In my last question I asked you brother about the allowance of rubbing the socks for Wozoo and in Particular I asked you about two ahadith from Ali (RA) and Ayesha (RAa) that reject the allowance. The answer that you gave me sound a bit simplistic to me and as I know that you have an indepth knowledge in this regard I want to ask you for more clarification.
You said: “This allowance is transmitted through the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh), just as the things which break wudu are transmitted through the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh). Keeping the foregoing explanation in perspective, it seems that the referred narratives are incorrectly ascribed to the two respected personalities.”
I like the basis that you set that is distinguishing between Sunnat and Hadith. I however find it some times quite difficult to apply it to all the cases.
You said: “This allowance is transmitted through the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh), just as the things which break wudu are transmitted.”
Well this is not that easy as far as I know. Does touching one’s private part break Wozoo? As you know there are difference of opinions about it. Also for rubbing the socks there are difference of opinions. If you consider the Jafari school of Feqhe and the Zaidies as acceptable jursits, then you cannot say that there is an agreement about the allowance of rubbing the socks because these two schools do not allow it.
So, what is the criteria for some thing to be Sunnat? Can we say that if the majority of Muslims do something than it is to be considered as Sunnat? Are all the things that the majority do as part of their religion are really Sunnat (Tarawih is an example)?
On the other hand if you say that Wozoo itself is Sunnat and the details are not Sunnat and depends on the opinion of different scholars then my question is still unanswered because you answered it based on Sunnat.
So let me put it this way: Knowing that:
Not all the Muslim scholars accept rubbing the socks in wozoo (i.e. Jafari school and Zaidies and I’m sure also some classic Sunni scholars can be found with the same opinion). There are ahadith that show some great personalities like Ali and Ayesha (RA) were rejecting rubbing the socks.
There is a verse of Wozoo in Quran and it does not express any allowance for Wozoo other than Tayammom.
Considering the above facts, how can I as a Muslim rub on my socks for wozoo with a clear concious?
Note: In answering to the hadith of Ali, some scholars say that it contradicts with two other ahadith from Ali where in one of them he describes the length of the time that one is allowed rubbing the socks and in the other one he says that if it was based on our rationality we had to rub under the foot rather than above it. I think these two ahadith are not contradicting with the hadith that says Ali considered rubbing to be Mansookh by the verse of Wozoo. Simply because in these two ahadith, it is perfectly possible that Ali is talking about the rule that was once permitted, without endorsing it as a valid rule at the time.
As far as the ascription of the act of rubbing over footwear during Wudu to the Prophet (pbuh) is concerned, there is absolutely no difference of opinion in any one or the other schools of Fiqh. All Muslim scholars and schools of Fiqh agree on the stated issue that the Prophet (pbuh) did, indeed, rub over socks and other footwear, while doing wudu. Even the Zaidis, the Imamiyyah and the Khawarij do not differ in this regard.
The difference of opinion that you have referred to relates to interpretation rather than to ascription. Thus, according to my understanding, this difference of opinion does not hinder us from considering the said issue as a Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh).
It is also quite clear, from a close deliberation over the reasons for the disagreement of the Imamiyyah and the Zaidiyyah schools, that they generally disagree with the opinion regarding the stated allowance, because they consider it to be contrary to the directive entailed in the Qur’an. Thus, even after accepting that the Prophet (pbuh) did allow and practice masah over his footwear during wudu, they are generally of the opinion that the allowance practiced by the Prophet (pbuh) was abrogated by the Qur’anic verse relating to Wudu, which directs us to wash our feet during Wudu, and, thus, the allowance should no longer be considered as applicable. This reasoning, according to my understanding, is not correct.
As a result, I consider the allowance of masah to be transmitted through the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh), even though some of the Muslim schools have interpreted this allowance to have been abrogated.
As far as the things which break wudu are concerned, as I had stated earlier, they have all been transmitted through the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh). There are certain things – as touching one’s private parts – which have not been transmitted through the Sunnah of Prophet (pbuh), but have been mentioned only in Hadiths. Because of this reason, these things, in my understanding, are not included in actions after which renewing one’s Wudu is essential in the Islamic Shari`ah.
As for the relationship between the allowance given by the Sunnah relating to masah over footwear and the directive entailed in the Qur’an, I interpret it as follows:
The Qur’an has directed Muslims to do Wudu at the time that they prepare for offering Sala’h;
At the end of this directive, the Qur’an has also informed us that this directive is given to ensure that people should be physically clean at the time of offering their prayers;
As a corollary of the combination of the two foregoing points, it is clear that if a person is already in a state of Wudu – i.e., in a state of the prescribed physical cleanness – which he had previously done, then it would not be essential for him to do Wudu before the prayer that he is preparing to offer;
The combination of these three points highlights the significance of the knowledge of any acts, which may render the state of Wudu aborted or broken. These acts are explained by the Prophet (pbuh) and have been transmitted to us through the Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh) with complete consensus and practical perpetuation of all the Muslim generations starting from that of the companions of the Prophet (pbuh) till the present times. These actions include: passing wind, defecation, urination and sexual intercourse or sexual gratification. Thus, the Prophet (pbuh) has informed us that when someone performs any of the stated acts, his state of physical cleanness prescribed for Sala’h expires and, therefore, he will now have to perform a new Wudu to offer his prayers;
With this information regarding the acts which abort one’s Wudu, the Prophet (pbuh) has also practically informed us that if one is wearing footwear, then the state of the physical cleanness of his feet, as is prescribed for offering prayers continues even after one passes wind or defecates or urinates. Thus, in such a situation, the person may not wash his feet for Wudu – if he had worn and had continued to wear his footwear in a state of ablution – and may, as a symbol and reminder of washing his feet, simply rub over his footwear.
In other words, the allowance of masah implies that the Wudu of feet covered with socks or other footwear continues, even after one passes wind etc. and, as a result, one does not need to wash his feet for his next ablution.
If seen in the foregoing explanation, we shall see that the allowance of masah of feet is not against the directive of the Qur’an.
I hope this explanation will answer all of your questions.
September 7, 2002