Assalamualaikum SS Dato’ Seri Mufti, is it true that hairs or nails that are cut should be buried?
Waalaikumussalam wrt. wbt.
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
We will start with a hadith of the Prophet PBUH where he said:
الْفِطْرَةُ خَمْسٌ ـ أَوْ خَمْسٌ مِنَ الْفِطْرَةِ ـ الْخِتَانُ، وَالاِسْتِحْدَادُ، وَنَتْفُ الإِبْطِ، وَتَقْلِيمُ الأَظْفَارِ، وَقَصُّ الشَّارِبِ
"Five practices are characteristics of the Fitra: circumcision, shaving the pubic region, clipping the nails and cutting the moustaches short."
Sahih al-Bukhari (5550) and Sahih Muslim (257)
Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar said that the number of the characteristics of fitrah stated is not limited as stated above, for different numbers are mentioned in other narrations. (See Fath al-Bari, 10/337)
Answering the above question, we cite the statement of Imam Nawawi who said: “It is sunnah to bury any hair or nail that was cut as the action is narrated as the practise of Ibn Umar and this is agreed by scholars of our madhhab.” (See al-Majmu’ Syarh al-Muhazzab, 5/212)
He also said: “al-Mutawalli wrote that scholars have agreed that it is unnecessary to bath or pray for the body parts separated from the body. He said: “There is no disagreement where the cut hand for the punishment of stealing and qisas, it is not obligatory for it to be bathed or prayed. It is enough to just wrap it with cloth and buried. The same is applicable for nails and hairs that are cut from a living person. Thus, it is not sunnah to be prayed but sunnah to be buried.” (See al-Majmu’, 5/212)
Imam Ibn Hajar al-Haitami also said: “And it is sunnah to bury anything that is cut from hair, nail and blood.” (See Tuhfah al-Muhtaj fi Syarh al-Minhaj, 2/476)
Syeikh Zakariyya al-Ansari said: “It is sunnah to bury hair as an honour to it.” (See Asna al-Matalib, 6/232)
Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi said: “It is sunnah to bury cut nails and hair according to a narration from al-Khallal with the sanad from Mil binti Misriyyah al-Ash’ariyyah, who said: “I saw my father cut his nails and bury them and he said: “I saw the Prophet PBUH do as such.” (See al-Mughni, 1/146)
The hadith meant above is narrated by Mil binti Misriyyah al-Ash’ariyyah as stated below:
رَأَيْتُ أَبِي يُقَلِّمُ أَظْفَارَهُ، وَيَدْفِنُهُ وَيَقُول: رَأَيْتُ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَفْعَل ذَلِكَ
“I saw my father cut his nail then bury them and said: This is how I see the Prophet PBUH did.”
This hadith is issued by Ibn Abi Qasim, Ibn al-Sakan and others. The sanad is very weak (dha’if jiddan). This is stated in al-Isabah (3/421) by Ibn Hajar.
Nail and hair are a part of the body part that will continue to grow. Hence, it is sunnah for us to cut them for it is one of the sunnah.
As for nail and hair that are cut, according to the analogical deduction (qiyas) with other body parts, then both are sunnah to be buried. We are inclined towards this opinion for it is in accordance with the commandments of Islam which encourages cleanliness at the same time preventing them from being used for other purposes such as evil purposes like black magic or attaching hair and others.
It is best that we refer to the sunnah of the Prophet PBUH and salafus soleh who bury nail and hair. Thus, this is the best, whether we understand or not the wisdoms behind it.
May Allah SWT give us understanding in religion and the ability to follow it the best we can.