“Whatever is below the ankles from the garment will be in the Fire.” And the response to the man who says, “But I don’t wear long trousers out of pride just like Abu Bakr.”

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What is the ruling of wearing a long thawb (garment) that falls below the ankles of a man whether it is out of pride and conceitedness or without pride and conceitedness?

Imām Ibn Bāz (rahimahullāh) said: The ruling is that it is harām for men due to the saying of the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam): “Whatever is below the ankles from the lower garment will be in the Fire.” (Al-Bukhāri, no. 5787) And Abu Dharr (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “There are three to whom Allah will not speak on the Day of Resurrection, He will not look at them, He will not purify them―and for them is a painful punishment: The one who reminds others of what he has given them, the one who allows his garment to fall below his ankles, the trader who sells his products by making false oaths.” (Muslim no. 106, An-Nasā’ī, no. 2564)

These two hadeeths and what they contain in terms of meaning encompass the one who allows his garment to fall below his ankles (the musbil) due to pride or without pride and for other reasons. That is because the Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) left the order general did not place any restrictions on the prohibition. However, if one allows his garment to fall below his ankles out of pride, then his sin is even greater and the threat of punishment more severe due to the saying of the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam): “Whoever drags his garment out of pride, Allah will not look at him on the Day of Resurrection.” (Al-Bukhāri no. 3665, Muslim no. 2085)

So one should not think that the prohibition of isbāl (allowing the garments to fall below the ankles) is restricted to one whose intent is pride because, in another narration, the Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) did not mention any such restriction, and that is his saying to one of his Companions: “Don’t make your lower garment fall below the ankles for indeed that is from pride.” (Abu Dawood no. 4084, Ahmad no. 15525) So he regarded all types of isbāl to be from pride. That is due to the fact that it is not done except for that purpose in most cases. So the one who does not do that out of pride, nevertheless his act of isbāl will lead him to it. And the act that leads to a prohibition is also prohibited because it is an extravagance―and [additionally] it exposes the garments to impurities and dirt. For this reason, ‘Umar said to a young man who he saw his garment (thawb) touching the floor: “Raise your garment; indeed it is more dutiful to your Lord and purer for your garment.”

As for the saying of Abu Bakr (radiyallāhu ‘anhu): “Indeed one side of my waist sheet slips down unless I keep hold of it.” So Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said to him: “You are not from those who does it out of pride.” (Al-Bukhāri no. 5784) So the intent of the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) is that the one who holds up his clothing when it hangs low so that it is raised up, then there is no doubt that he is excused. But as for the one who deliberately lets it hang low (below the ankles) whether it be a cloak (bisht), or trousers, or an izār, or a thawb then he enters into the threat of Allah’s punishment―and he is not excused for dropping the hem of his garments below his ankles because the authentic ahādeeth that forbid isbāl are encompassing and general in wording, meaning and intent.

So it is obligatory upon every Muslim male to beware of the dangers of isbāl, and to fear Allah in that regard―and not to allow the clothes to fall below their ankles in accordance to these authentic ahādeeth, and due to being afraid of the anger of Allah and His punishment. And Allah is the one who guides to success.”

‘Allāmah Ibn ‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullāh) said about the dangers of isbāl: “The Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “Don’t make your lower garment fall below the ankles for indeed that is from pride.” (Abu Dawood no. 4084, Ahmad no. 15525) This is regarding the one who allows his garment to fall below his ankles out of pride. As for the one who does not do it out of pride, then there is a hadeeth reported by Al-Bukhāri from Abu Hurayrah that Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “Whatever is below the ankles from the lower garment will be in the Fire.” (Al-Bukhāri, no. 5787) So he (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) did not restrict it to pride―and it is not correct to restrict it to pride based on the hadeeth prior to this because Abu Sa’eed Al-Kudree (radiyallāhu anhu) said: “The lower garment of a Muslim being halfway down his shins is not a problem; and if it comes halfway between that point and the ankles, it is also not a problem―but whatever is lower than the ankles is in Hell. Whoever allows his izār to trail out of conceitedness, Allah will not look at him on the Day of Resurrection.” (Mālik: Chapter Al-Libās no. 12, Abu Dawood no. 4093, An-Nasā’ī no. 9715-9717, Ibn Mājah no. 3573, graded saheeh by Al-Albāni) …As for the one who relies on the narration of Abu Bakr (radiyallāhu ‘anhu), then we say to him: It is not a proof for you from two angles: Firstly, Abu Bakr (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) said: “Indeed one side of my izār (waist sheet) slips down unless I hold it up.” (Al-Bukhāri no. 5784) So, he (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) never let his garment slip down out of conceitedness or pride. Rather, it would slip down and he would hold it up when that happened.

As for those who make their garments fall below their ankles and then claim that they are not doing that intending pride or to be conceited―then we say to them: “If you let your garments fall below your ankles without intending to be proud, then your are punished with the Fire solely on the basis of what is below the ankles. But if you trail your clothing out of pride and conceitedness, then you are punished for something more severe. Allah will not speak to you on the Day of Resurrection, He will not look at you, He will not purify you, and you will receive a severe punishment.” Secondly, Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) commended and extolled Abu Bakr (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) and testified that he is not from those who did that out of conceitedness. So did he (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) commend, extol or testify for any of these people?! Rather, it is Shaytān who invites some people to follow what is vague and ambiguous in the Book and Sunnah so as to justify for them what they do. And Allah guides who He wills to the Straight Path―we ask Allah (the Most High) to guide us and them.”

Reference: (Fatāwa ‘Ulamā al-Balad al-Harām p. 1137-1140)

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