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Moulana Ibraheem Siyalkoti’s ill-opinion of Imaam Abu-Hanifah (Rahmatullahi Alayh)

This entry is part 27 of 27 in the series Taqleed

Initially Moulana Ibraheem Siyalkoti (who was formerly an Ahle Hadith) had an ill-opinion of Imaam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi Alayh). Thereafter he began to have a lot of respect for Imaam Saheb. Moulana Ibrahim Siyalkoti writes about himself in his book Tareekhe Ahle Hadith:

“When looking for some mas’alah I went through the books on the shelf. I started checking up the view-point of Imaam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi Alayh). After going through different books some reservation settled in my heart regarding Imaam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi Alayh).

The effects of evil thoughts within me could be felt around me. It was broad daylight, yet I felt darkness enveloping me. The blackness was thick and compound which was similar to what the Ayat says: Darkness one over the other.” At the same time, Allah Ta’ala inspired my heart that this is the outcome of your ill-feelings for Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi Alayh)! Repent for your wrong!” Moulana Ibraheem continues: I started reading the words of istighfaar and immediately the darkness disappeared. In fact, it was replaced with such brightness which outshone the daylight. From then onwards my respect and confidence for Imaam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi Alayh) continued to grow. I say to those who (don’t listen to me and) continue reviling Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi Alayh), my example with you is the very same which Allah Ta’ala had said to the ones who denied the incident of Me’raj.

افتمارونه على ما يرى

So will you doubt that which he was shown (Surah Najam 53:12)

Hence it is futile for anyone to argue with me regarding something I witnessed in a wakeful state while I was in  my senses.” (Iktilaaf-e-ummat and siraat-e-mustaqeem 2/49)

Moulana Ibraheem Siyalkoti prepared his book Tareekhe Ahle Hadith in which he wrote some history of the seniors of the Ahle Hadith as well as some of the history of the previous Muhadditheen. The book includes Imaam Abu Hanifa (Rahmatullahi Alayh) amongst the previous senior Muhadditheen. The All-India Ahle Hadith Conference of Delhi was impressed with the book and wished to distribute copies of it. They had one reservation: The name of Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi Alayh) amongst the Muhadditheen!? They asked Moulana Ibraheem to de-list Imaam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi Alayh) and publish it (without the section of Abu Hanifa (Rahmatullahi Alayh)). Moulana replied by saying that the name of Imaam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi Alayh) can never be alienated from the fraternity of the Muhadditheen. (Athaarul Hadith 2/394)

The History of Salafiyyat

This entry is part 26 of 27 in the series Taqleed

It is the Islaamic duty of every individual to search for the true Deen. During this search one will come across different sects all inviting him under the banner of Islaam to adopt their way. However, the instruction of Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is very clear and that is to hold firmly on to his way and the way of his illustrious Sahaaba(Radiyallahu Anhum).

عن عبد الله بن عمرو قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم ليأتين على أمتي ما أتى على بني إسرائيل حذو النعل بالنعل حتى إن كان منهم من أتى أمه علانية لكان في أمتي من يصنع ذلك وإن بني إسرائيل تفرقت على ثنتين وسبعين ملة وتفترق أمتي على ثلاث وسبعين ملة كلهم في النار إلا ملة واحدة قالوا ومن هي يا رسول الله قال ما أنا عليه وأصحابي

It is reported from Abdullah bin Amr (Radiyallahu Anhu) that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “My ummat will be faced with similar conditions which prevailed upon the Bani Israeel just as a pair of shoes, one foot is identical to the other to such an extent that if there was a situation in the Bani Israeel where a person committed incest with his mother openly, there will be someone in my ummat who will perpetrate such a crime. Just as the Bani Israeel where divided into seventy two sects, my ummat also will be divided into seventy three sects. All will be destined for Jahannam except one. The Saahaba-e-kiraam (Radiyallahu Anhum) asked: “Which group will be saved from the fire of Jahannam?” Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) answered: “Those who tread upon my way and the way of my Sahaba (Radiyallahu Anhum). (Tirmizi Hadith No: 2641)

However, one is now faced with a dilemma since every group claims to be on the way of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and the Sahaba (Radiyallahu Anhum). Hence, when one studies the Ahaadith, he will find that Nabi(Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) clearly identified his Mubarak way in the following words:

عن أبى هريرة رضى الله عنه قال قال رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم: إنى قد خلفت فيكم ما لن تضلوا بعدهما ما أخذتم بهما أو عملتم بهما كتاب الله وسنتى ولن تفرقا حتى يردا على الحوض.

