Question: Is the intention obligatory, meaning that when a person intends to wear socks or shoes, should he have the intention that he will also wipe over them when doing Wudhoo' (ablution)? Likewise, should he have the intention that he is going to wipe over them as a resident or a traveller, or is the intention non obligatory?
Answer: The intention is not obligatory, because the ruling of wiping is concerned only when the need arises and therefore does not require an intention. If a person were to wear a garment, for example, it is not a condition that he has to have the intention that this garment covers his 'Awrah (the parts of the body that must be covered according to Islam) when he prays. So it is not a condition that he has to have the intention that he will wipe over the socks when he wears them. Likewise, he does not have to have an intention as to how long he intends to wipe; rather, if he is travelling, he has a period of three days whether he had the intention for this or not, and if he is resident, he has a period of one day, whether he had the intention for this or not.
Answer: The journey in which it becomes permissible to shorten prayers is the journey in which it becomes permissible to wipe over the socks for three days and nights. This is because of the Hadeeth (prophetic narration) of Safwaan Ibn 'Assaal, may Allah be pleased with him, who said: “The Messenger of Allah ordered us to not remove our socks for three days and nights when we were on a journey, unless we were Junub (in ritual impurity), but not after excretion, urination or sleep.”
Therefore, as long as a person is on a journey in which he shortens his prayers, he can wipe over his socks for the period of three days.
Answer: When a resident wipes over his socks and then starts a journey, he should complete the wiping of a traveller (i.e. three days and nights), from the time when he first wipes over his socks, according to the strongest opinion. If he was travelling and then completes his journey, he should complete the wiping of a resident, which means that he should wash his feet as part of his first Wudhoo' upon returning, and then wear socks and thereafter wipe over them as a resident for the time period that a resident is permitted (i.e., one day). Some jurists have mentioned that if one were to wipe as a resident then start a journey, he should complete the period of wiping as if he were a resident, but the strongest opinion is what we have first mentioned. This is because this person has some time remaining in the period of his wiping before he started on a journey, then he started travelling. So, it is true to say that he is a traveller and therefore, can wipe over the socks for three days, after which he should make Wudhoo' whilst having taken his socks off. After this, he should wipe as a resident does.
Answer: In this case, the answer is based upon what is certain, so if he is doubtful if he started wiping for Thuhr (noon) or 'Asr (afternoon) prayers, then he should make 'Asr as his starting period. An evidence for this is that a man complained to the Messenger that he thought he had passed wind during his prayer, so he told him not to leave the prayer until he heard a sound or smelt something.
Answer: If he wipes after the period has expired, whether he is travelling or resident, then his prayer with this purification is invalid, because the Wudhoo' is invalid due to the period of wiping having expired. So, it is obligatory upon him to make a new Wudhoo', washing his feet, and to repeat his prayers that he prayed with that invalid Wudhoo' (for which he wiped over his socks after the period had expired).
Answer: If he removes his socks and then puts them back on again, while in a state of Wudhoo', then if this Wudhoo' was his first one (i.e. the one in which he washed his feet) and this did not break during the duration of wearing his socks, then there is no problem in putting his socks on and wiping over them again when he makes Wudhoo'. But if this Wudhoo' was one in which he wiped over his socks, then it is not permissible for him to put his socks on and continue wiping over them, because it is necessary for him to wear them when his feet have been washed with water.
Answer: Removing the socks (in this second case) does not invalidate the state of purity, but it invalidates the wiping, so if one were to put them on again another time and broke his Wudhoo', then it is necessary for him to remove his socks and wash his feet when he performs Wudhoo'. The important point is that it is necessary for him to have put the socks on when he has performed Wudhoo' in which he has washed his feet (in order to wipe over them later on).
Answer: There is a difference of opinion over this. Some jurists held the opinion that if one were to wipe over one of the two Khuffs (leather socks), be it the upper or the lower, then the wiping does not move to the second. Some other jurists rule that it is permissible for the wiping to move to the other for as long as the period of wiping remains. So, for example, if one were to wipe over the shoes, then he removed them and wished to make Wudhoo', then he can wipe over his socks, and this is the strongest opinion. Likewise, if he were to wipe over his socks, and then put on another pair, or put on a pair of shoes, then there is no problem in his wiping over the upper layer as long as the period of wiping remains. But the period is calculated from the point of the first wiping, not the second.
Answer: The way of performing the wiping is to pass the hand over the feet from the extremity of the toes to the lowest part of the shin only; meaning that the part of the Khuff that is wiped is the upper part only. the wiping can also be done by passing both hands over both feet simultaneously i.e. the right hand wipes over the right foot and the left hand over the left foot at the same time, as one would wipe the ears. Many people wipe by using both their hands to wipe the right foot, and both their hands to wipe the left foot. This action is unfounded, as far as we know. All that the scholars have said is to wipe the right foot with the right hand, and the left foot with the left hand.
Answer: Their prayers and Wudhoo' are correct, but they should be informed that wiping over the lower part of the Khuffs is not from the Sunnah (prophetic tradition). Ali Ibn Abu Taalib, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “If the religion were according to opinion, then the underside of the Khuffs would have been wiped, but I have seen the Messenger of Allah (only) wipe over the upper part of the Khuff.”
This indicates that only the upper part of the Khuff is legislated to be wiped.
Question: We see people wiping over the upper and lower parts of the Khuffs, so what is the ruling of this wiping and what is the ruling of their prayers?
Question: Many people ask about the way the wiping should be done and the place of wiping?
Question: A person wipes over his shoes, and then removes them and wipes over his socks, is this wiping correct? Or is it necessary for him to wash the feet?
Question: So, removing the socks does not invalidate the wiping?
Question: If a person removed his socks while in a state of Wudhoo', then he put them on again before his Wudhoo' broke, is it permissible to wipe over them later?
Question: A person wipes over his socks after the period of wiping has expired and prays, what is the ruling of his prayer?
Question: A person is doubtful as to when he started wiping over his socks, what should he do?
Question: When the traveller comes to the end of his journey, or a resident starts a journey and he has already started wiping over his socks, how does he calculate the length of his wiping?
Question: What is the journey in which the wiping period of three days and nights becomes permissible?
Answered by: Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih Al-'Uthaymeen