Isbaal — The Ruling of Wearing One’s Garment Below the Ankles

[By Muhammad ibn Suleman Chothia]

Our discussion will entail the following:

1. Introduction
2. Ahadith with prohibition due to pride
3. Ahadith with general prohibition (without mention of pride)
4. Aathaar (Narrations) of the Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum)
5. The Grace of our Role Model’s garment ﷺ
6. Misconceptions and their clarifications

Introduction

Allah Ta’ala in enumerating His gifts upon us said, “O children of Adam, We have bestowed upon you clothing to conceal your private parts and as (a means of) adornment. However, the clothing of righteousness – that is best. That is from the signs of Allah that perhaps they will remember.” [Surah Al-A’raaf: 26]

One of the interpretations of “clothing of righteousness” is clothing which shows humility. (Qurtubi Vol.9 Pg.186, Ruhul Ma’aani Vol.9 Pg.72)

Abdullah bin ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Whoever wears a garment of pride and vanity in this world, Allah will clothe him in a garment of humiliation on the Day of Resurrection, then set it ablaze.” (Sunan Ibn Majah #3607)

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Eat, give charity and clothe yourselves, without being extravagant, and without pride.” (Sunan Nasai #2559)

Therefore, in dressing, one should opt for clothing that expresses humility and refrain from clothing which has the hint of arrogance and pride in it. 

In doing so, it is also necessary to exercise caution. One should not hastily ascribe piety (humility) to himself and his choices (of clothing) and absolve himself of conceit and pride. Allah Ta’ala, who is fully aware of the hearts and their conditions, has prohibited us from claiming purity and piety. He says, “So do not claim purity for yourselves. He (Allah) knows best who are the (truly) pious.” [Surah Najam:32] 

One manner of dress which denotes pride and arrogance is the garment which hangs below the ankles of males. Below we will discuss this issue in light of the Quran, Hadith and opinions of the pious predecessors. I ask Allah to open the truth for us, help us to accept it and grant us the ability to follow it.

Before we start, we will like to point out the rulings which the scholars of the Ummah agree upon:

1. The scholars agree that wearing one’s garment up to mid-calf is a Sunnah of the Messenger ﷺ, which many Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum) practiced.

2. They also agree that it is permissible for a male to wear his garment up to the ankles.

3. They also agree that it is Haraam and a major sin for a male to intentionally let his garments hang below his ankles out of pride.

4. They also agree that a woman is permitted to let her clothing hang below her ankles. (If she is in sight of a non-mahram, then they agree that she must cover her ankles.)

The one case, on which the scholars disagree, is when the male’s garment is extended below his ankles without pride. Many scholars are of the opinion that it is makrooh (reprehensible) while a large group still maintain that this is also haraam and totally prohibited.

N.B. This ruling of isbaal applies when a person is standing. If a person bends, for instance, into ruku, or a person sits and his garment goes below his ankles, then this is permissible and the ruling of isbaal does not apply.

The evidences for the above will be mentioned below along with a detailed discussion on the point upon which the scholars disagree.
The many authentic ahadith which have been narrated concerning ‘Isbaal’ or lowering the garments below the ankles, are of two types.

1. Those ahadith which prohibit lowering the garments due to arrogance and pride.

2. Those ahadith with general prohibition (without mention of pride).

Ahadith with the Prohibition Due to ‘Pride’

All the scholars agree that it is prohibited for a male to lower his garments below his ankles if he does such out of arrogance. It is counted as a major sin. (See ‘Zawajir’ of Ibn Hajr Makki Vol.1 Pg.164-165 #109, ‘Fathul Bari’ of Ibn Hajr Asqalani Vol.13 Pg.266)

This is due to the many ahadith which clearly prohibit it in the sternest manner.

Hadith 1:  
Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Allah will not look, on the Day of Resurrection, at a person who drags his izãr [below his ankles] out of pride and arrogance.” (Bukhari #5788 and Muslim #2087).

• Imam Nawawi states, “The meaning of ‘not looking at him’ is not having mercy on him and not looking at him with mercy.” (Sharh Sahih Muslim Vol.14 Pg.61) 

Hadith 2: 
Abdullah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates from the Prophet ﷺ that he said, “Isbaal applies to the izãr (lower garment), the qamis (upper garment) and the a’mamah (turban). Whoever lets any of them drag out of pride, Allah will not look at him on the Day of Resurrection.”   (Abu Dawud #4094 and Nasa’i Vol. 8 Pg.208).

• Imam Nawawi (rahimahullah) states that its chain is sound. (Sharh Sahih Muslim Vol.2 Pg.116)
• From this hadith we learn that isbaal is not only restricted to the lower garment but it applies to any garment which is worn from above the ankle. (Socks and overall garments worn for protective purposes would not come under this ruling. See ‘Fathul Bari’ Vol.3 Pg.257)

Imam Tabari (rahimahullah) said that most narrations used the word ‘izãr’ or ‘lower garment’ because in that era most people used to wear izaars and ridaas.  (See ‘Fathul Bari’ Vol.13 Pg.264) However, it also applies to thawb, qamis, jubbah and jackets etc. 

Hadith 3:
“Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “While a man was walking, dragging his garment with pride, he was caused to be swallowed by the earth and will go on sinking in it till the Day of Resurrection.”  (Bukhari #3485 and Muslim #2088).

• The muhaddith Qurtubi (رهمح الله) writes in his commentary on ‘Sahih Muslim’, ‘Al-Mufhim’, “This hadith shows that a person should abandon feeling safe from an immediate punishment on sins and that it is haraam and a major sin for a person to feel proud of himself, his clothing and style.” (Vol.5 Pg.406)
 
Hadith 4 
Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “He who drags his clothing out of pride, Allah will not look at him on the Day of Resurrection.” I (Shu’bah) asked Muharib (رهمحام الله), “Did he mention the lower garment?” He replied, “He did not specify any lower or upper garment.” (Bukhari #5791 and Muslim #2085e).

• Shu’bah and Muharib (رهمحام الله) are both narrators of this hadith. Muharib (رهمح الله), the teacher, explicitly states that the word used was thawb (clothing or garment) and that there was no specification of any lower and upper garment. Therefore, the rule will apply to any type of clothing that is dragged below the ankles. 

Hadith 5
Ibn Masud (radhiyallahu anhu) said that I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saying, “Whoever drags his izãr during the prayer out of pride, then he is not in any halaal with Allah or haraam.”  (Abu Dawud #6371.

• The narrators are all reliable, said Shaikh Shuaib Arnawut.

• The muhaddithun have differed whether it has been narrated as a hadith of the Prophet (ﷺ) or statement of Ibn Masud (radhiyallahu anhu). Imam Tabarani (رهمح الله) narrates it as a statement of Ibn Masud (radhiyallahu anhu) with a sound chain. Since it is a statement which cannot be said based on one’s rational, it will still be in the ruling of a Prophetic hadith. (See ‘Fathul Bari’ Vol.13 Pg.256)

• This hadith has been explained in several ways:

i. ‘Any halaal’ means, ‘He (Allah) will not make it permissible for him to commit sin’, which is interpreted to mean ‘He (Allah) will not forgive him of the sins he commits’. ‘Any haraam’ means, ‘He (Allah) will not prevent him’, which is interpreted to mean, ‘He (Allah) will not protect him from committing sins’.

ii. Allah will not permit him into Jannah and He will not prohibit the Hell Fire on him.

iii. He is not doing a permitted action and Allah does not have any respect (ihtiraam) for him.

iv. He has left the halaal and haraam of Allah, meaning he has left the laws of Allah. (See ‘Bazlul Majhood’ Vol.3 Pg.573 and ‘Awnul Mabood’ for the first three Pg.313)

v. Allah does not care about him or his salah. (See ‘Sharh Aiyni’ Vol.3 Pg.170)

vi. He does not believe in the halaal and haraam of Allah.

vii. Allah has freed Himself from him and he has left the Deen. (See ‘Manhal Azb’ Vol.5 Pg.24)

• Regardless of whichever interpretation is taken, it denotes a very severe warning. 

