Masḥ of Khuff

Question: I am wearing above ankle boots and wuḍū-socks. I made wuḍū before putting them on, and I left home. A prayer time came [while] my wuḍū was still valid. I removed my boots, while I still have my wuḍū-socks on, to pray in a masjid, and I prayed. After I prayed, I passed gas. I still have my wuḍū-socks on, and I have not put my boots back on.
My questions:
– Do I need to take off my wuḍū-socks to renew my wuḍū?
– Can I keep wearing wuḍū socks and simply rub them (doing khuff) for wuḍū?

بسم الله الرحمٰن الرحيم

Answer: In the scenario described, it is enough to make a full wuḍū and wipe over the khuffs.

Explanation:Masḥ of khuff (المسح على الخف) refers to the prophetic practice of wiping over a particular footgear called a khuff (الخف). Its primary proof comes from hadith like the Prophet’s ﷺ saying, “The traveler does masḥ for three days and nights. Whereas, the resident [does masḥ] for a day and a night.”[1] Also, the Tābi` al-Ḥasan al-Baṣrī said, “It has reached me that seventy Companions of Allah’s Messenger ﷺ reported that he did masḥ on his two khuffs.”[2]

Think of the effect of khuff in the following way: When a person makes wuḍū, they are in a physical state of purity. When that wuḍū is broken by any of the things that break wuḍū, then a state of impurity reaches the entire body. Khuffs, when worn before wuḍū breaks, prevent the state of impurity from reaching the feet which they cover.[3] If the khuffs are removed, one can imagine the state of impurity then descending into the feet. When renewing wuḍū, perform it as one normally does, but leave out washing the feet as they are covered by the two khuffs. It is permitted thereafter to simply perform masḥ rather than washing.

Note: Mas is only permitted for renewing wuḍū. It cannot be done to remove janābah (i.e. someone requiring a ritual bath/ ghusl).

Khuff and Khuff-like

Masḥ is permitted over a khuff or a khuff-like footgear. Generally, khuff refers to footgear made of leather, but a khuff-like material may also be used if it is sufficiently thick. The scholars gauged thickness by several parameters: the footgear remains without having to be tied, water does not easily soak through, and one may walk a distance without the footgear ripping.[4]

Additionally, the footgear must cover the foot up to the malleoli[5] on both sides and cannot have holes greater than the cumulative area of three small toes.

How to perform mas

According to the Sunnah, mas is done by wiping the top of the khuff-covered foot with wet fingers from the toes to the shin. The minimum amount is wiping an area corresponding to three fingers. Anything less than this will not suffice.

What Breaks Mas?

Mas will break if:

  1. Whatever breaks wuḍū has occurred

Its time period has passed – three days and nights for the traveler, one day and night for the resident. This period starts not at the time of wearing the khuff, but at the time of wuḍū breaking (entering a state of impurity).

Removal of the khuff over which masḥ was done.

With the latter two, one needs only to remove the khuff and wash the feet. The entire wuḍū does not need to be repeated.[6]

Addressing the Question

In the question, the person entered a state of purity after making a complete wuḍū. The khuffs and boots were worn while in this state. The boots were removed and ṣalāh prayed with this initial wuḍū. The khuffs were not removed. The wuḍū was broken. The person entered a state of impurity except the feet, which was prevented by the khuffs. At this time, wuḍū can be renewed by making a complete wuḍū except for washing the feet. Instead, it is enough to do masḥ over the khuffs.

An Additional Point

Could you have done masḥ on your boots if they were not removed? After having understood what has been mentioned above, if the aforementioned boots are khuff-like and they were worn while in a state of wuḍū as described in the question, one may do masḥ over the boots provided the boots are not removed and are without najāsah (Sharī`ah stipulated impurities like urine, blood, feces, etc).[7]

والله أعلم بالصواب

And Allah knows best,

Mufti Sulaiman Yusufi

Shaykh Mateen Khan

[1] صحيح مسلم 276، النسائي 129

[2] فتتح الباري 1:306

[3] الإختيار لتعليل المختار 1:38

[4]  (وقال أبو يوسف ومحمدٌ: يجوز المسح على الجوربين إذا كانا ثخينين لا يشفان الماء (مختصر القدوري

مَّدٌ يَجُوزُ الْمَسْحُ عَلَى الْجَوْرَبَيْنِ إذَا كَانَا ثَخِينَيْنِ لَا يَشِفَّانِ) حَدُّ الثَّخَانَةِ أَنْ يَقُومَ عَلَى السَّاقِ مِنْ غَيْرِ أَنْ يُرْبَطَ بِشَيْءٍ، وَقَوْلُهُ لَا يَشِفَّانِ أَيْ لَا يُرَى مَا تَحْتَهُمَا مِنْ بَشَرَةِ الرِّجْلِ مِنْ خِلَالِهِ وَيَنْشُفَانِ خَطَأٌ (الجوهر النيرة 1:28)

[5] The bony projection on either side of the ankle.

[6] المسح على الخفين جائز بالسنة من كل حدث موجب للوضوء إذا لبس الخفين على طهارة كاملة ثم أحدث

فإن كان مقيما مسح يوما وليلة وإن كان مسافرا مسح ثلاثة أيام ولياليها وابتداؤها عقيب الحدث

والمسح على الخفين على ظاهرهما خطوطا بالأصابع يبدأ من رؤوس أصابع الرجل إلى الساق

وفرض ذلك مقدار ثلاث أصابع من أصغر أصابع اليد

ولا يجوز المسح على خف فيه خرق كبير يبين منه مقدار ثلاث أصابع من أصابع الرجل وإن كان أقل من ذلك جاز

ولا يجوز المسح على الخفين لمن وجب عليه الغسل

ونقض المسح ما ينقض الوضوء وينقضه أيضا نزع الخف ومضي المدة فإذا مضت المدة نزع خفيه وغسل رجليه وصلى وليس عيه إعادة بقية الوضوء (مختصر القدوري)

[7] وَيجوز الْمسْح على خف فَوق خف وعَلى جرموق فَوق خف إِن لبسه قبل الْحَدث (تحفة الملوك 32