Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih al-Uthaymeen rahimahullaah was asked:
Q: O Shaykh, in a few days the month of Dhul-Hijjah will be upon us. What is your advice so that we can all take advantage of it? I hope you can clarify its excellence and virtue, and the actions that are recommended for us to do within it.
A: Yes. The ten days of Dhul-Hijjah (the 12th month of the Islamic Hijri calendar) start when the month of Dhul-Hijjah enters. And they end with the day of `Eid – the `Eid of sacrifice.
And action within them – the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu `alaihi wa sallam said regarding it: “There are no days during which righteous action is more beloved to Allaah than these ten days.” He was asked: “Not even jihaad for the sake of Allaah?” He replied: “Not even jihaad for the sake of Allaah, except for a man who goes out with his life and his wealth and does not return with either of them.” [Reported by al-Bukhaaree no. 969]
Therefore I encourage my Muslim brothers to take advantage of this great opportunity; and that they are plentiful in their performance of righteous action during these ten days of Dhul-Hijjah – such as reading Qur·aan, and making the various types of remembrance of Allaah: takbeer (saying ‘Allaahu akbar‘, Allaah is the Greatest), tahleel (saying ‘Laa ilaaha illaa Allaah‘, there is no deity that has the right to be worshipped except Allaah alone), tahmeed (saying ‘Alhamdulillaah’, all praise is for Allaah), tasbeeh (saying ‘SubhaanAllaah’ I declare Allaah free of all imperfections), giving in charity, and fasting. Strive as it relates to all of the righteous actions.
It is strange that the people are heedless regarding these ten [days]. You find them in the last ten of Ramadaan striving and diligent with regards to righteous action; however in the ten days of Dhul-Hijjah you barely find anyone differentiating between these days and other than them. However if a person were to do righteous action in these ten days he is reviving that which the Prophet sallAllaahu `alaihi wa sallam advised with from righteous action.
These ten days, if they enter and a person intends to sacrifice, then he should not take anything from his hair, his nails, or his skin. All of these he does not take from if he wishes to sacrifice.
As for the person who has the sacrifice done on their behalf, then there is no harm [in him doing so].
Based upon this, if someone wanted to sacrifice on behalf of himself and his household, then he should sacrifice one – as is the Sunnah. It is not obligatory upon the people in the household that they refrain from taking from their hair, their nails and their skin. Rather that is [only] binding upon the one doing the sacrifice; i.e. the father.
As for the statement which you hear: ‘It is forbidden for the one sacrificing and the ones having the sacrifice done on their behalf…’ then this is a statement of some of the scholars.
As for the narration; then the Prophet sallAllaahu `alaihi wa sallam said: “If one of you intends to sacrifice then let him not take anything from his hair, nor from his nails, nor from his skin.” [Reported by Muslim; no. 1977] Here the address is for those who wish to sacrifice.
If a person were to say: ‘The person intending to sacrifice travelled to perform Hajj – then once he has performed `Umrah he will [inevitably] trim his hair – even though he instructed his family to sacrifice.’
We say: there is no harm in this. Because trimming the hair is one of the rites of `Umrah that must be done. And likewise trimming or shaving the hair in Hajj, there is no harm in that – even if he does not know whether his family have performed the sacrifice or not.