The Mustahab Manner Of Clipping Nails

[Compiled from various sources]

Hadhrat Anas (Radhiyallahu Anhu) relates that the Messenger (Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam said, 

“Do not let forty days elapse without  trimming the moustache and pairing  the nails.” [Muslim]

Meaning that we should cut our nails  within forty days. It has been stated that the consequence of keeping long nails are:

1. There will be no blessings in 
your wealth.

2. You will become poor.

3. Illness will plague you.

4. Almighty Allah and His Holy Prophet  Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam will be  displeased with you.

5. The devil sits on long nails. 

The Messenger Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam would cut his nails every fifteen days.


The preferred way of cutting the nails is as follows: Start with the right hand. Index finger, fore finger, ring finger  and little finger. Then move onto the left hand. This time start with the little finger first, then ring finger, fore finger, index finger, the thumb and  lastly the thumb of  the right hand. (repeat) (ask if the process is understood, if not repeat a 3rd time) It is recommended to wash the hands  after cutting the nails. The  following order when clipping is preferred for toe nails: Again start with the  right foot. Small toe first and proceed  until the big toe. Then move onto the  left foot. This time you start with the big toe and conclude with the small toe. (repeat) (ask if the process is understood if not repeat a 3rd time).

Nowadays it is common to see sisters with nail polish or fake nails on. It is  NOT permissible by Shari’ah (Islamic law) to do this. Most of the nail  varnishes are made from unlawful (haraam) ingredients. If you apply nail polish a coating is formed on top of your nails. This prevents water from  penetrating fully into your nails whilst performing ablution or ghusl. Ablution and ghusl are incomplete and any acts of worship carried out are not accepted. If your ablution and ghusl are not accepted you are counted as impure and the angels do not enter that house where there is a impure person. However, the same acceptable effect  can be created on your nails by  applying henna. This is a recommended act. As stated in a Hadeeth taken from Abu Dawood: Hadhrat Aisha  Radhiyallahu Anha narrates, “A women made a sign from behind a curtain to indicate that she had a letter for the Apostle of Allah Azza wa jal. The Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam  closed his hand saying, “I do not know  this is a man’s or a woman’s hand”. She  said, “No a woman.” He Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam said, “If you were a  woman, you would make a difference  to your nails. Meaning with henna”. A  lot of sisters, without realising bit their nails. This  should not be done as it is  disliked and a predisposition to  infectious diseases. For example if one  has big nails more then likely that under the nails there will be germs  and bacteria. When the nails are bitten the germs are  transferred into the mouth and down the gut and into the stomach. Many sisters tend to bit their nails because they can’t be bothered cutting them or  because they have a  habit of  doing do. This habit can be  broken if sisters made the intention to cut their nails  because it is Sunnah  to do so and Insha Allah Azza wa jal they will  gain reward.

To recap-Nails should be cut within  40 days. It is Sunnah to cut our nails every 15 days. Nails should not be bitten. For hand nails, start with  the right hand index finger and finish  with the right hand thumb. For the feet start with the small toe on the right  foot and finish with the small toe on  the left foot. After cutting the nails  bury them all. We are all made from  the soil, thus we should be put back to the earth. May Allah Azza wa jal give us all the ability to act upon what has been said today and give us the ability to  teach others the way of clipping the nails.



Is there any SUNNAT of cutting nails? i.e: Is there any day preferred to cut nails or any preferred order of cutting nails or particular day in which it is preferred not to cut nails. 


Assalāmu `alaikum Warahmatullāhi Wabrakatuh, 

Pairing ones nails is a sunnah of Nabi salallahu alayhi wasallam. The nails should be paired whenever the need arises. 

῾Allāmah Tahtāwi rahmatullah alayh (d.1231H) mentions that nails should be paired once a weak and preferably on a Friday. If one delays from pairing once a week (due to slow growth of nails or some other reason) then he should pair them once in fifteen days. Leaving the nails unpaired for more than forty days is a sin. 

There is no sunnah of pairing the nails in a specific sequence or order. However, there are different opinions about what is the preferred sequence. 

Imām Ghazāli rahmatullah alayh (d.505H) has preferred and expounded on a particular sequence for pairing nails in his Ihyā’ Ulūmid Dīn. He mentions that one should start pairing the nails from the Shahadah finger of the right hand and then move towards the right till the small finger. Then one should start with the small finger of left hand and move towards the thumb of the left hand. Finally one should finish pairing at one’s right thumb. 

῾Allāmah Nawāwi rahmatullah alayh (d.676H) has mentioned in his Al Majmū῾Sharhul Muhadhib that this view of Imām Ghazāli rehmatullah alayh is acceptable except for the part where he says that the right thumb should be delayed it the end. ῾Allāmah Nawāwi rahmatullah alayh says that pairing the right thumb before starting the left hand will fulfil the preference of “beginning (an action) with the right”. 

Mullah ῾Ali Qārī rahmatullah alayh (d.1014H) has thus conclusively mentioned in Mirqāt ul Mafatīh Sharah Mishkātil Masābīh that the preferred method is to start from the right index finger (Shahadah finger) to the right small finger then the right thumb. Thereafter, for left hand start from the small finger and ending towards the thumb. 

Pairing of the toe nails will be from the small right toe to the small left toe. 

With regards to specifying a particular day too, different opinions have been mentioned in the books. ῾Allāmah ibn Hajar rahmatullah alayh makes clarification of these views and mentions that the most appropriate view is that there is no reason to make any day specific for pairing ones nails. However, one may choose Jumu῾āh (Friday) to pair ones nails since most people reserve this day to clean themselves and beautify for the congregation. 

Mawlana Faisal bin Abdul Hameed 
Student, Darul Iftaa 

Checked and Approved by, 
Muftī Ebrahim Desai 

Cutting Nails on Wednesdays:

Is there a Hadith where Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) prohibited cutting nails on Wednesday or any other day?


I have not come across a Hadith prohibiting the clipping of one’s nails on a Wednesday. However ‘Allamah Sakhawi (rahimahullah) has stated that there is no authentic narration which states any specific day or specific way of clipping one’s nails. Hafiz Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) has also echoed similar sentiments.

(Al Maqasidul Hasanah, Hadith: 772, Fathul Bari, under Hadith: 5889)

Imam Bayhaqi (rahimahullah) has recorded two weak narrations,  which state that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would prefer to trim his nails on a Friday.

(Refer: Fathul Bari)

Hafiz Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) has quoted few statements of the scholars of the past stating that it is preferable for one to clip ones nails on a Friday. He then goes on to say that clipping ones nails on a Friday falls under the fact that we are commanded to cleanse ourselves thoroughly on a Friday. Imam Ahmad (rahimahullah), in one of his views, has also deemed it Sunnah to clip one’s nails on a Friday.

(Fathul Bari, under Hadith: 5889)

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best

Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala

Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar

Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar

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