Hadith 6
“Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Whoever arrogantly drags his garment, Allah will not look at him on the Day of Judgement.” So, Umm Salamah said: “What should the women do with their hems?” He said: “Lower them a hand-span.” So, she said:  “Then their feet will be uncovered.” He said: “Then lower them a forearm’s length, and do not add to that.” (Tirmithi #1731 and Nasai #5338) .

• Imam Tirmithi (رهمح الله) said, “It is sound (and) authentic.”

• The lowering started from the mid-calf.

• After narrating this hadith, Tirmithi (رهمح الله) commented, “In this hadith, there is a concession for women to drag their izãr because it covers them better.”

• All the scholars agree on this concession for the women. (Sharh Nawawi on Muslim Vol.14 Pg.62)

• If she is in front of a non-mahram, then they agree she must cover her ankles. 

Ahadith with General Prohibition (without mention of pride) 

As for the one who lowers his garment below his ankle, without pride, then this is also haraam and is considered a severe sin according to the most correct scholarly opinion. (See ‘Faidhul Bari’ Vol.6 Pg.72-3, ‘Kitabul Nawazil’ Vol.16 Pg.344, ‘Fatawa Qasmiyah’ Vol.23 Pg.479, ‘Aap ke Masaail aur unka Hal’ Vol.8 Pg.361, ‘Fatawa Haqqaniyah’ Vol.2 Pg.416, ‘Hadith ke Islahi Madhameen’ Vol.10 Pg.77, ‘Tuhfatul Alma’i’ Vol.5 Pg.65 & 106, ‘Kifayatul Mufti’ Vol.9 Pg.156)

This is due to the many ahadith which prohibit this, in the harshest words, without any restrictions. Rather, many ahadith state that lowering the garments below the ankles is an act of pride and arrogance, in itself. And arrogance is a major sin. May Allah purify us from it. 

Hadith 1 
Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “The part of an izãr which hangs below the ankles is in the Fire.”  (Bukhari #5787). 

• The literal meaning is that the person’s foot below the ankles or his clothing will enter the Fire. The scholars have explained this in a few ways:

i. What is meant is the foot beneath the clothing will enter the Fire. Once a part of the person enters the Fire, obviously, his whole body will follow.

ii. Along with the person, even that part of his clothing will enter the Fire. This is like the statement of Allah, “Indeed, you [disbelievers] and what you worship other than Allah are the fuel of Hell…” [Surah Anbiyaa: 98]

So Allah will also throw the idols, which the kuffar worshipped into the Fire, along with them, as a means of intensifying their remorse and highlighting their stupidity, that those from whom they sought prosperity and honour cannot even save themselves from the Fire. (Tafsir Uthmani Vol.5 Pg.262)

Similarly is the case of the garments from which they hoped honour, it will be of no avail to them. (Fathul Bari Vol.13 Pg.256, ‘Hadith ke Islaahi Madhameen’ Vol.10 Pg.80)

• Therefore, this hadith clearly states that the one who hangs his lower garment below his ankle will enter the Fire of Hell.

• There is no restriction here of pride. Any act in which the Messenger (ﷺ) warns of entering Hell by committing it is considered a major sin. (Tafsir Ibn Jarir Vol.6 Pg.652-3 {Surah Nisaa: 31}, ‘Zawajir’ Vol.1 Pg.5-6)

Even if one was to consider it a minor sin, it would become a major one in either of the following two situations:

i. If it is accompanied with pride
ii. If one persist in doing it.

• Below, we will learn that dragging one’s garments below the ankles is almost synonymous with pride, if not pride itself.

• Sa’eed ibn Jubair (رهمح الله) reported that a man asked Ibn Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu), “How many major sins are there? Are there seven?” Ibn Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) said, “They are closer to seven hundred than seven, but no sin is major if forgiveness is sought and no sin is minor if it is constantly repeated. (Tafsir Ibn Jarir Tabari Vol.6 Pg.651 {Surah Nisaa: 31}, ‘Tafsir Ibn Abi Hatim’ Vol.3 Pg.934 #5217, Hafiz Ibn Muflih authenticated its chain in ‘Aadaab Shar’iyah’ Vol.1 Pg.153)

• The muhaddith and faqeeh, Mufti Yusuf Ludhyanvi As-Shaheed (رهمح الله) considered lowering the garment below the ankles a major sin, especially in our times. (See his Fatawa collection ‘Aap ke Masail aur unka Hall’ Vol.8 Pg.361)

This will be explained later on, Allah willing. (See ‘Clarification of Misconception’ #5)

Hadith 2 
Abu Dharr (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Three are those with whom Allah would neither speak to on the Day of Resurrection, nor would look at them nor would He purify them and there is a painful chastisement for them.” The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) repeated it three times. Abu Dharr (radhiyallahu anhu) remarked: “They failed and they lost; who are these persons, O Messenger of Allah?” He replied: “The one who wears his lower garment below his ankles, the one who reproaches (on the favours he did to someone) and the seller of goods by false oath.”  (Muslim #106).

• This hadith mentions many extremely severe punishments for those who drag their garments below the ankles:

i. Allah will not speak to them. This means He will not speak to them in the manner that He will speak to the righteous people whom He will be pleased with. Rather, He will speak to them in anger. It can also mean that He will ignore them. Most commentators say it means He will not speak to them in a manner that will benefit them and please them. It can also mean He will not send the angels to them with greetings. It can also mean that Allah will not speak to them directly, which is an honour, in itself.

ii. He will not look at them. This means He will not look at them with mercy. Rather, He will look at them with anger.

iii. He will not purify them. This means Allah will not purify them from the filth of their sins. It also can mean He will not praise them. And whomsoever Allah does not praise, He punishes. (See ‘Sharh Nawawi’ on ‘Muslim’ Vol.2 Pg.116 and ‘Al-Mufhim’ Vol.1 Pg.302-3 for the explanations given)

iv. They will be given a painful punishment other than the above. 

• This person has been placed in the same row as a liar.

• He has been placed in the same row as the one, who is so evil in character, that he reminds people of the favours he did to them. 

Hadith 3 
Abdur-Rahman (رهمح  الله) said: “I asked Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri (radhiyallahu anhu) about the izãr, and he said: You have come to the one who knows about it. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘The izãr of the Muslim is to mid-calf, and there is no sin if it comes between that and the ankle, but whatever is below the ankle is in the Fire. The one who lets his izãr drag out of pride, Allah will not look at him.”  (Abu Dawud #4093, Ibn Majah #3573, and Ahmed #11010). 

• The muhaddith, Shaikh Shuaib (رهمح الله) said, “Its chain is authentic on the condition of Muslim.”

• This hadith is the clearest in mentioning the distinction between two different sins: 

Sin 1; The one who lets his lower garment drag below his ankle without pride➡He will enter the Fire.

Sin 2: The one who intentionally drags his lower garment below his ankle out of pride➡Allah will not even look at him with mercy on the Day of Judgement.

Hadith 4
Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) reported: “I happened to pass before Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) with my lower garment trailing. He said: ‘Abdullah, tug up your lower garment,’ I tugged it up, and he again said: ‘Some more,’ and I tugged it further. Afterwards, I was cautious in practicing that. Some of the people said: To what extent? Thereupon he said: ‘To the middle of the shanks.’”  (Muslim #2086). 

• Again, this hadith has no restriction of pride. The Messenger (ﷺ) commanded Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) to raise it without accusing him of pride.

• Allamah Qurtubi (رهمح الله) writes, “This shows that it is such a sin that should not be allowed, rather, one should prohibit it, even if the person may have done it by mistake.” (Al-Mufhim Vol.5 Pg.406) 

Hadith 5
Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates, “The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) clothed him with two garments of the garments of siyaraa, which Ferooz had gifted him. So, I wore the izãr and it drowned me in length and width. So, I dragged it on the ground. I then wore the upper garment and covered my head with it. So the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) held my shoulders and said, “O Abdullah lift your izãr, because whatever touches the ground of the izãr until below the ankles is in Hell.” Abdullah ibn Muhammad said, “So I never saw a person who was stricter in lifting his clothes than Abdullah ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu).”  (Musnad Ahmed #5713)

• Shaikh Arnawut (رهمح الله) said, “It is Sound.” 

