Raising the Izaar above the Ankles FORWARD
As the rift of time grows between us and the Blessed Prophet (saw), so too grows our impassiveness towards the Sunnah and involvement in sin. Today, many sins are no longer recognized as sins, but rather justified as righteous deeds. Let us reflect on the words of Anas (ra) when he said to his students (who were tabi'een):
"You perform acts that are smaller in your eyes than a strand of hair (meaning that you triviliaze sin), yet we considered them a grave offense in the time of the Blessed Prophet (saw)."
This was the situation in the time of tabieen, can we imagine what it is like in our times? It is only by the beneficence of Allah (swt) that the Qur'an and hadith are preserved to this day and if one desires to study them, one can still learn what Allah (swt) and his Blessed Prophet (saw) liked or disliked.
It is our responsibility to warn people of each sin as it spreads, to educate them about its wickedness, and to help them realize that these things bring on the curse of Allah (swt) and his Blessed Prophet (saw). This way those of us who are destined to receive guidance and who are in search of it can benefit by learning and implementing the correct practices.
One sin which has become common practice today is that of allowing the pants to hang below the ankles (isbaal). In light of the ahadith, we learn that this is a grave sin.
However, when we observe the common practice, we see ambivalence towards fulfilling this practice to the extent that even those considered religious and devout in deen are also heedless in this regard. The main reason behind this ambivalence is unawareness of the ahadith on isbaal al-izaar (hanging the pants below the ankles). This is why I decided to collect some ahadith and present them before everyone. May Allah (swt) save us from all sins, big and small. Ameen.
After writing the above piece I came upon this hadith in Musnad Ahmad that whenever Muhammud bin Sereen rahmatullahi alayh (a great tabi' renowned for his piety, knowledge, and mastery in dream interpretations) would hear the statement of the Sahaba (ra), "You perform acts that are smaller in your eyes than a strand of ..." he would say:
"This is in reference to the sin of keeping the clothes below the ankles, which is trivialized by the people even though it was one of the most destructive sins in the time of the Blessed Prophet (saw)."
May Allah (swt) save us from destruction and His punishment.
M. Ibrahim Memon Madania
HADITH ON RAISING THE IZAAR ABOVE THE ANKLES
عَنْ أَبِى هُرَيْرَةَ رضى الله عنه عَنِ النَّبِىِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ مَا أَسْفَلَ مِنَ الْكَعْبَيْنِ مِنَ الإِزَارِ فَفِى النَّارِ - بخاري حـ5787، ابوداؤد حـ4093
Abu Hurairah (ra) narrates the Blessed Prophet (saw) said: "That which is below the ankle of the izaar (anything which is worn to cover the lower half of the body) is in the hellfire."
عَنْ أَبِى ذَرٍّ عَنِ النَّبِىِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ثَلاَثَةٌ لاَ يُكَلِّمُهُمُ اللَّهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ وَلاَ يَنْظُرُ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ يُزَكِّيهِمْ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ قَالَ فَقَرَأَهَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ثَلاَثَ مِرَارٍ قَالَ أَبُو ذَرٍّ خَابُوا وَخَسِرُوا مَنْ هُمْ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ قَالَ الْمُسْبِلُ وَالْمَنَّانُ وَالْمُنَفِّقُ سِلْعَتَهُ بِالْحَلِفِ الْكَاذِبِ . - مسلم حـ153 ترمذي حـ1132 نسائي حـ2516 ابو داؤد حـ3565 ابن ماجه حـ2199 احمد حـ20355 دارمي حـ2491
Abu Zarr (ra) narrates the Blessed Prophet (saw) said: "There are three people whom Allah (swt) will not speak to, look at, or cleanse on the day of judgement and for them is a harsh punishment." The Blessed Prophet (saw) said this thrice. Then Abu Zarr (ra) asked, "They are certainly unsuccessful and destroyed. Who are they, O Blessed Prophet?" He(saw) replied, "The one who hangs his izaar below his ankles, the one who reminds another of his favors upon him, and one who makes false oaths to sell his items."
عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ عَنِ النَّبِىِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لاَ يَنْظُرُ إِلَى مُسْبِلِ. - نسائي حـ5337 احمد حـ2803
Ibn Abbas (ra) narrates the Blessed Prophet (saw) said: "Allah (swt) will not look upon a person who hung his izaar below his ankles."
عَنْ أَبِى هُرَيْرَةَ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم مَا تَحْتَ الْكَعْبَيْنِ مِنَ الإِزَارِ فَفِى النَّارِ. - نسائي حـ5235 احمد حـ7155
Abu Hurairah (ra) narrates the Blessed Prophet (saw) said: "Whatever hangs beneath the ankles of the izaar is in the hellfire."
عَنِ الْعَلاَءِ بْنِ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ عَنْ أَبِيهِ قَالَ سَأَلْتُ أَبَا سَعِيدٍ الْخُدْرِىَّ عَنِ الإِزَارِ فَقَالَ عَلَى الْخَبِيرِ سَقَطْتَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم إِزْرَةُ الْمُسْلِمِ إِلَى نِصْفِ السَّاقِ وَلاَ حَرَجَ أَوْ لاَ جُنَاحَ فِيمَا بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ الْكَعْبَيْنِ مَا كَانَ أَسْفَلَ مِنَ الْكَعْبَيْنِ فَهُوَ فِى النَّارِ مَنْ جَرَّ إِزَارَهُ بَطَراً لَمْ يَنْظُرِ اللَّهُ إِلَيْهِ . - ابو داؤد حـ3570 مؤطأ مالك حـ1426 احمد حـ11489 ابن ماجه حـ3573
Alaa bin Abdul Rahman (ra) narrates from his father who asked Abu Saeed Khudri (ra) about the izaar. He replied,"You have fallen upon one who knows." The Blessed Prophet (saw) said: "The izaar of a Muslim is halfway to the leg and there is no harm in that which comes between the knee and the ankle. Whatever hangs below the ankle is in the hellfire. Whoever drags his izaar in arrogance, Allah (swt) does not look at him."
عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بن عمر أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ « بَيْنَا رَجُلٌ يَجُرُّ إِزَارَهُ مِنَ الْخُيَلاَء ، خُسِفَ بِهِ ، فَهْوَ يَتَجَلَّلُ فِى الأَرْضِ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ - .بخاري حـ3226 ترمذي حـ2315 نسائي حـ5231 احمد حـ5088
Abdullah Ibn Omar (ra) narrates the Blessed Prophet (saw) said: "Once, a man amongst the haughty dragged his izaar; he sank into the ground with his izaar and is sinking in it until the Day of Judgement."
عَنْ أَبِى هُرَيْرَةَ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم بَيْنَمَا رَجُلٌ شَابٌّ يَمْشِى فِى حُلَّةٍ يَتَبَخْتَرُ فِيهَا مُسْبِلاً إِزَارَهُ إِذْ بَلَعَتْهُ الأَرْضُ فَهُوَ يَتَجَلْجَلُ فِيهَا إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ . - مسند احمد حـ9986 بخاري حـ5343 مسلم حـ3894 دارمي حـ438
Abu Hurairah (ra) narrates the Blessed Prophet (saw) said: "Once, a young man who walking haughtily in a suit with his izaar hanging below his ankles was swallowed in by the earth. He is sinking in the earth until the Day of Judgement."
GENERAL HADITH FORBIDDING ISBAAL
The aforementioned ahadith indicate the severity of the sin of hanging the izaar below the ankles. Which Muslim would not be shaken by these ahadith? Although some of the ahadith above indicate that the warning is for the arrogant and haughty, there are numerous ahadith that speak in general terms. Thus, even those who do not hang there izaar below the ankle with that intention are required to keep their izaar above their ankle. Some of theses ahadith were mentioned above and many others will be presented ahead.
