Could you kindly provide me the authenticity and commentary of the following Hadith:
Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Act differently from the Jews, for they do not pray in their sandals or their shoes.”
Imam Abu Dawud (rahimahullah) has recorded this Hadith on the authority of Sayyiduna Shaddad ibn Aws (radiyallahu ‘anhu). Imam Hakim (rahimahullah) has declared the Hadith authentic and ‘Allamah Dhahabi (rahimahullah) concurs.
(Sunan Abi Dawud, Hadith: 652, Mustadrak Hakim, vol. 1 pg. 260)
Imam Ibn Hibban (rahimahullah) has recorded the narration with the following words:
Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Oppose/Act differently from the Jews and Christians for they do not pray in their sandals or their shoes.”
(Sahih Ibn Hibban; Al Ihsan, Hadith: 2186)
‘Allamah Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri (rahimahullah) writes: “This Hadith indicates that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) ordered [the Sahabah] to offer Salah with their shoes to act differently from the Jews [and Christians]. However, in our times, since the Christians pray with their shoes on it will [be preferred] to offer Salah barefoot.
‘Allamah Kawthari (rahimahullah) has also expressed the same view, and has written a detailed treatise on this topic.
(Badhlul Majhud, Hadith: 650, Maqalatul Kawthari, pg. 138 and I’ilaus Sunan, vol. 4 pg. 378-380)
Note: There are narrations wherein Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) mentions removing the shoes as well:
1) Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “When any one of you performs Salah then he should not place his shoes on his right hand side nor on his left hand side. This is because his left hand side is the right hand side of another person, unless there is no person on his left hand side. He should place them in between his legs.”
(Sunan Abi Dawud, Hadith: 654. See here)
2) ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi Layla reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Whomsoever wishes to perform Salah with shoes, then he should do so and whomsoever likes to remove it, should remove it.
(Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, Hadith: 7950 with an authentic chain. Refer: I’ilaus Sunan, vol. 4 pg.379)
The Hanafi Jurists have permitted offering Salah with shoes with certain conditions. Kindly contact a Mufti/Darul Ifta for further clarification.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar