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What is the Ruling on Cutting the Hair and Nails during Dhul Hijjah?

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Shafiifiqh.com


What is the ruling regarding shaving or clipping the nails during the first ten days of Dhul Hijjah, does it just apply to those going on Hajj?


Wa alaykum salam wa rahmatuLlahi wa barakatuHu,

When the ten days of Dhul Hijjah enter and a person intends to offer a sacrifice, then he should refrain from cutting his hair or nails until he slaughters. The Prophet Muhammad said,

إذا رأيتم هلال ذي الحجة وأراد أحدكم أن يضحي فليمسك من شعره وأظفاره

“When you see the new moon of Dhul Hijjah, and one of you desires that he offer a sacrifice, then let him keep [i.e. not cut] his hair and nails.” (Sahih Muslim v. 13, p. 2452)

And in another version,

من كان له ذبح يذبحه فإذا أهل هلال ذي الحجة فلا يأخذن من شعره ولا من أظفاره شيئا حتى يضحي

“One who has a sacrifice that he shall slaughter, and the new moon of Dhul Hijjah appears, then he shall not take from his hair or nails anything until he slaughters. (Ibid v. 13, p. 2453)

The scholars differed on the ruling. Sa’id b. al-Musayyab, Rabi’ah, Ahmad, Is-haq, Dawud, and some of the Shafi’is considered that it is unlawful [haram] for one to cut either until the slaughtering is complete. Imam Shafi’i opined that it is disliked [makruh]. Sh. Ibrahim al-Marwazi and others mentioned that the ruling on the hair and nails extends to all parts of the body. (Sharh Sahih Muslim v. 13, p. 2453-54)

Therefore, if one intends to offer a sacrifice during this time, then he should refrain from cutting the hair or nails, like the Prophet Muhammad advised, as established in well-authenticated hadith.

And Allah knows best.

Shafiifiqh.com Fatwa Dept.

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