What is the sunnah method of paring nails?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

What is The sunnah of fingers’ nail paring with source from as-shami

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

It is stated in Al-Durr al-Mukhtār of `Allāmah Haskafī (rahimahullāh):

(وَيُسْتَحَبُّ قَلْمُ أَظَافِيرِهِ…يَوْمَ الْجُمُعَةِ)…وَفِي شَرْحِ الْغَزَّاوِيَّةِ رُوِيَ «أَنَّهُ – صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ – بَدَأَ بِمُسَبِّحَتِهِ الْيُمْنَى إلَى الْخِنْصَرِ ثُمَّ بِخِنْصَرِ الْيُسْرَى إلَى الْإِبْهَامِ وَخَتَمَ بِإِبْهَامِ الْيُمْنَى» وَذَكَرَ لَهُ الْغَزَالِيُّ فِي الْإِحْيَاءِ وَجْهًا وَجِيهًا وَلَمْ يَثْبُتْ فِي أَصَابِعِ الرِّجْلِ نَقْلٌ…

قُلْت: وَفِي الْمَوَاهِبِ اللَّدُنْيَّةِ قَالَ الْحَافِظُ ابْنُ حَجَرٍ: إنَّهُ يُسْتَحَبُّ كَيْفَمَا احْتَاجَ إلَيْهِ وَلَمْ يَثْبُتْ فِي كَيْفِيَّتِهِ شَيْءٌ وَلَا فِي تَعْيِينِ يَوْمٍ لَهُ عَنْ النَّبِيِّ – صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ

[Imam al-Tumurtāshī says] “It is mustahab to pare one’s nails…on the day of Jumu`ah.”…[`Allāmah Haskafī says]: And it is narrated in the commentary of Al-Ghazzāwiyah: “He (the Messenger of Allāh sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) would begin from the right index finger until the pinky finger. Then, he would continue from his left pinky finger until he reached his (left) thumb and he would finish (paring his nails) with the right thumb.”[1] Imam Ghazālī also mentions a sound reasoning for this in his Ihyā’ `Ulūm al-Dīn. However, there is no established narration regarding the nails of the feet…

I say [i.e. `Allāmah Haskafī]: It is mentioned in al-Mawāhib al-Ladunniyah that Hāfiz ibn Hajar says: It is mustahab (to pare the nails) whenever one has the need to do so and there is neither any proof anywhere of a specific method of paring one’s nails nor is there any narration from Nabī (sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) mentioning a specific day (for paring one’s nails).[2]

Commenting on the last paragraph, `Allāmah Ibn `Ābidīn (rahimahullāh) says in his Radd al-Muhtār (also known as “Shāmī”):

وَكَذَا قَالَ السُّيُوطِيّ: قَدْ أَنْكَرَ الْإِمَامُ ابْنُ دَقِيقِ الْعِيدِ جَمِيعَ هَذِهِ الْأَبْيَاتِ وَقَالَ لَا تُعْتَبَرُ هَيْئَةً مَخْصُوصَةً، وَهَذَا لَا أَصْلَ لَهُ فِي الشَّرِيعَةِ، وَلَا يَجُوزُ اعْتِقَادُ اسْتِحْبَابِهِ لِأَنَّ الِاسْتِحْبَابَ حُكْمٌ شَرْعِيٌّ لَا بُدَّ لَهُ مِنْ دَلِيلٍ وَلَيْسَ اسْتِسْهَالُ ذَلِكَ بِصَوَابٍ 

Imam Suyūtī has also mentioned this (in the following words): Imam ibn Daqīq al-`Īd rejects these couplets [that are narrated from `Ālī radiyallāhu `anh mentioning the cutting of nails in the order mentioned above] and he also says that there is no consideration for any specific method. There is no source for such a thing in the Sharī`ah. It is also not permissible to have the belief that it (i.e. the method related) is mustahab because “mustahab” is a “hukm” in Sharī`ah and for any “hukm” it is necessary to have a proof for it. To show leniency in such a thing is also incorrect.[3]

From the statement of `Allāmah Ibn `Ābidīn (rahimahullāh), it is clear that the oft mentioned method of paring one’s nails starting from the right index finger has no basis.[4] Hāfiz ibn Hajar (rahimahullāh) also makes mention of this in his commentary of Bukhārī, Fath al-Bārī.[5] However, he further states that one may still pair one’s finger nails by beginning with the right hand and then the move on to the left hand[6] as the Messenger of Allāh (sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) would prefer beginning all good deeds from the right. It is narrated in the Sahīh of Imam Bukhārī (rahimahullāh) on the authority of `Āishah (radiyallāhu `anhā):

كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ «يُعْجِبُهُ التَّيَمُّنُ، فِي تَنَعُّلِهِ، وَتَرَجُّلِهِ، وَطُهُورِهِ، وَفِي شَأْنِهِ كُلِّهِ»

The Prophet (sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) liked to start from the right side when wearing shoes, combing his hair, cleaning (or washing) himself, and in doing anything else.[7]

In conclusion, it is best that one does not adopt a specific method in pairing one’s nails; however, one may begin from the right hand before paring the left as the Messenger of Allāh (sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) preferred to do all good actions whilst beginning from the right.[8]

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Bilal Mohammad

Student Darul Iftaa
New Jersey, USA

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

www.daruliftaa.net


[1] The following is also mentioned in Al-Fatāwā al-Hindiyah quoting from al-Gharāib (v. 5 p. 358, Rashīdiyah):

وَيَنْبَغِي أَنْ يَكُونَ ابْتِدَاءُ قَصِّ الْأَظَافِيرِ من الْيَدِ الْيُمْنَى وَكَذَا الِانْتِهَاءُ بها فَيَبْدَأُ بِسَبَّابَةِ الْيَدِ الْيُمْنَى وَيَخْتِمُ بِإِبْهَامِهَا وفي الرِّجْلِ يَبْدَأُ بِخِنْصَرِ الْيُمْنَى وَيَخْتِمُ بِخِنْصَرِ الْيُسْرَى حُكِيَ أَنَّ هَارُونَ الرَّشِيدَ سَأَلَ أَبَا يُوسُفَ رَحِمَهُ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى عن قَصِّ الْأَظَافِيرِ في اللَّيْلِ فقال يَنْبَغِي فقال ما الدَّلِيلُ على ذلك فقال قَوْلُهُ عليه السَّلَامُ الْخَيْرُ لَا يُؤَخَّرُ كَذَا في الْغَرَائِبِ

 

[2] Shāmī, v. 9 p. 668-670, Dār al-Ma`rifah

[3] Ibid., p. 670

[4] Ahsanul Fatāwā, v. 9 p. 82, H.M. Saīd Company

[5] Fath al-Bārī, v. 10 p. 389-390, Dār al-Hadīth

 

وَلَمْ يَثْبُتْ فِي تَرْتِيبِ الْأَصَابِعِ عِنْدَ الْقَصِّ شَيْءٌ مِنَ الْأَحَادِيثِ لَكِنْ جَزَمَ النَّوَوِيُّ فِي شَرْحِ مُسْلِمٍ بِأَنَّهُ يُسْتَحَبُّ الْبُدَاءَةُ بِمُسَبِّحَةِ الْيُمْنَى ثُمَّ بِالْوُسْطَى ثُمَّ الْبِنْصِرِ ثُمَّ الْخِنْصَرِ ثُمَّ الْإِبْهَامِ وَفِي الْيُسْرَى بِالْبَدَاءَةُ بِخِنْصِرِهَا ثُمَّ بِالْبِنْصِرِ إِلَى الْإِبْهَامِ وَيَبْدَأُ فِي الرِّجْلَيْنِ بِخِنْصِرِ الْيُمْنَى إِلَى الْإِبْهَامِ وَفِي الْيُسْرَى بِإِبْهَامِهَا إِلَى الْخِنْصِرِ وَلَمْ يَذْكُرْ لِلِاسْتِحْبَابِ مُسْتَنَدًا وَقَالَ فِي شَرْحِ الْمُهَذَّبِ بَعْدَ أَنْ نَقَلَ عَنِ الْغَزَالِيِّ وَأَنَّ الْمَازِرِيَّ اشْتَدَّ إِنْكَارُهُ عَلَيْهِ فِيهِ لَا بَأْسَ بِمَا قَالَهُ الْغَزَالِيُّ إِلَّا فِي تَأْخِيرِ إِبْهَامِ الْيَدِ الْيُمْنَى فَالْأَوْلَى أَنْ تُقَدَّمَ الْيُمْنَى بِكَمَالِهَا عَلَى الْيُسْرَى قَالَ وَأَمَّا الْحَدِيثُ الَّذِي ذَكَرَهُ الْغَزَالِيُّ فَلَا أصل لَهُ اه وَقَالَ بن دَقِيقِ الْعِيدِ يَحْتَاجُ مَنِ ادَّعَى اسْتِحْبَابَ تَقْدِيمِ الْيَدِ فِي الْقَصِّ عَلَى الرِّجْلِ إِلَى دَلِيلٍ فَإِنَّ الْإِطْلَاقَ يَأْبَى ذَلِكَ قُلْتُ يُمْكِنُ أَنْ يُؤْخَذَ بِالْقِيَاسِ عَلَى الْوُضُوءِ وَالْجَامِعُ التَّنْظِيفُ وَتَوْجِيهُ الْبَدَاءَةِ بِالْيُمْنَى لِحَدِيثِ عَائِشَةَ الَّذِي مَرَّ فِي الطَّهَارَةِ كَانَ يُعْجِبُهُ التَّيَمُّنَ فِي طُهُورِهِ وَتَرَجُّلِهِ وَفِي شَأْنِهِ كُلِّهِ…وَقد أنكر بن دَقِيقِ الْعِيدِ الْهَيْئَةَ الَّتِي ذَكَرَهَا الْغَزَالِيُّ وَمَنْ تَبِعَهُ وَقَالَ كُلُّ ذَلِكَ لَا أَصْلَ لَهُ وإحداث اسْتِحْبَاب لَا دَلِيلَ عَلَيْهِ وَهُوَ قَبِيحٌ عِنْدِي بِالْعَالِمِ وَلَوْ تَخَيَّلَ مُتَخَيِّلٌ أَنَّ الْبَدَاءَةَ بِمُسَبِّحَةِ الْيُمْنَى مِنْ أَجْلِ شَرَفِهَا فَبَقِيَّةُ الْهَيْئَةِ لَا يُتَخَيَّلُ فِيهِ ذَلِكَ نَعَمِ الْبَدَاءَةُ بِيُمْنَى الْيَدَيْنِ وَيُمْنَى الرِّجْلَيْنِ لَهُ أَصْلٌ وَهُوَ كَانَ يُعْجِبُهُ التَّيَامُنُ اه

[6] Ibid.

[7] Bukhārī, 168, The Book of Wūdū’

[8] Kitābul Fatāwā, v. 6 p. 145, Zam Zam Publishers

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