It is reported from Abu Huraira (Radiyallahu Anhu) that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: “I have left two sources of guidance for you to adopt. You will never be misguided as long as you hold fast onto these two. The first is the book of Allah and the second is my Sunnat. These two are inseparable and will meet me at the Hauwd-e-Kawthar. (Assunanul Kubra – Bayhaqi 10/114 – Hadith No. 20834)

When we examine the lives of the four Imaams, the outstanding feature which we notice is that they strictly adhered to the Mubarak Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) in every facet of their lives. They could be aptly described with the following words: “They were a personification of the Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) in every walk of life in entirety.” If per chance one has to come across any situation where their mazaahib apparently contradict certain Ahaadith, he will certainly find sufficient substantiation through other Ahaadith, coupled with accurate reconciliations between the Ahaadith not seemingly practised. Their approach to the Qur’an andHadith in deducing masaail was one governed strictly by principles of Deen. It was certainly not an approach of personal opinion nor an approach of pick and choose as is witnessed in today’s times. Hence, one can safely reach the conclusion that these four A’imma (whose mazaahib stood the test of time for approximately thirteen centuries) are worthy of emulation in guiding us to Allah and His Rasul (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).

Those opting out of the four mazaahib and wishing to embrace the latest mazhab of Salafiyyat which is a mixture and assortment of the four mazaahib added to the concept of “rationalising Deen to fit the contemporary times” should consider the inception and the origin of this new mazhab.

The mazhab of Salafiyyat was foundered by a person born in India in the year “1206 A.H.” by the name of: Abdul Haq bin Fadhlillah Al-Usmaani An-newteeni Al-Banarasi.

Abdul-Haq did not subscribe to any mazhab rather he referred directly to the text of Quraan and Hadith and came to conclusions using his own discretion. This resulted in many debates and discussions between him and the Hanafi Ulama on the topic of Taqleed.


The Tenth Problem that will Arise by Referring Directly to the Qur’an and Hadith

This entry is part 25 of 27 in the series Taqleed

The tenth problem is that not being committed to one Mazhab is a very effective formula for the destruction of deen. This conclusion has been reached after a deep analysis and thorough examination of the new ‘Mazhab’ commonly known as Salafiyyat.

Salafiyyat is the latest trend in the world which has been given a deeni body and form though bereft of the spirit and soul of Deen. After a lengthy period of twelve hundred years (during which the Ummah remained committed to the four Mazhabs) this neo Mazhab made its appearance.

Most people ascribing themselves to this new Mazhab wish to lead a free and unhindered life. They do not want to be bound by any restrictions which come in the path of their worldly interests. However, at the same time their aim is to appear as Deeni committed people treading on the path of Deen, and they are greatly concerned that people do not alienate them from the rest of the Ummah nor label them as “transgressors in deen” on account of their laxity in Deen.

The purpose of Salafiyyat:

The purpose and aim of the founders of this Mazhab (as will be seen in the history of Salafiyyat below) were:

  1. To create internal fights and disunity in the Ummah especially amongst those who ascribe themselves to the four Imaams.
  2. To cause the minds of the Muslims to be stormed by suspicions and doubts in their Deen.
  3. To remove the confidence of the people in the A’immah and Aslaaf.
  4. To cause the masses to become liberal and lax in matters of Deen and to pick and choose the opinion of that Imaam which conforms to their personal reasoning.

In order to accomplish their mission, the plan of action they executed was:

  1. They used the differences between the four Mazaahib as a basis for creating confusion and doubts.
  2. They invited towards practising upon isolated opinions (Shaaz Aqwaal) which oppose the mainstream view of the Ummah.
  3. They allowed the masses to randomly choose from different Mazaahib and not to blindly follow one Mazhab.
  4. They promoted the concept of “rationalizing Deen to suit contemporary times”
  5. They encouraged the masses to refer directly to the Quraan and Hadeeth in finding Deeni solutions to modern day problems.
  6. They exhorted the masses to reinterpret the Qur’aan and Hadeeth to fit contemporary situations.

Their hallmark:

They earmarked certain Masaa’il from different Mazaahib together with highlighting the source of those Masaa’il from the relevant books of Hadeeth (e.g. Bukhaari and Muslim). Thereafter they impressed upon the Ummah that only these Masaa’il are correct and every other view is incorrect. In doing so, they deliberately ignored the other authentic narration which establish the practise adopted by the other Mazaahib in that mas’alah.

Furthermore, in situations where the four A’immah do not “apparently” practise upon certain Ahadeeth based on substantial proofs and reasons, they latched onto such Ahadeeth and accused the A’immah of abandoning the Ahadeeth of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam. Similarly, we notice that wherever differences in Masaa’il exist among the Imaams, they promoted independent research and study and allowed choosing whichever view one feels to be correct.

