A lot of people are surprised to hear that there is a Sunnah way to cutting nails.
Islam provides a thorough blueprint to living a complete life.
The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) had taught us how to live a virtuous life. He was also a advocate and promoted the importance of being clean and hygienic.
For example, The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: He who eats of this plant (garlic) should not approach our mosque and should not harm us with the odour of garlic. Sahih Muslim 562 b
Let’s dive into the sunnah way to trimming the nails.
Hadith Trimming Nails Every Forty Days
Anas reported: A time limit has been prescribed for us for clipping the moustache, cutting the nails, plucking hair under the armpits, shaving the pubes, that it should not be neglected far more than forty nights. Sahih Muslim 258
With regards to the order which they should be kept please refer to the image.
This is from Sharh Saheeh Muslim (3/149): It is mustahabb to start with the hands before the feet, and to start with the forefinger of the right hand, then the middle finger, then the ring finger, then the pinkie finger, then the thumbs, then to move to the left hand and start with the pinkie finger then the ring finger, until all the fingers are done, then to move to the right foot and start with the smallest toe on the right foot and end with the smallest toe on the left foot. And Allaah knows best.
If you have not been cutting your nails in this order it is okay, you have not committed a sin as this is the reported Sunnah of the Prophet.
In another hadith A’isha mentioned: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) loved to start from the right-hand side in his every act i. e. in wearing shoes, in combing (his hair) and in performing ablution. Sahih Muslim 268b
We should trim our nails often:
The maximum days the Prophet mentioned we should let our nails grow out is forty days. But we should make it a habit to trim often.
It is the view of many scholars to trim your fingernails and toenails before heading to Jumuah prayer out of a desire to make oneself presentable before stepping in front of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.
Longer finger nails attract can dirt and lead to harboring dangerous infections and disease.
Through dirty fingernails when you scratches a part of your body you can transfer whatever is lying dormant. This is why it’s important to continually wash your hands with soap and to trim the nails.
“Allah does not intend to inconvenience you, but He intends to purify you and perfect His favor to you, so that you may give thanks”.
Surah Maidah Ayah 6