Isbaal Applies to Shirt Sleeves
Fatwa No: 404662

Question

Salam aleikum.
What is rule of letting garments hang below the hands?
Is this (izbal) forbideen only below the ankle or is it even with hands?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that none is worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and messenger.

The ruling on Isbaal (making one’s clothes longer than normal) is not exclusive to prolonging the lower garment below the ankles. Rather, the prohibition in this regard also applies to wearing long clothes of all types, each according to its nature (i.e. garments below the ankles, sleeves longer than what is customary, or turbans with long tails). The Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said: “Isbaal may apply to the Izaar (lower garment), Qamees (long shirt with sleeves), and turban. Whoever drags any one of these out of vanity, Allah shall not look at him on the Day of Resurrection.” [Abu Daawood, An-Nasaa’i, and Ibn Maajah; Al-Albaani: authentic]

The preponderant scholarly view is that declaring the ruling of Isbaal applicable when it comes to long sleeves and the like varies according to the different customs and traditions followed by people.

Ash-Shawkaani  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: “The narration clearly states that Isbaal is not exclusive to the garment and Izaar; it applies to the Qamees and turban as well … Therefore, wearing something with long sleeves that reach beyond what is customary falls into the category of the prohibited Isbaal. Al-Fudhayl ibn ‘Iyaadh narrated that Muslim scholars deemed it disliked to wear any type of clothing that is longer or wider than what is customary.” [End of quote]

Al-Haafith Ibn Hajar  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: “The question arises as to whether or not the prohibition of dragging one’s garment on the ground applies to the sleeves longer than the norm and the like; it is a valid subject of consideration. The most likely correct view in this regard is that wearing sleeves longer than what is customary, like some people in Hijaaz do, falls into the category of the prohibited Isbaal. Our Sheikh [Al-Haafith Al-‘Iraaqi] wrote in his commentary on At-Tirmithi’s Hadeeth collection: ‘There is no doubt that what reaches the ground of it [the lower part of the garment] out of vanity is prohibited.’ In fact, deeming it prohibited to wear sleeves longer than what is customary among people is plausible! However, it has become customary among some peoples to wear sleeves longer than the normal length and each people would have their own traditions in this regard. In any case, there is no doubt that what is worn in that manner out of vanity is prohibited, and what is worn out of customary practice is not prohibited as long as it does not amount to the forbidden dragging of the hem on the ground.” [Fat-h Al-Baari]

Allah knows best.

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