• This hadith mentions more details. Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) heeded to the Messenger’s ﷺ command right away until his death. There is no mention of pride in any of these two narrations. 

Hadith 6
Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated: “Once, a person was praying, letting his lower garment trail. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said to him: ‘Go and perform wudhu.’ He went, performed wudhu and then returned. He (ﷺ) again said: ‘Go and perform wudhu.’ He again went, performed wudhu and returned. (On witnessing this) someone asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah, why did you order him to perform wudhu?’ He (ﷺ) replied: ‘He was praying with the lower garment trailing, and Allah Ta’ala does not accept the prayer of a man who lets his lower garment trail.’”  (Abu Dawud #638 and ‘Musnad’ Ahmed #16628).

• Imam Nawawi (رهمح الله) said that its chain is authentic on the condition of Muslim. Hafiz Haithami (رهمح الله) said that Ahmed (رهمح الله) narrates it and the transmitters are those of the Sahih. (Riyadhus Saliheen Pg.373 #797, ‘Majmauz Zawaid’ Vol.5 Pg.126 Conversely, others have held that Abu Ja’far in the chain is unknown. Based on this, the chain would be slightly weak. See: ‘Sharh Aiyni’ Vol.3 Pg.169, ‘Kifayatul Mufti’ Vol.9 Pg.156 and Arnawut on ‘Musnad’. However, Tirmithi has graded one of Abu Ja’far’s hadith as ‘sound’ [#3442]. Hafiz Ibn Hajr graded him ‘maqbool’ (accepted) in ‘Taqreeb’. This means that his hadith is accepted if supported with a mutaabe’. Well, it is supported by the shaahid of Ibn Masud quoted above. Azim-Aabaadi also considered the hadith sound in ‘Awnul Mabood’ Pg.313. Allah knows best.)

• This hadith indicates to the prohibition of lowering the garments without any restriction of pride to the extent that the man was commanded to re-do his wudhu.

• The command to re-do the wudhu may have been to expiate for the sin committed, as wudhu washes away sins. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Whoever performs ablution as I have done, his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Ibn Majah #285 Busiri authenticated it in ‘Misbahuz Zujajah’ Pg.260)

• The salah did remain valid. This is why he wasn’t told to repeat it.

• However, a person will be deprived of the benefits of salah such as forgiveness of sins, purification of the heart, divine reward in the Hereafter, etc. This is what is meant by the salah not being accepted by Allah Ta’ala. (Dalilul Faliheen Vol.5 Pg.342, Shaikh Afzal Ismail, Commentary of Riyadhus Saliheen Vol.2 Pg.175) 

Hadith 7 
Abu Jurayy Jabir ibn Sulaim (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Lift your lower garment halfway up your shin; if you cannot do it, have it up to the ankles. However, beware of trailing the lower garment, for it is from pride and Allah does not like pride.”  (Abu Dawud #4084 and Tirmizi #2722, Bukhari in ‘Adabul Mufrad’ #1182).

• Imam Tirmithi said, “Its chain is sound and authentic.”

• This hadith clearly states that lowering the garments below the ankle is an act of pride in itself.

• Hafiz Ibn Hajr Asqalani says in ‘Fathul Bari’ Vol.13 Pg.267,

“In summary, letting down the garment (below the ankles) entails dragging it, and dragging the garment entails pride even if the person did not intend pride.” 

Hadith 8 
The Prophet (ﷺ) said to Sufyan ibn Abi Sahl (radhiyallahu anhu), “Do not trail your garments (below the ankles), because Allah does not like those who trail their garments.”  (Ibn Majah #3574 and Sahih Ibn Hibban #5442). 

• Hafiz Busiri authenticated its chain in ‘Misbahuz Zujajah’. (Pg. 467)

• This hadith again mention that Allah dislikes those who lower their garments below the ankles without any mention of pride. 

Hadith 9 
Huzaifah (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated, “The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) took hold of the calf of my shin – or his shin – and he said: “This is the place of the Izãr, if you must lower it, then a little below, and if you must lower it, then the lzar has no right to be on the ankles.”  (Tirmithi #1783 and Ibn Hibban #5448) . 

• Again, the Messenger (ﷺ) clearly states that the garment has no right on the ankle. Obviously, below is worst. There is no restriction of pride here either.

• Ibn Hibban (رهمح الله) said that this is the furthest limit on the male’s body which is wajib to practice on with regards to hanging the lower garment. 

Hadith 10
Abu Umamah (radhiyqllahu anhu) said, “Once we were with the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and we met Amr ibn Zurarah Ansari (radhiyallahu anhu) (who was wearing) a lower and upper garment, which he had trailed below his ankles. The Messenger (ﷺ) took the corner of his garment humbly and started saying, ‘O Allah, Your bondsman, the son of your bondsman and bondswoman,’ until Amr ibn Zurarah (radhiyallahu anhu) heard him and turned to the Prophet (ﷺ) and said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, my shins are thin.’ He replied, ‘O Amr ibn Zurarah, surely Allah beautified the creation of everything. O Amr ibn Zurarah, surely Allah does not love the one who trails his garment below his ankles.’” Thereafter the Messenger (ﷺ) showed him that the izãr should be up to eight fingers below the knees.  (Tabarani in ‘Kabir’ #7909. Also, see ‘Fathul Bari’ Vol.13 Pg.267).

 
• Allamah Haithami and Hafiz Ibn Hajr (رهمحام الله) both said that the narrators are all reliable. (Majmauz Zawaid Vol.5 Pg.124)

• Once again, there is no restriction of pride in this hadith. Hafiz Ibn Hajr (رهمح  الله) comments, “It is clear that Amr (radhiyallahu anhu) did not intend to be arrogant by this lowering of his garment. Yet, the Messenger (ﷺ) prohibited him because it is from the actions which are most likely committed out of arrogance.”  (Fathul Bari Vol.13 Pg.267)

Hadith 11 
Sharid (radhiyallahu anhu) said, “The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saw a man trailing his izãr below his ankles so he hastened towards him or he jogged [until he lifted his garment]. He (ﷺ) then said, “Lift your izãr and fear Allah.” The man [exposed his knees and] said, “I am clubfooted. My knees collide with one another when I walk.” He remarked, “All of Allah’s creations are good.” That man was never seen after that but that his izãr was in the middle of his shin [until he died].   (Tabarani in ‘Kabir’ #7238 and Musnad Ahmed  Vol.4 Pg.390. The words between the brackets [] are Ahmed’s). 

• Hafiz Haithami (رهمح الله) said, “The narrators of Ahmed are narrators of the Sahih.” (Majmauz Zawaid Vol.5 Pg.124)

Allamah Munawi (rahimahullah) states that Imam Suyuti (rahimahullah) wrote the abbreviation of authenticity on this hadith.  (See ‘Faidhul Qadeer’ Vol.1 Pg.476)

• “Fear Allah” and refrain from that which Allah has made haraam. (See ‘Faidhul Qadeer’ Vol.1 Pg.475-6)

• This Sahabi had a defect in his legs, yet the Messenger (ﷺ) instructed him to lift his garments above his ankles. May Allah grant us the ability to practice on His commands in all circumstances. There is no mention of pride in this hadith. 

Hadith 12 
Samurah ibn Jundub (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates from the Prophet (ﷺ) that he said, “Whatever is below the ankles of the izãr is in the Fire.”  (Musnad Ahmed #20098). 

• Shaikh Arnawut (رهمح  الله) said, “Its chain is authentic.”

• N.B. When a hadith is narrated by a different Sahabi (radhiyallahu anhu), it is counted as a separate hadith. 

