[A response to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/al-Zawiya/message/11791
on the Mas`ud Khan's al-Waziya group.]

Rabani, Ghulam" <rabani@l...>  wrote on Sun Aug 3, 2003:
>Asalaamu Alaikum,

wa `alaykum al-salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu

>Just a few comments...
>1) Brother Musa stated:
>"Imams Abu Ishaq al-Shirazi, al-Ghazli, and al-Nawawi all indicate
>that being waterproof is not the *only* opinion within the Shafi`i
>madhhab." From the quotations we are to understand that they are
>not the ONLY opinions, but I would contend that they are also not
>the widely held opinion of the Shafi madhab.

The non-waterproof opinion is not mu`tamid today, and it probably
was not the mu`tamid of the madhhab at any time.

But the issue here is not whether or not one can follow it today.
Rather, the issue is whether or not there is truly is scholarly
consensus [ijma`] regarding certain issues pertaining to wiping over

>I draw your attention to the following from the Reliance Of the

I am fully aware of this passage, seeing that I broke my teeth on
"The Reliance" with Shaykh `Abdallah al-Qadi some ten years ago and
have studied Shafi`i fiqh ever since.

Didn't I address this passage in one of the messages already on the
Hanbali group?

>It would seem that the statement of brother Musa about there be a
>lack of Ijma on this point is not only disputed by the Hanfi's but
>also by the Shafi's.

In the case of Shaykhs Nuh (Allah grant him protection) and `Abd
al-Wakil (Allah grant him mercy), it is most likely based on a
common misunderstanding that Shafi`i make when reading this topic in
Hanbali books. When the Hanbalis say that "one must be able to walk
in the socks if they so wanted", the Shafi`is understand this to be
the identical to something in the Shafi`i madhhab (a condition
that is used for establishing that the socks are waterproof) while
it is only similar.

This is something you are unlikely to realize unless you study the
Hanbali madhhab as a systematic madhhab, and study it at some point
with one of its living scholars.

I recently asked a Shafi`i of much, much more knowledge than myself
about this very issue. I asked him because his studies of Shafi`i
fiqh was done under shaykhs totally unrelated to circles in which
most Western Shafi`is have studied.

When he read the passages from the Hanbali books, he read it as a
Shafi`i. When I pointed out the mistake, he immediately recognized
it for what it was.

We, unfortunately, live in an age where not only are Hanbalis quite
rare, but people don't seem to really care whether or not they
understand the Hanbali madhhab or not.

Now, we can either go with Shaykhs Nuh and `Abd al-Wakil on this
issue, or we can go with Imams al-Nawawi, al-Ghazali, and Abu Ishaq

As for the case of the Hanafis, there is the question of whether or
not Imam al-Kasani (or: al-Kashani, both are attributed to him)
meant the consensus of the Hanafis or the consensus of the scholars
irrespective of madhhab.

     * If he meant the former, then this hardly applies to anyone

     * If he meant the latter, then we should be able to track down
       when and where this consensus occurred.

       First we would look in books dedicated to the subject of
       ijma`, like the books that Ibn Mundhir, then Ibn Hazm, and
       then Ibn Taymiyyah authored on this subject.

       Then we would look within books of the fuqaha, particularly
       books such as Imam Ibn Qudama's _al-Mughni_ and Imam
       al-Nawawi's _al-Majmu`_ - books known for their sound
       presentation of other madhhahib.

For the sake of thoroughness, I already look in those books. There
is no scholarly consensus for this issue to be found.

Remember: the issue here is consensus, not strength of the ruling.
One of the conditions for tacit consensus [ijma` sukuti] is that it
take place before the codification of the madhhabs. Unless someone
can pull out a text declaring explicit consensus [ijma` sarih],
there is none.

At this point we haven't even turned to the books of the Hanabila.

     * Ibn Qudama does not address the issue of waterproof in
       _al-Mughni_. It is wrong to jump to any conclusions about
       this, even though quite a few people have taken this to mean
       that Ibn Qudama endorses that the socks much be waterproof.
       That Ibn Qudama did not address the issue means that he did
       not address the issue; it does not mean that Ibn Qudama agrees
       with whatever the reader thinks.

     * Ibn Muflih in _al-Furu`_, Ibn Muflih mentions that there is a
       difference of opinion over whether being waterproof is a
       condition in the madhhab, or not. (He also states the same
       regarding the conditions of being thick and not being

     * al-Hajjawi in his various books doesn't address the issue.

     * al-Buhuti in his various books doesn't address the issue in
       the books I looked in, including: _al-Raud al-Murbi`_ and
       _Kashshaf al-Qina`_.

     * Mar`i bin Yusuf does not address the issue in _Dalil al-Talib_
       or in _Ghayat al-Muntaha_.

     * al-Taghlabi in _Nail al-Ma'arib_, his commentary on _Dalil
       al-Talib_, says that it is not a condition that the socks be

As for all of the folks who never addressed the issue of being or
not being waterproof, if we take a careful look at the entire
section on khuff and what takes they place, it's pretty easy to
arrive at the conclusion that being waterproof is not a condition.