We also need to realize that no person considers himself arrogant. Arrogance is an internal sickness in which the afflicted actually thinks he is humble. The Blessed Prophet (saw), the doctor of spiritual sicknesses, informs us that one of the external signs of arrogance is keeping the izaar below the ankles. This is why in some ahadith, the Blessed Prophet (saw) unequivocally stated that isbaal (keeping izaar below the ankle) is of arrogance. This is understood from the following hadith:
عَنْ أَبِى جُرَىٍّ جَابِرِ بْنِ سُلَيْمٍ قَالَ. قُلْتُ اعْهَدْ إِلَىَّ قَالَ لاَ تَسُبَّنَّ أَحَداً قَالَ فَمَا سَبَبْتُ بَعْدَهُ حُرًّا وَلاَ عَبْداً وَلاَ بَعِيراً وَلاَ شَاةً قَالَ وَلاَ تَحْقِرَنَّ شَيْئاً مِنَ الْمَعْرُوفِ وَأَنْ تُكَلِّمَ أَخَاكَ وَأَنْتَ مُنْبَسِطٌ إِلَيْهِ وَجْهُكَ إِنَّ ذَلِكَ مِنَ الْمَعْرُوفِ وَارْفَعْ إِزَارَكَ إِلَى نِصْفِ السَّاقِ فَإِنْ أَبَيْتَ فَإِلَى الْكَعْبَيْنِ وَإِيَّاكَ وَإِسْبَالَ الإِزَارِ فَإِنَّهَا مِنَ الْمَخِيلَةِ وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمَخِيلَةَ وَإِنِ امْرُؤٌ شَتَمَكَ وَعَيَّرَكَ بِمَا يَعْلَمُ فِيكَ فَلاَ تُعَيِّرْهُ بِمَا تَعْلَمُ فِيهِ فَإِنَّمَا وَبَالُ ذَلِكَ عَلَيْهِ. - ابو داؤد حـ3562 احمد حـ15389
Jaabir bin Sulaim (ra) narrates that I said to the Blessed Prophet (saw): Oh Blessed Prophet, advise me. He (saw) replied: "Do not swear at anyone." He (Jaabiir (ra)) says after this, I never swore at a free person, a slave, a camel, or even a goat. He (saw) said: "Do not underestimate anything of goodness, and that if you speak to your brother with a glad countenance, this is also of goodness. Lift you izaar halfway through the leg. And if you don't desire (halfway), then up to the ankles. Save yourself from extending the izaar below the ankles, it is of arrogance. Allah (swt) does not like arrogance. If a man swears at you, taunts you for something he knows about you, do not taunt him for something you know about him. The consequences of his sin will come upon him."
In the aforementioned hadith, the Blessed Prophet (saw) clearly stated that hanging the izaar below the ankle is of arrogance. Whenever the Blessed Prophet (saw) saw someone with their izaar hanging below their ankles, he would rebuke them and order them to lift it above their ankles.
عَنْ الشَّرِيدَ يَقُولُ أَبْصَرَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم رَجُلاً يَجُرُّ إِزَارَهُ فَأَسْرَعَ إِلَيْهِ أَوْ هَرْوَلَ فَقَالَ ارْفَعْ إِزَارَكَ وَاتَّقِ اللَّهَ قَالَ إِنِّى أَحْنَفُ تَصْطَكُّ رُكْبَتَاىَ فَقَالَ ارْفَعْ إِزَارَكَ فَإِنَّ كُلَّ خَلْقِ اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ حَسَنٌ فَمَا رُئِىَ ذَلِكَ الرَّجُلُ بَعْدُ إِلاَّ إِزَارُهُ يُصِيبُ أَنْصَافَ سَاقَيْهِ أَوْ إِلَى أَنْصَافِ سَاقَيْه. -مسند احمد حـ18653
Shareed (ra) narrates that the Blessed Prophet (saw) saw a man whose izaar was dragging against the ground. He (saw) ran to him and said: "Lift your izaar and fear Allah (swt)." The man said, "My feet are bent inward, and my knees shake." The Blessed Prophet (saw) said, "Lift your izaar, all the creations of Allah (swt) are made perfectly." After this, the man was never seen except that his izaar was halfway to his leg or between his knees and ankles.
عَنْ قَيْسِ بْنِ بِشْرٍ التَّغْلِبِىِّ قَالَ أَخْبَرَنِى أَبِى وَكَانَ جَلِيساً لأَبِى الدَّرْدَاءِ قَالَ كَانَ بِدِمَشْقَ رَجُلٌ مِنْ أَصْحَابِ النَّبِىِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يُقَالُ لَهُ ابْنُ الْحَنْظَلِيَّةِ وَكَانَ رَجُلاً مُتَوَحِّداً قَلَّمَا يُجَالِسُ النَّاسَ إِنَّمَا هُوَ صَلاَةٌ فَإِذَا فَرَغَ فَإِنَّمَا هُوَ تَسْبِيحٌ وَتَكْبِيرٌ حَتَّى يَأْتِىَ أَهْلَهُ فَمَرَّ بِنَا وَنَحْنُ عِنْدَ أَبِى الدَّرْدَاءِ فَقَالَ لَهُ أَبُو الدَّرْدَاءِ كَلِمَةً تَنْفَعُنَا وَلاَ تَضُرُّكَ قَالَ قَالَ لَنَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم نِعْمَ الرَّجُلُ خُرَيْمٌ الأَسَدِىُّ لَوْلاَ طُولُ جُمَّتِهِ وَإِسْبَالُ إِزَارِهِ فَبَلَغَ ذَلِكَ خُرَيْماً فَعَجِلَ فَأَخَذَ شَفْرَةً فَقَطَعَ بِهَا جُمَّتَهُ إِلَى أُذُنَيْهِ وَرَفَعَ إِزَارَهُ إِلَى أَنْصَافِ سَاقَيْهِ. - ابو داؤد حـ3566
Qais bin Bishr al Taghlibi narrates from his father who would sit in the company of Abu Darda (ra): One of the companions of the Blessed Prophet (saw), named Abu Hanzalia (ra), was in Damascus. He was a lone man who rarely sat in the company of people. He would only be in salah and when he completed his salah he would be in tasbih and takbir until he went to his family.
