Assalamu‘alaikum SS Dato’ Mufti. What is the ruling of clipping nails while fasting?
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 family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
Before we answer the above question, clipping nails is natural for humans based on a hadith from Abu Hurairah RA, where the Prophet PBUH said:
الفِطْرَةُ خَمْسٌ، أَوْ خَمْسٌ مِنَ الفِطْرَةِ: الخِتَانُ، وَالِاسْتِحْدَادُ، وَنَتْفُ الإِبْطِ، وَتَقْلِيمُ الأَظْفَارِ، وَقَصُّ الشَّارِبِ
“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.”
Sahih al-Bukhari (5889)
On another hand, clipping nails is an important way to keep our body hygiene. Referring back to the above question, we should first analyse the matters that invalidate one fasting as have been specified by the scholars. There are seven matters that invalidate the fast:
- Eat and drink, it does not matter whether it is a little or a lot.
- Something (anything that is observable using our naked eye) enters the cavity in the body through open channels. Cavity in body includes the brain, region in the lower part of the throat, stomach until the frontal and back private parts. As for open channels means the mouth, nose, vagina, penis and anus.
- Purposely vomiting.
- Intercourse even without ejaculation of semen.
- Istimna’ (masturbation)
- Haid (menstruation) or nifas (bleeding due to childbirth)
- Insanity and apostasy
The above matters are matters which invalidate fasting if done on purpose (except insanity). While if it is done unintentionally, forgetfulness or forced, then it does not invalidate it. (See Fiqh al-Manhaji, 1/241-245)
After reviewing the matters which invalidate fasting, the we found that clipping nails is not included in the matters that invalidate fasting. Possibly, the person who ask the question is confused with the matters that are prohibited in the state of ihram. The reason is, clipping nails is prohibited when someone is in the state of ihram, and whoever commits this prohibition will have to pay a fine (also known as dam).
As for the ruling of biting nails while fasting, it is permissible as long as he does not swallow the nail. This is stated by Dar al-Ifta’ al-Misriyyah.
As a conclusion, clipping nails does not invalidate fasting, whether it is sunnah fasting or obligatory fasting. Lastly, may Allah SWT accept all our good deeds in this blessed month of Ramadhan and reward us with the great rewards promised to His slaves who loves worshipping Him. Amin.