Wiping Over Socks, Making Up Prayers, and Prayer of a Traveler


Description: This lesson sheds light on some exceptional circumstances in which Islamic law permits leniencies with regards to their performance.

By Imam Mufti

Published on 02 Jan 2012 - Last modified on 25 Jun 2019

Printed: 614 - Emailed: 1 - Viewed: 24,097 (daily average: 5)


·Prayer for Beginners (2 parts).


·To learn the meaning, conditions, and method of wiping over the socks.

·To learn how to make up missed prayers.

·To learn about the prayer of a traveler.

Arabic Terms

·Fajr, Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib, Isha – the names of five daily prayers in Islam.

·Salah - the Arabic word to denote a direct connection between the believer and Allah.  More specifically, in Islam it refers to the formal five daily prayers and is the most important form of worship.

·Wudoo – ablution.

·Ghusl – ritual bath.

·Adhan – an Islamic way of calling Muslims to the five obligatory prayers.

·Iqamah – This word refers to the second call to prayer that is given immediately before the prayer begins.

·Masah – wiping over socks when doing wudoo rather than washing the feet.

·Rakah – unit of prayer.

·Qada’ – Making up missed prayers.

A Muslim is required to wash his feet when making wudoo.  In some circumstances Islamic law waives washing of the feet and allows a Muslim to wipe over the socks.  This is called masah in Arabic.

Wiping Over Socks

The following three conditions must be met for wiping over socks to be valid:

(1)  You should have worn the socks after washing the foot in a previous wudoo or ghusl (ritual bath).

(2)  The sock must cover the whole foot including the ankle.

(3)  You can only wipe on the sock within the time period allowed to do so.

(4) You should not have taken off the sock after breaking wudoo.

Time Period for Wiping Over Socks

If you are not traveling, you can wipe over your socks for twenty-four hours.  If you are traveling, you may do so for three days; that is seventy-two hours.  At the end of the period, you must take off your socks and wash your feet for a new wudoo.

If you have wudoo at the end of twenty-four hours or three days (if traveling), you are not required to renew wudoo until you break it.  The 24-hr/72hr time begins when you first wipe over your socks.  Acts that break regular wudoo are the same acts that break wudoo done with wiping.  For example, sleep would break your wudoo, but a wet dream would require you take a bath (ghusl).  Wiping over socks is not compulsory, even when traveling, and the rule applies to both, men and women.


The method to be used when wiping over socks is to pass wet hands over the top of the socks.  The sole of the sock is not wiped.  It does not matter which hand you use to wipe each sock, but it is better to wipe both simultaneously.

You may wipe over shoes which reach above the ankle as well with the same conditions mentioned for socks. Like socks, you may not wipe over the shoes if you remove them after having broken your wudoo, rather, in this case, you will have to make masah over the socks underneath them.

Making up Missed Prayers

Making up prayers missed intentionally or unintentionally is called qada’ in Arabic.  We will only discuss making up the salah if you missed it unintentionally.  A person who misses a salah is responsible for performing it no matter how late he remembers it.  The Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“If anyone misses a salah, he must pray it when he remembers it.  There is no expiation except the salah itself.”[1]

For example, if you remember at the time of Asr that you have missed Dhuhr, you should make up Dhuhr and then pray Asr.


If you sleep through a salah, meaning the time for that prayer has passed and you have slept through it, you must make wudoo upon waking up and offer it.  One night, during a journey with the Prophet, some people said, ‘If only the Prophet would take rest with us during the last hours of the night.’  He replied, ‘I am afraid you will sleep and miss the Fajr salah.’  Bilal said, ‘I will wake you up.’  They all went to sleep, but Bilal also fell asleep!  The Prophet woke up when the sun began to rise and said, ‘O Bilal, what happened to your statement?’  He replied, ‘I have never slept so much!’  The Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, ‘Allah took our souls when He wished and released them when He wished.  O Bilal, get up and call the Adhan for prayer.’  The Prophet then made wudoo and when the sun came up completely, he stood up and prayed.[2]

Prayer of the Traveler

Islamic law makes the salah easier for a traveler in two ways:

By shortening prayers: the four rakah salah is shortened to two rakahs.

By combining prayers: Dhuhr can be combined with Asr, Maghrib can be combined with Isha.  Prayers, however, cannot be combined in any other way.  Fajr cannot be combined with Isha, Fajr cannot be combined with DhuhrAsr can not be combined with Maghrib.


Prayers can be shortened when one is traveling.  You cannot shorten the prayers unless you have actually left your city limits.  There is no time limit as to how long you can shorten the prayers.  The majority of scholars allow it for up to four days and nights, though.  In case of bad weather, prayers can be combined (but not shortened) in the mosque so worshippers, do not have to come back to the mosque while the weather is bad.


There are two ways to combine prayers.

First, Dhuhr is prayed on time and Asr is combined with it.  This means that Asr is offered before its time in the time for Dhuhr.  Similarly, Maghrib is prayed on its time with IshaIsha is offered early in the time of Maghrib.

Second, Dhuhr is delayed beyond its time and offered with Asr and Maghrib is delayed beyond its time and offered with Isha.  In both cases, Asr and Isha are prayed in their times, but Dhuhr and Maghrib are delayed until the time of the following prayer.

Prayers are joined with one Adhan and two Iqamahs.  The Adhan is called, followed by the Iqamah and  the first prayer is offered.  Then, immediately after finishing the first prayer,  the second Iqamah is called, followed by offering the second prayer.


[1] Saheeh Al-Bukhari

[2] Saheeh Al-Bukhari

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