Hadith 13
Ibn Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) said that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Surely Allah will not look at the one who lowers his garment below his ankles.”  (Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaibah #25308).

• The muhaddith, Shaikh Muhammad Awwamah (هظفح الله) graded it authentic. 

Hadith 14 
Abu Ad-Dardã (radhiyallahu anhu) said to Sahl ibn Al-Hanzaliyyah (radhiyallahu anhu), “Tell us something that will benefit us and not harm you.” He said, “The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said to us, ‘What a good man Khuraim Al-Asadi is, except that his hair comes down to his shoulders and his izãr hangs below his ankles.’ News of that reached Khuraim (radhiyallahu anhu) and he went and took a knife and cut his hair until it came to his ears, and he lifted up his izãr to mid-calf.”
(Abu Dawud #4089).

• Hafiz Ibn Hajr classified it sound in ‘Al-Amaali Mutlaqah’. (Pg.36 Also see Arnawut’s research on ‘Musnad Ahmed’ Vol.29 Pg.159-162)

• The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) did not mention anything about Khuraim (radhiyallahu anhu) being proud. Therefore, even if one was to hang his garment without pride, it is not allowed. 

Hadith 15
Abdullah ibn Abil Hudhail (رهمح الله) narrates that Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) asked the Messenger of Allah ﷺ concerning the izãr. So, he took hold of the middle of the calf of the shin. So, he requested, “Increase (it) for us, O Messenger of Allah.” So, he held the lowest part of the calf of the shin. So, he requested, “Increase (it) for us, O Messenger of Allah.” So, he ﷺ replied, “There is no good in anything lower than this.” (Musnad Abi Bakr’ #123)

• Shaikh Arnawut (رهمح الله) said that the narrators are reliable, however there is an uncertainty in whether Ibn Abi Hudhail heard from Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) or not. Abu Zur’ah said, “Ibn Abi Hudhail from Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) is mursal.” It is, however, supported by the narration of Huzaifah (radhiyallahu anhu) quoted above. (See Arnawut’s research on ‘Musnad Abi Bakr’ Pg.156, ‘Marasil’ of Ibn Abi Hatim #407)

Aathaar (Narrations) of the Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum) 

The following are narrations in which the Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum) instructed others to lift their garments above their ankles. Pride is an action of the heart and the traits of the heart are from the unseen. Obviously, the Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum) did not receive any revelation so they were not aware if someone is doing it out of pride or not. Yet, they instructed them to lift their garments. This shows that the prohibition applies in all cases. 

Athar 1 
Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) saw a person trailing his lower garment, whereupon he said: “From whom do you come?” He described his relationship (with the tribe he belonged) and it was found that he belonged to the tribe of Laith. Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) recognized him and said: “I heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) with these two ears of mine saying: ‘He who trailed his lower garment with no other intention but pride, Allah would not look toward him on the Day of Resurrection.’”  (Muslim #2085f).

• Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhum) prohibited him from dragging his garments and used the hadith which mentions the restriction of pride. Obviously, he didn’t know what was in his heart. So, this shows that the ruling is general. There are other incidents where Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) reprimanded people for dragging their garments below their ankles. (See ‘Tamheed’ of Ibn Abdil Barr Vol.3 Pg.274-5)

One more will be mentioned below under the title of ‘Misconceptions and their Clarifications’. 

Athar 2 
Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu) saw a person whose lower garment had been trailing and this person started to strike the ground with his foot. He [Abu Hurairah] was the governor of Bahrain and the person was saying: “Here comes the Amir, here comes the Amir.” He (Abu Huraira) reported that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: “Allah will not look toward him who trails his lower garment out of pride.” 
(Muslim #2087).

• Stamping one’s feet is not necessarily an act of arrogance. Rather in certain cases it is even praise worthy. For instance, to show the kuffar that the Muslims are strong and not weak. Even the Messenger ﷺ ordered the Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum) to march when doing tawaf in the Umaratul Qadhaa because the Kuffar of Makkah had said the fever of Madinah has weakened the Muslims. (Sahih Bukhari #1602)

Therefore this person most likely was stamping in that manner as Bahrain still had Jews and Majusis there. 

Athar 3
Kharashah (رهمح الله) said that Umar (Ibn Khattab) (radhiyallahu anhu) called for a blade and lifted the izãr of a man above his ankles. Then he cut what was below that. He (Kharashah) said, “It is though I am looking at the ends of his garment flowing down his heels.”  (Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaibah #25326. Shaikh Shathri authenticated it in his ‘Ta’leeq’ on ‘Musannaf’ Vol.13 Pg.529)

• Some people say, why do scholars speak about such ‘minor’ issues as dragging the trousers below the ankles when the Ummah is in need of much greater advice? Subhaanallah, Allah forbid. This is the Amirul Mumineen, one of the most outstanding leaders this World has ever seen, taking out his precious time to personally cut the lower garment of one who was dragging it below his ankles. 

Athar 4
There is also another narration collected by Bukhari, which will be mentioned below, in which Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) commanded a youth to lift his garment above his ankles after Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was stabbed by the Majusi. (Bukhari #3700).

• Once again, the leader of the super power of the time, was on his death bed, instructing someone to lift his garment above his ankles. May Allah Ta’ala give us the tawfeeq to honour and practice every single one of his commands. 

THE GRACE OF OUR ROLE-MODEL’S GARMENT 

Allah Ta’ala said in the Quran Majid that the one who wishes to please Allah and succeed in the Hereafter should follow in the way, method, style and Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) “Certainly, you have in the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) an excellent exemplar for him who hopes in Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much.”  [Surah Ahzab: 21]

The grace and style of the garments which the Messenger (ﷺ) and his companions wore is a well-known fact.  

1. Ubaid ibn Khalid (Or Ubaidah ibn Khalaf. The difference of name is a Sahabi does not cause any weakness to the narration). said, “I was walking and upon me was a sheet which I was dragging. So, a man said to me, ‘Lift your garment because it is cleaner (or more righteous) for you and long lasting.’ So I looked and it was the Prophet (ﷺ). I said, ‘It is a burdah malhaa (a black sheet with white lines).’ The Messenger (ﷺ) retorted, ‘Don’t you have a role model in me?’ He said, ‘When I looked I saw that his garment was up to the middle of his calf.’”
(Musnad Ahmed Vol.5 Pg.364, Tirmithi in ‘Shamail’ #114,  and Nasai Sunan Kubraa #9602).

• Hafiz Ibn Hajr classified its chain good (Fathul Bari Vol.13 Pg.266-7). Imam Suyuti indicated to its authenticity in ‘Jameus Sagheer’ and Munawi and San’ani (رهمحام  الله) did not disagree with him in their respective commentaries on ‘Jameus Sagheer’. (See ‘Faidhul Qadeer’ by Munawi Vol.1 Pg.476 and ‘Tanweer’ by San’ani Vol.2 Pg.287)

2. Salamah ibn Akwa’ (radhiyallahu anhu) said that Uthman ibn Affan (radhiyallahu anhu) used to wear his izãr until his mid-calf and would say, “This is how my companion, the Nabi ﷺ, used to wear his izãr.”
(Shamail Tirmithi #115).

• Even though the Sahabi, Salamah (radhiyallahu anhu) knew the style of the Messenger’s izãr himself, he spoke of Uthman’s style to point out that this Sunnah was established and practiced by the great Sahabah including the Khulafaa Rashideen (radhiyallahu anhum). (Sharh Munawi Vol.1 Pg.173, ‘Jamul Wasail’ Vol.1 Pg.173 )

3. Abu Sulaiman (His name is Ayub ibn Dinaar) [Jarh wat Ta’deel Vol.2 Pg.246 #877] narrates from his father that he said, “I saw Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) while he was wearing a najrani izãr up till mid-calf.”  (‘Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaibah #25329 Vol.12 Pg.503)

4. Abu Ishaq (رهمح  الله) said, “I saw people from amongst the companions of the prophet wearing their izãrs until mid-calf.” He then named, “Usamah ibn Zaid, Ibn Umar, Zaid ibn Arqam and Baraa ibnul Azib” (radhiyallahu anhuma). (Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaibah #25327 Vol.12 Pg.503) 

In Summary, the Sunnah of the Messenger (ﷺ) and many of his companions (radhiyallahu anhum) was to wear the lower garments until mid-calf. Between mid-calf and the ankles is a permissible area. On the other hand, wearing any garments below the ankles is prohibited on males. The punishment for this is entrance into the Fire of Jahannam, may Allah protect us from it. If one knowingly does it out of pride, then he will be in a worst situation, as Allah Ta’ala will not even look at him with mercy on the Day of Judgment. This is the more precautionary opinion, for the outward purport of many strongly-worded Prophetic ahadith state such. 

