What is the ruling of wiping over socks?
What is the ruling of wiping over socks? Do the socks have to be leather or can they be any socks?
According to the majority of scholars, it is permissible to wipe over socks on the following conditions:
- If they are thick and sturdy enough to be suitable for walking;
- If they cover those parts of feet that need to be washed during ablution;
- If they are worn in a state of purity.
The legal premise for the permissibility of wiping over socks is the hadith of Mughira Ibn Shu'bah who reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) wiped over [his] socks and foot-wear [during ablution]. The hadith was recorded by Ahmed, Abu Dawud, and At-Tirmidhi who declared it authentic. The majority of scholars restricted the general meaning of the hadith of wiping over socks with other hadiths on the permissibility of wiping over the khuff, stipulating the same conditions of wiping over the khuff to wiping over socks. However, some scholars such as the Hanbalis, Al-Qasimi, and Ahmed Shaker from among the latter scholars conformed to the apparent meaning of the hadith and maintained the unrestricted permissibility of wiping over socks, whether they are thick or thin, cover those parts of the feet that need to be washed during ablution or are torn.
Based on the above, wiping over ordinary socks which are not suitable for walking is not permissible by scholars since they stipulated for that the socks are thick and sturdy enough to be suitable for walking. However, it is permissible to follow the opinion of the scholars who permit wiping over normal socks if there is a necessity and a Muslim will not be blameworthy.