Pride and its Manifestations

By Moulana Muhammad ibn Moulana Haroon Abbassommar
Posted: 8 Rajab 1423, 15 September 2002


Q.) I note that one of your answers to the question of wearing one's trousers above the ankle, that the main reason the prophet (Sall-Allahu Alayhi wa sallam) forbade wearing trousers below the ankle, was to show humility. In other words wearing your trouser below the ankle was a symbol of pride, at that time. In today's time I would like you to tell me what are the symbols of pride. By saying that the prophet forbids one to wear the trouser below the ankle and to disregard the reason behind such a request is absurd. Could it be that people are afraid to address the true symbols of pride today, and thereby instead of blindly following a ritual, truly benefit, practically from the sayings of the prophet. Of course this would mean that we all would have to change our lifestyle, our wardrobes (because of brand names), executive cars, designer clothing and the like in view of the above Hadith; these are the symbols of pride today. To wear your trouser above your ankle, and then to drive off in a luxury Mercedes Benz or BMW, cannot go together. To wear your trouser above your ankle, and then to wear a pair of Nike takkies, does not show humility. Nobody today cares about the length of your trouser, it is no longer a symbol of pride, but brand or the label is. I look forward to your response. [Ismail]

A.) Undoubtedly, anything done out of pride is impermissible and effectively renders a person sinful. Allah Ta'ala states in the noble Qur'an, 'Verily, he (Allah) does not like the proud ones.' (an-Nahl)

Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam is reported to have said, 'that person who has an iota of pride will not enter Jannah.' (Sahih Muslim vol.1 pg.25). Hence, if a person commits an act of virtue out of pride, it would be totally incorrect.

However, since this is something to do with a person's intention of the heart, and this is hidden from mankind, it would be difficult to apply a general rule since the reasons and intentions of people vary quite extensively. Furthermore, the assumption of wearing the pants below the ankles not remaining a symbol of pride does not affect its Karaahat due to the fact that Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam has said, 'Do not lower your garments (over your ankles), for verily, this is because of pride.'

Thus, it is established that this is in itself an act of pride and sin, and it will remain so through time. In yet another narration, recorded in Sahih ibn Hibbaan, Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam has informed us that, 'Verily Allah does not love those who lower their garments below their ankles.' Hafiz ibnul Qayyim (RA) says that it is not permissible for a person to lower his garments below the ankles and claim that he has no pride, due to the fact that the prohibition by Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam is general. He also states that such an act is, in fact, an indication of his pride. Hafiz ibn Hajar (RA) has also attested to this in his renowned work of commentary on Sahih Bukhari (vol.10 pg.325)

And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best