MISCONCEPTIONS AND THEIR CLARIFICATIONS 

Misconception 1:
Why do some ahadith place the condition of ‘if it is done out of pride’? 

• Clarification: 
This is to show that the matter is more severe for the one who intentionally does it out of pride. Allamah Sindi (رهمح  الله) says in his ‘Hashiyah’ on ‘Sunan Ibn Majah’, “What is apparent is that this limit is there even if one does not do it out of pride. Yes, if pride is also added to hanging it below the ankle, then the matter is more severe.” (Vol.4 Pg.148) And Allah Ta’ala knows best. 

Misconception 2:
It is a case of (Mafhoomul Mukhalafah). That is, the prohibition mentioned a restriction of pride, therefore the opposite ruling will apply when the restriction is not found. 

• Clarification:
Many mujtahidun do not consider this (Mafhoomul Mukhalafah) a valid principle of deducing laws. Even those who use it as evidence, mention a condition that the restriction should not have been mentioned based on it being the norms of such situations. For instance, in the Quran Majid, Allah Ta’ala says, Haraam on you (to marry) are …. your step-daughters, whom are in your care.” [Surah Nisaa: 23]

The restriction of “in your care” here was mentioned because this is the norms of such a case. (The step-father usually takes care of his wife’s children from her previous marriage).

Therefore, its absence will not invert the ruling. It will still remain haraam on a man to marry his step-daughter even if he never took care of her. Similarly, Allamah San’ani (رهمح  الله) states that the restriction of “pride” in some of the ahadith is to indicate that those who usually let their garments below their ankles, do so out of pride. Therefore, if this restriction is not there, then it will not cause the ruling to turn around. (See ‘Istifaaul Aqwaal’ by San’ani Pg.42)

This is also supported by the hadith which called dragging the garments below the ankle, an act of pride in itself. And Allah Ta’ala knows best.

Misconception 3:
Applying the restriction to the general ahadith will apply in this case. That is, when certain ahadith are general and others are restricted, then one of the principles of Fiqh is to apply the restriction to the general ahadith. Accordingly, since some ahadith have the restriction of pride, it will also apply to those which are general. 

Clarification:
i. Indeed, this is one principle of Fiqh that is applied in some instances. However, another principle of Fiqh is that the general hadith is practiced on its generality and the restricted one with its restriction. So, we will practice on the general one without any restrictions. The hadith of Abu Saeed Khudri (radhiyallahu anhu), (“Whatever is below the ankle is in the Fire. The one who lets his izãr drag out of pride, Allah will not look at him.”), collected by Abu Dawud (رهمح الله) and others, strengthens the use of this principle here, as it mentions both the scenarios in one hadith, the general and the restricted, and they both were prohibited by mentioning different punishments. Allamah San’ani (رهمح الله) says, “The ahadith indicate that whatever is below the ankles is in the Fire, and this entails prohibition. Other ahadith indicate that whoever drags it out of pride, Allah will not look at him. This also entails prohibition. They also point out that the punishment for the arrogant is a specific punishment, which is Allah not looking at him. This is one of the things that falsifies the claim that it is only prohibited on the proud.” (Istifaaul Aqwaal Pg.26)

ii. One of the conditions for applying the restriction to a general text, for those who use this principle, is that it should not be concerning a prohibition. If the issue is one of prohibition, as is the case with the issue of isbaal, then it is not valid to apply the restriction of one text to the generality of the other. This is explained by Hafiz Ibn Daqeequl Eid in ‘Ihkamul Ahkaam’. (Vol.1 Pg.60 Also see: ‘Al-Bahrul Muheet’ by Zarkashi Vol.3 Pg.430-1). And Allah Ta’ala knows best. 

Misconception 4:
The Messenger (ﷺ) told Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) that since he is not letting his garment hang “out of pride”, there is no punishment for him. Therefore, this should also apply to us.  

• Clarification:
Below we will reproduce the complete hadith and then explain it:

Abdullah ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) narrates that the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Allah will not look, on the Day of Resurrection at the person who drags his garment (below his ankles) out of pride.” On that Abu Bakr (هنع الله يضر) said, “O Allah’s Messenger, one side of my izãr hangs low unless I meticulously take care of it.” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “You are not one of those who do that out of pride.”   (Bukhari #5784). 

• This narration is usually considered the strongest evidence put forward by those who wish to wear their garments below their ankles. From the following analysis, Allah willing, it will become crystal clear that this narration is actually evidence against their position.

From this hadith, the following points become clear:

i. Only one side was going below Abu Bakr’s (radhiyallahu anhu) ankle. So how can one use this to intentionally hang both sides down his ankles? (See ‘Tamheed’ of Ibn Abdil Barr Vol.3 Pg.247)

ii. Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) was not doing it intentionally. How can this be evidence for those who purposely and intentionally wear their trousers below their ankles? (Ibid)

Rather, the scholars wrote that Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) was very slim and his garments would not stay on him tightly. They would slip off of his hips. Allamah Kirmani (رهمح الله) said he had a slight hunch to his back which also caused his garment to slip off. (Kirmani Vol.21 Pg.53, ‘Umdatul Qari’ Vol.21 Pg.438, ‘Minhatul Baari’ Vol.9 Pg.76)

iii. When he realised it slipped off, he would lift it up. (Umdatul Qari Vol.21 Pg.438) These people never lift it up.

iv. Since Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) didn’t wear it below his ankles intentionally and he would ensure to lift it when he realized it slipped below, there was no question of him being arrogant. Yet, he asked the question concerning his situation. Therefore, this means that he understood it to be general and not restricted to pride. Otherwise, his question would not make sense. (Faidhul Bari Vol.6 Pg.72)

v. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) received revelation from Allah and by it he would know the state of the heart of a person. So, he had the right to testify of the purity of Abu Bakr’s (radhiyallahu anhu heart.

vi. Since the Messenger (ﷺ) is no longer amongst us, we are not able to claim purity for anyone. Allah alone knows who is pure at heart.

vii. Some scholars say that, out of all the Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum), only Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) was given the reassurance that he is not doing it out of pride. Therefore, this was a specific permission for him. There is no other Sahabi who was afforded this, not even Umar, Uthman or Ali (radhiyallahu anhum). So how can we, who are drowned in sin, claim purity? (Tawdhehaat Sharh Mishkaat Vol.6 Pg.467)

viii. The scholars say that this hadith shows that if one’s garment was to unintentionally fall below one’s ankles, then he would not be taken to task for it. However, this in no way means that one should be careless about it.

ix. Even though this narration clearly negates pride from Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu), Imam Bukhari (رهمح الله) still mentioned it under the ‘Book of Clothing’, this is to point out that this hadith is a general guideline of wearing garments, without paying attention to the issue of arrogance. (Faidhul Bari Vol.6 Pg.72   

x. Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu), the narrator of this hadith, used to always keep his garments at mid-calf. It is not narrated that he allowed letting the garments go below the ankles for anyone. 

xi. Rather, Hafiz Ibn Abdil Barr (رهمح الله) mentions a narration in ‘Tamheed’ in which Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) instructed Abdullah ibn Waqid to lift his garment above his ankles. Ibn Waqid said, “There are some sores on my legs.” Ibn Umar replied, “Even if.” Ibn Abdil Barr (رهمح الله) comments, “This is clear that Ibn Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) held it reprehensible for a person to drag his garments in all conditions.” (See ‘Tamheed’ of Ibn Abdil Barr Vol.3 Pg.247) And Allah Ta’ala knows best. 

