Can I Pray While Wearing Bulkier Shoes?

Answered by Ustadh Sufyan Qufi

Question

I’ve read the ruling that praying with shoes is generally permissible.

Does this also apply to today’s bulkier shoes like sneakers and dress shoes or winter boots where the sole of your foot or your toes may not touch the floor/ground and may not be flexible? For example, the sole of the shoe might be thick or your toes may not extend to the edge of the shoe (there may be a slight gap between your toes and the edge of the shoe).

Answer

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

I pray this finds you in the best of states.

Having toes able to reach the tip of the shoes is not a condition for the validity of the prayer. There will always be a small gap between the toes and the edge of most regular shoes.

Please see this answer by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani (may Allah preserve him):

In Durr al-Mukhtar (in the section on ‘What is Disliked in the Prayer’), Imam al-Haskafi (Allah have mercy on him) said,

“And praying in sandals is better.”

‘Allama Ibn ‘Abidin commented in his Radd al-Muhtar,

“… if they are free of filth, because of the hadith [of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)], ‘Pray in your sandals, and do not be like the Jews,’ [who did not do so] as reported by al-Tabarani, as recorded in [Imam al-Suyuti’s]al-Jami` al-Saghir, where it is stated that this is a rigorously authenticated hadith. From this, some Hanbalis even said that it is a sunna even if one walks in the market, because the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and his companions used to walk the streets of Madina and then pray in them. I say [Ibn ‘Abidin]: However, if one fears dirtying the masjid’s carpets, then one should not do so, even if they are free of filth.”

Therefore, scholars tell us, if one sees to apparent traces of filth on one’s shoes, and can bend them enough that one’s toes face towards the Qibla, which is a confirmed sunna, then there is nothing wrong with praying in shoes.

This makes life much easier for those at work or on the move, because it is often difficult or inconvenient to take off one’s shoes.

And Allah knows best. [end quote]

Wassalam,

[Ustadh] Sufyan Qufi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Sufyan Qufi is an advanced seeker of knowledge, originally from Algeria, who grew up in France. He began searching far and wide for answers to the fundamental questions of life and was disappointed at the answers he found.

Then he connected with various traditional teachers and gradually connected with SeekersGuidance. He embarked on his journey of learning through the various teachers at SeekersGuidance, including his mentor Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

He studied numerous texts in Islamic Law, Theology, Hadith, and other areas with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani and other teachers, including Shaykh Abdurrahman al-Sha‘ar, Shaykh Ali Hani, and others.

He is an active instructor at SeekersGuidance and answers questions through the SeekersGuidance Answers Service.