SHOES. The removal of the sandals, shoes, or boots, from the feet upon entering either a mosque or house, or during worship, is not enjoined in Muslim law, although it has become a common custom in all Eastern countries, for the modern Muslim uncovers his feet upon entering the Ka’bah at Makkah (Burckhardt’s Arabia, vol. i. p. 270), the Muslims of Palestine remove the shoes upon entering their places of worship (Robinson’s Researches, vol. ii. P. 36) and it is also the practice to take off the shoes in Egypt (Lane, vol. 1. pp. 16, 105; vol ii. p. 11), and in Hindustan.
The number of traditions which prove that Muhammad allowed his followers to worship with their feet covered, is very numerous, and they are held to be Ahadis of good authority, and supported by the fatwas of eminent doctors of law.
Shaddad ibn Aus relates that the Prophet said, “Act the reverse of the Jews in your prayers, for they do not pray in boots or shoes.”
Abu Sa’id al-Khudri says “the Prophet said his prayers with the Companions, and suddenly took off his shoes, and put them down on his left side; and when the people observed it, they took off theirs also, and when prayers were finished, the Prophet asked why they took their shoes off. The Companions replied, ‘We followed your example. The Prophet then said, ‘Verily Gabriel came to me and told me there was a little filth on my shoes. Therefore, when any of you enter a mosque, look, well at your shoes, and if you perceive any dirt on them, wipe it off, and then say your prayer in them.’”
‘Amr ibn Shu’aib relates that he saw the Prophet saying his prayers sometimes with his shoes and sometimes without, (Mishkat book iv. ch. 9.)
In the Hidayah it is enjoined that when there is any uncleanness on the shoes, such as dung, blood, &c., they. must be rubbed with earth, and then they become legally clean and fit for worship, (Arabic edition, vol. i. p. 26)
This is confirmed by the Durru ‘l-Mukhtar (vol. 1. pp. 30, 65), and by numerous traditions.. (Mishkat, book iii. ch. ii.)
If the dirt cannot be removed from the shoes by rubbing theta with earth, the Law permits the Muslim to make them ceremonially clean by wetting his three fingers and drawing them once over the upper part of the shoes or boots. [MASAH.]
According to the Traditions, when a Muslim sits down on the floor, he should take off his shoes and place them on one aide, and he should take off the right shoe first and then the left. (Mishkat, book xx ch. iii.)
Based on Hughes, Dictionary of Islam