Chapter Four

Wearing shoes in Salaah

The hadith I have used is by no means to go against the great Imams i.e. Imam Malik, Imam Shafi’i and Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal. There method of Salaah is also correct as it is according to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). The hadith quoted are to show that the Fatwas of Imam Abu Hanifa are according to the Sunnah as the Ghair Muqalids object to this.

Note: The hadith numbers before the hadith indicate the different chains of narrations; hence, each chain will count as a separate hadith.

 

Respect and disrespect depend on the environment, language and situation of a place (‘Urf). In one time or place a thing may be regarded as respect and disrespect in another, or respect in one community and disrespect in another. For example, in Arabia, the elders and young are both addressed with a single word “you said” and this, according to them, is not disrespect. But the situation is different in Hindustan (India) there are separate words used to address the young and elder. The elders are addressed as “Aap” and the young as “Tu”. If it is used the other way around, then it is regarded as disrespectful.

In Europe, the elders are shown1 respect by removing one’s hat and having one’s shoes on, but this is disrespectful amongst the Muslims. When we meet our elders, we cover our heads with ‘Amamah (turban) or a hat (topi) and remove our shoes. If this is the case when meeting our elders, then surely the respect for Almighty Allah must be far greater!” 2

It is recorded in Fatwa-e-Alamgiri that it is great disrespect to enter the Masjid with shoes. There are some rules that change due to circumstances.

Common Sense

Firstly, we have carpets in the Masjids hence the shoes should not be worn, the reason for wearing shoes is to protect your feet.

Secondly, we wear our shoes outside and don’t know what we have stepped on, hence dogs urinate/excreta, people spit, go to the public toilets, alcohol is spilt etc. and to wear these shoes for worshiping Allah is very unhygienic indeed. Thirdly, if praying outside then it is better to use a prayer mat/blanket/ jacket etc. to be on the safe side so there is no need to wear shoes. Not taking the shoes of and just praying is a sign of laziness and maybe this is the reason the Ghayr Muqalid perform the wiping of any shoes and socks.

Fourthly, the shoes that are available nowadays are such that the toes will not bend due to the thickness of the soul, hence leaving a fard as at least one toe on each foot must touch the ground for men. Filthy, if people really insist wearing shoes then they should also wear their shoes on their sofas, beds and whilst sleeping, I’m sure this will be offending. Sixthly, the property agents when showing a potential buyer a new house give everyone a cover to put on their shoes so that the new carpets are not spoiled.

My question is split into two parts: “Did the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) pray with shoes all the time?”

“Did the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) do this until he passed away?”

Hope you can prove these two questions and when doing so I do not want to hear the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) prayed with shoes etc. but I want Sahih hadith that clearly (no meanings or interpretations) states the Prophet (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) prayed with shoes all the time and that he did this action until he passed away. Good luck!

The foundations of Respect and the Disrespect

It is a well-known fact that just the way Qasam (oath) has a meaning depending upon a certain society a person is in; similarly, an action or saying is also classed as respect if it is regarded as “respect” in a particular society or community. However, if the same manner of respect is classed as blasphemy in another community then the same action or will be “disrespect” in the second community, as we explain in the example below.

It is in the Qur’an: (chapter 15 Ruku’ 3) “Do not say to the parents ‘oof’ (said at the time of stress to the parents) and do not criticise them, but call them with respect”

Imam Qadi Abu Zaid (may Allah have mercy upon him), under this verse writes: “If the public (community) feels that saying ‘Uf’ is respect, then to say ‘Uf’ to the parents is not unlawful in that particular community”. (Usool Al-shashi under the chapter of Dalail Al-Nas P.31)

This means, even though the verse stops us to say ‘Uf’ it entirely depends upon the norms and practices of a certain society. Therefore, if they consider ‘Uf’ as a respectable word, then it is not unlawful to use that word to the parents. If it is really used as respectable word in some community, then saying that word to one’s parents will reward him!

To elaborate more upon this, take an example of a Persian word ‘Mehtar’. In persian language this word means a ‘Master’, whereas the same word in Urdu language has a completely different meaning; “Road sweeper.” Similarly, the word ‘Makr’ in Urdu means ‘Deceiving’ whereas the same word is used in the Holy Quran in a respectable word:

“Wallahu Khairul Makireen.” [And Allah is best of all planners (Chapter 3/9 Ruku’ 13/18)]

It is stated in a Hadith that Umar bin Shu’aib narrates from his father, and his father from his grandfather:

“I saw the Prophet praying Salaah with and without having his blessed shoes on”. (Abu Da’ud, Mishkat p. 73)

It is to be noted that the shoes of that time were very flexible that they could be bent when in Sijdah, prostration. Abu Sa’eed Khudri narrates that the Messenger has said: “When you enter the mosque check your shoes. If there is any dirt on them then one should clean them and pray Salaah with his shoes on”. (Abu Da’ud, Mishkat p. 73) Shaddad Bin Auws narrates: “The Messenger has said: ‘Go against the Jews! They worship whilst wearing their shoes on”. (Abu Da’ud, Mishkat p. 73)

From these Ahadith we get to know that is permissible for a person to go to the mosque wearing his shoes, as the Prophet prayed Salaah with his blessed shoes on. He also ordered his beloved companions to do so. However, this tradition was that of the Arabs. This is because they did not consider wearing the shoes in the mosque as sacrilege. Therefore, we see the Arabs wearing shoes in the Masjid-ul-Haram, the greatest mosque in the Islamic world and the most respected mosque; nevertheless, they do not think this as disrespect. However, in our practice and tradition if we do the same then this will be disrespect which in turn, will create Fitna (dispute) amongst the people!

A’la Hadhrat Imam Ahmad Raza Khan writes: “Respect and disrespect depend on the general traditions of a society. It is therefore disrespecting to wear shoes and to go to the mosque. Imam Burhanud Deen the author of Al-Hidayah, writes in his book Al-Tajnees wa Al-Mazeed, Imam Zain Bin Nujeem writes in Bahr al-Ra’iq and it is in Fatawa Sirajiyyah and Fatawa Alamghiri (Al-Hindiyyah) in its fifth volume p.122 in the chapter ‘Kitab Al-Karahat’:

‘To go to the mosque with the shoes on is Makrooh’. Today if someone goes to a king wearing shoes then this is disrespect then what about in Salaah. We are in the court of the king of all kings, Allah the Almighty!” (Fatawa Al-Razaviyyah Vol. 3 P. 275)

In the similar way, to clap hands for someone is respect in the Western Culture, but the same is regarded as disrespect in some parts of southern Asia! Similarly, in some schools the teacher goes from one student to the other. This is not the dignity of the teacher in some cultures, whereas it is a norm in some schools in other cultures. Hence, respect and disrespect depend upon the community and its people, their culture and tradition. As you have seen from the above examples how the same action carried out in two different cultures; one culture defines it as respect and the other as disrespect. (See Fath alQadeer Vol 3 P. 193 for more information)

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