بســـم اللــه الرحــمــن الـرحـــيــم
▪Ruling concerning the covering of a women’s feet in prayer▪
Our Shaykh, Muhammad ibn Hizaam – may Allaah preserve him – was asked the following question:
With regards to a praying woman, should her clothes stop at her ankles, or should it be allowed to extend to the ground?
It’s better that she allows the garment to reach the ground. If the top or bottom of a woman’s feet become visible (i.e. whatever is below her ankles), this doesn’t invalidate her prayer, because there’s no [ijma’] consensus reported in this regard. Rather the consensus [ijma’] among the scholars is with regards to the impermissibility of uncovering what’s above the ankles, as this it what invalidates the prayer.
As for the top of the feet invalidating the prayer, then there’s no consensus [ijma’] to support this. Rather the [Jumhuur] majority of scholars hold covering the top of the feet as being something [Mustahab] preferable.
As for the Hadeeth of Umm Salamah which some use to prove the obligation of covering the feet, then this Hadeeth is unauthentic:
(أتصلي المرأة في درع وخمار؟ قال: إذا كان الدرع سابغاً يغطي ظهور قدميها)
Should a woman pray wearing a lower garment and a scarf? He ﷺ said: “Only if the lower garment is long enough to cover the surface of her feet.”
If this narration was authentic, it would prove that it’s obligatory for women to cover the surface of their feet, however it’s not authentic, and this is where the difference of opinion lies.
In any case, it’s better and more preferable for a woman to cover her feet completely during the prayer, even if this is not a condition. It’s befitting to conduct oneself in the best of ways. So woman should cover the upper part / surface of her feet using a long garment which spreads over it.
Abu Ibrahim Nassir bin Rashid Al-maamry
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