As Salaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah,
If anyone wants to offer a sacrifice, and the month of Dhu’l-Hijjah has begun, either because the new moon has been sighted or because thirty days of Dhu’l-Qa’dah have passed, then it is *haraam* for him to remove anything of his hair or nails or skin until he has slaughtered the sacrifice, because of the hadeeth of Umm Salamah (may Allaah be pleased with her), according to which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “When you see the new moon of Dhu’l-Hijjah according to another version, When the ten days (of Dhu’l-Hijjah) begin and any one of you wants to offer a sacrifice, let him refrain (from cutting) his hair and nails.” Narrated by Ahmad and Muslim. According to another version, “Let him not remove anything from his hair and nails until he has offered the sacrifice.” And according to yet another version, “He should not touch his hair or skin.”
Is this really *haraam* as mentioned above?
Wa Alaikum As Salaam Wa Rahmatullah,
The traditions which have been mentioned are all authentic, however, there are varying opinions held by the great Imams/ Mujtahid regarding the ruling established from these traditions. Some Imams like Imam Ahmad and Ishaq have stated that it is Haraam for a person who intends to do the sacrifice to trim the hair or pare the nails etc. When the month of Dhul Hijjah begins. Other Imams of Fiqh like Imam Shafi and his companions have stated that it is Makrooh Tanzihi (highly disliked) to do such, but it is not Haraam. Imam Abu Hanifa, and Imam Malik in one opinion, state that it is not Makrooh to trim the hair, nails etc. during this time for the person who intends to do Qurbani. Their proof for saying that it is not Haraam or Makrooh to do this, is the tradition of Aisha (R. A.) in which she states, ‘I used to twist/ plait the necklace of the sacrificial animal of the Messenger of Allah (S. A. S.). He would then tie the necklace (around the neck of the animal) and send it to be sacrificed, and nothing would be Haraam upon him which Allah has made Halal, until he slaughtered his animal’. (Bukhari, Muslim).
Based on this tradition, it is evident that it would not be Haraam to pare the nails or trim the hair (for one who intends to do a Sacrifice). However, based on the tradition narrated by Um Salmah (R. A.), the majority of Scholars/ Jurist experts have it to be Mustahab/ Sunnah for one who intends to do a Sacrifice (Qurbani) to refrain from trimming the hair, nails etc from the beginning of Dhul Hijjah until he sacrifices his animal. (Sharh Muslim – An Nawawi; Al Fiqh Al Islami Wa Adilatahu Vol. 4 Pg 2735)
And Allah Knows best
Mufti Waseem Khan
20/ 07/ 2020