A question concerning Muslim prayer practices

I had a curious exprerience I was hoping someone could shed some light on.

While waiting for my flight last week I decided to sit in an unused gate and read. A few minutes later two men walked over to an open space about 10 feet from me. One man unrolled a mat on the floor and aligned it with a compass.

Now, I’m trying not to stare but this was a new experience for me so I was watching while pretending to read.

This man proceeds to remove his pants, under which he is wearing some sort of loose pajama looking pants. He then takes off both shoes, then his right sock. He puts both his shoes back on and proceeds to pray. After a few minutes he rolls up his mat, puts his sock back on and goes on about his business.

So was there some significance to removing the right sock, or did he notice me watching and decide to screw with me?


Welcome to the boards!

First time I’ve ever heard of this practice. For mainstream Sunni Muslims, there is no point to removing the right sock - we just remove our shoes and pray in both our socks, or pray with bare feet when at home. There is also no need to wear different pants - normal jeans, slacks, etc are fine as long as they are clean and in good repair.

The gentleman you observed may have belonged to a sub-sect of Islam which has it’s own additional rules regarding prayer. He would have received some funny looks if he prayed this way in the local mosque, so it’s not just you.

In short, this is an atypical prayer.

Thanks for the info and the welcome!

Your comment about clothes being clean and in good repair makes me wonder if he had a hole in a sock and didn’t realize it until he took his shoes off.

Anyway, thanks for the reply.

Not a problem. However, if you find a hole in one of your socks, you either keep it on and pray with both socks (if you’re lazy), or you take 'em both off and pray with bare feet (if you want to do it properly). Taking off just one sock is a bit odd, and taking off just one sock but putting both shoes back on is just plain strange.

To be frank, if he had his own prayer mat, there shouldn’t really be any reason for him to pray with his shoes on. That’s practically unheard of, and it leads me to believe its a “sect” thing rather than a “convenience” thing.

The whole thing with the pants was odd too.