garments reaching below the ankles

garments reaching below the ankles

Is it haram to wear garments that reach below the ankles, such as pants?

“Wearing garments that hang below the ankles” is the first of the so-called “common errors” listed in the “Salafi” manual entitled “Errors in Prayers that must be Avoided.” This manual is filled with proofs that the “Salafis” are misguided and misguiding propagators of errors in the guise of corrections.

It is a more than adequate illustration of their delusion that their method of reading and interpreting the hadith in “happy-go-lucky” fashion, as if it were a newspaper, regardless of the prescriptions of hadith methodology, will save them from error. How can something save them from error which proceeds from pride to begin with — since they insist on relying on their own wits rather than on what better minds than theirs have understood from the same evidence?

They have misunderstood the caution of the Prophet against vestimentary pride to consist solely in a point about ankle-length. However, there are those who wear their the bottoms of their trousers cut short and strut with as much pride as the pagans of Jahiliyya meant by the very hadith they claim to follow. The sin does not consist in the length of the cloth but in the hidden pride it fosters:

`Abd Allah ibn Mas`ud said that the Prophet said: “He will not enter the Garden of Paradise who has an atom’s worth of pride in his heart.” A man said: “What about someone who likes handsome clothes and handsome sandals?” The Prophet replied: “Allah is beautiful and He loves beauy. Pride is refusing to admit the truth and having contempt for people.”

The hadith of the trailing of garments

Muslim states

Narrated Abu Dharr: The Messenger of Allah observed: “Three are the (persons) with whom Allah would neither speak on the Day of Resurrection, nor would look at them nor would absolve them, and there is a painful chastisement for them.” The Messenger of Allah repeated it three times. Abu Dharr remarked: “They failed and they lost; who are these persons, Messenger of Allah?” Upon this he observed: “They are: the one who makes (his garment) hang down on the ground (al-musbil), the recounter of obligation, and the seller of goods by false oath.”

Muslim narrates directly afterwards another version from Abu Dharr where the loin-wrap or lower garment (izar) is explicitly mentioned.

The following are Imam Nawawi’s, Ibn Qudama’s, and Ibn Hajar’s commentaries on the various hadiths on this chapter. It will be seen in the light of their views that there is no basis whatsoever in these hadiths for the preposterous statement of the “Salafis” whereby “the above and many other traditions indicate clearly that wearing clothes that hang below the ankles for men is a grave sin regardless of whether such garments are worn out of habit or pride.” Observe, dear reader, the sharp difference between the keen sight of the true ulama and the myopic sight of the rest:

Nawawi states

As for the Prophet’s saying: “the one who makes his garment hang down on the ground” then its meaning is: The one who lets it down and drags its extremity out of arrogance (khayla’) as has been mentioned by way of explanation (of the same phrase) in the other hadith [in Bukhari and Muslim]: “Allah will not look at a person who drags his lower garment in arrogance.” Khayla’ is self-aggrandizement (kibar), and this restricted (muqayyad) meaning of letting down the garment as consisting in dragging it (al-jarr) out of arrogance reduces the general sense of the person who lets down the lower garment to a specific sense and indicates that the one meant by the threat of punishment is the one who does so out of arrogance.

The Prophet permitted Abu Bakr al-Siddiq to do so (i.e. let down his lower garment) and he said to him: “You are not of their number” [Bukhari] because he trailed it for a reason other than arrogance. Imam Abu Ja`far Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari and others said: “The letting down of the lower garment was mentioned by itself because it is their most common garment, but the ruling concerning other garments such as the shirt and others, is the same ruling.” I say [Nawawi]: This has been made plain to us explicitly in the hadith from the Prophet on the authority of Salim ibn `Abd Allah from his father: “The letting down (isbal) pertains to the lower garment, the shirt, and the turban. Whoever drags something out of arrogance Allah will not look at him on the Day of Resurrection.” Abu Dawud, al-Nasa’i, and Ibn Majah narrated it with a fair chain. And Allah knows best.

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