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I was just wondering if wearing nail polish is wrong/haram. I have hear many different stories and just wanted to gain some clairification. Especially when one prays?
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
It is permissible to pray with nail polish on, but nail polish prevents water from reaching your skin. It is, therefore, a must to remove the nail polish before making wudu'.
Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:
It is permissible to pray with nail polish on, but it is worth pointing out that it must be removed before performing obligatory ablution.
For one of the absolute requirements for the validity of ablution is that water should come in contact with one’s skin (unless of course one is suffering from a medical condition that prevents using water). Since nail polish has a thick layer of coating that prevents water coming in contact with the skin, wudu’ performed while wearing nail polish shall be considered as null and void.
Having said this, we must say once wudu’ has been performed, applying nail polish does not break wudu’. But it goes without saying, in case wudu’ is broken and it becomes necessary to redo it, one must remove the nail polish again before performing wudu’.
If after removal of the coating of nail polish, a slight color remains, one need not worry about it, for that is excused.
One of the conditions of tahaarah (purification) being valid is that the water must touch the skin. If there is any barrier such as grease, paint, wax or glue that prevents water reaching the skin, then the tahaarah is not valid and prayers offered in that case are not valid.
The evidence for that is the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) to Abu Dharr (may Allaah be pleased with him): “If you find water, then let it touch your skin, for that is good.” Narrated by Abu Dawood (332); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
Imam al-Shaafa’i (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
If there is on him any mastic or anything thick that will prevent the water from reaching the skin, his washing of that part for wudoo’ is not valid, unless he removes it or removes enough so that he knows that there is no barrier to the water touching the skin. End quote. Al-Umm (1/44).
Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
If there is wax, dough, henna and the like on one of his limbs, which prevents water from reaching any part of it, then his tahaarah is not valid, whether the amount is large or small. If there are traces of henna and its colour left on the hand, without there being any solid material left, or elsewhere, or traces of liquid grease whereby water flows over the limb but does not stay there, his tahaarah is valid. End quote. Al-Majmoo’ (1/529).
It says in Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (5/218):
If the colour is impermeable, then wudoo’ is not valid unless it is removed before doing wudoo’. If it is not impermeable, then wudoo’ is valid, as is the case with henna. End quote.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Question Date: 2010-02-24
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