Someone asked if we must not cut nails and hairs during first 10 days of Dhul-Hajjah.

To answer, let’s start from beginning. People who live outside Makkah, their Eid celebration reflect their participation in happiness of hajis and sharing in great Sunnah of Ibrahim (as) with the Hajis.  All rituals of Hajj is for Hajis. We simply share the occasion of Day of Nahr with Hajis even if we are not there. This becomes obvious when one reads all the Shariah around hajj and sacrifice. Hence, most of evidence in this context comes from Rituals of Hajj.

Allah (swt) says in Quran

وَأَتِمُّواْ الْحَجَّ وَالْعُمْرَةَ لِلّهِ فَإِنْ أُحْصِرْتُمْ فَمَا اسْتَيْسَرَ مِنَ الْهَدْيِ وَلاَ تَحْلِقُواْ رُؤُوسَكُمْ حَتَّى يَبْلُغَ الْهَدْيُ مَحِلَّهُ فَمَن كَانَ مِنكُم مَّرِيضاً أَوْ بِهِ أَذًى مِّن رَّأْسِهِ فَفِدْيَةٌ مِّن صِيَامٍ أَوْ صَدَقَةٍ أَوْ نُسُكٍ فَإِذَا أَمِنتُمْ فَمَن تَمَتَّعَ بِالْعُمْرَةِ إِلَى الْحَجِّ فَمَا اسْتَيْسَرَ مِنَ الْهَدْيِ فَمَن لَّمْ يَجِدْ فَصِيَامُ ثَلاثَةِ أَيَّامٍ فِي الْحَجِّ وَسَبْعَةٍ إِذَا رَجَعْتُمْ تِلْكَ عَشَرَةٌ كَامِلَةٌ ذَلِكَ لِمَن لَّمْ يَكُنْ أَهْلُهُ حَاضِرِي الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ وَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ
“2:196 And perform properly (i.e. all the ceremonies according to the ways of Prophet Muhammad SAW), the Hajj and Umrah (i.e. the pilgrimage to Makkah) for Allah. But if you are prevented (from completing them), sacrifice a Hady (animal, i.e. a sheep, a cow, or a camel, etc.) such as you can afford, and do not shave your heads until the Hady reaches the place of sacrifice. And whosoever of you is ill or has an ailment in his scalp (necessitating shaving), he must pay a Fidyah (ransom) of either observing Saum (fasts) (three days) or giving Sadaqah (charity - feeding six poor persons) or offering sacrifice (one sheep). Then if you are in safety and whosoever performs the Umrah in the months of Hajj, before (performing) the Hajj, (i.e. Hajj-at-Tamattu and Al-Qiran), he must slaughter a Hady such as he can afford, but if he cannot afford it, he should observe Saum (fasts) three days during the Hajj and seven days after his return (to his home), making ten days in all. This is for him whose family is not present at Al-Masjid-al-Haram (i.e. non-resident of Makkah). And fear Allah much and know that Allah is Severe in punishment.”

So, we summarized the learning from this verse as (since translations are often confusing)

  • First part of ayah: If you make niyah of Umrah and Hajj, and if for some reason you are stopped in between, then sacrifice a Hady.
  • Second part of ayah: If you make niyah of Umrah and Hajj, and if you get ill and have you to share your head, then make Fidya. Fidya is either 3 days of Fasting or Charity for 6 people.
  • Third part of ayah: If you make niyah of Hajj and do perform Hajj (i.e. Tamattu or Qiran), then he must slaughter a Hady if he can afford it.. 
    • But if he can’t afford it, he observe 10 days of fasting. (i.e. if he can’t feed the poor, he stay fasting himself). The non-resident means, haji came from outside makkah.
    • People who live in Makkah do Hajj ifrad, and they don’t need to sacrifice, as its optional for them.
  • Do not share your head until the sacrifice based on “do not shave your heads until the Hady reaches the place of sacrifice”

There is difference between hady and udhiya, if we go into fiqh details.. Hady is like hadiya, a thing that person sacrifice to get close to Allah, it can be animal or charity. if you do Tamatu (separate ihram for umrah and hajj) and Qiran (umrah and hajj with one ihram) then sacrifice is obligatory, but if you do ifrad (ihram only for hajj) then hady is fine and sacrifice is optional.

Hajj is a very old ibadah and it goes back to time of Prophet Ibrahim (as). Even before Islam came to Arabia, Hajj ceremonies were known to people of Makkah from the linage of Ismail (as, son of Prophet Ibrahim as). Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) himself performed Hajj before given Prophet hood. The Day of Nahr (Sacrifice) marks the end of Hajj and is followed by Day of Arafat (Wuquf of Arafah). This is also declared by the Prophet (pbuh) as Day of Celebration or Eid, and it’s one of the two yearly Eid for Muslim around the world.