The Hanbalis allow men to wipe on turbans and women on their khimar.
Among the conditions mentioned are that the turban wrap under the
jaw and the khimar around the neck, and that the material itself be
lawful for use. The example given of unlawful material is silk with
respect to men.

The conditions for the turban and khimar do not include that it not
be thick, though in the case of the khimar this is understood
because the khimar must be thick enough to hide color of the skin
and hair underneath it. And this is what "thick" means in this
section: that it covers the color of the underlying skin and hair.

There is nothing here to indicate that the turban or khimar must be
waterproof. Nothing. And yet the qiyas [analogy] for their material
is based on khuff as their base case.

So, if opinion used for fatwa among the Hanbali is that waterproof
is not a condition, and there is a weak opinion in the Shafi`i
madhhab agreeing with the Hanbalis, where is this consensus?

Even if someone were to argue that the transmission of the weak
Shafi`i opinion is itself weak and thus of no consideration (while
Imams al-Ghazali and al-Nawawi considered it authentic enough to
include, even if they did argue against it), we are still left with
the position of the Hanbalis.

Want to know what the Hanbalis say? You ask a Hanbali.

And finally, I would like to point out that the Hanafis, Malikis,
Shafi`is, and Hanbalis differ in what they view to be the underlying
point of khuff. This difference necessarily results in slightly
different rulings.

Each of these madhhabs has evidence for their opinion, and their
opinions are sound with respect to their jurisprudence. One can
either accept that the four are valid to follow and make good their
word, or they can start playing games of weeding out the positions
they don't like.

My hunch is that if not for the Wahhabis and Salafis, you would not
see people so adamant about the socks issue. The Wahhabis and
Salafis are wrong on issues, but they are not wrong on all issues.

The Hanbali view is a great rahmah, mercy, that Allah Most High has
preserved. The Hanbali madhhab has dozens of positions unique to
their madhhab. If differences amongst the scholars is a mercy, who
are we to deny ourselves of this mercy that Allah Himself has
preserved for us?

>It would be interesting to find out whether the scholars of the
>Maliki school also feel that ijma across all four schools has been

Perhaps you can ask the folks on the ahl_medina group?

>I for one concede quite readily that I have little or no knowledge
>of the Hanbali school, but are the scholars of the other schools
>mis-informed as to the "general" position of the Hanbali school?

Yes, I think that they are. And in this they should be excused and
no one should take their mistake as an indication that they are
misinformed on other issues.

>Finally, some questions regarding emails that I have seen on the
>Hanbali site:

So much for retiring the Hanbali group... <grin>

Other people should keep in mind that Ghulam has reduced the
original message to the content essential for his question; they do
not convey the full discussion.

>In an email dated: Date: Wed Sep 11, 2002 4:58 pm Subject: More
>About Wiping Over Socks
>It is stated:
>* worn on the foot: that it be thick; and that it not impair or be
>destroyed by walking.
>Then in a later email

Actually: a previous...

>it is stated:

>Date: Wed Aug 21, 2002 10:08 am Subject: Khuff, Socks, and the
>Hanabli mathab
>is that you may wipe over khuff and what takes there place
>providing seven conditions are met. Among those conditions are:
>covering the color of the skin that must be washed when making
>wudhu, being thick (ar. safiq), and being able to walk in
>them--even if only a few steps.

[End of the Hanbali messages.]

>My question is the condition placed in the first email (destroyed
>by walking) is it limited to "destroyed by walking only a few

Yes, otherwise almost nothing would do. I have to wonder how
SealSkins (waterproof socks made of Kevlar) would fare in on lava
rocks and obsidian, under the hot sun. This describes the conditions
in parts of the Saudi Desert.

The condition with the Hanbalis is that the khuff or whatever takes
their place be of such a form that one could walk in them if they
wanted, even if only for a few steps. Socks made of mud or plaster
of Paris won't work, because as soon as you try to walk they will
shatter. But shoes made of plaster with gauze (a cast) will probably
work as long as they just cover the portion one must wash during
wudu` - otherwise they will restrict the movement too to be suitable
for walking.

>Remember me in your Duas.

And us in yours.

In closing, I would like to repeat something that is more important
than all of this stuff about Hanbalis and socks:

     Each of these madhhabs has evidence for their opinion, and their
     opinions are sound with respect to their jurisprudence. One can
     either accept that the four are valid to follow and make good
     their word, or they can start playing games of weeding out the
     positions they don't like.

Imam al-Shar`ani was tough on this issue. In his _al-Mizan al-Kubra_
he writes something to the affect that anyone who hesitates for one
moment to follow another madhhab when it is appropriate to do so has
prejudice [ta`asub] in his heart.

And finally, one of the supplications that our pious predecessors
would make on their way to lessons is that Allah Most High hide
their teacher's faults from them.

>Ma Asalaama, Ghulam Rabani.

At your service, wa al-salamu `alaykum