Rafed English

To the two anklebones

The two anklebones are mentioned in the verse of the wudu, they are the joints between the legs and the feet, according to the ruling of an authentic tradition reported by Zurara and Bukayr, the two children of A'yan. They asked Imam al-Baqir about it. This is clear from al-Saduq, he has also reported from them. The Imams of the languages have also stated that every joint of the bones is an anklebone.

The masses have stated that the anklebones here are the two bones which grow on the side of every leg. They have argued that if the anklebone is the joint between the foot and the leg, this would mean every leg has one anklebone so it would have been necessary for God to have said "and [wipe] your foot to the anklebones." Just as it is clear that for every hand there is an elbow, He said "and your hands with the elbows."

I say if He had stated with the two elbows then it would have been correct without any doubt and the meaning becomes "and wash your faces and your hands with the two elbows of all of you and wipe your heads and feet to the two anklebones of all of you." Thus [using] the dual and plural of the two words in the verse are equivalently correct. Similar is the case if one is mentioned in the plural and the other in the dual. Perhaps that would be required for artistic expression.

This only applies if we talk of one anklebone in the foot, but if there are two anklebones in every foot then there is no point for them to dispute. Anatomists have agreed that there is a bone which is circular like the anklebone in the cattle and the sheep under the bone of the leg where the joint of the foot and the leg [is located], this is also called the anklebone. Based on this, the wiping of every foot ends at the two anklebones and they are the joint itself, with a round anklebone under it. In [using] the dual for the anklebone in the verse and not using dual for the elbow is a subtle point and an indication; something which only anatomists knew, so Glory be to the one who Created, the One who is most Knowledgeable, and the most Wise.

Adapted from: "Questions on Jurisprudence" by: "Abdul Hussein Shareefaldin Al-Musawi"

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