The Evil of Vanity

The proud and the arrogant among the Arabs, in the days of Prophet Muhammad, had a way of being wasteful in dress, and it was considered a mark of distinction and nobility. If they put on a Tahbund, they kept it so long that it rubbed against the ground as they walked, and a similar tendency was evident in other clothes, too, like a shirt or tiara. It fed their vanity and made them look big and important. The sacred Prophet has condemned it strongly and given a severe warning to those who do so.

1. It is related by Abdullah bin Omar that the Apostle of God said: “Whoever will keep his dress unduly long owing to pride or vainglory, God will not even look towards him on the Day of Last Judgement. ” – Bukhari and Muslim

2. Abu Saeed Khudri relates that he heard the Apostle of God say: “The (best) way for a faithful Believer to wear the Tahbund is that it extends up to the middle of the calves, and it, also, is not sinful if it extends up to the ankles, but in case it is lower (than that) then he is in Hell i.e., he is going to end up there in Futurity, The narrator tells that the Apostle of God said it thrice, and, then, remarked: “God will not even look at him, (on the Day of Resurrection), who will walk dragging his Tahbund along the ground on account of conceit.” – Abu Dawood


In the two aforesaid Traditions, a dreadful admonition has been administered to those who show undue pride through their clothes. On the Day of Final Requital, when everyone will be pathetically aspiring for a benevolent glance from the All-Merciful, and in dire need of it, the Lord will not even care to look at such men.

Hazrat Abu Saeed Khudri’s report, further, tells that the right thing for a truthful Believer is that his Tahbund does not reach below the middle of the calves, and it is, also, permissible if it goes down up to the ankles. It must, anyhow, not be lower which is a grave sin and the chastisement of Hell awaits the erring bondsman who behaves like that. The warning, nevertheless, will hold good only when it is done out of haughtiness and vainglory as the next Tradition candidly shows.

3. It is related by Abdullah bin Omar that the Apostle of God said: “Whoever will lower his garment much because of vanity, God will not look at him on the Day of Reckoning,” The narrator adds that on hearing it Abu Bakr said: “O Apostle of God! My Tahbund hangs down if I am not careful [about it].” “You are not of those who do so out of self-conceit,” observed the Prophet. – Bukhari


It, distinctly, shows that there is no sin if the Tahbund or Paijama of anyone reaches below the ankles without his knowing it. The authorities have held that it is forbidden to keep one’s Tahbund or Paijama lower than the ankles due to pride, while if it is done simply out of fashion or habit, it is undesirable, and if it is unintentional then no blame attaches to the wearer and he will not be called to account for it on the Last Day.

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