Misconception 5:
All those who wear their trousers below their ankles claim that “We don’t do it out of pride.” 

• Clarification:
i. Allah Ta’ala says, “So do not claim purity for yourselves. He is most knowing of who fears him.” [Surah Najam: 32]

ii. Hafiz Ibn Hajr Asqalani (رهمح الله) writes in ‘Fathul Bari’, “[The faqeeh and muhaddith, Qadhi Abu Bakr] Ibnul Arabi (رهمح الله) said, ‘It is not permissible for a man to let his garment cover his ankles and say, ‘I am not dragging it out of pride’, because the prohibition includes this in its wordings. It is not permissible for he whom the text includes in ruling to say, ‘I am not following it because the primary reason is not in me’, because this is a claim that is not accepted. Rather his lengthening of his lower garment below the ankles is a sign of his pride.’” Then Hafiz Ibn Hajr (رهمح الله) states that this is supported by the hadith, “Beware of trailing the lower garment, for it is from pride.” (Fathul Bari Vol.13 Pg.267)

iii. Shaikh Ibn Ataullah Iskandari (Hafiz Ibn Hajr quotes Hafiz Zahabi (الله اهمحر) saying, “Ibn Ataullah had an extraordinary grandeur, lofty status in the hearts and contribution in virtue. I saw Shaikh Tajuddeen, when he returned from Misr, holding his advices and subtleties in very high regard. He used to speak in the Jame Azhar on a chair with such a speech that revived the hearts. He had combined the statements of the People (i.e. Zuhhad) with the narrations of the Salaf and other topics. So, he had a lot of followers. He had the signs of goodness on him.” ‘Durr Kaaminah’ Vol.1 Pg.274) said, “He who attributes humility to himself is really proud.” (Kitabul Hikam, ‘The Book of Wisdom’ Pg.215, ‘Ummul Amraadh’ by Shaikh Zakariyah Kandhelvi Pg.19)

Humility is the belief that one is the most contemptible and lowest person. The consideration of greatness in oneself is pride. So, the one who puts forth the claim that he is humble is in actual fact considering himself to be elevated. Thus, he is a man of pride. (‘Ikmalus Shiyam’ by Shaikh Abdullah Gangohi Pg.215 White Thread Press)

iv. If we were to assume that it is not always an act of pride, then Ibn Hajr (رهمح الله) says that it is still an action that has a high possibility of pride. (Fathul Bari Vol.13 Pg.267)

v. Ubaid ibn Khalid (radhiyallahu anhu) said, “I was walking and upon me was a sheet which I was dragging. So, a man said to me, ‘Lift your garment because it is more righteous for you and long lasting.’ So, I looked and it was the Prophet (ﷺ). I said, ‘It is a burdah malhaa (a black sheet with white lines).’ The Messenger (ﷺ) retorted, ‘Don’t you have a role model in me?’ He said, ‘When I looked I saw that his garment was till the middle of his calf.’” [  Shamail Tirmithi #114. Its chain is good. (‘Fathul Bari’ Vol.13 Pg.266-7)].

a. Some scholars explain that by saying it is a black sheet with white threads, the Sahabi was indicating that it was not a garment with which one can show off and be proud of. However, the Messenger (ﷺ) informed him of two things. One, there is more piety in lifting it above, as one may feel he is not proud but in actual fact he is. Another point is that we should not feel we are above following the style of the Messenger (ﷺ). This is why the Messenger (ﷺ) rebuked him in a stern manner and said, “Don’t you have a role-model in me?”

b. Another point the scholars derived from this is that one should lift his trousers high so as to prevent any possibility of it dragging below the ankles. This is called  or “closing the doors and means of sin”. (Sharh Munawi Vol.1 Pg.172, ‘Jamul Wasail’ Vol.1 Pg.172, ‘Mawaahib Ladunniyah’ by Baajuri Pg.235)

vi. The faqeeh and muhaddith, Mufti Yusuf Ludhyanvi (رهمح الله) states that in our times (20th and 21st century. The respected Mufti was assassinated in 2000 CE. May Allah accept his martyrdom) the people who are accustomed to wearing their trousers, pants and lower garments below their ankles consider it an act of honour, rather, they feel ashamed and disgraced in lifting it above the ankles. They look with utmost disdain at the Sunnah of the beloved Prophet (ﷺ), which is wearing the garments at mid-calf. Now you tell me, “Is the cause for this anything other than arrogance and pride?” This is why the respected mufti considered it a major sin, especially in our times. Rather, he went a step further and said, “Further than a major sin, there is a fear of losing one’s Iman by looking at the Prophetic Sunnah in a condescending manner.” (Aap ke Masaail aur unka Haal Vol.8 Pg.361)

vii. In many of the narrations mentioned above, the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) had instructed many Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum) to lift their garments above their ankles. Would we say (May Allah forbid), that those Sahabah were doing so out of pride? Obviously not.

viii. If anyone had the right to say, ‘I don’t do it out of pride,’ it was Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu), but he never made such claims of purification. So, who are we to profess such piety? And Allah Ta’ala knows best. 

Misconception 6:
Yazid ibn Abi Habib (رهمح الله) narrates that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ used to hang his izãr in front of him and lift it from the back. (‘At-Tabaqaat’ Ibn Sa’d Vol.1 Pg.395 ) 

• Imam Suyuti graded it mursal in ‘Jame’us Sagheer’. (Jame’us Sagheer with ‘Taweer’ Vol.8 Pg.563) 

• Clarification:
i. This hadith is mursal, which is one of the types of weak hadith according to the muhaddithun. A mursal hadith is when there is a break in the link of the chain of narration after the tabi’ee. Yazid ibn Abi Yahya (رهمح الله) was a tabi’ee, which means he did not meet the Messenger ﷺ. Therefore, there is a break in the link of this chain of narration. However, a mursal hadith is still used as evidence according to the majority of the mujtahidun, the likes of Abu Hanifah, Malik and Ahmed ibn Hanbal (رمهمح الله). Imam Shafi’ee (رهمح الله) also uses it as evidence when it fulfills a few conditions.

ii. When a hadith is vague, like this one, then it must be interpreted to coincide with the other explicit narrations. Many ahadith mention that the Sunnah and usual method of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ was to wear his garments up to mid-calf.

iii. This is why, Allamah San’aani (رهمح الله) explains that this hanging in front was to the extent of the permission given, which is up to mid-calf. (Taweer Vol.8 Pg.563. Permission was given from between mid-calf to above the ankles). And Allah Ta’ala knows best. 

Misconception 7:
Ikrimah (رهمح الله) narrated that he saw Ibn Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) wearing an izãr; he let the edge of the izãr touch the top of his feet in front and he lifted it higher at the back. I said, “Why are you wearing the izãr in this manner?” He said, “I saw the Messenger of Allah wearing it like that.” (Sunan Abu Dawud #4096)

• Shaikh Muhammad Awwamah classified it as sound. (Ta’leeq ala ‘Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaibah’ Vol.12 Pg.503 #25328)

• Some people use this hadith to say that we can drag our garments below our ankles without any restriction of a particular style. 

