Once while Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was walking through the streets of Madinah, He noticed a Sahabi (radiyallahu ‘anhu) whose pants were below his ankles. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) advised him to raise his garments. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) also said: “Am I not an example to you?” (Shamaail Tirmizi, Hadith: 120 ; Fathul Bari, vol.10 pg.216)
Among those individuals whom Almighty Allah will not speak to on the day of Qiyamah, neither will He look with mercy towards them nor purify them of their sins, instead He will afflict them with a painful punishment: is that person who allows his pants to overlap his ankles. (Recorded by Imam Muslim –Hadith: 289- on the authority of Sayyiduna Abu Zhar (radiyallahu ‘anhu).
The practice of lowering the upper garments over the ankles is absolutely detestable in the Shari’ah under all circumstances. (Faidhul Baari vol.4 pg.373)
It is Makruh Tahrimi to perform Salah in this condition. (Fatawa Mahmudiyyah, vol.17 pg.285)
Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Certainly Allah does not accept the Salah of one who allows his pants over his ankles” (Sunan Abi Dawud, Hadith: 638)
The Sahabah (radiyallahu ‘anhu) were so particular regarding this that Sayyiduna ‘Umar (radiyallahu ‘anhu), while on his death bed –after being stabbed- had noticed a young person in his presence whose pants were below his ankles, despite his ill condition, he reprimanded him for that. (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 3700)
Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “That part of [the leg which is covered by] a trouser that overlaps the ankles will be in the Fire of Jahannum.” (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 5787)
Moulana Ashraf ‘Al Thanwi (rahimahullah) states that this prohibition has two aspects:
1) The actual deed of lowering the garment over the ankle.
2) Doing this out of pride. Therefore the one who does not do so out of pride is still guilty of the former aspect. (Imdaadul Fataawa, vol.4 pg.122) Hafiz Ibn Hajar Al-‘Asqalani (rahimahullah) – the renown commentator of Sahih Bukhari- has cited four reasons for this prohibition of Shari’ah:
a)”Israaf” (wastage) and this is forbidden by the Quran.
b) Resemblance to women because Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) had only permitted women to allow a portion of their upper garments over their ankles. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) has cursed those men who imitate women and those women that imitate men. (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 5885)
c) The inevitability of the pants becoming soiled with impurities while being dragged on the ground or trampled by the shoes. This is borne out of the fact that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) , upon seeing a companion’s garment overlapping the ankles, said: “Raise your cloth, for it is certainly a cleaner practice.” (Shamail Tirmidhi ; Fathul Bari vol.10 pg.216)
d) It denotes pride. The Illustrious Maliki Scholar: Hafiz Ibnul ‘Arabi (rahimahullah) states: “It is impermissible for an individual to lower his clothing over his ankles and claim that he does not do so out of pride… This claim of his is unacceptable. Instead this practice in itself is a sign of him having pride!” (Fathul Bari vol.10 pg.217) Hafiz Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) further comments: “The lowering of the clothing (over the ankles) is by nature such that it causes pride even though the individual did not intend so at the outset. This is substantiated by the following Hadith narrated by Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar (radiyallahu ‘anhu) that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said -as part of a lengthy narration- : “Be careful of dragging your pants, for this is an act of pride in itself.” Hafiz ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) has also quoted a narration recorded by Imams Nasai (rahimahullah), Ibn Majah (rahimahullah) and Ibn Hibban (rahimahullah) on the authority of Sayyiduna Mugheerah bin Shu’bah (radiyallah ‘anhu) that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Do not commit “Isbal” (lowering of garments over the ankles) for verily Allah does not love those who do so.” (Fathul Bari, vol.10 pg.217)
The Respected Moulana Badre ‘Aalam Meerthi (rahimahullah), a renowned student of Imam ul ‘Asr, Moulana Anwar Shah al Kashmiri (rahimahullah) has mentioned in his footnotes on Faidhul Bari (which is a compilation of the lessons of Moulana Anwar Shah Al Kashmiri (rahimahullah) on Sahih Bukhari) that those who drag their upper garments generally do so out of pride. And even if one claims not to have pride, definitely sooner or later pride will enter his heart. This is so because many a times one’s outer condition has an affect on one’s inner self. For example, names that have a good meaning tend to have a good effect on a person and vise versa. Therefore since this action of lowering the garments over the ankles was, and still is the practice of the proud and haughty ones, its effect will certainly be found in those who initially didn’t have pride”. (Footnotes on Faidhul Bari, vol.4 pg.374) In the light of this, a fifth reason for its prohibition would be: resembling the proud and arrogant ones. (Fatawa Mahmudiyyah) Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Whoever resembles a nation is regarded as one of them.” (Sunan Abi Dawud, Hadith: 4027)
May Almighty Allah guide us towards the truth and to practicing the truth and may He save us from this very subtle disease of pride regarding which our beloved Rasul (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) warned: “Never will he enter Jannah in whose heart exists pride equal to even a mustard seed.” (Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 261-263)
This action may seem simple, but by adopting it, we would go a long way in our endeavor of following the blessed Sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) .