#292: Clipping Nails or Cutting Hair in Major Hadas

Question:

Assalamualaikum ustaz. What is the ruling of clipping nails or cutting hair when one is in major hadas (impure state)? Hope for an explanation.

Answer:

Waalaikumussalam wrt. wbt.,

Alhamdulillah, praise and gratitude to Allah SWT for His countless blessings for us all. Praise and salutations to our beloved Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his family, companions, and all those who follow his footsteps until the Final day.

We begin with the statement of Allah SWT:

وَثِيَابَكَ فَطَهِّرْ

“And your clothing purify,” [1]

Al-Syaukani stated the above verse means Allah SWT commanded us to purify our clothes and ensure that our clothing is free from najis. While Qatadah states that it means to purify oneself from sins. [2]

Furthermore. clipping nails, brushing teeth and washing clothes is included as a natural sunnah. This is based on a hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah RA:

فِطْرَةُ خَمْسٌ، أَوْ خَمْسٌ مِنَ الفِطْرَةِ: الخِتَانُ، وَالِاسْتِحْدَادُ، وَنَتْفُ الإِبْطِ، وَتَقْلِيمُ الأَظْفَارِ، وَقَصُّ الشَّارِبِ

“The inborn characteristics of man are five. Another version says: Five things are of the inborn characteristics of man: circumcision, shaving the pubes, plucking out hair under the armpit, paring the nails and clipping the moustaches.” [3]

Clipping nails and cutting hair in major hadas

Regarding this matter, Imam al-Ghazali stated in his book that a person shouldn’t shave or cut his hair, clip his nails, shave his private parts bleed himself or remove a part of himself while he is in junub (impure due to sexual intercourse or seminal discharge).The reason is all of these separated parts will return in the hereafter in a junub state and said to the person: “Indeed, every hair will ask for recompense due to it being in a major hadas state (or ask why it is brought back in a major impure state).” [4]

Most contemporary scholars in madhhab Syafi’I stated that Imam al-Ghazali’s statements are just words of wisdom in their books such as al-Haitami,[5] al-Syirbini,[6] al-Ramli,[7] al-Bujairimi[8] and others. Al-Bujairimi stated that the criticisms for body parts that return to the body of a person is based on its state when it dies, not all of its nail that was cut throughout his whole life, or his hair, hence, this opinion should be revised back. Al-Qalyubi also stated that if everything is returned to the person, his whole nail and hair – that has been cut throughout his life – back to his body, surely it will be a disaster with how he’d look with his long nails and hair. While al-Madabighi said that only a part of his body, which means only the original body parts such as his severed hand and not his nail. Furthermore, al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar also stated that every person who dies will be resurrected just as he died, then when he enters paradise, he’ll grow taller (the size of the Prophet Adam AS). [9]

Thus, in our opinion, cutting hair and clipping nails during menstruation or major hadas is not prohibited. Especially, since Imam al-Ghazali used the phrase “لا ينبغي” which means “shouldn’t”. Thus, it shows a restriction that is makruh and not prohibited.

Moreover, the opinion which ruled it permissible to cut hair, clip nails and others are closer with the principles of Islam itself which emphasize ease and cleanliness for its ummah and not to burden them. Above all, for women who are experiencing situations such as menstruation and nifas (bleeding due to childbirth), which some of them will have to go through for long periods of time. Hence, if this is prohibited, surely, it will trouble them. This is based on the statement of Allah SWT:

مَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيَجْعَلَ عَلَيْكُم مِّنْ حَرَجٍ

“Allah does not intend to make difficulty for you,” [10]

Likewise, in a hadith narrated from Abu Umamah al-Bahili, the Prophet PBUH said:

ولكني بُعِثْتُ بالحَنِيفِيَّةِ السَّمْحَةِ

“However, I’m commissioned with the easy Hanif religion.” [11]

Furthermore, according to Syeikh al-Islam Ibn Taimiyah, there aren’t any syarak evidences that rule the act of clipping nails and cutting hair as makruh for those in junub. [12]

Conclusion

According to the above discussions and arguments, in our opinion, clipping nails or cutting hair during menstruation and major hadas are not prohibited but makruh according to scholars, for it is among the innate (natural) matters, especially in regards to cleanliness. However, it is fine if one decides to keep his clipped nails or cut hair and perform the obligatory bath with them as a solution to avoid the khilaf.

May Allah SWT grant us all a clear understanding in religion. Amin.

Wallahu a’lam.

 

[1] Surah al-Muddatthir: 4

[2] See Zubdah al-Tafasir min Fath al-Qadir, by Sulaiman al-Asyqar, pg. 776

[3] Narrated by al-Bukhari (5889)

[4] See Ihya’ ‘Ulum al-Din, 2/51.

[5] See Tuhfah al-Muhtaj, 1/284.

[6] See al-Iqna‘,1/70.

[7] See Nihayah al-Muhtaj, 1/229.

[8] See Tuhfah al-Habib, 1/247.

[9] See Tuhfah al-Habib, 1/247.

[10] Surah al-Ma’idah: 6

[11] Narrated by Ahmad (22345)

[12] See al-Fatawa al-Kubra, 1/53.

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