Bismillahi Al-Rahmani Al-Rahim

Wiping Over Khuff & Other Barriers

The science of hadith terminology, mustalih al-hadith, recognizes a category of hadith known as that which is well known to laymen . This category has nothing to do with the authenticity of the hadith or the lack thereof; it simply has to do with the hadith being well known to non-specialists. Today s article is about a fiqh issue that fits into a category analogous to this category of hadith, since it is one of those fiqh issues well known outside of the Hanbali mathab, without much concern over whether what is known is authentic or not.

I wrote a short article on this several years ago, where I showed what various books in the mathab had to say and the evidence for the positions. Today I'm just going to give the basic fiqhi details about wiping over khuff and what takes their place, and leave the evidence for another day.

The following text is adapted from an English translation of `Ali al-Hijjawi's Zad al-mustaqni , with notes from Mansur al-Bahuti's commentary Al-Raudh al-murbi .

Wiping over Khuff & Other Barriers


It is permissible to wipe over footgear for the duration of 24 hours when the person is a resident or a traveler who is not permitted to shorten prayers, or for the duration of 72 hours when the person is traveler who is permitted to shorten.

The period of times begins from nullifying ritual purity after wearing.

The conditions of what is wiped over are that it:
(1)     be ritually pure
(2)     be lawful
(3)     cover the essential portion washed during ablution, including hiding the color of the skin beneath it
(4)     attach by itself
(5)     be worn after completing ablution
(6)     not be removed after meeting the above conditions and after entering a state of ritual impurity

The things that can be wiped over during when in a state or minor ritual impurity include:
(1)     leather socks (khuff)
(2)     thick socks[1]
(3)     a man s turban which loops under the neck or possesses tails
(4)     a woman s head-covering which wraps around her throat
(5)     a splint which covers only what is necessary

When in a state of major ritual impurity, only the last one (a split) can be wiped over.

How long one wipes

Someone wipes like a resident if he:
(1)     wiped while traveling and then became resident
(2)     wiped while resident and then became a traveler
(3)     has doubts concerning its beginning.

If ritual purity is nullified while resident and he travels before wiping on khuff or what takes their place, he wipes like a traveler.

What cannot be wiped over

One does not wipe over:
(1)     hats
(2)     something wrapped around the foot simply to keep it warm
(3)     something which does not adhere to the foot
(4)     something from which part of the wiped area is visible even if just the color of the underlying skin

Socks over socks

If one leather sock was worn over another, then the ruling is for the top one.

How much must be wiped

It is essential to wipe:
(a)     the majority of a turban
(b)     the top of the foot from the toes to the ankle, not the bottom or the ankle
(c)     and the entirety of a splint

Renewing his purification

It is necessary to renew the purification without the khuff or whatever takes its place if one of the following occurs:
(1)     the time expires
(2)     part of what is essential to wipe over becomes uncovered after the first incident of losing purification.

[Adapted from `Ali al-Hijjawi's Zad al-mustaqni , and Mansur al-Bahuti's commentary Al-Raudh al-murbi .]

[1]  In the book Nail al-ma`arib it is explicitly stated that it is not a condition that the material be water repellent. Other books define thick as being thick enough to hide the color of the skin underneath it.