  • Narrated Uqbah ibn Amir: The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Yawm ‘Arafaah (the day of ‘Arafaah), Yawm al-Nahr (the Day of Sacrifice) and Ayyaam al-Tashreeq (the 3 days following Yawm al-Nahr) are Eid (festival) for us, the people of Islam. These are days of eating and drinking.” (Sunan Abu Dawood, Book 13, Number 2413)
  • The other celebration is Eid-ul-Fitr that marks the end of Month of Fasting (Ramadan). Hence, the two Eid Celebrations yearly events of Muslims mark the end of two most important pillars of Islam, i.e. Fasting in Ramadan and Al-Hajj. 

The concept of Sacrifice during Hajj is Sunnah of Ibrahim (as) and is part of Allah (swt) Deen even in the past nations.

  • Sacrifice is common in Allah’s religions even in past. He said (swt): “22:34 And for all religion We have appointed a rite [of sacrifice] that they may mention the name of Allah over what He has provided for them of [sacrificial] animals”
  • Sacrificing an animal is a reflection of specific Sunnah of Hajj from Ibrahim (as). “22:26 And [mention, O Muhammad], when We designated for Abraham the site of the House, [saying], "Do not associate anything with Me and purify My House for those who perform tawaf and those who stand [in prayer] and those who bow and prostrate. 22:27 And proclaim to the people the hajj [pilgrimage]; they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every distant pass – 22:28 That they may witness benefits for themselves and mention the name of Allah on known days over what He has provided for them of [sacrificial] animals. So eat of them and feed the miserable and poor.”
  • Sacrifice is a part of Hajj in Shariah of Mohammad (pbuh) just like it was part of Hajj of Ibrahim (as). “3:97 And [due] to Allah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House – for whoever is able to find thereto a way.”. Hence performing sacrifice is also link to being able to afford it (have istita’at for it)

Allah (swt) said in the Quran:

وَالْبُدْنَ جَعَلْنَاهَا لَكُم مِّن شَعَائِرِ اللَّهِ لَكُمْ فِيهَا خَيْرٌ فَاذْكُرُوا اسْمَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهَا صَوَافَّ فَإِذَا وَجَبَتْ جُنُوبُهَا فَكُلُوا مِنْهَا وَأَطْعِمُوا الْقَانِعَ وَالْمُعْتَرَّ كَذَلِكَ سَخَّرْنَاهَا لَكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ
“22:36 And the Budn (cows, oxen, or camels driven to be offered as sacrifices by the pilgrims at the sanctuary of Makkah.) We have made for you as among the Symbols of Allah, therein you have much good. So mention the Name of Allah over them when they are drawn up in lines (for sacrifice). Then, when they are down on their sides (after slaughter), eat thereof, and feed the beggar who does not ask (men), and the beggar who asks (men). Thus have We made them subject to you that you may be grateful.”

There are following lessons from this Ayah:

  • That sacrificing an animal is “لَكُمْ مِنْ شَعَائِرِ اللَّهِ” i.e. in it there are Symbols of Allah.
  • And that “لَكُمْ فِيهَا خَيْرٌ” i.e. in it there is Khair (good) for you
  • And that “فَكُلُوا مِنْهَا وَأَطْعِمُوا الْقَانِعَ وَالْمُعْتَرَّ”, i.e. (i) eat from it yourself and (ii) give it to other who are contended and have enough and (iii) give it to needy or who ask

People who do not perform Hajj and live outside Makkah, then there are traditions from Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh) of Sacrificing animals. The Prophet (pbuh) offered sacrifices to share occasion with the hajis, as did his companions. And he said that sacrifice is the way of the Muslims. And there are other traditions and proof. So, sacrificing an animal outside the Makkah is Sunnah of Prophet (pbuh) and a consensus of Muslims.

  • However, It was narrated from al-Baraa’ ibn ‘Aazib that the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Whoever offers a sacrifice after the prayer has completed his rituals (of Eid) and has followed the way of the Muslims.” Narrated by al-Bukhari.
  • It was narrated that Abdullah ibn Umar said: “The Prophet (pbuh) stayed in Madinah for ten years, offering sacrifice (every year on Eid).” Narrated by Ahmad, al-Tirmidhi

However, there is difference of opinion if such sacrifice is “Sunnah Muakidah” (like a confirmed repeated Sunnah), or is it an obligatory act of Ibadah. Imam Abu Haneefa, Imam Ahmed and Ibn Taymiyah etc are of view that it is obligatory (Wajib). And it is also one of the two opinions of Malikis.