Some of the views that they have ascribed themselves to and very staunchly advocate are as follows:


The Ninth Problem that will Arise by Referring Directly to the Qur’an and Hadith

This entry is part 24 of 27 in the series Taqleed

The ninth problem is that since there exists no fifth mazhab in the world at present, those who wish to adopt a new mazhab (by directly referring to the Quran and Hadith), will have to do either one of two things in order to reach the correct conclusion. Either they will employ their personal reasoning when they come across any apparent contradiction in the Ahaadith or alternatively, depend upon the verdict of a scholar of recent times. By acting upon either one of the two, what assurity do they have that the conclusion they reach is correct. Furthermore since they personally do not possess the required level of Deeni knowledge nor the potential to verify the exact position of the information they come across, trying to solve complex problems which relate to the chain of narrators of the Ahaadith or analysing complicated situations which have already been worked out by the four Imaams and their followers will be nothing but a mockery of the Deen of Allah Ta’ala. Apart from that, the major fear that remains is that if any mistake occurs, then one will be guilty of the sin of adulterating the Deen of Allah Ta’ala as the warning has been sounded in the Hadith of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam):

عن أبى هريرة رضي الله عنه قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم: من أفتى بغير علم كان إثمه على من أفتاه

(رواه أبو داود – مشكاة ص 35)

 Translation: Hazrat Abu Hurairah (Radiyallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said: If a person incapable of issuing verdicts in Deen issued a verdict, he will bear the sin (consequence) of the incorrect verdict he issued.

مشكاة المصابيح : ص 54 : و عن جابر قال خرجنا في سفر فأصاب رجلا منا حجر فشجه في رأسه فاحتلم فسأل أصحابه هل تجدون لي رخصة في التيمم قالوا ما نجد لك رخصة و أنت تقدر على الماء فاغتسل فمات فلما قدمنا على النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أُخبر بذلك قال قتلوه قتلهم الله ألا سألوا إذا لم يعلموا فإنما شفاء العي السوال إنما كان يكفيه أن يتيمم و يعصب على جرحه خرقة ثم يمسح عليها و يغسل سائر جسده . رواه أبو داود


Jaabir (Radiyallahu Anhu) reports that they were once on a journey when a person amongst them was struck by a rock and suffered severe head injuries. He then experienced a wet-dream (thus requiring ghusl). So he asked some of his companions if there was any concession for performing tayammum. They replied: “There is no concession for you since water is available.” Thus, this Sahaabi took a bath and passed away (as a result of making ghusl). When they returned and Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) was informed of this, he said: “They killed him, may Allah kill them. Why couldn’t they enquire from those who were knowledgeable when they did not know? The cure of an ailing person (an ignorant person) is to ask. It was sufficient for him to only perform tayammum and bandage his wound. He could have then rubbed his moist hand over it and wash the rest of his body.”

Conversely, those who abide by the verdicts of any of the four A’immah-e-mujtahideen even in a situation where a difference is seen among them, whichever Imaam he follows he will be rightly guided and rewarded. If per chance the Imaam erred in his ruling (in issues where the doors of ijtihaad have been left open) then too it will be approved in the court of Allah Ta’ala. The Hadith of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is explicit in this regard:

عن أبي هريرة قال : قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم إذا حكم الحاكم فاجتهد فأصاب فله أجران وإذا حكم فأخطأ فله أجر واحد

(باب ما جاء في القاضي يصيب ويخطئ 247 سنن الترمذى)

Translation: Hazrat Abu Hurairah (Radiyallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, ‘If a mujtahid employs ijtihaad when issuing a verdict and he reaches the correct conclusion, he will receive a double reward. And if he employs ijtihaad and errs, he will receive one reward from Allah Ta’ala.

Furthermore, in certain situations we notice apparent contradictions between the purport of certain Ahadith and certain verses of the Qur’an. In order to reach the correct conclusion, the A’immah-e-mujtahideen employed their faculty of ijtihaad and carried out a thorough analysis before adopting their mazhab. In this regard, the Ahadith had to be examined completely and viewed from diverse angles. The chain of narrators had to be checked and the position of every narrator scrutinized. In short, several aspects had to be thoroughly examined before adopting a particular view in their mazhab.

Hereunder is one apt example from the thousands of examples which illustrates the arduous task the A’immah Mujtahideen had to undergo in the process of establishing their mazaahib and spreading the pristine Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) to the ummah.


Is it permissible to make Masah upon ordinary socks?

