The hanging of the lower garment below the ankle

31st August 2008

Allah(swt) says, ‘O Children of Adam! We have bestowed raiment upon you to cover yourselves (screen your private parts) and as an adornment, that is better. Such are among the Ayat of Allah, that they may remember.’ (Al A’raf, 26)

In this aayat of the Quran, Allah (swt) mentions that He has granted mankind clothing to cover their private parts so that they can be respectable and dignified in their dress. This is an ‘apparent’ form of clothing which is clearly distinguished. However,there is also clothing that bestows Taqwa (fear of Allah) upon us. It is for this reason that, we should adorn ourselves with clothing in accordance with the Sunnah of Rasulullah (saw) and beautify this further with the spiritual clothing, inculcating the quality of taqwa within ourselves also.

Men should keep their trousers above the ankle

Rasulullah (SAW) said, ‘3 types of people are such that on the Day of Qiyamah, Allah will not look at them nor have mercy on them.’ Abu Dhar Ghifari (RA) asked: ‘Who will these unfortunate people be?’ Rasulullah (SAW) said, ‘He who allows his trousers to hang below the ankle, he who boasts of his favours to others and he who takes a false oath.’ Rasulullah (SAW) said, ‘The portion of the ankle which is covered below the ankle will be in Jahannam’. (Bukhari/Muslim)

Hazrat Mughira bin Shuba (RA) narrates that Rasulullah (SAW) stated, ‘O Sufyan bin Sahl! Do not let your lower garment hang below your ankles, for Allah (SWT) does not like those who do this, nor does Allah (SWT) love such people.’ (Ibn Majah/Sahih Ibn Haban)

Hazrat Abu Hurairah (RA) narrates, ‘One individual who had his izhar (lower garment) below his ankles was about to make the intention for prayer, Rasulullah (SAW) said to him, ‘Go perform ablution!’ He went and performed his ablution and returned. Rasulullah (SAW) said to him again, ‘Go perform ablution!’ He went and performed his ablution again and returned.

One individual asked, ‘O Rasulullah (SAW) why was it that you asked him to perform ablution?’ Rasulullah stated: ‘This man had his izhar below his ankles and was making intention for prayer…Verily! Allah (SWT) does not accept the prayer of one who lets his lower garment hang below his ankles!’ (Sunan Abu Dawood)

Allamah Tibi (RA) states, “This individual had already performed ablution, however the instruction of Rasulullah (SAW) for him to perform his ablution again was due to the fact that in the interim that individual would have time to consider his condition and whilst cleansing himself externally with ablution, he would also cleanse the internal quality of pride within himself which was allowing him to let his lower garment hang below his ankle. This also indicates that the action of performing ablution although seemingly external, affects the internal (spiritual) nature of an individual also.” (Sharah ut-Tibi
Ala Mishkat)

Hazrat Abu Huraira (RA) narrates that Rasulullah (SAW) stated, ‘The portion of the lower garment which is below the ankles will be in Jahannum.’ (Sahih Bukhari)

Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani (RAH) states in respect of the above hadith, “This action in likened to that of the people of
Jahannum, that portion of the body below the ankle which the lower garment touches, will be in Jahannum and that individual, due to the fact that he hung his lower garment below his ankles, will go to Jahannum.” (Fathul Bari)
From this hadith, those men whose habit it is to allow their lower garment, be it an izhar, trousers etc., should swiftly repent and seek forgiveness from this sin and make a firm resolution to abstain from this action in the future. If one was to pass away without repenting, then one should contemplate on their own condition and state in light of the above ahadith. Only Allah (SWT) knows a person’s time of death..

Ibn Hajar Al Asqalani (RAH) states, ‘Whether the individual hangs his trousers due to pride or claiming freedom from pride, it is in both instances Makrooh Tahrimi (close to Haraam) and not permitted.” (Fathul Bari)

Shaikul Hind Mahmood Hassan (RAH) states, “The instruction to abstain from hanging a garment below the ankles and the stating of Nabi (SAW) that such a person who does this will be in Jahannum applies to any garment… as there are hadith which relate to the izhar (waist cloth), some which relate to a cloak, some which relate to a shirt…” (Takrir Tirmidhi)

Note: The instruction to abstain from allowing the garment to hang below the ankles applies only to men.

Qazi Ayaaz (RAH) states, “There is a consensus among the scholars from the time of the Prophet (SAW) to today that there is a clear restriction on hanging the trouser below the ankles for men (be it in a state of prayer or outside of it). However this does not apply to women in the same way.” (Fath Ul Bari)

Ibn Umar (RA) narrates: Rasulullah (SAW) stated, ‘That man who hangs his lower garment below his ankle due to pride,
then Allah (SWT) will not look at his with Mercy on the Day of Qiyamah.’ Umme Salamah asked, ‘Then what must the women
do?’ Rasulullah (SAW) stated, ‘Let them hang it one hand span lower than the ankle.’(To conceal what is below the ankle for women) (Sunan Tirmidi)

May Allah (SWT) guide us to what is correct and earn His pleasure and protect us from this sinful act. Ameen.

Mufti Yusuf Danka