Do My Socks Need to Be Waterproof to Suffice as Khuffs?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick

Question

I bought sealskinz socks as khuffs. Are these valid to conform to the ruling of wearing khuffs?

Is this still valid if there are some small holes in them and water seeps through after some time? Can I still wear those khuffs? Do they need to be waterproof?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate. May Allah guide us to that which pleases Him, forgive us for our shortcomings, and alleviate our difficulties, Amin.

The type of socks described is valid for usage as khuffs, and Allah knows best. They do not need to be waterproof.

Wearing Khuffs

According to the preponderant view in the Shafi’i School, the conditions for the permissibility of wiping footgear are:

  1. that one has a complete ablution when one first puts them on;
  2. that they are free of filth;
  3. that they cover the whole foot up to and including the anklebones;
  4. that they prevent water (if dripped on them drop by drop from directly) reaching the foot (if water reaches the foot through the holes of a seam’s stitches, it does not affect the validity of wiping them, though if water can reach the foot through any other place, it violates this condition);
  5. and that they are durable enough to keep walking around upon, as travelers do in attending to their needs (when encamping, departing, etc.).

Materials That Suffice for Khuffs

It does not matter whether they are made of leather, felt, layers of rags (including thick, heavy wool socks that prevent water from reaching the foot, wood, or other; nor whether they have a cleavage laced up with eyelets (provided none of the foot shows). Other views allow modern regular as long as they are durable, as stated above, enough to walk upon as travelers would.

One may not wipe footgear if wearing just one of a pair and washing the other foot. Nor if any of the feet shows through a hole in them (though small holes are overlooked). [Misri, ‘Umda al-Salik]

I pray this is of benefit.

[Shaykh] Irshaad Sedick
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan. 

Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.

He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.

Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and pursuing his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.