as well.

If the medical bandage dressed was not dressed in a state of purity or exceeded the location where the need for it arose, then it should be washed, and wiped, and “Tayammum” should be performed for it.

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