Once, he passed by us while we were sitting in the company of Abu Darda (ra). Abu Darda (ra) said to him, "Tell us something that will be of benefit to us and which will not trouble you." He replied, "The Blessed Prophet (saw) said, ‘What an excellent man is Khurraim Asadi (ra), (but) only if his hair was not so long and his izaar did not hang below his ankles.'"
"When Khurraim heard this, he quickly got a pair scissors, cut his hair to his ears, and raised his izaar to a place between his knees and ankles."
عَنِ الْمُغِيرَةِ بْنِ شُعْبَةَ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَا سُفْيَانَ بْنَ سَهْلٍ لاَ تُسْبِلْ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمُسْبِلِينَ. - ابن ماجه حـ3563 احمد حـ17449
Mughira bin Shuba' (ra) narrates the Blessed Prophet (saw) said: "Oh Sufyan Bin Sahl, do not hang your izaar, Allah (swt) does not like people who hang their izaar below their ankles."
عَنْ حُذَيْفَةَ قَالَ أَخَذَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم بِعَضَلَةِ سَاقِى أَوْ سَاقِهِ فَقَالَ هَذَا مَوْضِعُ الإِزَارِ فَإِنْ أَبَيْتَ فَأَسْفَلُ فَإِنْ أَبَيْتَ فَلاَ حَقَّ لِلإِزَارِ فِى الْكَعْبَيْنِ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ صَحِيحٌ. - ترمذي حـ1705 ابن ماجه حـ3562 النسائي حـ5234
Huzaifa (ra) narrates the Blessed Prophet (saw) grabbed my shank and said: "This is the place of the izaar. If you refuse, then below this, and if you refuse this, then below that. If you refuse even this, there is no place for the izaar under the ankles."
عَنِ ابْنِ عُمَرَ قَالَ مَرَرْتُ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم وَفِى إِزَارِى اسْتِرْخَاءٌ فَقَالَ يَا عَبْدَ اللَّهِ ارْفَعْ إِزَارَكَ. فَرَفَعْتُهُ ثُمَّ قَالَ زِدْ . فَزِدْتُ فَمَا زِلْتُ أَتَحَرَّاهَا بَعْدُ . فَقَالَ بَعْضُ الْقَوْمِ إِلَى أَيْنَ فَقَالَ أَنْصَافِ السَّاقَيْنِ. - مسلم حـ3892 البخاري حـ3226
Ibn Omar (ra) narrates that: Once, I passed by the Blessed Prophet (saw) while my izaar was hanging below my ankles and he (saw) said: "Oh Abdullah! Lift your izaar." I lifted it some. He said, "More!" After that, I continued to strive in this. Some people asked, "To what extent are we to lift our izaar." He replied, "To halfway between the knees and ankles."
Once, the Blessed Prophet (saw) sent out the message of keeping the izaar above the ankles in a very peculiar manner. In a narration collected in Musnad Ahmed, Abdullah bin Omar (ra) says that "Once, I came by the Blessed Prophet (saw) when my izaar was hanging below my ankles. He (saw) looked at me and said, ‘Who are you?' [though, the Blessed Prophet (saw) knew Abdullah bin Omar (ra) very well, he feigned as if he did not know him because his izaar was hanging below his ankles.]
Abdullah bin Omar (ra) responded, "I am Abdullah." The Blessed Prophet (saw) replied, "If you truly are a servant of Allah (swt), then keep your izaar above your ankles."
Now, every Muslim who keeps his izaar below his ankles should see if he falls under the prophetic standard ‘if you are the servant of Allah (swt), then keep your izaar above your ankles' and judge for himself whether he is a servant of Allah (swt) or not. After this declaration, what excuse does he have for not lifting his izaar above his ankles?