Praying behind an Imam who has done masah over normal socks

Fatwa ID: 01438

Answered by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Question:

Assalamualaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu; 

Respected Ulama of Deen, In our school, the teacher that leads the Dhuhr prayer wears socks (not leather socks) and here in Saudi Arabia, it is normal to do masah on these socks. I do not know whether he does masah on these socks or not. Therefore, is praying behind such Imam alright? And if not, then what should we do?

Jazakallahu Khairan Wassalam

Answer:

Bismillah

In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.

Socks are of three types:

  1. Socks which are called khuffain (leather socks) it is permissible to make masah over them.

Jafar bin Amr bin Umaiya Ad-Damri narrates, my father said ‘I saw the Prophet of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) passing wet hands over his khuffs (leather socks)’ (Sahih Bukhari)

Similarly, socks which have leather sole will be permissible to do masah on. (Darse Tirmizi p.334 v.1)

  1. If the socks are so thick that water does not seep through and can stand upright without having to be tied and are so durable that one can walk continuously for three to four miles without being torn, then it is permissible to do masah over such socks. (Kitabul Fiqh p.229 v.1)
  2. If the socks are thin and do not poses the quality of leather but are like regular socks made of cotton, wool etc….then it is the consensus of all the scholars that it is not permissible to do masah over them. (Bahrur Raaiq p.317 v.1 & Badaaius Sanaai p.10 v.1)

One may argue that there are hadiths regarding masah over non-leather socks (jawrab) therefore, why are their differences in opinions?

Mufti Taqi Uthmaani (D.B) writes in his Fiqhi Maqalaat ‘There are only three ahadith about doing masah on non-leather socks.  One of Saaiduna Bilal raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) in Majmaus Sagheer of Tabarani.  Second of Saaiduna Abu Musa Al-Ashari raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) in Sunan Ibn Majah and Sunan Baihaqi and the third of Saaiduna Mugheera bin Shubah in Sunan Tirmizi.  Hafiz Zailaee in Nasbur Rayah (p.183 v.1) has written that the hadiths of Saaiduna Bilal & Saaiduna Abu Musa to be defective and weak. Imam Abu Dawud has written that these two hadiths sanad (chain) are not continuous nor reliable or strong. (Bazlul Majhood p.96 v.1)

As regards to the hadith of Saaiduna Mugheera bin Shubaah raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him), Imam Tirmizi has claimed it to be Hasan Saheeh.  However, other eminent Imams such as Imam Muslim, Imam Baihaqi, Imam Ahmad, Imam Thauri and many others clarified it to be weak. (Nasbur Rayah p.183 v.1)

Hazrat Moulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi raḥimahullāh (may Allāh have mercy upon him) has mentioned that masah upon normal socks has not been established from the opinion of anyone of the scholars of the schools of thought. (Kawkabud Durri p.63 v.1)
Therefore, the conclusion we can come to is that masah upon normal cotton or linen socks is not established from the Qur’an, hadith or consensus of the ummah. Those people who do masah on normal cotton socks their wudhu will be invalid, resulting in their Salah being invalid too.

However, at the same time we should not spy and assume without any evidence that this Imam has done masah over cotton socks. This brings about unnecessary doubts and goes against an Islamic teaching of husn dhann (keeping a good opinion of our Muslim brothers and sisters)

The conclusion to your question is that if you have seen the Imam doing masah over normal cotton socks or your praying salah in a Masjid where this is common then you should not pray salah behind such an Imam.

Only Allah Knows Best

Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

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