What is the ruling on isbaal?

Question: Is it permissible to obey my father when he wants me to let my clothes hang below the ankles?

Answer: Isbaal is haraam, indeed it is one of the major sins. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever allows his garment to trail along the ground out of pride, Allaah will not look at him on the Day of Resurrection.” And he mentioned the three whom Allaah will not look at on the Day of Resurrection or praise them, and theirs will be a painful torment, among whom is the one who allows his garment to hang below his ankles. The one who does this is disobeying Allaah and transgressing His sacred limits, so he has to repent to Allaah. He will be punished because Allaah will not look at him on the Day of Resurrection, and he will be punished because he is given a warning of Hell fire, which indicates that isbaal is one of the major sins, Moreover there is nothing good in isbaal, because it damages the clothes and may make the person stumble, as ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said to the young man whom he saw allowing his garment to hang below his ankles – who came to visit ‘Umar in his final sickness – “O young man, lift up your lower garment for it will make your garment last longer and is more obedient to your Lord.”

With regard to obeying your parents, parents are not to be obeyed if that involves disobeying Allaah. If they tell you to let your garment hang below your ankles, then you should disobey them, because isbaal is a major sin and there is no obedience to any created being if it involves disobedience towards the Creator.

[Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez Aal al-Shaykh, Fataawah Majallat al-Da’wah, issue no. 1741]

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