• Clarification:
i. Firstly, if we were to assume this was the Messenger’s ﷺ regular style of wearing his izãr, it does not clearly state that the front part went below the ankles. The edge of the izãr can touch the top of the foot without going below the ankles, especially when the back part is clearly above the ankles. By taking all the other numerous ahadith on this issue in to consideration, we must interpret it to mean that it did not go below the ankles.

ii. Even if we were to assume it may have gone below the ankles at the front, it clearly did not go below from the back. Also, this manner would leave the ankles exposed and not covered. Therefore, if one was to prove permissibility from this hadith, the izãr would have to be worn in this exact manner. However, this is only possible if one is wearing a lungi or loincloth, which can be tied in such a manner that the front part reaches the top of the foot while the back part stays higher up. This style is impossible with a trouser and extremely difficult with a qamis or jubbah. Those who would like to use this hadith to permit wearing the trousers below their ankles, would never wear them in this manner. 

iii. This is the only hadith that mentions this method of wearing the izãr. All the other ahadith clearly state that the Messenger’s style ﷺ was to wear the garments up to mid-calf. Similarly, the other Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum) who followed the Messenger’s style ﷺ, wore it up to mid-calf. Therefore, this hadith will be explained in light of what is established.

iv. The great muhaddith and faqeeh, Mulla Ali Qari explains, “Maybe this occurred once from him (the Messenger ﷺ) and Ibn Abbas (radhiyallahu anhu) happened to see it. This is why he is alone in this style of wearing the izãr from amongst the Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum).” (Mirqatul Mafatih Vol.8 Pg.236, The muhaddith Shaikh Idris Kandhelvi also mentioned this interpretation in ‘Ta’liqus Sabih’ Vol.4 Pg.395)

v. Some scholars state that if one was to wear the loincloth in this manner, where the front part is on the top of the foot and the back part is above the ankles and they are exposed, then it would not come under the prohibition of isbaal. (See ‘Awnul Ma’bood’ Pg.1758, ‘Mazahir Haqq Jadid’ Vol.4 Pg.197 Maktabatul Ilm, ‘Khairul Mafatih’ Vol.5 Pg.154)

Refer to point ii of this clarification. And Allah Ta’ala knows best. 

Misconception 8:
It is narrated that Ibn Masud (radhiyallahu anhu) used to let down his izaar. He was asked concerning it, to which he replied, “I am a man whose shins are thin.” (Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaibah #25313)

• Clarification:
i. If a person’s shins are slim then he will simply conceal them by letting the garment below the midway of his calves. There is no need to hang it below the ankles.

ii. Hafiz Ibn Hajr (رهمح الله) said, “This hanging narrated from Ibn Masud (radhiyallahu anhu) means below the preferable place (of half the calf). It should never be imagined that it went below his ankles.” (Alqamah said, “Ibn Masud was the most similar to the Prophet in his ways, style and mannerism.” [Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaibah #32906])

How could one ever accuse such a great Sahabi, who was known to follow the Messenger (ﷺ) in all his ways, styles and mannerism, of defying the Messenger’s command? Ibn Masud (هنع الله يضر), himself, has narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ prohibited from dragging the izãr below the ankles. (Ibn Abi Shaibah #25303, Abu Dawud #4222, Sahih Ibn Hibban #5682-3 and Hakim in ‘Mustadrak’, who classified it authentic. As for the student of Ibn Masud, Abur Rahman ibn Harmalah, then he is truthful. See ‘Jarh wa Ta’dil’ Vol.5 Pg.222-3, ‘Thiqat’ Ibn Hibban Vol.5 Pg.95 and ‘Ta’leequl Awwamah’ on ‘Kashif’.) And Allah knows best.

iii. Ibn Masud (radhiyallahu anhu) also narrated that on the day Umar ibn Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu) was stabbed by Abu Luluah, the Majusi, with such a wound that subsequently took his life, a youth entered upon Umar (radhiyallahu anhu). The youth started to praise him. Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) saw that he was dragging his izãr. So he said, “O my nephew, lift your izãr because, in it, is more fear for your Rabb and cleaner for your garment.” Ibn Masud (radhiyallahu anhu) used to always remark, “Amazing! Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) saw the right of Allah upon him. So, the situation he was in did not prevent him from speaking about the right of Allah.”  (Ibn Abi Shaibah #25312 Ibrahim Nakhai’s Marasil from Ibn Masud are authentic. See ‘Tabribur Rawi’ Vol.3 Pg.166 and Shaikh Muhammad Awwamah’s Ta’lee).

Bukhari also collected it in his ‘Sahih’ but from a different Sahabi, Amr ibn Maimun (radhiyallahu anhu) #3700.

iv. Once Ibn Masud (radhiyallahu anhu) saw a man who was hanging his lower garment. So, he told him to lift it up. The man retorted, “And you, O Ibn Masud, lift your lower garment.” Ibn Masud (radhiyallahu anhu) said, “My feet are slim and I lead people in Salah.” Umar ibn Khattab (radhiyallahu anhu) learnt about this and flogged the man saying, “You were rebuking Ibn Masud?” 
(‘Siyar A’laam Nubalaa’ Vol.1 Pg.491-2 Shaik Shuaib said, “Its narrators are reliable.”)

Above, two narrations of Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) were mentioned, which showed how strict he was on the issue of the garment hanging below the ankles. Therefore, this clearly shows that Ibn Masud’s garments were simply below the preferable limit and not below the ankles.

v. Rather, the following narration proves that he would never drag it below his ankles. Ibn Masud (radhiyallahu anhu) saw two men performing Salah, one had his izãr below his ankles and the other was not completing his ruku and sujood. So, he smiled. They asked, “What makes you smile, O Aba Abdir Rahman?” He replied, “I am surprised at these two men that one has his izãr below his ankles, so Allah will not look at him and as for the second, then Allah will not accept his salah.”  (Musannaf Abdur Razzaq #3735 and Tabarani in ‘Kabir’ #9366 Vol.9 Pg.314-5) And Allah Ta’ala knows best. 

Misconception 9:
Many scholars say the prohibition is based on pride, and if there is no pride then it is not haraam

• Clarification:
i. The truth is not measured by people, rather people are measured by the truth. The overwhelming evidences as explained above does not support this opinion of theirs. 

ii. Even though these scholars didn’t consider it haram when it is without pride, they still say it is reprehensible (makrooh) and blameworthy.  (See: ‘Fathul Bari’ Vol.13 Pg.266, ‘Fatawa Hindiyyah’ Vol.5 Pg.333, ‘Tamheed’ Vol.3 Pg.244, ‘Al-Muntaqa Sharh Muatta’ Vol.7 Pg.226, ‘Al-Majmoo’ Vol.4 Pg.338, ‘Al-Mughni’ Vol.2 Pg.298)

iii. Hafiz Ibn Hajr said that even if one was to consider it makrooh to drag the garment below the ankles then that would be in the case where the garment is not unnecessarily long. In other words, it would apply to the one whose garment is actually above his ankles but slips down, like in the case of Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu). If it is too long, then it would be considered prohibited from many aspects.

a. It would be considered extravagance, (Allah says, “…do not spend wastefully. Indeed, the wasteful are brothers of the devils…”) [Surah Israa: 26-27].

b. It would be considered imitating women. (All the scholars agree that women must hang their garments below their ankles. Kawkab Wahhaj Sharh Muslim Vol.21 Pg.376)

The Messenger (ﷺ) has cursed those men who imitate women and vice versa. [Bukhari #5885 ] He has also specifically cursed those men who wear the garments of women. [Hakim in ‘Mustadrak’ Vol.4 Pg.194, ‘Sahih’ Ibn Hibban #5751. Its chain is authentic on the conditions of Muslim.]

c. If the garments are dragging, then they can collect impurities from the ground. Ubaid ibn Khalid (radhiyallahu anhu) said, “I was walking and upon me was a sheet which I was dragging. So, a man said to me, ‘Lift your garment because it is cleaner for you and long lasting.’ So, I looked and it was the Prophet (ﷺ).” [‘Shamail’ Tirmithi in  #114. Its chain is good. [‘Fathul Bari’ Vol.13 Pg.266-7] 

d. Faqeehul Ummah Mufti Mahmud Hasan (رهمح الله) adds a fourth reason where it would become haraam. He says that nowadays those who wear their trousers below the ankles are doing so in following the style of the West. Therefore, they will come under the prohibition of emulating the kuffar and fussaq. (Fatawa Mahmoodiyah Vol.27 Pg.413-4)

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Whoever imitates a people, he is one of them.” [Abu Dawud collected this hadith in the chapter entitled, “Garment of Fame and Vanity”. #4031 Ibn Hajr states in ‘Bulooghul Maraam’ #1416, “Authenticated by Ibn Hibban.”]

