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Clipping Nails & Trimming Hair If Performing Qurbani


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Question and Answer:

Q. I’ve heard that a person who is going to do Qurbani should not clip his nails or trim his hair. Is this true?




A. A person who intends doing Qurbani should abstain from trimming/removing his hair, including underarm and pubic hair, or clipping his nails from the first of Zul Hijjah till after the slaughter of his/her Qurbani. This is a recommended practice and has been mentioned in the Hadith.


Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has said: “Whoever intends doing Qurbani should abstain from clipping his nails or removing his hair for the first ten days of Zul Hijjah” (Sunan an-Nasai, Hadith #: 4362, Narrated by Umm Salmah)


It should be noted that whilst this is a recommended practice, it is not compulsory. Hence, if a person trims his hair or clips his nails during the first ten days of Zul Hijjah, he will not be sinful.



And Allah Knows Best


Fatwa Department

Jamiatul Ulama (KZN)

Council of Muslim Theologians

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  • 3 years later...
Trimming Hair and Nails when Intending Qurbani

Q: Should one intending to make Qurbani clip his/her nails and shave his hair in the first ten days of Zul Hijjah?



HANAFI MADHAB: It is Mustahabb (meritorious, preferable) for one intending to make Qurbani not to trim the nails and not shave during the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah. (Raddul Muhtaar V6 P185).  If one does trim, etc. no sin will be incurred.

SHAAFI'EE MADHAB: It is Sunnah for one intending to make Qurbani not to trim the nails and not shave during the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah. (Mughnil Muhtaaj V4 P283).  It will be Makrooh to trim without need.

NOTE: It is Waajib (compulsory) to remove hair from the armpits and pubic hair at least once every forty days.


According to both Madhabs it is not permissible to leave it for forty days or more. So if during the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah, a person's forty days are up, it will be compulsory on him/her to remove the hair. Waajib will take priority over a Mustahabb or Sunnah.


(Mughniul Muhtaar 3:283; Fiqhul Ibaadaat, Shafi 1:799; Raudhatut Talibeen 3:210, 234; Al Fataawa Al Hindiyah 5:357; Raddul Muhtaar 6;185)



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Is it Prohibited?


Q: Is it prohibited to cut one's hair in the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah?

A: Umm Salma (Radhiallaahu Anha) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said,

"Whosoever intends slaughtering an animal, should not clip his hair or nails upon sighting the crescent of Dhul-Hijjah." (Abu Dawud pg.386; Rashidiyya)


In view of the above Hadith, it is Mustahabb (commendable) for a person making Qurbaani not to cut the hair and finger nails from the 1st of Zul Hijjah until after slaughtering the Qurbaani animal. However, if the hair under the arms and in the pubic region is very long (which renders the Salaat Makrooh i.e. more than forty days), then it will become compulsory to remove such hair. However, if a person forgets to clip the nails before the 1st of Dhul Hijjah and the nails have grown so long that they may cause injury, then he may clip them.

and Allah Ta'ala Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai


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Q. If one is not performing Hajj, but will do the Qurbaani, it is not liked to cut nails, trim hair or shave, etc. When is a person allowed to do this? Is it on the day of Eid ul Adhaa before the Eid Salaah or after the qurbaani is actually done? Any other relevant information is appreciated.



A. A person who wishes to do the Qurbani will refrain from trimming/shaving the hair, cutting the nails etc. from the time the crescent (new moon) is sighted to begin the month of Dhul Hijjah until he does the qurbani on the day of Eid. Even though he has performed the Eid Salaah, he must wait until he does the qurbani before cutting the nails, etc.

This practice is Mustahab (Commendable).


And Allah knows best.

Mufti Waseem Khan


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1. Can you please explain the significance of not cutting your hair or nails in the first 10 days of Zul Hajj until Qurbani has been made?





In regards to not cutting one’s hair and pairing one’s nails, Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم has mentioned, “When the ten days (of Dhul Hijjah) commence and a person has a sacrificial animal, which he intends to slaughter, then let him not cut his hair or pare his nails.” (Muslim)


قال إذا دخل العشر وعنده أضحية يريد أن يضحي فلا يأخذن شعرا ولا يقلمن ظفرا

(مسلم رقم الحديث 1977, دار إحياء التراث العربي)


Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم did not mention the exact reason why a person should not cut his hair or nails; therefore, any explanation for its underlying reason is mere conjecture. Nevertheless, some ‘Ulamā and commentators of Hadīth state various possible reasons for this instruction. Imām Nawawī رحمه الله states that the wisdom behind not cutting the hair and trimming the nails is to include these body parts in the emancipation from the fire after the sacrifice of the animal along with the remainder of the body. This understanding is possibly based on the following narration quoted in al-Targhīb wa al-Tarhīb, “Whoever offers a sacrifice with a contented heart anticipating reward for his sacrifice, it will serve as a veil for him from the fire.”


وروي عن الحسين بن علي رضي الله عنهما قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم من ضحى طيبة نفسه محتسبا لاضحيته كانت له حجابا من النار (الترغيب والترهيب رقم الحديث 1664, دار الكتب العلمية)


Other commentators of Hadīth such as Ibn Qayyim رحمه الله state that it constitutes part of the completion of the sacrificial rite of the Qurbānī. He presents the following narration of Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم as evidence for this claim, “Cut your hair and nails, trim your mustache and shave your pubic hairs for verily that constitutes the completion of your sacrifice by Allah, the Most-Honored and Sublime”


تأخذ من شعرك وأظفارك وتقص شاربك وتحلق عانتك فتلك تمام أضحيتك عند الله عزوجل

 (ابو داود رقم الحديث 2789 , دار الفكر)


Imām Suyūtī رحمه الله mentions that some ‘Ulamā are of the opinion that the wisdom behind not cutting one’s hair and nails is to resemble, in some way or the other, the pilgrims of Hajj.



Despite the various possible wisdoms, the main underlying reason for a Muslim should be to carry out the instructions and desires of our beloved Nabī صلى الله عليه و سلم . In the realm of love, worship and obedience, one’s logic has no stake.  Allah and His Nabī  صلى الله عليه و سلم know best why we were instructed to refrain from cutting our hair and nails. Therefore, as dutiful slaves we should carry out the instruction in a spirit of undying devotion.


And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Ml. Yusuf bin Yaqub,

Student Darul Iftaa

Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In’aamiyyah


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