The verse of the Qur’aan clearly instructs one to wash the feet in wudhu. Allah Ta`ala states:

يا أيها الذين آمنوا إذا قمتم إلى الصلرة فاغسلوا وجوهكم وأيديكم إلى المرافق وامسحوا برؤوسكم وأرجلكم إلى الكعبين

 “Wash your faces and your hands till your elbows, perform masah of your head and wash your feet up to your ankles.”

However, when one studies the Hadeeth he comes across the Hadeeth of Mugheerah bin Shu`bah (Radiyallahu Anhu) which implies the permissibility of making masah on one’s socks.

The Hadeeth reported by Mugheerah bin Shu`bah (Radiyallahu Anhu) reads as follows:

عن سفيان عن أبي قيس عن هزيل بن شرحبيل عن المغيرة بن شعبة قال : توضأ النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ومسح على الجوربين والنعلين

 Sufyaan Thauri reports from Abu Qais Al-Awdi, who reports from Huzail bin Shurahbeel who reports from Mugheerah bin Shu`bah that Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) performed Wudhu and made masah on his jowrabain (socks) and shoes.

Some people in an effort to reconcile between the Qur’aan and Hadeeth opine that the purport of the Qur’aanic verse refers to the time when one is not wearing socks and the purport of the Hadeeth refers to the time when one is wearing socks. Hence, in this way there no longer exists any contradiction between the Qur’aan and Hadeeth. However, this reconciliation based on pure logic and reasoning is unacceptable due to the following two reasons:

1. This Hadeeth is ruled as weak according the experts of Hadeeth.

2. The purport of this Hadeeth opposes the command of the Qur’aan.

Statements of the experts of Hadeeth regarding the weakness of this Hadeeth

1. Imaam Baihaqi (Rahmatullahi Alayh) has classified this Hadeeth as weak. He states: “This is a weak narration (munkar). The likes of Imaam Sufyaan Thauri, Imaam `Abdur Rahmaan bin Mahdi, Imaam Ahmad bin Hambal (Rahimahumullah) and an entire group of leading expert Muhadditheen have all unanimously rejected the authenticity of this Hadeeth.” (Hidaayat-ur-Ruwaat 1/264)

2. Similarly, Imaam Nawawi (Rahmatullahi Alayh) states: “Each luminary from amongst these luminaries of Ahaadeeth (all those who had classified this Hadeeth as weak) if weighed or measured individually, (let alone being weighed collectively) will undoubtedly outweigh Imaam Tirmizi who rules this Hadeeth as authentic.” (Al-Binaayah, 1/427)

3. Hafiz Ibnu Hajar (Rahmatullahi Alayh) states that Imaam Bukhari (Rahmatullahi Alayh) brought the Hadeeth of making masah on leather socks and omitted the Hadeeth that permits making masah upon ordinary socks on account of the weakness in the chain of narrators. (This could be understood from Ibnu Hajar’s statement in An-Nukat-uz-Ziraaf. [Tuhfat-ul-Ashraaf, 8/493] )

This Hadeeth opposes the command of the Qur’aan

Acting upon the Hadeeth opposes the generality of the verse of the Qur’aan. The verse explicitly commands that the feet be washed under all circumstances, whether one is wearing socks or not. By acting upon the Hadeeth one will necessarily leave out practising upon the Qur’aan. Hence, we understand that acting upon any one of the both (Qur’aan and Hadeeth) will necessitate leaving out the other.

In view of the above, the great scholar, Abu Bakr Al-Jassas (Rahmatullahi Alayh) is reported to have said, “We cannot practise upon the Ahaadeeth which establish the permissibility of making masah upon general socks independently since it is opposing the verse of the Qur’aan.” (Ahkaam-ul-Qur’aan, 2/440)

Imaam Muslim (Rahmatullahi Alayh) is reported to have said: “We are not prepared to forsake the Qur’aan on account of the weak Hadeeth of Abu Qais and Huzail (who narrate the Hadeeth of masah on socks).” (As-Sunan-ul-Kubra lil-Baihaqi, 1/284)

Note: Besides the abovementioned Hadeeth (which proves masah on ordinary socks), all the Marfoo` Ahaadeeth in the chapter of masah upon socks have been ruled as weak on account of the same two reasons:

1.         Due to the narrators of these Ahaadeeth being criticised.

2.         These Ahaadeeth oppose the command of the Qur’aan.

Why is it then permissible to make masah upon khuffain?

From the above we conclude that the Ahaadeeth which permit masah upon the jowrabain are weak and cannot form a basis for establishing the validity of masah upon the general socks. As far as the Ahaadeeth that prove permissibility of masah on khuffain are concerned, then they have reached the rank of tawaatur.

