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Scholars insist that if you wish to wipe on your socks after doing wudhu by washing your feet you must wipe on leather or Sealskinz socks. Other scholars say any socks are OK such as everyday cotton socks (even with holes in them).

In an office or University or school etc in the West where ritual ablution / wudhu facilities do not exist life is made easier by wiping on normal socks for Zuhr to Maghrib especially in winter when prayers are near in time to each other. If you do wudhu at home or shower and do ghusl then put on your socks you can do the masah on the socks at your workplace or school etc.

Question : is wiping on cotton socks - not leather socks a valid opinion in Sunni Islam?

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This answer is based on a fatwa by the Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta as documented in their book Fatāwa al-Lajna ad-Dā'ima, Vol. 6, pp. 256

To wipe on either socks or shoes, they must have the following conditions:

  • Cover the feet and the ankle, including the malleolus on each side of the ankle, which is the area that gets washed during wudū'
  • Worn in a state of purification through wudū'
  • Be itself clean of any impurities
  • Be opaque, not showing the skin beneath it.

Hence:

  • If the shoes are long enough to cover the area to be washed during wudū', one can wipe on the shoes as one would on the socks.
  • If the shoes are short, not covering the area to be washed during wudū', but there is a pair of socks underneath that covers the area to be washed during wudū', one can either wipe over the shoes, or take them off and wipe over the socks.
  • If the area to be washed during wudū' is neither covered by the shoes nor the socks, wiping is not permitted.

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