I Used to Wipe Over Socks. Should I Repeat These Prayers? (Shafi’i)
Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan
Question: Assalam alaykum,
During my school days I used to pray after making wudu by wiping over cotton socks and not washing my feet as this was the general practise of all students in my school. Do I need to repeat all those prayers?
Answer: Wa alaykum al-Salam
The official view of the Shafi’i school does not allow one to wipe over cotton socks, as it does not fulfill the condition of having the quality of preventing water from penetrating it, should water be poured over it.
That being said, alternative views do exist within the Shafi’i school. One such view only required that the sock should prevent water from penetrating it, when one wipes over the sock with soiled hands, and not when water is poured over it. Another view stated that the quality of preventing water from penetrating the sock is not a condition at all. [Majmu’ sharh al-Muhadhdhab]
Based on these two unofficial alternative views within the Shafi’i school, wiping over cotton socks would be permitted. It is generally preferred that one acts according to the preponderant view of the school, while one is permitted, in his personal capacity, to act upon an unofficial view.
In addition and in retrospect, the scholars have stated that people’s actions are to be judged according to any view that exists within the four schools that deems their actions valid (haml al-nas ‘ala aysar al-madhahib). What this effectively means is that your wudu while wiping over cotton socks was valid based on the unofficial views mentioned above and consequently your prayers.
And Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Abdurragmaan Khan
Shaykh Abdurragmaan received ijazah ’ammah from various luminaries, including but not restricted to: Habib Umar ibn Hafiz—a personality who affected him greatly and who has changed his relationship with Allah, Maulana Yusuf Karaan—the former Mufti of Cape Town; Habib ‘Ali al-Mashhur—the current Mufti of Tarim; Habib ‘Umar al-Jaylani—the Shafi‘i Mufti of Makkah; Sayyid Ahmad bin Abi Bakr al-Hibshi; Habib Kadhim as-Saqqaf; Shaykh Mahmud Sa’id Mamduh; Maulana Abdul Hafiz al-Makki; Shaykh Ala ad-Din al-Afghani; Maulana Fazlur Rahman al-Azami and Shaykh Yahya al-Gawthani amongst others.