Hafiz Ibnu Hajar (Rahmatullahi Alayh) states in Fath-ul-Baari (1/366): “The experts of Hadeeth have confirmed that the narrations which establish the permissibility of masah on the khuffain have reached the level of tawaatur.” Hafiz Ibnu Hajar (Rahmatullahi Alayh) further explains that some Muhadditheen (experts in Hadeeth) listed eighty Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) who transmitted Ahaadeeth in connection with masah of the khuffain. Included among these eighty Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) were the `Asharah Mubashsharah [1] as well.

The son of Imaam Abu Haatim (Rahmatullahi Alayh) explained that there are forty one Ahaadeeth reported in support of the khuffain.

Hafiz Ibnu `Abdil Barr (Rahmatullahi Alayh) has documented in his famous book Al-Istizkaar that approximately forty Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) reported Ahaadeeth with regards to masah on the khuffain.

Allaamah Ibnul Munzir (Rahmatullahi Alayh) quotes Imaam Hasan Basri (Rahmatullahi Alayh) as having said: “Seventy companions of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) personally narrated to me that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)  performed masah upon his khuffain.” (Talkhees-ul-Habeer, 1/158)

Imaam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi Alayh) is reported to have said: “I did not hasten in passing a judgement that masah on the khuffain is permissible (due to it outwardly opposing the Qur’aanic injunction) until the overwhelming narrations proving its validity became manifest to me like daylight.” He also said: “I fear that the one who rejects the permissibility of masah on the khuffain could be out of the fold of Islaam.” (Due to the numerous Ahaadeeth which establish its permissibility having reached the level of tawaatur) (Al-Bahr-ur-Raaiq, 1/288)

The authority, Imaam Jassaas (Rahmatullahi Alayh) encapsulates this discussion in Ahkaam-ul-Qur’aan. He writes: “The actual basis is that the injunction in the Aayah of wudhu is of washing the feet. This is proven (by Nass-e-Qat`ee). [2] If it were not for the Ahaadeeth-e-Mutawaatirah (overwhelming authentic narrations) narrated from Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) regarding masah `alal khuffain, we would not have permitted it. Since authentic Ahaadeeth (of mutawaatir category) have been narrated in this regard, we used it as a proof to establish the permissibility of masah on khuffain. As for the Ahaadeeth pertaining to masah on the jowrabain (ordinary socks), we abandoned them due to (it opposing) the injunction of the verse of the Qur’aan (which commands the washing of the feet), since these Ahaadeeth did not reach the rank of mutawaatir. Thus, the Qur’aanic injunction of washing the feet was upheld and masah on jowrabain (socks) was not permitted.” (Ahkaam-ul-Qur’aan, 2/440)

The Mazhab of the four Imaams

As we have understood from the above that since masah upon the khuffain is established through Ahaadeeth-e-Mutawaatirah, it will be equal in status to the verse of the Qur’aan (and its injunction). Hence, the A’immah-e-Arba`ah in order to reconcile between the Qur’aan Shareef and the Sunnah, regarded the enactment of the Qur’aanic injunction of washing the feet as obligatory in the condition where the feet are not covered by any footwear. As for the condition where the feet are covered by the kuffain, they declared performing masah upon the khuffain as permissible, acting upon the dictates of the Ahaadeeth-e-Mutawaatirah which establish permissibility of masah upon the khuffain. However, due to the Ahaadeeth of jowrabain (socks) not reaching the level of tawaatur, they are unable to establish independent validity and permission. If masah on jowrabain (socks) is regarded as permissible despite the Ahaadeeth not reaching the level of tawaatur, it will result in us abandoning the Qur’aanic injunction of washing the feet. Nevertheless, the A’immah-e-Arba`ah did not entirely disregard the Ahaadeeth of jowrabain (socks), as is the misconception of the Ahle-Hadeeth. Instead, they practised upon it with certain conditions.

The conditions of the four Imaams for the validity of masah upon socks

The Hanafi Mazhab

According to Imaam Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi Alayh) and his illustrious students Imaam Abu Yusuf (Rahmatullahi Alayh) and Imaam Muhammad (Rahmatullahi Alayh), masah is only permissible on non-leather socks if they are thakheen (thick/durable). This is the gist of the Hanafi Mazhab. (Sharhu Ma`aanil-Aathaar, 1/77, Hidaayah, 1/61)

What is meant by Thakheen (durable)?

Thakheen are such thick socks which have all the attributes of leather. (They are not the normal processed and refined socks such as nylon and cotton socks available nowadays.) The validity of masah on thakheen is dependent on the following conditions:

1.         It is possible to walk in such socks for more than three miles without them tearing. (N.B. The walking is without wearing shoes.)

