What Is the Hanafi Position regarding Praying in Shoes?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question

In one post, you mentioned the permissibility of praying with shoes on. Some of the students of knowledge who taught us were unaware of this ruling in the Hanafi school of law, and so I wondered if you could provide a (or some) reference(s) for it and perhaps slightly elaborate on the matter w.r.t. whether it is the relied-upon opinion, or a well-known opinion, or rare, etc., please.

Answer

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 no 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.

Also, see:
Can I Pray While Wearing Bulkier Shoes?

And Allah knows best.

Wassalam,
[Shaykh] Faraz Rabbani

and he was able to study an extensive curriculum of Quranic sciences, tafsir, Arabic grammar, and Arabic eloquence.

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani spent ten years studying with some of the leading scholars of recent times, first in Damascus, and then in Amman, Jordan. His teachers include the foremost theologian of recent times in Damascus, the late Shaykh Adib al-Kallas (may Allah have mercy on him), as well as his student Shaykh Hassan al-Hindi, one of the leading Hanafi fuqaha of the present age. He returned to Canada in 2007, where he founded SeekersGuidance in order to meet the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge–both online and on the ground–in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He is the author of: Absolute Essentials of Islam: Faith, Prayer, and the Path of Salvation According to the Hanafi School (White Thread Press, 2004.) Since 2011, Shaykh Faraz has been named one of the 500 most influential Muslims by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.