In this article, I would like to discuss a grave sin that many people neglect. It is keeping the garment under the ankle.
The Prophet ﷺ is reported to have said: “Whatever of the izaar (lower garment) is below the ankles is in the Fire.” (al-Bukhaari, no. 5787)
There are mainly three reasons for this sins:
- Misguided Scholars
And none of these reasons are valid excuses.
I will, in shaa Allāh, explain why this is necessary to do at all times, during prayers and outside the prayers. If you are not ready for the fire of hell, let there be no doubt in your heart and you should make intention to start doing it right away.
This is undoubtedly major issue in Islam and religions other than Islam. They are the people who have learnt the deen from their teachers and passing their misguided ideology to the laymen. I was listening to one of the “mufti” (the person who is certified to pass rulings [fataawa]) who comes on misguided television channel, QTV and he was giving reasons on why it’s “ok” to keep your garments below the ankle. If you do not understand urdu, let me try to summarize his statements:
Where ever you see mention of this prohibition, it is in context of pride and arrogance that whoever keeps their garment below ankle is in hellfire. These aḥādīth should be seen from the perspective of what was common in the times of Prophet Muḥammad ﷺ. In those times, arab leaders used to drag their garments behind them to show arrogance and pride. Prophet ﷺ wanted to put this practice in to end hence he ordered not to keep their garment below their ankle.
This “mufti” also presented a ḥadīth,
O Abu Bakr, you are not one of those who do that to show off.
which has no issue in it’s isnaad and is authentically reported. However, we will present to you far more aḥādīth that state otherwise that it’s forbiddance is not just for pride and arrogance. But before we do, is this guarantee for us too that we don’t do it with pride or arrogance or show off? Do you know who Abu Bakr is? Whole books have been written describing his virtues but we will only mention two narrations (out of many) to describe this person
Narrated Ibn ‘Abbas:
“Allāh’s Apostle in his fatal illness came out with a piece of cloth tied round his head and sat on the pulpit. After thanking and praising Allāh he said, “There is no one who had done more favor to me with life and property than Abu Bakr bin Abi Quhafa. If I were to take a Khalil, I would certainly have taken Abu- Bakr but the Islamic brotherhood is superior. Close all the small doors in this mosque except that of Abu Bakr.” [al-Bukhari 467]
Narrated Abu Uthman:
Allāh’s Apostle sent ‘Amr bin Al As as the commander of the troops of Dhat-us-Salasil. ‘Amr bin Al-‘As said, “(On my return) I came to the Prophet and said, ‘Which people do you love most?’ He replied, ‘Aisha.’ I said, ‘From amongst the men?’ He replied, ‘Her father (Abu Bakr)’. I said, ‘Whom (do you love) next?’ He replied, “Umar.’ Then he counted the names of many men, and I became silent for fear that he might regard me as the last of them.” [al-Bukhari 4358]
Before we present to you with these aḥādīth, let us quote to you ayaahs from the Qurʾān that shows state of people of hellfire who will burn because they used to blindly following their “scholars”
وَقَالُوا۟ رَبَّنَآ إِنَّآ أَطَعْنَا سَادَتَنَا وَكُبَرَآءَنَا فَأَضَلُّونَا ٱلسَّبِيلَا۠
And they will say, “Our Lord, indeed we obeyed our masters and our dignitaries, and they led us astray from the [right] way.
رَبَّنَآ ءَاتِهِمْ ضِعْفَيْنِ مِنَ ٱلْعَذَابِ وَٱلْعَنْهُمْ لَعْنًا كَبِيرًا
Our Lord, give them double the punishment and curse them with a great curse.” [Surat al-Ahzaab 33:67-68]
In another place, Allāh said
قَالُوا۟ رَبَّنَا مَن قَدَّمَ لَنَا هَٰذَا فَزِدْهُ عَذَابًا ضِعْفًا فِى ٱلنَّارِ
They will say, “Our Lord, whoever brought this upon us – increase for him double punishment in the Fire.” [Surat Saad 38:61]
It’s upon every single one of us to do our research and do not trust these T.V muftis who are astray and leading others astray.
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمُ ٱتَّبِعُوا۟ مَآ أَنزَلَ ٱللَّهُ قَالُوا۟ بَلْ نَتَّبِعُ مَا وَجَدْنَا عَلَيْهِ ءَابَآءَنَآ ۚ أَوَلَوْ كَانَ ٱلشَّيْطَٰنُ يَدْعُوهُمْ إِلَىٰ عَذَابِ ٱلسَّعِيرِ
And when it is said to them, “Follow what Allāh has revealed,” they say, “Rather, we will follow that upon which we found our fathers.” Even if Satan was inviting them to the punishment of the Blaze? [Surat Luqmaan 31:21]
Now let’s look at the narrations
Ibn ‘Umar said: “I passed by the Messenger of Allāh (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and my izaar had slipped down. He said, ‘O ‘Abdullaah, pull up your izaar!’ so I pulled it up. He said, ‘More!’ so I pulled it up more, and always made sure it was pulled up properly after that.” Some people asked, “To where did you pull it up?” He said, “To mid-calf length.” [Reported by Muslim, no. 2086; al-Dhahabi, Kitaab al-Kabaa’ir, 131-132]
I have a simple question to you (and to this mufti), do we really think that Ibn ‘Umar walked with pride? Dear brothers and sisters, Ibn ‘Umar is one of the best companions of Prophet ﷺ, son of the best (Umar Ibn al-Khattab ), brother of the best (sister of Hafsa ). Prophet of Allāh ﷺ said about him
Abdullah is a good man. I wish he prayed Tahajjud. [al-Bukhari 1122]
There are many other narrations regarding the garment above ankle, let us conclude by narrating few of these narrations
The Prophet ﷺ said: “There are three whom Allāh will not look at or praise on the Day of Judgement and theirs will be a painful punishment: the one who wears his garment below his ankles, the one who reminds others of his favours, and the one who sells his product by means of making false oaths” [Reported by Muslim, no. 106]
In another narration
The Prophet ﷺ said: “Isbaal (wearing one’s garment below the ankles) may apply to the izaar (lower garment), the shirt or the turban. Whoever allows any part of these to trail on the ground out of arrogance, Allāh will not look at him on the Day of Judgement.” [Reported by Abu Dawud, no. 4085, and al-Nisaa’i, no. 5334, with a saheeh isnaad]
Although, the wordings here “out of arrogance” are used by messenger of Allāh ﷺ but we have explained how it is applicable to others as well.
Hudhayfah said: “The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ took hold of the muscle of my calf (or his calf) and said, ‘This is where the izaar should stop; if you insist, it may be lower, but it should not reach the ankles.’” [Reported by al-Tirmidhi, who said this is a saheeh hasan hadeeth; see Sunan al-Tirmidhi, no. 1783]
Again, there is no mention of any condition of pride and arrogance! It’s an upright order of Prophet ﷺ
May Allāh give us tawfeeq to follow the manhaj of the righteous predecessors. I am not going to mention anything in “laziness” and “shyness” as these are not valid excuse for worldly matters nor matters of the hereafter.