2.         They must be of a non-porous nature.

3.         They must remain firm on the foreleg without being tied with laces, elastic, etc. (They should not slip down as ordinary socks do.) (Ghunyat-ul-Mustamli – (Kabeeri), p. 118 – 119, Haashiyat-ut-Tahtaawi `ala Maraaqil-Falaah, p. 129, Radd-ul-Muhtaar, 1/439 – 440)

The Shafi`ee Mazhab

According to Imaam Shafi`ee (Rahmatullahi Alayh) , it is necessary that non-leather socks must fulfil the following conditions for masah to be permissible:

1. They must be strong (thick) and durable.

2. Continuous walking is possible in them without it tearing.

3. They must be of a non-porous nature. (Mughnil-Muhtaaj, 1/109, Tuhfat-ul-Muhtaaj, 1/298, Nihaayat-ul-Muhtaaj, 1/204)

The Maaliki Mazhab

The jowrab has to be covered by leather in order for masah to be valid on it. (Haashiyat-ud-Dusooqi `ala Ash-Sharh-il-Kabeer, 1/232, Jawaahir-ul-Ikleel, 1/24)

The great scholar Ibnu `Abdil Barr (Rahmatullahi Alayh) states in his monumental work Al-Istizkaar: “Masah is only permissible on the jowrab (sock) which is mujallad (covered with leather) according to Abu Hanifah (Rahmatullahi Alayh) and Imaam Shafi`ee (Rahmatullahi Alayh), and this conforms to one of the two views of Imaam Maalik (Rahmatullahi Alayh). The other view of Imaam Maalik (Rahmatullahi Alayh) is that masah is impermissible on the socks despite them being mujallad (covered by leather).”

The Hambali Mazhab

Imaam Ahmad (Rahmatullahi Alayh) states regarding masah on such socks which do not have a (leather) sole: “If a person is able to walk in them and they remain firm on the feet (without anything to fasten them), then in this case performing masah upon them will be permissible.” On another occasion, Imaam Ahmad (Rahmatullahi Alayh) stated: “It is permissible to make masah on socks provided it remains firmly attached to the feet.” In yet another place he (Imaam Ahmad Rahmatullahi Alayh) states: “If a person walks with socks without it slipping off the foreleg and falling to the ankles, then it is permissible to make masah on them, because if they are not firmly attached to the feet and continuously fall, the place of Wudhu will become exposed (rendering the masah invalid).”

Imaam Ahmad (Rahmatullahi Alayh) does not consider it necessary for the socks to be mujallad (entirely covered in leather). However, he does deem it imperative that the socks be of a tough and durable nature where one can continuously walk in them.

Imaam Ahmad (Rahmatullahi Alayh) was once asked regarding the one who performs masah on a sock made from pieces of thin cloth. He (Imaam Ahmad Rahmatullahi Alayh) did not approve of it. He once said: “Masah is impermissible on the socks unless it is thick (tough) and stands upright on the feet without falling, as is the case with the khuff (leather sock). The Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) only made masah on the socks due to it resembling the khuff in this way that a person would be able to continuously walk in them (without them tearing). And it is impermissible to make masah on pieces of thin cloth.” This has been clearly recorded from Imaam Ahmad (Rahmatullahi Alayh). (Al-Mughni, 1/331-334)

Views of Other Scholars

Apart from the four Imaams of Fiqh, other great scholars were also of the view that masah cannot be performed on ordinary socks. Ibnu Qudaamah (Rahmatullahi Alayh) states: “Abu Hanifah, Maalik, Auzaa`ee, Mujaahid, `Amar bin Deenaar, Hasan bin Muslim and Shafi`ee (Rahimahumullah) are all of the view that masah upon socks is impermissible except if it (socks) is muna`al (has a leather sole), due to the fact that in the case where the socks are not muna`al, continuous walking in them is impossible. Therefore, masah is impermissible as is the case with thin socks.”

Why did the A’immah-e-Arba`ah restrict the permissibility of masah upon socks with certain conditions?

The A’immah-e-Arba`ah exercised extreme precaution in this regard in order to ensure that none of the limits of Shari`ah are transgressed, nor any injunction of Deen (i.e. the laws of the Qur’aan Shareef or the Sunnah) be violated. (Had they – A’immah-e-Arba`ah – given general permission for making masah upon socks based on the few weak Ahaadeeth, they would have opposed the Qur’aan.) As a result of this precaution, they had restricted the validity of masah upon socks with certain conditions. Once these conditions are met, it will qualify the socks to enter within the purview of the khuffain. And since permission is granted for the khuffain, permission will also be granted for these socks which resemble the khuffain. In this manner, independent permission is not granted for making masah on the socks. This was considered necessary in order to avoid any contradiction with the injunction of the Qur’aan Shareef in relation to washing the feet and at the same time not abandoning the Ahaadeeth of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) which are reported regarding masah upon jowrabain (socks).

