Q & A. Making Wudu At Work

By: 
Shaykh Salim Ghisa

Q. I have a room to pray at work but no particular Wudhu (ablution) facilities. I don't feel comfortable washing my feet in the sink or in the toilets at work because I look silly and plus my non-Muslim colleagues look at me funny and say its unhygienic, so what should I do?

A. In the name of Allah the most Beneficent and Merciful.

Wudhu is an act of worship and whilst it is obligatory it also carries great reward. Therefore one should not feel silly in taking part in an act of worship. However, there are many organisations who do not allow the washing of the feet in normal sinks due to various reasons. There are also many people who leave a lot of spilt water after they have finished, which gives the practice a bad name. If it is difficult for a person to wash their feet in public places then the following should be done:

As washing the feet is an obligation, the way around this issue is to wear leather socks known as Khuffain.

These are special socks made of leather which allow the feet to move freely so the toes can bend etc. (They are usually available in Islamic book shops.)

If a person performs full Wudhu at home then puts on these socks they can wipe over them when they need to do Wudhu again. Meaning the normal Wudhu would be done and then when it came to wash the feet they would just wet their fingers and wipe on TOP of the leather socks, first the right foot then the left. They would then not need to wash their feet.

If the person takes off the socks once full Wudhu has been done and broken, then they will need to do full Wudhu before they can put the socks back on. Once the socks have been put on they are allowed up to 24 hours (from when the Wudhu first broke) if they are a non traveller and up to 72 hours (from when the Wudhu first broke) if they are a traveller, before they need to take the socks off and wash their feet again.

They are allowed to wear normal socks on top of these special socks but need to wipe on these special socks when performing Wudhu (i.e. take off their normal socks but leave the leather socks on).

Please note some people wipe on top of normal cotton socks but according to all jurists in all four schools this is not permissible as the socks have to be waterproof.

Normal outdoor leather boots are also not sufficient as the feet cannot bend in these shoes.

Of course Allah knows best.

Comments

The General (not verified)

You need to stop worrying about feeling uncomfortable and feeling silly. Forgot what your non-Muslim colleagues think of you, you are worshipping Allah (swt). So put your feet in the sink and wash it and if anyone comes in and get scared this is an excellent opportunity to do dawah by explaining why you have your foot in the sink believe me non-Muslims would understand I have been there myself...

s.b.f
Member since:
1 October 2008
Last activity:
1 day 12 hours

The General wrote:
So put your feet in the sink and wash it and if anyone comes in and get scared this is an excellent opportunity to do dawah by explaining why you have your foot in the sink

Lol

Haha! Love that idea!

 

Yildiz Yilmaz (not verified)

I'm sorry but i totally disagree. I'm a Muslim woman even I think that looks nasty. I don't want to wash my hands or face after anyone washing their feet in the sink. Let's change how we are as Muslims what do you think? As of today we are dirty, nasty and not hygiene community at all. So just wash your feet at your house in your own SINK!!!

TPOS
Member since:
8 November 2008
Last activity:
8 hours 10 min

How you meant to do that when you're at work?

"How many people find fault in what they're reading and the fault is in their own understanding" Al Mutanabbi

You
Member since:
24 June 2005
Last activity:
9 hours 24 min

or how about you wash your feet when you do wudu?

We cant make our own rules - that wouldnt be Islam.

Its time to be angry.

Looking To See
Member since:
24 December 2008
Last activity:
1 month 4 weeks

there's always wiping over socks/shoes. that's what i do. save so much time, embarrassment, annoyingness etc...

Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?

Ya'qub
Member since:
21 November 2006
Last activity:
1 year 7 months

I'm getting that sinking feeling...

Don't just do something! Stand there.

You
Member since:
24 June 2005
Last activity:
9 hours 24 min

Ya'qub wrote:
I'm getting that sinking feeling...

english teachers!

Its time to be angry.

TPOS
Member since:
8 November 2008
Last activity:
8 hours 10 min

You wrote:
Ya'qub wrote:
I'm getting that sinking feeling...

english teachers!


Huh?

So what's the deal with the hand over feet thing? Is it just me or are there differences of opinion with that - something about travelling a long distance and wearing leather socks? I mean that's when i've heard that being allowed. Maybe not that exactly because I don't remember the exact criteria...

"How many people find fault in what they're reading and the fault is in their own understanding" Al Mutanabbi

You
Member since:
24 June 2005
Last activity:
9 hours 24 min

travel is not a restriction. just that they are waterproof and worn for a long period of time (so not taken off at the end of the day).

Though there may be other interpretations.

Its time to be angry.

TPOS
Member since:
8 November 2008
Last activity:
8 hours 10 min

Oh yeah, that's it - being worn for a long time without being taken off

"How many people find fault in what they're reading and the fault is in their own understanding" Al Mutanabbi

Looking To See
Member since:
24 December 2008
Last activity:
1 month 4 weeks

3 days for travelling and a day for euh..non-travellers. and it shouldnt be seethrough. i do it on my normal socks at home (i try not to do it on the thin ones..dont feel right) but when im at school and stuff i do it on top of my shoes (providing i put my shoes on when i had wudu)

Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?

Ya'qub
Member since:
21 November 2006
Last activity:
1 year 7 months

If u step on wet floor/puddle, your feet shouldn't get wet through the socks.
If they do, as far as I know you can't wipe the socks for wudhu.
Better to be safe than sorry.

Don't just do something! Stand there.

TPOS
Member since:
8 November 2008
Last activity:
8 hours 10 min

Lilly wrote:
3 days for travelling and a day for euh..non-travellers. and it shouldnt be seethrough. i do it on my normal socks at home (i try not to do it on the thin ones..dont feel right) but when im at school and stuff i do it on top of my shoes (providing i put my shoes on when i had wudu)

Why don't u wash ur feet when ur at home :s wouldn't a day be 24 hours?

"How many people find fault in what they're reading and the fault is in their own understanding" Al Mutanabbi

Muslimm (not verified)

Oh come on. We muslims wash our feet round about 5 times a day.
Our feet can't be as dirty as people's hands which also get washed in the sink.
Those hands are much germier as they've been in contact with you know what.

Looking To See
Member since:
24 December 2008
Last activity:
1 month 4 weeks

ThE pOwEr Of SiLeNcE wrote:
Lilly wrote:
3 days for travelling and a day for euh..non-travellers. and it shouldnt be seethrough. i do it on my normal socks at home (i try not to do it on the thin ones..dont feel right) but when im at school and stuff i do it on top of my shoes (providing i put my shoes on when i had wudu)

Why don't u wash ur feet when ur at home :s wouldn't a day be 24 hours?

never saw this...

coz its cold, or im ill. or both.

yep 24 hours. so from like one asr to the next. but i usually put them on after fajr and take them off after ishaa.

i might get proper leather one now though...just to be out of the difference of opinion. better safe than sorry as has been said.

Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?

AliB345878 (not verified)

We as Muslims must show respect to others and go out of our way to show that we are a civilized people.  The condition of bathrooms after some of my Brothers and Sisters have made Wuda is disgusting; water all over the floor, paper towels left on floor, sink counters covered in pools of water.  They make no attempt to clean up after themselves.  It really speaks volumes to non-Muslims about our character.  It is not our right to destroy public restrooms with no regard for others.  I have had my dress shirts soiled by getting to close to the aftermath of someone elses "foot bath."  If we want respect we must show respect and earn respect.  Not act like slobs and call it our religious right.