But I am not arrogant!

“Oh, but I’m not arrogant!”

Yes, you hit the nail on the head. I am indeed talking about the issue of Isbaal; that is wearing clothes that come down below the ankles, for men. I say for men, because women should be covering their feet. One may think, how in the world can a woman’s feet be a cause of temptation?! But tis true indeed, that’s why women adooore shoes! Plus, ask those who have a ‘feet fetish.’

Nonetheless back to subject. If we look at current trends, we will find that the world is soaked in a variety of alleged ‘fashion’ with the connotation that fashion is an art, and an expression of preferences and freedom to dress.

As muslims, we have to bear in mind that Islam is a complete way-of-life. Islam is not a pick and mix counter, it is a whole lifestyle. All aspects that constitute your life, is clearly defined by its guidance. Meaning that your dress-code is detailed too. Just like when a person attends a school, there are mottos, routines, standards of behaviour, ethics and of course the uniform, that all have to be adhered to. One cannot expect to attend the most reputable institution, but select which part of the school rules they would like to follow. And of course, Islam is more complete than basic school rules. Nonetheless, similarly, one cannot pick which teachings of Islam to follow, and which ones to toss out the window. You accepted Islam, not ‘Is’, nor ‘lam’ nor i-l-m…

The dress of code of Islam, is general, and based on a set of principles. It’s not rigid like a uniform, where you can only wear a shirt, a blazer etc… Rather, as long as the outfit you choose meets the criteria, you’re good to go!

For men, an important principle is that their outfit should not drag below their ankles.

Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever lets his garment drag out of pride, Allah will not look at him on the Day of Resurrection.” Umm Salamah said: “What should women do with their hems?” He said: “Let them down by a hand-span.” She said: “But then their feet will be uncovered.” He said: “Then a cubit, but no more than that.” This hadeeth was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Sunan al-Tirmidhi.

What an embarrassment, and humiliating situation to be in on the Day of Judgment that Allah will not look at you, when all of mankind will be assembled, and when every last little deed counts. My brothers, it’s not difficult, the cold won’t bite at your ankles, nor will the heat of the sun tan them, if you do it sincerely seeking the pleasure of Allah. Fold your trousers and alter your thawbs.

In another hadith, perhaps a worse threat is mentioned, “whatever part of the lower garment is below the ankles is in hell.” (Ahmad)

I’m sure we all want to steer clear of the hellfire. If the lowest degree of punishment in hellfire is shoes that will make a person’s brain boil, then I don’t think a person would like to go ankle deep wading around in the hellfire. It’s not a paddling pool I assure you.

Save yourselves. Save your ankles from the punishment of Allah!

The punishment of Allah is severe, my brothers and sisters. If you are a brother reading this, then I implore you to take heed. It will be difficult, but you will be rewarded for your effort. The more difficult it is for you, the greater the reward that awaits! If you are a sister, then enjoin the good and forbid the evil by advising the male members of your family.

The worst of all this, is one who allows his garment to train out of pride, for he is defiant of Allah’s commands.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever trails his garment on the ground out of pride, Allah will not look at him on the Day of Resurrection.” Abu Bakr said to him, “O Messenger of Allah, my izaar (lower garment) slips down if I do not pay attention to it.” He said: “You are not one of those who do it out of pride.” (Reported by al-Bukhari, no. 5784)

Sadly, this above hadith is used as an excuse for many men who claim they have no pride. Do they not realise that they are mere mortals, with ego, forgetfulness and prone to sin? My brother, you are not equal to Abu-Bakr, he was the best of men after the Prophet peace be upon him. To say that one has no pride, is praise in and of itself. What guarantee do you have, my brother, that you have no pride? Allah knows the hearts, and thus He conveyed, what He conveyed on the lips of His final Messenger. Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, had the approval of the Prophet and even in such a case, when he would remember he would lift his garment, because it was accidental when it slipped.

The fashions of wearing long trousers, thawbs, coats, etc… in no way reflect Islamic values. In fact, they are quite contrary. Any item of clothing that is dragged is considered as coming under this ruling.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Isbaal (wearing one’s garment below the ankles) may apply to the izaar (lower garment), the shirt or the turban. Whoever allows any part of these to trail on the ground out of arrogance, Allah will not look at him on the Day of Judgement.” (reported by Abu Dawud, no. 4085, and al-Nisaa’i, no. 5334, with a saheeh isnaad).

Many happily engage in this deliberately, I adjure you to consider and think of the consequences. Never think that when I get to the Akhirah, Allah is merciful and he will not punish me. The punishment may come earlier than expected:

Abu Hurayrah reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whilst a man was walking arrogantly admiring himself and his clothes, Allah caused the earth to swallow him and he is suffering in it until the Day of Resurrection.” (Reported by Muslim, no. 2088).

A brief point to note for our sisters, whilst it is permissible for us to lower our garments to cover our feet, it is impermissible to do so with haughtiness.

To conclude, I remind you; look at the condition of Muslims around the world. Muslims are being accused, tortured, imprisoned, blown to pieces, and worse. The change starts with us. We may think, how will rolling up my trousers help? But trust me it does. Only when you change, then Allah will change the condition of the ummah. You better yourself however you can, and Allah will better the ummah. The change begins with me and you. If we constantly think it is trivial, then we will never move forward. Never belittle a good deed, it may just be the one that earns you Jannah. How many narrations do we have where Allah forgave a person and admitted them to Jannah for something that was seemingly small and insignificant?!

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