List of Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) who performed masah upon their socks:

It is authentically proven that Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) used to make masah upon their socks. Shaikh Jamaal-ud-Deen Al-Qaasimi listed sixteen Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) who used to perform masah upon their socks. Allaamah Ibnul Munzir (Rahmatullahi Alayh) mentioned the names of nine Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) who are known to have performed masah on their socks.

They were:

1.         Hazrat Abu Mas`ood Al-Ansaari (Radiyallahu Anhu)

2.         Hazrat `Ali (Radiyallahu Anhu)

3.         Hazrat Anas (Radiyallahu Anhu)

4.         Hazrat Baraa bin `Aazib (Radiyallahu Anhu)

5.         Hazrat `Uqbah bin `Amr (Radiyallahu Anhu)

6.         Hazrat Ibnu Mas`ood (Radiyallahu Anhu)

7.         Hazrat Ibnu `Umar (Radiyallahu Anhu)

8.         Hazrat `Ammar (Radiyallahu Anhu)

9.         Hazrat Bilaal (Radiyallahu Anhu)

We do not doubt or dispute the authority of the aforementioned Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum), for most certainly we believe that every Sahaabi was a beacon of guidance for the entire ummah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). Moreover, apart from these few Aathaar (reports), other reports are also recorded in the books of Hadeeth, some of which are classified authentic and some unauthentic according to the terminology of the Muhadditheen. However, it is vitally important for us to comprehend that the mere mention of any Sahaabi’s performing masah on his socks will not afford us the permission nor warrant us the license to execute that action until it is absolutely certain that our action is in total compliance and conformity with what they did in reality.

The verdict of the renowned Ahle-Hadeeth Allaamah Shams-ul-Haq Azeemabadi

The reality is that various types of socks existed during the era of the Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum). Furthermore, the exact and complete description of the socks upon which they used to perform masah has not been reported in any narration. Thus, for one to deduce permissibility from such reports is indeed incorrect. The renowned Ahle-Hadeeth Allaamah Shams-ul-Haq Azeemabadi states: “There are many types of socks (available nowadays). Some types are produced from hides of animals, some from the wool of sheep and similarly some are made from cotton. Moreover, the connotation of the word “socks” equally holds true on each type of socks present today. We are all well aware that the concession of performing masah (upon the socks) can only be extended to all these various types of socks after authentically establishing that the jowrabain present today resembles the jowrabain upon which Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) or the Sahaabah y performed masah.” (But since this cannot be proven, how can general concession ever be issued?)

Upon which socks did the Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) make masah on?

The A’immah-e-Arba`ah – the four Imaams of fiqh (may Allah Ta`ala reward them on behalf of the ummah) lived in the era closest to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and the Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum). They had either met the illustrious Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) or the students of the Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum). They did not examine the Ahaadeeth (the Sunnah) of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) by merely studying the words of the Hadeeth. Rather, they witnessed the practical demonstration and the implementation of the Sunnah in the company of the Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) and the students of the Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum). For this very reason, we find that Imaam Ahmad bin Hambal (Rahmatullahi Alayh) ruled that the jowrabain (socks) must be of such durable material that one is able to continuously walk in them (without wearing shoes). Imaam Ahmad (Rahmatullahi Alayh) further explained that it is upon this type of jowrabain (which conformed to the above mentioned conditions) that the Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) performed masah upon, as it closely resembled the khuffain.

After studying this example of masah on jowrabain (socks), one will undoubtedly realise that deducing Ahkaam from the Qur’aan and Hadeeth is no simple task. It is extremely challenging and poses a lot of dangers for the one who is incapable but still adopts this path. Thus, the safest path for one to adopt would be to ascribe to the verdicts of one of the four Imaams since they were the ones who were divinely endowed with the capability of undertaking such a daunting task.


While Salaah is the “key to Jannah”, wudhu is the “key to Salaah”. Without wudhu a person cannot fulfil this great obligation. Allah Ta`ala has clearly declared in the Qur’aan Shareef: “O you who believe! When you stand towards Salaah, wash your faces and your hands up to your elbows, make masah of your heads, and wash your feet up to the ankles.” From this verse we understand that washing the feet is among the four  faraa’idh. The one who does not wash his feet has omitted a Fardh of wudhu. Hence, there is no wudhu for such a person.

