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Wudu-Part 2 (Partial Ablutions)
By Mohammad Yusuf Islahi

The Almighty has very graciously allowed the concession of only wiping over the socks with wet hands for the purpose of ablutions.

Wiping of Wound, Plaster or Bandages

*If a limb which has to be washed in Wudu is fractured and has been plastered or bandage, it is enough to wipe it over the plaster or bandage.

*If a wound has been bandaged, it is enough to wipe unless wiping is harmful, in which case it may be ignored.

* If a healthy portion of a limb is also covered under bandage and washing or opening it is likely to be harmful, it may only be wiped.

*If washing of the wound is not harmful, but tying the bandage by oneself is not possible, and no help is available either, the bandage may only be wiped.

*If water is likely to be harmful to a wound or injury, it may only be wiped.

*If fissures have appeared on the face, or hands, or feet, or a limb is paining, and water is likely to be harmful, it may only be wiped.

Factors which break the Wudu: Wudu is rendered void by

* Passing of urine or stool

* Release of wind

* Emission of pus, blood from anus or genitals

* Emission of dirty fluid from sore eyes, unless it is chronic

*Discharge of the menses, (for women) and semen which render a person impure and one needs to have a bath for purification.

Masah (wiping over the socks)

In intensely cold climates it is not always possible to wash the feet every time one performs Wudu for the prayers. The Almighty has very graciously allowed the concession of only wiping over the socks with wet hands for the purpose of ablutions. As far as leather socks are concerned, all have agreed that they may only be wiped to fulfill the conditions of Wudu. But there is some difference of opinion regarding permissibility of wiping over the woollen, cotton, silk or nylon socks. Though some scholars hold that wiping is permissible on all kinds of socks, most of the jurists have given the following description of the socks on which wiping is permissible:

* The socks have to be tight fitting and thick enough to hold on to the feet without being tied with a string.

*They should be durable so that one may walk wearing them for at least three miles.

*They should not be transparent so as to reveal the skin of the feet.

*They should be water-proof. According to these jurists, wiping is not allowed over the socks which do not fulfill these conditions.

How to wipe over the Socks

*Wet the hands with fresh water and wipe the upper surface only of the right foot with the right hand fingers, and the left foot with the left hand fingers, keeping the fingers apart and drawing them from the front to the rear.

*Wiping is to be performed only once in such a manner that the fingers seem to be leaving wet lines on the surface of the socks.

Time Limits for Wiping

A person resident at home is allowed to wipe over the socks for one day and one night (24 hours), but for a traveler, the time limit is three days and three nights (72 hours), counting the limit from the time the Wudu breaks and not from the time the socks are put on. For eg: If a person (resident at home) puts on socks after performing Wudu at Zuhr and has his Wudu rendered void at sunset, he is allowed to continue wiping the socks every time he performs Wudu till sunset on the following day. But if he is on a journey, he will be allowed to continue wiping over the socks while performing Wudu till sunset on the third day following. Supposing Wudu breaks at sunset on Friday, he is allowed to wipe over the socks till sunset on Monday, but for the Maghrib prayer on Monday, he will have to wash his foot as well, while performing Wudu.

Factors that render wiping void

The following four factors render wiping of the socks void and fresh wiping has to be performed at the time of Wudu:

*Factors which render Wudu void render wiping also void.

*Taking off the socks for any reason, or their falling off due to any reason, or opening up of the major portion of the heel.

*The foot becoming wet partly or wholly along with the socks.

* Expiry of the prescribed time limit.

In the event of the last three, it is not necessary to perform full Wudu, but the feet only may be washed for the purpose of ablution.

(Source: Everyday Fiqh By Mohammad Yusuf Islahi-Hanafi Point of View)

(To be concluded)