Whilst in a funeral prayer the attendees started to take off their shoes. However, just as they were about to do so, a man stopped them and said: ‘Do not remove your shoes as prayer is valid with your shoes on.’ Then another man stood up and said: ‘Who says that you can pray with your shoes on? Everyone take their shoes off!’ Thus, some acted upon the first man’s statement whilst the rest acted upon the latter’s. After the completion of prayer there was a debate between the two. The former – who ordered the people to leave their shoes on – said: ‘The Messenger of removed his sandals whilst in Salah and so did the Muqtadis. On completion of the prayer, the Messenger enquired: ‘What made you take your shoes off?’ They replied: ‘In obedience and in following you, O Messenger!’ The Messenger of Allah ‘.i said: ‘Hazrat Jibra’il came to me and informed of there being impurity present in my sandals.’ Furthermore, the place where the funeral prayer was to be performed and where the latter had ordered for the shoes to be taken off was a place where horses and other animals would urinate and defecate, and the attendees’ shoes were dry. In such a situation, whose statement would be correct; the former’s or the latter’s?
If that place was impure due to the presence of urine and so on, or those who wore shoes in Salah had impurity on their soles, then their Salah is invalid. It is a precautionary measure that one takes his shoes off and performs Salah whilst having stood on it as in such case. If the ground or the sole of the shoe/s is impure it will not harm the validity of Salah.
The former person interpreted the Hadith incorrectly. The word was ‘Qadhr’ and not ‘Najasa.’ Thus, this would mean something for which people have an aversion for, like phlegm. If it was impurity then the prayer would have been repeated right from the beginning as the invalidity of one part of Salah would invalidate the rest.
And Allah ﷻ knows the best
Imam Ahmad Rida Khan رحمة الله تعالى عليه
Translation by Dr Musharraf Hussain Al-Azhari Translator of Majestic Quran, www.majesticquran.co.uk