Fatwa: # 19874
Category: Wudu
Country: American Samoa
Date: 19th March 2012


If a person breaks his wudu, will it sufficient for him to merely wipe his feet or does he have to do the entire wudu over?


My question is regarding wudu.

1.      I have heard that if you do wudu once and wash your feet fully, when you break your wudu throughout the day, you can just wipe water on your feet or socks and you don’t have to wash them. Is this true?

2.      Can you wipe over leather socks?

3.      Can you wipe over cotton socks?

4.      Do you have to wash your feet fully every time you break your wudu?

5.      Can you give a Hadith to prove it?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

There are two major parts to your question:

1.      If you break your wudu, will merely wiping your feet be sufficient if you have performed a complete wudu in the beginning of the day?

2.      Is it permissible to wipe (masāh) over the leather socks?

Each one of these questions will be answered accordingly.

1.      There are four compulsory acts in wudu.[1]

a.)   Washing the face.

b.)  Washing the arms upto the elbows.

c.)   Wiping one fourth of the head.

d.)  Washing the feet upto the ankles.

Without these four acts, the wudu will not be valid. If a person breaks his wudu, he must complete all four acts. Merely washing or wiping the feet is not sufficient even if a person has performed wudu in the beginning of the day.

2.      The case with leather socks is different. If a person performs wudu and then puts on leather socks, the next time he breaks his wudu, he will have to perform his wudu in the exact manner mentioned above with one exception. He will not wash his feet. Rather, it will be sufficient for him to merely wipe the top portion of the leather socks.[2]  This is known as doing ‘masāh’. However, doing masāh over the regular cotton socks that we normally wear is not permissible since they do the meet the requirements of doing masāh. [3]



There are numerous amount of Ahadith and the quotes of the Fuqahā (jurists) regarding the permissibility of doing masāh on leather socks. Some of them are as mentioned below:



عَنْ سَعْدِ بْنِ أَبِي وَقَّاصٍ عَنْ «النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَنَّهُ مَسَحَ عَلَى الخُفَّيْنِ») صحيح البخاري (1/ 51)

“It has been narrated on the authority of Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqās Radiallahu Ta’āla Anhu that the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam used to perform masāh over the leather socks.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari 1/51)



عَنْ عُرْوَةَ بْنِ الْمُغِيرَةِ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، أَنَّهُ وَضَّأَ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَتَوَضَّأَ وَمَسَحَ عَلَى خُفَّيْهِ……

 )صحيح مسلم (1/ 230)

“It has been reported by Urwā Ibn Mugheerāh Radiallahu Ta’alā Anhu on the authority of his father that the Prophet Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam performed wudu and then after performed masāh over the leather socks….” (Sahih Muslim 1/230)



وعن الحسن البصري رحمه الله قال: أدركت سبعين نفراً من أصحاب رسول الله عليه السلام كلهم يرون المسح على الخفين. )المحيط البرهاني في الفقه النعماني (1/ 167)


It has been reported that Hasan Al-Basri Rahmatullahi Alaihi said: “I encountered a group of seventy Sahābah Radiallahu Ta’alā Anhum. Each one of them held the view of performing masāh over the leather socks.” (Al-Muheet Al-Burhāni Fi Fiqh An-Nu’mani 1/167)



And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mawlana Abdul Hannan Nizami,
Student Darul Iftaa


Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

[1] الهداية في شرح بداية المبتدي (1/ 15) المتوفي سنة 593

كتاب الطهارات :قال الله تعالى: {يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلاةِ فَاغْسِلُوا وُجُوهَكُمْ} [المائدة: 6] الآية، " ففرض الطهارة غسل الأعضاء الثلاثة ومسح الرأس " بهذا النص والغسل هو الإسالة والمسح هو الإصابة وحد الوجه من قصاص الشعر إلى أسفل الذقن وإلى شحمتي الأذن لأن المواجهة تقع بهذه الجملة وهو مشتق منها " والمرفقان والكعبان يدخلان في الغسل ......قال: " والمفروض في مسح الرأس مقدار الناصية وهو ربع الرأس


[2] المحيط البرهاني في الفقه النعماني (1/ 167) المتوفي سنة 616

قال أصحابنا رحمة الله عليهم: مسح الخف مرة واحدة ولا يسن فيه التكرار، ويبدأ من قبل الأصابع فيضع أصابع يده اليمنى على مقدم خفيه الأيمن، ويضع أصابع يده اليسرى على مقدم خفه الأيسر ويمدهما إلى أصل الساق

المحيط البرهاني في الفقه النعماني (1/ 168)

محل المسح ظاهر الخف دون باطنه، حتى لو مسح باطن خفيه دون ظاهرهما لم يجزئه



[3] المحيط البرهاني في الفقه النعماني (1/ 169)

وأما المسح على الجوارب، فلا يخلو: إما إن كان الجوارب رقيقاً غير منعل، هذا الوجه لا يجوز المسح بلا خلاف

DISCLAIMER - AskImam.org questions
AskImam.org answers issues pertaining to Shar'ah. Thereafter, these questions and answers are placed for public view on www.askimam.org for educational purposes. However, many of these answers are unique to a particular scenario and cannot be taken as a basis to establish a ruling in another situation or another environment. Askimam.org bears no responsibility with regards to these questions being used out of their intended context.
  • The Shar's ruling herein given is based specifically on the question posed and should be read in conjunction with the question.
  • AskImam.org bears no responsibility to any party who may or may not act on this answer and is being hereby exempted from loss or damage howsoever caused.
  • This answer may not be used as evidence in any Court of Law without prior written consent of AskImam.org.
  • Any or all links provided in our emails, answers and articles are restricted to the specific material being cited. Such referencing should not be taken as an endorsement of other contents of that website.
The Messenger of Allah said, "When Allah wishes good for someone, He bestows upon him the understanding of Deen."
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim]