Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Question: Is there a specific recommended procedure for the disposing of nails and hair that have been cut?
Answer: In the name of Allah, Most Merciful.
The scholars generally concur that it is recommended to bury everything that is separated from a living human’s body, such as a limb, hair, nails, and the like. [Shafii: Nawawi, al-Majmu` Sharh al-Muhadhdhab, 5.213; Hanbali: Buhuti, Kashshaf al-Qina 2.96; Hanafi: Turi, Takmilat al-Bahr al-Ra’iq 8.232].
This is because every part of the human being has been honored by Allah Most High: “Verily we have honoured the Children of Adam.” [Qur’an, 17.70]
This was from the habitual practice of many of the Companions of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) and the early Muslims, as mentioned in works such as Ibn Abi Shayba’s Musannaf.
Some Hanafi works would seem to indicate that it is necessary (wajib) to bury the hair and nails, but other texts make it clear that what is meant is a linguistic usage of wajib, namely “highly recommended” because they follow it up by saying, “And if one throws it away there is no wrong in it (la ba’sa bihi), though if one throws it in the toilet or washroom it is disliked.” [Muhammad ibn Husayn al-Turi, Takmilat al-Bahr al-Ra’iq, 8.232, quoting al-Nawazil]