Other view is that this Sunnah mu’akkadah is majority option and also opinion of Imam Shafai, and better known opinion of Imam Malik and Imam Ahmed. However, most of those who held this opinion said its makrooh (disliked) to not sacrifice. And Since the Prophet (pbuh) did it every year, we find no excuse not to do so ourselves if one can afford it.

Some people deny sacrifice even when they can afford it. However, there is very large amount of evidence from Sunnah to support this, hence, it is wise to follow Sunnah of the Prophet (pbuh).

  • Abu Hurrairah reported the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Whoever can afford it and he doesn’t sacrifice, then he should not come to our Eid place”. Narrated from Imam Ahmed, Ibn Majah.
  • Aisha and abu hurrairah said that “Al-Adha is day when people sacrifice (their animal)” At-Tirmidhi. 

Some basic fiqh around sacrifice are:

  • Sacrifice should be done on Yawm Nahr (Day of Sacrifice).
  • Sacrifice can be done in days of At-tashreeq (Yawm Nahr and three days after), and can be also at night.. however some suggested it has to be day but there seems to be no evidence for that.
  • The Slaughter is done after the Prayers, as “Whoever slaughters the sacrifice before he prays, let him replace it with another.’” (I think this is from Muslim)
  • People who are not doing hajj, One sacrifice is enough for the person and his family based on Hadith of Aisha in Muslim, when the Prophet(pbuh) prayed prior to sacrifice “saying: “In the name of Allah, O Allah, accept (this sacrifice) on behalf of Muhammad and the family of Muhammad and the ummah of Muhammad.” Then he sacrificed it.”.  Abu Ayyub al-Ansari said: “At the time of the Prophet (pbuh), a man would sacrifice a sheep on behalf of himself and his household, and they would eat some and give some to others.” Narrated by Ibn Majah and by al-Tirmidhi

Ihram has following conditions/restrictions

  • Dress code: Don’t wear anything that is stitched, Do not wear anything on head or head gear, do not Wear sock or shoes that are higher then toe, do not Put perfume on clothing. Women can cover her face with her cloth, especially when she is encountered other man, however, she can’t wear niqqab or gloves.
  • Hunting Animals: no hunting animals expect killing 5 (snakes,
  • No fighting
  • No intercourse with wife. Or sending marriage offer.

The dress code include Ihram, halq and taqseer (part of ceremonies of hajj involving cutting of hair and nails, afterward). With relates to not cutting hairs, its mentioned in Quran. Not cutting of Nails is mentioned in Sunnah. 

With related to cutting of hairs, this is motioned in Quran (as above in  baraqa:196). It is once of conditions and one must not cut hairs until the sacrifice is done and then he removes Ihram. Prophet (pbuh) made prayer thrice for people who shaved their hairs after hajj, and then on insistence of companion prayed 4th time for those who cut hairs (Muslim).

With related cutting of nail. It is mentioned in many books.

  • Ibn Manzer said that it is proven from the Prophet (pbuh) that when he shaved his head he also cut his nails. This is mentioned in Fiqh-us-sunnah. And many hadith indirectly relates to it.
  • It was narrated from Umm Salamah that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, "When you see the new moon of Dhul-Hijjah and one of you wants to offer a sacrifice, let him refrain from (removing anything) from his hair or nails" (Muslim).

In my opinion when nail are large they must be cut as they carry dirt, and cutting nail is part of fitra. However, one must trim hairs/nails before entering state of Ihram, if needed. Now if there is reason to cut them during ihram then it should be fine.

  • Yahya related to me from Malik that Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Abi Maryam once asked Said ibn al-Musayyab about (what to do with) a nail of his that had broken while he was in ihram and Said said, "cut it off."  Malik was asked whether some one in ihram who had an ear-complaint could use medicinal oil which was not perfumed for dropping into his ears, and he said, "I do not see any harm in that, and even if he were to put it into his mouth I still would not see any harm in it." Malik said that there was no harm in some one in ihram lancing an abscess that he had, or a boil, or cutting a vein, if he needed to do so. (Sahih Muslim Book 20, Number 20.27.97)
  • Aisha reported: The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: Ten are the acts according to fitra: clipping the moustache, letting the beard grow, using the tooth-stick, snuffing water in the nose, cutting the nails, washing the finger joints, plucking the hair under the armpits, shaving the pubes and cleaning one's private parts with water. The narrator said: I have forgotten the tenth, but it may have been rinsing the mouth.( Sahih Muslim Book 002, Number 0502, also mentioned in Bukhari and Muslim with various other narrators)
  • Abu Huraira reported: Five are the acts quite akin to the Fitra, or five are the acts of Fitra: circumcision, shaving the pubes, cutting the nails, plucking the hair under the armpits and clipping the moustache. (Sahih Muslim, Book 002, Number 0495, Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 72, Number 777)

