Commentary on the hadith of wiping over the Khuffs in wudoo

Praise be to Allah,


Narrated ‘Urwa ibn Al-Mugheera: My father (S) said, “Once I was in the company of the Prophet (PBUH) on a journey and I dashed to take off his Khuff. He ordered me to leave them as he had put them on after performing ablution. So he passed wet hands over them.”[i]


Ikh-tillaaff [[Difference of Opinion]]


Concerning Wiping Over the Socks:


The Shee’ah have stepped outside of the Ijmaa’ (Consensus) of the scholars and have denied the legislated action of wiping (al-Mas-hu) over the socks. This opinion has also been reported by Imaam Maalik and some of the Sahaabah (Companions). However, Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah says: “The report that the companions rejected the act of wiping over socks is a weak (unauthentic) report. As for Imaam Maalik, the confirmed report of his opinion in this matter is that he allowed it, and after him, his students were all in agreement upon the permissibility of wiping over socks.”


As for the Shee’ah – they have in fact opposed the Ijmaa’ claiming that the hadeeth of al-Mas-hu are all abrogated by the verse in Soorah al-Maa’idah, which they read:


“…wamsahoo bi-ru’oosikum wa arjooli-kum…”

“…and wipe over your heads and your feet…”,


Instead of:

“…wamsahoo bi-ru’oosikum wa arjoola-kum…”


“…and wipe over your heads and (wash) your feet…” – which is the correct meaning.


It was narrated that Rubai said: ‘Ibn ‘Abbaas came to me and asked me about this hadeeth’, meaning the hadeeth, she had narrated, saying that the Messenger of Allaah (PBUH) performed ablution and washed his feet. “Ibn ‘Abbaas said, ‘The people are insisting on washing their feet, but I do not find anything in the Qur’an except (the injunction to) wipe them’.” [ii]


The correct understanding of this verse of the Qur’an is explained and confirmed in the authentic hadeeth which report the practice of the Prophet (PBUH) as well as his instructions to his companions to wash the feet when making ablution. The exception from washing is the case where someone has put on socks after washing their feet, as shown in the above hadeeth.


The whole Muslim Ummah hold the opinion of the permissibility of al-Mas-hu (wiping over the socks), and believe in it as a point of Aqeedah (Creed), citing as proof the large number of authentic ahaadeeth which confirm it as a Sunnah. If we accept for the sake of argument the reading: “…wamsahoo biru’oosikum

wa arjooli-kum…” [with kas-rah (i)],


Instead of the reading: “…wamsahoo bi-ru’oosikum wa arjoola-kum…”

[with fat-hah (a)],


One of the explanations for such reading would be – as some of the scholars said – to indicate the permissibility of al-Mas-hu (wiping over the socks) according to what is specified in the Sunnah.


The students of Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood (R.A) used to be fascinated and delighted with the hadeeth of Jareer ibn Abdullah (R.A) concerning al-Mas-hu (wiping over the socks) since he only became a Muslim after the revelation of Soorah al-Maa’idah.[iii]


This means that his hadeeth is after the revelation of the verse under discussion and therefore not abrogated by it. Hence, the verse – if read with fat-ha (a) would agree with the hadeeth and therefore support al-Mas-hu (wiping over the socks), and not indicate wiping over the feet as claimed by the Shee’ah.[iv]


The summary of what was said by Ibn Daqeeq al-Eid is that “The permissibility of wiping over the socks has become so well known that it has become a symbol or mark of the People of Sunnah. At the same time rejection of wiping over the socks has become the mark of the People of Innovation (Ahlu-I-Bid’ah).”


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Important Points Derived from the Hadeeth:


  1. The legislation of wiping over the socks, at the time of making ablution. That this wiping is one time with one hand, over the upper side of the socks and not the lower, as has been mentioned in many reports.


Al-Mugheerah ibn Shu’bah narrated:

“I saw the Prophet (PBUH) wiping over the Khuff: on the tops of them.”[v]


  1. The condition for the permissibility of wiping over the socks is that the person should have washed the feet before putting on the socks.


  1. That it is commendable to offer one’s service to the scholars and those held in high regard [in the Muslim society].


  1. It has been reported in some of the narrations of this hadeeth that it took place during the Battle of Tabook at the time of the Dawn Prayer.


  1. The permissibility of wiping over the Khuffs as a substitute for washing the feet and deduced by analogy to that everything that covers the feet such as socks and other than that.


  1. The permissibility of taking one’s help in tahaarah (purification) like fetching the water and pouring it onto one making taharah and similarly.


Allah Knows Best.


Copied from Sources:

Arousing the Intellects with the Explanation of Umdatul Ahkaam. The Book Of At-Taharaah by Allama Sheikh Salih Ibn Uthaymeen (May Allah have mercy on him). page 64

Tayseer al-Allaam Sharh Umdatul-Ahkaam by Shaykh Abdullah ibn Abdur – Rahmaan Aal Bassaam. Page 48



[i] Saheeh Bukhaari, Volume 1, Book 4, Hadeeth Number 206, p. 168-169; A longer version is recorded in: Saheeh Muslim, Volume 1, Book 2, Hadeeth Number 631, p. 396

[ii] [Sunan Ibn Maajah, Volume 1, Book 1, Hadeeth Number 459, p. 337, Classed as Da’eef by Haafiz Aboo Taahir Zubayr ‘Alee Za’i] – Ed.

[iii] It has been related from Shahr ibn Hawshab that he said, I saw Jareer ibn ‘Abdullaah performing Wudoo’, and he wiped over his Khuff. I asked him about that. He replied, “I saw Allaah’s Messenger (N) performing Wudoo’ and he wiped over his Khuff.” So I said to him, “Before Soorat Al-Maaidah (was revealed) or after Al-Maaidah?” So he replied, “I did not accept Islaam until after Al-Maaidah.” [Jaami’ At-Tirmithee, Volume 1, Book1, Hadeeth Number 94, p. 120-121, Classed as Hasan by Haafiz Aboo Taahir Zubayr ‘Alee Za’i] – Ed.

[iv] It was narrated that Aboo Haiyah said: I saw ‘Alee (S) performing ablution and he washed his feet up to the ankles, and then he said, “I wanted to show you how your Prophet (N) purified himself.” [Sunan Ibn Maajah, Volume 1, Book 1, Hadeeth Number 456, p. 336, Classed as Saheeh by Haafiz Aboo Taahir Zubayr ‘Alee Za’i, who said, “…since the Shiite scholars deny it (i.e., washing the feet during ablution), the Compiler of the book (i.e., Imaam ibn Maajah) has quoted a hadeeth to prove that ‘Alee (S) himself used to wash his feet during ablution.”] – Ed.

[v] [Jaami’ At-Tirmithee, Volume 1, Book1, Hadeeth Number 98, p. 125, Classed as Hasan by Haafiz Aboo Taahir Zubayr ‘Alee Za’i] – Ed.


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