Important Rulings regarding Nails and Body Hair

March 08,2018 - Published 5 years ago

Important Rulings regarding Nails and Body Hair

Cleanliness on the outside and the inside has been heavily emphasized in Islam and encouraged and praised in Quran and Sunnah. The Beloved and Blessed Messenger صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ loves cleanliness. He صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ has said:

الطھور نصف الایمان

“Cleanliness is half the faith.”

(Jami Al-Tirmidhi)

Hence, all Muslims must remember to remain clean and pure on the outside and the inside. As far as the cleanliness of the apparent body is concerned, it includes keeping your body and clothes etc. clean from impurities as well as dirt and filth. In addition, comb the hair on your head and beard. Do not let your nails grow too much as they collect filth and dirt which then enters the body while having food and it may cause all sorts of diseases. Also make sure to trim the pubic and underarm hair. As for the cleanliness of the inner-self, it entails cleansing the heart from holding grudges against Muslims, arrogance and haughtiness, envy and jealousy and other such vile acts. Keeping good company is imperative for the cleanliness of the inner-self. Cleanliness of the apparent self i.e. nails, underarm hair etc. is our topic of discussion today. Let’s reap some Madani pearls in this regard:

1. Make sure to do all these things within 40 days each time: Trimming the moustache and nails, plucking the underarm hair and shaving the pubic hair. Sayyiduna Anas رَضِیَ اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَنْہُ states: A time limit has been prescribed for us for trimming the moustache and the nails, plucking hair under the armpits and shaving the pubic hair, that it should not be neglected for more than forty days.

(Sahih Muslim)

Dear Islamic brothers! The above-mentioned Hadith informs us that all these things must be done within 40 days. It is Mustahab (desirable) to shower, clean your body and shave the pubic hair once a week. It is also permissible to do it every 15 days but neglecting it for more than 40 days is disliked and impermissible. Dear Islamic brothers, if possible, try to do it every Friday because it is stated in a blessed Hadith that the Holy Prophet صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ would have his moustache trimmed and nails clipped before leaving for Jumma prayers.

(Shu’ab -ul- Iman)

Method of Trimming Nails:

Two ways of trimming nails will be explained here. Whichever of the two you act upon, you will earn the reward of following the Sunnah ان شاء اللہ عزوجل! You also have the choice to do in one way once and the other way some other time:

1. Sayyiduna Ali Al-Murtada کَرَّمَ اللہُ تَعَالٰی وَجْہَہُ الْکَرِیْم has reported the following method of trimming nails from Sunnah: Begin with the right pinky finger, then the middle finger, then thumb, then ring finger and then the index finger. After that, Moving to the left hand, start with the thumb, then the middle finger, then pinky finger, then the index finger and then ring finger, i.e. in your right hand, start trimming nails from the pinky finger and in your left hand from the thumb.

2. The second method is easier to follow and remember and it has also been proved from the Blessed Prophet صَلَّی اللہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمَ and it goes like this: Start from the index finger on the right hand and move in sequence till you reach pinky finger, but leave the thumb. Now start with pinky finger on the left hand and move in sequence up to and including the thumb. In the end, trim the nail of the thumb on the right hand that you had left before. This way, we start with the right hand and we finish on the right as well.

Method of Trimming Toenails:

It is stated in Bahar -e- Shariat with reference to Durr -e- Mukhtar that no order has been prescribed with regards to trimming toenails. It is preferable to trim toenails in the same order which is observed during Wudu while doing Khilal (running finger through toes) i.e. start from the small toe at the very end, a.k.a. ring toe then move in the same order up to the thumb toe, then continue from the thumb toe on the left and trim all the nails up to the ring toe on the left.

2. Never bite your nails as it is disliked and may lead to vitiligo disease in which white patches of skin appear on the body.

3. Long nails are the sitting place of Satan, meaning Satan sits on them.  

(Kimia -e- Sa’adat)

4. After trimming nails or hair, make sure to bury them somewhere. Disposing them in the toilet or shower is disliked as it causes diseases.

5. The Sunnah of underarm hair is to pluck them but it won’t be considered a sin if one chooses to shave them.

6. Do not pluck nose hair as it is feared that it leads to a degenerative disease.

7. It is permissible to make Khat of the beard i.e. removing extra beard hair on the cheeks.

8. It is also allowed to remove hair on the hands, legs and stomach.

9. Removing chest or back hair is not encouraged.

10. Growing the beard is a Sunnah of the Prophets and Messengers علیہم السلام. Shaving the beard or keeping it less than a fistful is Haram (forbidden). However, if it grows more than a fistful, then excess hair may be trimmed.

11. There is no harm in growing hair on both corners of the moustache. Some of the pious predecessors رحمہم اللہ had moustaches like that.

12. Start shaving your pubic hair from right beneath the navel.

13. When ritual bath is obligatory upon you, do not shave any hair nor trim nails as it is disliked.

14. Islamic sisters should not dispose of their hair in such a place where a non-Mahram might seem them.

May Almighty Allah enable us to observe cleanliness of both the inner and outer self and to act upon the Sunnah in all these matters!

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