In my opinion, cutting hairs during hajj in ihram is prohibited by Quran and if one does it by mistake he has to pay fidya. And this is proven from various Hadiths. Cutting of Nail after sacrifice is what Prophet (pbuh) did, hence, it is like getting additional hasanat to follow his Sunnah. One should cut his nail short before wearing Ihram and cut them again after the sacrifice on Day of Nahr.

  • For people outside hajj: Not cutting hairs and nails in first 10 days of Dhul-Hajjah is recommended by the Prophet (pbuh).  A lot of fuqha has strongly recommended not cutting hairs and nails in first 10 days of Dhul-Hajj. However, it is certainly not haram. We can classify it as Sunnah. Hanafee  classified it as Sunnah Muakidah (confirmed repeated Sunnah). Hanbali says its obligatory to do so. Ibn Baaz quoted hadith of Umm Salamah and said its haram to cut nails/hairs during first 10 days of Dhul-Hajj. However, no one ever said that cutting hairs/nail in first 10 days of Dhul-Hajjah invalidates sacrifice. The sacrifice is still valid.
  • Some suggested that the wisdom behind this instruction of the Prophet (pbuh) is to imitate the Hajis. They say the person who wants to offer the sacrifice joins the pilgrims in some of the rituals of Hajj— namely drawing closer to Allah by slaughtering the sacrifice—he also joins him in some of the features of ihram, namely refraining from cutting his hair, etc.  Muslims all over the world share following activities to imitate hajis in Arafat and Mina:
  • First ten days of Dhul-Hajjah, rituals of hajj and movements of hajis from mina to Arafat and their return to mina are of paramount importance to all Muslims in world. These days have been declared by the Prophet (pbuh) as the more important and blessed days in the calendar.
  • They remain busy in ibadah and dikr (remembrance) of Allah (swt) on days of Tashreeq (3 Days after Day of Arafat, 10th/11th/12th Dhul Hijjah). Those not doing Hajj fast on the Day of Arafat per Prophet’s advice as it expiate sins.
  • The recite Takbeerat of Tashreeq that are originally mandated for Hujjaj
  • They do not cut their hairs and nails as advised by the Prophet (pbuh)
  • Muslims all over world say Eid Prayers when Hajis moved from Muzdalifa to Mina. This is explained by Hafiz Ibn Rajab that Eid-Al-Adha prayer should be performed within the timeframe of the movement of Hujjaj from Muzdalifah to Mina. Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal also explained that Eid-Al-Adha prayer should be offered within the time period when the Hujjaj moved from Muzdalifah to Mina and threw pebbles. Similar explanations were noted from Ibn Abbas, Imam Malik, Imam Shafai and Abu Yusuf.
  • They sacrifice an animal on Day of Nahr similarly to Hajis in Mina. Imam Ibn Taymiyyah narrates that there is no difference of opinion among the jurists that the month of Eid al-Adha should be observed in unity. Ibn Rajab concludes that Day of Arafat is not just exact day of 9th Dhul Hijjah, but it was celebrated as the day when hajis performed wuquf-ul-Arafat (standing at a place in Arafat), and Day of Nahr (sacrifice) is not just exact day of 10th Dhul Hijjah but the day that follows day of Arafat to the best of their knowledge even if its proven to be wrong. This is driven from the Hadith: “Narrated Abu Hurayrah: The Prophet (pbuh) said: The end of Ramadan (Eid-ul-Fitr) is on the day when you end it, and the 'Id (festival) of sacrifice is on the day when you sacrifice…” (Sunan Abu-Dawud, Book 13, Number 2317). Hence, Day of Nahr (sacrifice) is connected to rituals of Hajj and follows Wuquf-ul-Arafat, and Muslim all over the world follow some of their rituals to get the same blessings even when they are not there.

This makes sense if people are following hajis for their Eid.. However, now a days hajis do Sacrifice often on different day then rest of world celebrate it on another, even after the live telecast of Hajj on TV—a clear violation of Sunnah. So why debate this !!!

And Allah knows best.