iv. One should also note that everyone agrees that the Messenger (ﷺ) used to wear his garments above his ankles at half calf. Therefore, this is the Sunnah. The Sahabah, the likes of Uthman, Ali, Ibn Umar, Anas, Jabir and others (radhiyallahu anhu) also used to wear their garments at half calf. (See ‘Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaibah’ from narration #25327 to #25331)

So these scholars are in no way promoting wearing any garment below the ankles. Rather they all were strong in practising on the Sunnah.

v. Even though they say that it is not haram to hang the garments below the ankles, they do not claim that any person is free from pride. This is a hidden trait of the heart that is not easily discerned. Rather, Allah Ta’ala states, “So do not claim purity for yourselves. He is most knowing of who fears him.”  [Surah Najam: 32]

vi. After discussing this issue in his commentary of ‘Sahih Muslim’, Shaikhul Islam Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani (هظفح الله) concludes, “The original primary cause (illat) behind the prohibition of dragging the garments below the ankles is ‘pride’, as the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) explicitly mentioned in the hadith on the topic. However, establishing ‘pride’ is a hidden matter and the one who is afflicted by it does not realise it. Therefore, the cause (sabab) was placed in the position of the primary cause (illat). The cause (sabab) is hanging the garments below the ankles. This is like qasr (shortening the prayers) in travel. The primary cause (illat) is ‘difficulty’. However, ‘difficulty’ is an ambiguous matter which does not come under any rule. Therefore, the cause (sabab) was placed in the position of the primary cause (illat). The cause (sabab) is travel. (So, whenever anyone travels, he will shorten his prayers whether he is in any ‘difficulty’ or not.) Based on this, whenever the garments go below the ankles, the prohibition will apply unless it was unintentional, because in such a case the absence of ‘pride’ is definite. This is so because ‘pride’ is not established by an action in which the slave does not have an intention. It is from this angle that the Messenger (ﷺ) allowed Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) concerning his garment falling below his ankles. He said to him, ‘You are not one who does it out of pride.’ In this manner, all the narrations are reconciled. And Allah knows best.” (See ‘Takmilah Fathil Mulhim’ Vol.4 Pg.108) 

Misconception 10:
I am a person who likes my trousers below my ankles. I find it beautiful and the Messenger (ﷺ) had told a Sahabi, who had asked about beautiful clothing which he liked, it is not a problem as Allah loves beauty. 

• Clarification:
The hadith in question is as follows: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Whoever has a speck of pride (arrogance) in his heart, shall not be admitted into Paradise.” A man asked, “I like for my clothes to be nice, and my sandals to be nice?” So, he said: “Indeed Allah is Graceful and He loves beauty. Pride is refusing the truth and belittling the people.” [Muslim #91 ]

From this hadith, we learn that it is allowed for a person to wear permissible clothing even if it may be beautiful, expensive and valuable, once he does not belittle people by doing such. The other condition is once he does not refuse the truth. In other words, Shariah has placed some guidelines with regards to clothing which are part of the truth. Rejecting these guidelines is arrogance and pride. Below we mention a few guidelines as an example:

i. A man is not allowed to wear silk
ii. A man is not allowed to wear gold

• The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Wearing silk and gold has been made unlawful for the males of my Ummah and lawful for its females.” [Collected by Tirmithi #1720 He said it is sound and authentic. Also see Sahih Bukhari #5831].

iii. The thighs of a man are part of his awrah (private-parts) which is to be covered.

• Jarhad (radhiyallahu anhu) said that the Prophet (ﷺ) passed by him while his thigh was exposed, so the Prophet said, “Cover your thigh, for indeed it is awrah.” [Collected by Tirmithi #2798. He said it is sound]  From these guidelines, we see that the hadith concerning the permissibility of wearing beautiful clothing is not subjected to one’s whims and fancies. Rather, it is restricted to the guidelines set out by Shariah. Therefore, a man will not be allowed to wear silk, gold or expose his awrah simply because he considers them beautiful. In the same manner, Shariah has prohibited a man from dragging his clothing below his ankles and has considered this an act of arrogance itself. The evidences have been mentioned above in details. So, it will not be permissible for someone to drag his pants below his ankles, simply because he considers it beautiful. We ask Allah to beautify in our hearts and eyes the Sunnah of His Messenger (ﷺ). And Allah Ta’ala knows best.  

Misconception 11:
We are living in the twenty first century. The style and fashion of today dictates that we wear our trousers below our ankles. If we lift them above our ankles, people will laugh at us and ridicule us.

• Clarification:
The faqeeh, muhaddith and reviver of the Sunnah, Mufti Ahmed Khanpuri (rahimahullah) says in his commentary of ‘Riyadhus Saliheen’ that if you practise on the Deen, then you will be ridiculed and laughed at. Remember, the noblest humans, the Prophets of Allah (alayhimussalam), including our role model, the final Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) were all ridiculed and laughed at. Rather, if we are laughed at by the kuffar and fussaq for practising on the Sunnah, then that is a sign that we have passed the exam. It is not something that we should be grieved about. On the other hand, if we follow the fashion of the kuffar and fussaq, then they will not be able to save us from the punishment on the Day of Judgement. [Hadith ke Islaahi Madhameen Vol.10 Pg.82-83] And Allah Ta’ala knows best. 

CONCLUSION 

In summary, whether one hangs his garment below his ankles intentionally as an act of pride or without any such intention, it is still prohibited and a sin. There are severe punishments mentioned in many ahadith concerning both of these scenarios. We will list them below:
• Allah Ta’ala will not speak to him. 
• He will not look at him. 
• He will not purify him. 
• The man will be given a painful punishment. 
• He has been placed in the same row as a liar.
• He has been placed in the same row as one who reminds people of the favours he did to them.
• His salah is not accepted.
• Allah Ta’ala has lost respect for him.
• Allah Ta’ala does not care about him.
• He has left the laws of Allah.
• He does not believe in the halal and haram of Allah Ta’ala.
• Allah Ta’ala has freed Himself from him.
• He will enter the Hell Fire. 

We conclude with what Zhahabi said concerning those who fool themselves on this issue. In response to the one who lets his garment hang below the ankle and says ‘I am not doing that out of pride’ he said: 

“We see him behaving in an arrogant manner and purifying his foolish self. And you see him looking at a text (hadith) that is general in meaning, and he restricts it on the basis of another, separate hadith, in the meaning of pride. 

He allows a concession based on the words of al-Siddeeq (Abu Bakr) (radhiyallahu anhu), who said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, my izaar slips down,’ and he (ﷺ) said: “O Abu Bakr, you are not one of those who do that out of pride.’ 

We say: Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) did not tie his izaar in such a way that it hung below the ankles in the first place, rather he tied it so that it came above the ankle, but it slipped down after that. 

And the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “The izaar of the believer should come to mid-calf, but it does not matter if it comes between (that point) and the ankle.” The same prohibition applies to the one who lets his trousers cover his ankles, or makes his sleeves too long. All of that is from pride which is deeply hidden in the soul.”  [Siyar A’laam al-Nubala Vol.3 Pg.234]

Let us ponder over the following ahadith: The beloved Prophet (ﷺ) said, “One who holds an atoms weight of kibr (arrogance) within his heart will not enter paradise.” [Sahih Muslim 91c] 

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Whoever leaves (certain) garments out of humility to Allah while he is able to (wear), Allah will call him before the heads of creation on the Day of Judgement so that he can select whichever garments of faith he wishes to wear.” [Collected by Tirmithi #2481 and He graded it sound. He also said, “’Garments of faith’ is the garments of Paradise which are given to the people of faith.”] 
May Allah purify our heart from pride and may He save our limbs from actions of pride. May He guide us to practice on each and every Sunnah of his beloved Messenger of Allah ﷺ.   

28 Rabiyul Akhir 1438 = 1/26/2017

Checked and Approved by Mufti Muhammad Mahdi

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