Leather socks made from animal skins is what was available at the Prophet’s ﷺ time. The ahadith regarding the Khuffain is Mutawatir.
Poem on Mutawatir Khuffain:
مما تواتر حديث من كذب ومن بنى لله بيتا واحتسب
ورؤية شفاعة والحوضُ ومسح خفين وهذي بعضُ
Imam Ahmad said regarding this issue that there’s nothing in his heart that goes against this as there are nearly 40 narrations regarding this from the Prophet ﷺ. Hassan al-Basri says that there are narrations from over 70 companions regarding the wiping over the Khuffain which as we mentioned earlier makes the case Mutawatir and leaves no room for any doubt.
The proof for this is the actions of the Prophet ﷺ and many of the companions of the Prophet ﷺ. Imam Nawawi has stated, ‘According to Ibn al-Mundhir nine of the Prophet’s ﷺ companions have ruled on the permissibility of wiping over the socks.”
These companions include: Ali Ibn Abi Talib, Ammar Ibn Yasir, Abu Masud, Anas Ibn Malk, Abdullah Ibn Umar, Al Bara Ibn ‘Azib, Bilal Ibn Rabah, Abi Umamah and Sahl Ibn Saad رضي الله عنهم.
That is why we see in the Books of Aqeedah there is a mention made of this even though it is not directly related to Aqeedah. The mention is made to distinguish between the belief of Ahlus Sunnah and the belief of Ahlul Bida’h like the Rafidah.
The author says, it is permissible to wipe over the socks or the likes be it leather socks or made from some other fabric. There are numerous ahadith from the Sunnah to support this issue. The Ulema when they talk about the fabric socks do qiyas over the leather socks since fabric socks aren’t mentioned explicitly in the ahadith. Fabric socks weren’t common during the time of the Prophet ﷺ. Some of the salaf like Imam Ahmed who narrates that we have 7-8 sahaba who narrate about wiping over the jawarib.
The Ulema mention some conditions when we equate Khuffain and Jawarib:
- The thick fabric socks which stick to the feet on it’s own since in nature the leather socks don’t need any external support to hold them above the ankles. If they are not held on their own, then it cannot be wiped over.
- It must be thick enough that the skin cannot be seen underneath it.
- Plural of Jurmook. Type of leather socks which are placed above the regular leather socks. Same rulings apply to them also.
- Must be above the ankles for it to be valid to be wiped over. Since the obligatory parts to be washed in wudhu are till the ankles the Khuffain should also be atleast till the same level.
- Can wipe over the socks only if the person is in a state of hadath asghar aka minor state of impurity.
The Timing for Wiping over the Socks
Resident: 1 Day and Night – 24 hours.
Traveller: 3 Days and Nights – 72 hours.
The timing over the wiping over the socks as per the madhab begins once a person has committed one of the nullifiers of Wudhu after wearing the socks.
Another sound opinion states that the timing starts from the first wipe over the socks after entering a state of hadath.
Proof: Narrated Ali: The Prophet ﷺ fixed the period of Mash (wiping) over the leather socks (Khifaf – plural of Khuff) for three days and nights for a traveller and one day and a night for the resident person in a town [Reported by Muslim].
Whenever he wipes over the socks and the timing finishes, meaning 24 hours time period has elapsed then the wudhu becomes void. This is the position of the madhab. A person needs to make new wudhu after this which would include having to wash the feet. The wudhu as per the madhab is also void if he takes his socks off before the time has elapsed since it is the socks which brought him into the state of purity.
As for a traveller who became a resident or a resident who became a traveller, then in both the cases the person has to wipe as a resident and the time period for the validity is just 24 hours. When a traveller returns home then the excuses given to the traveller are waived and he takes the rulings of a resident.
When a person who has wiped over in the state of being a resident becomes a traveller, then the person even then deals with their situation as a resident. This is because they began their wiping as a resident. The person completes their 24 hours, takes off the socks, does a complete new wudhu and only then can they wipe as a traveller.
Other scholars opine that one who goes from being a resident to a traveller takes the rulings of a traveller and this applies to both the wiping over the socks as well as Salah. This is a second strong opinion.
The person wipes from the toes till the ankles or a bit above it and the wiping is done only at the top part of it and not below. Wiping below the socks alone without wiping the top makes the wudhu invalid.
Narrated Ali: 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 Allah’s Messenger ﷺ wiping over the upper parts of his leather socks. [Reported by Abu Da’ud with good Isnad]
Wiping Over the Imama (Turban)
This is from the mufradat of the Hanbali madhab. The Shafi’iyyah allow wiping over the turban as long as some part of the head is also wiped.
Al-Mughirah b. Shu’bah said: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ performed ablution and wiped his forelock and turban. Another version says : The Messenger of Allah ﷺ wiped his socks and his forelock and his turban. [Sunan Abi Dawud]
The Hanabila stipulated a condition for the turban which states that the turban must have a tail at the back and at the same time it must go below the jaws to the other side. A sound opinion from Ibn Taymiyyah states that any turban can be wiped over as long as there is difficulty in removing and wearing it again. The turban must cover the entire head except that which is traditionally seen from the head.
As per the madhab, just like it is a precondition to have done wudhu before wearing the socks for the wiping to be valid, a person must also be in a state of Taharah before putting on the turban to be able to wipe over it.
It is permissible to wipe over the jabeerah which is the surgical splint or plaster or bandages or its likes because of an injury or medical need. For a person to be allowed to wipe over a plaster etc, it must cover only that portion which is absolutely necessary. That which isn’t necessary requires washing as per the stipulation and the excess must be removed. The person wipes the entire plaster from all sides and not just the top part of it like the socks.
Some scholars opine that a person can wipe over the plaster only if it was put on in a state of Wudhu but this is not generally feasible in state of an accident etc. A sound opinion states that it is not a precondition or requirement for wiping over the plaster.
Wiping over the socks is restricted by time, but the time for the plaster is extended to as long as the person is in need of it. Additionally, the wiping over plaster is in state of minor and major impurity unlike wiping over the socks only in state of minor impurity.
Difference between Men and Women?
There is no difference between the men and the women regarding wiping over the socks or the plaster except for the case of the Imama. This is because women cannot wear the Imama as it is specific to the men. The women are allowed to wipe over the khimar and this follows the same ruling of difficulty which Imam Ibn Taymiyyah mentioned above. The khimar can be wiped only if it is put on after wudhu.