How unfortunate will it be for a person who continuously performed wudhu and made masah upon his ordinary socks and performed Salaah throughout his life? What will he do when he appears before Allah Ta`ala on the Day of Judgement and does not find any Salaah in his book of deeds on account of his wudhu (which is the condition for the acceptance of his Salaah) being incomplete.

The overwhelming majority of scholars in every era, including the four great Imaams of fiqh, Imaam Bukhaari, Imaam Muslim, numerous other expert Muhadditheen as well as the likes of Allaamah Shams-ul-Haq Azeemabadi and Shaikh ‘Abdur-Rahman Mubaarakpuri (two of the most senior Ahle-Hadeeth scholars of the last century) have all clearly prohibited masah on ordinary socks such as cotton etc.

For thirteen hundred years the entire ummah was unanimous upon the impermissibility of masah upon non-leather socks. It was only in the fourteenth century that this new trend was introduced.

Note: The above is a summary of the detailed treatise which fully explains the position of the Ahaadith of Masah upon socks titled “Masah on socks”.

Those who wish to view the position of these Ahaadith together with the verdict of the scholars of Hadith should refer to the original treatise which could be downloaded from HERE.

[1] Asharah Mubashsharah were those ten selected Sahaabah (Radiyallahu Anhum) who were collectively granted the glad tidings of their entry into paradise by Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) in one gathering.

[2] Nass-e-Qat’i is an explicit textual proof established from a Qur’anic verse or a Mutawaatir Hadith.

Few Examples of the Disastrous Outcome of those who Refer directly to the Qur’an and Hadith

This entry is part 23 of 27 in the series Taqleed

Moulana Sarfaraaz Khan (Rahmatullahi Alayh) writes: “I have a sincere Deeni conscious friend whose daughter-in-law claimed to follow the Hadith. It was her practise that whenever she required a compulsory ghusal (bath) she would merely throw three handfuls of water over her body. She insisted that the Hadith of Saheeh Bukhaari only instructs one to throw three hands full of water over the head for a fardh (obligatory) ghusl and that there is no need to pour water over the entire body. This became such a serious problem that it led to divorce. The Hadith which she referred to does appear in Saheeh Bukhaari (1/39) where Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said whilst indicating with both his hands: ‘I pour water over my head thrice.’ However, this is one portion of the Hadith. The detailed narration which appears in the very same chapter after a few lines explains the procedure, where it says that thereafter he (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) poured water over his entire body. (Bukhaari 1/39)” (Al Kalaamul Mufeed, pg. 219)

A Hadith of Saheeh Bukhaari (1/250-251) states: “An Umrah in Ramadhaan equals to a Hajj with me i.e. Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)”. Similarly another Hadith states: “The one who performs Fajr Salaah in congregation and thereafter sits till sunrise remembering Allah Ta’ala and performs two rakaats of nafl Salaah, he would attain the reward of a complete Hajj and Umrah (Sunan Tirmidhi 1/130)”. If a person looks at the apparent meaning of these two Ahaadith without the medium of an Imaam, he would conclude that there is no need for him to perform his fardh Hajj, since he has already attained the reward of a complete Hajj and a Hajj with Rasulullah (Sallahu Alayhi Wasallam). If he refers to an Imaam, he would explain that these Ahaadith only refer to the reward of Hajj. However, these actions do not absolve him from the obligation which still remains on him.

Another real example of the above is: Once a man (who was going for Umrah) came to an Aalim and said: “The Hadith says that one Salaah in Makkah Mukarramah equals one hundred thousand Salaah elsewhere (Sunan Ibni Majah Pg. 101). So if I perform one qadhaa Salaah there, won’t it compensate for all my qadhaa Salaah?” The Aalim replied: “If your deduction is correct, then not only will it compensate for your past Salaahs, rather there will be no need for you to perform any more Salaah in the future as well”. Thereafter he explained to him that this only refers to the reward and not the obligation.

From these examples we understand that referring directly to the Qur’an and Hadith without the medium of an Imaam is detrimental to our Deen. In the first situation, the woman’s ghusl was incorrect. Hence none of her Salaahs would be accepted. In the second example, the person would have discarded the fifth pillar of Islaam. In the third situation the person would end up discarding Salaah completely.

Note: When such great luminaries in the field of Hadith, the likes of Imaam Abu Dawood and Imaam Tirmizi (Rahmatullahi Alayhima) who compiled books on Hadith, likewise experts like Allama Nawawi and Hafiz Ibn Hajar Asqalaani who prepared extensive commentaries on Bukhari and Muslim (which run into volumes) confined themselves to following one of the four Imaams, then how can a layman of this era who refers to a mere translation of these very books of Hadith regard himself absolved of following an Imaam?