garments reaching below the ankles

Chapter of “What hangs below the two ankles is in the Fire.”

[Ibn Hajar: Bukhari in the chapter-title did not restrict the subject to the part of the izar as in the hadith he cites in the body of the chapter. This is a reference to the generalization of the prohibition to include the lower garment, the shirt, and others. It seems he was referring to the wording of the hadith of Abu Sa`id al-Khudri narrated by Malik, Abu Dawud, al-Nasa'i, and Ibn Majah, which Abu `Awana and Ibn Hibban declared sound, all through al-`Ala' ibn`Abd al-Rahman... Abu Dawud, Nasa'i, and al-Hakim who declared it sound [also Ahmad] cited the hadith of Abu Jurayy [Jabir ibn Sulaym] whereby the Prophet said: “Lift up you lower garment to the middle of your shank, and if you don’t wish to, then to the ankles. Beware the trailing of the lower garment, for it is arrogance, and Allah does not like arrogance.” Nasa’i also cited, as well as al-Hakim who declared it sound, the hadith of Hudhayfa with the wording: “The lower garment is let down to the middle of the two shanks, and if you don’t wish to, then lower, and if you don’t wish to, then lower than the shanks, but there is no right to the lower garment for the ankles.”]

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said: “The part of an izar which hangs below the ankles is in the Fire.”

[Ibn Hajar: al-Khattabi said: "He means that the spot which the lower garment reaches below the ankles is in the Fire, and he has named the cloth to refer to the body of its wearer (i.e. by metonymy)... its principle being in what `Abd al-Razzaq has cited from `Abd al-`Aziz ibn Abi Dawud whereby Nafi` was asked about this and he said: What wrong did the clothes do? Rather, it concerns the feet." However, Tabarani narrated from Ibn `Umar through `Abd Allah ibn Muhammad ibn `Aqil: The Prophet saw me trailing my lower garment and he said: "O Ibn `Umar, every part of the clothes that touches the ground is in the Fire." Tabarani also narrated with a fair chain from Ibn Mas`ud that he saw a Beduin praying with a trailing garment and he said: "What trails in the prayer is neither lawful nor unlawful in the eyes of Allah." Such a statement is not made on the basis of opinion (i.e. it is related from the Prophet). Based on the above there is no impediment to understanding the hadith literally (i.e. as referring to the cloth alone)...

The warning in absolute terms is in fact understood as specific to arrogance according to the other evidence which has been narrated, and it is agreed upon that the threat concerns arrogance...

Exempt from the absolute understanding of lowering the garment that done out of necessity, as for instance when one suffers an ankle-wound which the flies, for example, would harm if it were not covered with one's lower garment for lack of something else. Our shaykh [al-`Iraqi] has pointed this out in his Commentary on Tirmidhi, and he has cited as a proof the Prophet’s dispensation to `Abd al-Rahman ibn `Awf in wearing a silk shirt because of itching.]

Chapter of the one who trails his cloth in arrogance.

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said: “Allah will not look, on the Day of Resurrection, at a person who trails his izar out of pride.”

[Ibn Hajar disagrees with Nawawi's limitation of the general prohibition against trailing the lower garment as being specific to trailing it out of pride. He then says: In conclusion there are two cases for men: one of desirability, which is to shorten the lower garment to the middle of the shanks; and one of permissibility, which is to lower it to the ankles. Similarly there are two cases for women: one of desirability, which is to add a handspan to what is permissible for men; and one of permissibility, which is to add an arm's length instead of a handspan...

It is inferred from the narrations:

that what is highlighted in the majority of cases is the specific meaning of dragging the garment behind;

that conceit and strutting is abhorrent even for one who lifts up his garment;

that the comprehensive understanding of the evidence is that whoever means, by dressing well, to show Allah's favor upon him, in thankful awareness of ut and without despising those who do not possess what he has: then it does not harm him in the least to wear whatever is permitted, even if it is extremely costly.]

Narrated `Abd Allah ibn `Umar: Allah’s Apostle said: “While a man was trailing his izar on the ground, suddenly Allah made him sink into the earth and he will go on wailing in the earth until the Day of Resurrection.”

Shu`ba said: I met Muharib ibn Dithar on horseback as he was riding to the place where he sat to judge cases and I asked him about this hadith. He said: I heard `Abd Allah ibn `Umar say: Allah’s Apostle said: “Whoever drags his clothes on the ground out of conceit, Allah will not look at him on the Day of Resurrection.” I said to Muharib: Did he mention the man’s izar? He replied: He specifed neither the izar nor the shirt…. Musa ibn `Uqba, `Umar ibn Muhammad, and Qudama ibn Musa add to it from Salim from Ibn `Umar: “Whoever drags his izar out of arrogance.”

[Ibn Hajar: He mentioned the lower garment because in the majority of cases it is the lower garment which shows one's conceit... In these hadiths is evidence that the trailing of one's lower garment on the ground is an enormity. As for letting it down for other than arrogance then the apparent meaning of the narrations is that it is also forbidden. However: the restriction of these narrations to the meaning of arrogance furnishes proof that the unqualified criticism in the abhorrence of letting down garments must be understood in terms of its specific meaning here. Therefore neither dragging the garment nor letting it down is forbidden if one is safe from arrogance.

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