garments reaching below the ankles

The scholars are in agreement that it is forbidden to pray with braided or plaited hair, as well as with folded up garment or sleeves or the like:… all this is forbidden and agreed upon as such by the scholars, and the prohibition is that of offensiveness of the lesser type (karahatu tanzih), and if one prays in this manner then he has not done well but his prayer is valid. Ibn Jarir al-Tabari has submitted the Consensus of the scholars in this question, while Ibn al-Mundhir has related that one must repeat the prayer according to al-Hasan al-Basri.

Ibn Qudama states

The isbal or trailing of the shirt and the pants (i.e. the baggy middle part of the sarawil) in the spirit of arrogance is disliked (makruh). The Prophet said… [he recounts the evidence already mentioned by Nawawi].

As for the statement of the “Salafis” whereby “scholars have agreed that praying with folded sleeves or pants is unlawful” it is a lie since their near totality agree that it is makruh not haram, as Nawawi states in his commentary of Sahih Muslim quoted below; furthermore, Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari states that “the prohibition of folding up the clothes in prayer concerns other than the bottom of the lower garment.”

Sahih al-Bukhari and Fath al-Bari

Imam Bukhari addressed this topic in the first three chapters of the Book of Clothing in his Sahih, respectively entitled Chapter of those who trail their lower garment without arrogance, Chapter of raising up the bottom of the clothes, Chapter of what hangs lower than the amkles being in the Fire, and Chapter of those who trail their cloth out of arrogance. Below are some of the hadiths he included in these chapters, together with some of Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani’s commentary on them from his work Fath al-Bari:

Chapter of those who trail their lower garment without arrogance.

[Ibn Hajar:] Meaning that they are exempted from the threat mentioned in the hadith, but only if there is an excuse, in which case they are not blamed. Otherwise there are considerations which will be mentioned further down.]

  1. 1. Narrated `Abd Allah bin `Umar: The Prophet said: “Allah will not look, on the Day of Resurrection, at the person who drags his garment (behind him) out of conceit. On that Abu Bakr said, “O Allah’s Apostle! One side of my izar hangs low if I do not take care of it.” The Prophet said, “You are not one of those who do that out of conceit.” [Ibn Hajar: The reason it hanged low was that Abu Bakr was corpulent… It seems that its knot would loosen when he walked or did other things independently of his will, but that it would not trail if he took care of it, since he would tie it again every time he noticed it… The Prophet’s words indicate that there is unconditionally no blame on those whose izar trails on the ground without their will. As for Ibn Abi Shayba’s report whereby Ibn `Umar disliked it in any case, Ibn Battal said: “This is part of his strictness. Besides, he narrated this hadith himself and so the ruling (of toleration) was not unknown to him.” I say: Rather, Ibn `Umar’s dislike signifies those who deliberately trail it whether out of arrogance or not, and it is in conformity with his narration mentioned by Ibn Battal. Surely Ibn `Umar would not blame those who did not intend anything. By declaring it disliked he only meant those who trail their izar without their will, and then continue doing so after they realize it. This is agreed upon. They only disagreed whether the offensiveness is of a near-forbidden or of a slight type.]
  2. Narrated Abu Bakrah: The solar eclipse occurred while we were sittwith the Prophet. He got up dragging his garment (on the ground) hurriedly till he reached the mosque. The people turned (to the mosque) and he offered a two-Rak`at prayer until the eclipse was over. Then he faced us and said: “The sun and the moon are two signs among the signs of Allah, so if you see a thing like this (eclipse) then offer the prayer and invoke Allah until He remove that state.” [Ibn Hajar: This hadith shows that if the trailing of the izar is due to haste then it does not enter under the prohibition. It intimates that the prohibition is specific to what is done out of arrogance. Yet it provides no proof for those who restrict the prohibition to arrogance only to the point that they permit the long shirts that trail on the ground.]

Chapter of tashammur or raising or tucking up one’s clothes.

[Ibn Hajar: tashammur is the raising up of the bottom of one’s clothes.]

Narrated Abu Juhayfa: I saw Bilal bringing a `anaza or small spear and fixing it in the ground, then he called for the start of the prayer (iqama) and I saw Allah’s Apostle coming out in a suit of clothes having tucked up its end (mushammiran). He then offered a two-Rak’at prayer while facing the spear, and I saw the people and animals passing in front of him but behind the spear.

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