Hijab Don't?:Reasons Sisters Give For Wearing Nailpolish When they Pray and Why they are Wrong

I wear nailpolish when I have my period. Or when I can't pray (like 40 days after delivering a baby). Or I wear it when I have time to put it on and take it off for salat (but who does on a daily basis not just for special occassions or an aweseome snap, really?).

I want firstly to clarify: I like nailpolish. I think it looks pretty. I don't believe nailpolish itself is haraam [sinful for a Muslimah] like some weirdo extremist. Nor do I believe it is an adornment via what the Qu'ran tells us to hide (that ayah is referring to body parts, hips, boobs, butt, skin, hip indent what have you). I wear it myself when I am not obligated to fulfil my duties of prayer.

But I DO believe intentionally invalidating your fard prayers/salat & not making them up with the intention never to do so again is haraam. Few would argue otherwise. Yet many do so, and tell others and themselves that how they do it is not haraam.

How do they invalidate their prayer? Something seemingly harmless, that I would seem like a big fat nit-picking meanie picking on them for it...

By wearing nailpolish.

Their reasoning why they wear it despite ALL the scholar's fatwas that it invalidates the state of wudu:

Reason #1: Nailpolish wasn't around when the Sahaba wore what forms of makeup there were such as henna and kohl which they were allowed, so isn't it just another form of makeup?

Pixie: I'd agree, but nailpolish is an enamel. It makes it impossible for water to reach the entire nail. A requirement of the ritual washing in preperation for prayer [wudu/ablution] is that the entire arm up until the elbow and the hands is washed with water at least once, but the sunnah/example of the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him, was to do so three times. The Sahaba had to remove any rings ect, that prevented water from reaching ALL parts of the hands, so the nail must follow as having to be covered in entirety in the same manner.

Reason #2: Since nail polish prevents water from reaching the nail, I just make wudu BEFORE I put on the polish/do my mani/pedi and then it's all good. My hand is clean and in a protected state of wudu.

Pixie: Trust me, if that were so, I'D BE THE FIRST ON BOARD THAT BOAT to wear polish 24/7 myself. The fact is, freshly applied enamels like nailpolish prevents water from reaching MOST parts of the nails. But as highlighted in the image below of a just-applied french manicure under a microscope, there ARE ALREADY cracks in the enamel so as soon as the person does something to break the wudu like use the toilet or fart ect, their justification in reason #2 is proven to be quite premature and a mistake of logic without fact.

Beyond the fact that wudu isn't just about physical cleanlieness:)Reason #3: I leave a tiny open space on my nail for the water during ablution to touch, and that's all it needs. Wudu isn't about physical cleanliness. It is about intention, for example, when one preforms wudu with sand when there is no water available.

Pixie: That is not so I am afraid, since there are hadith about rings needing to be removed if they prevented water from reaching the hands ect., when regular wudu was to be preformed, not the special circumstance of being in the desert with only enough water for drinking ect. If water IS available, then regular, proper wudu has to be preformed. You don't just get to rub sand on your face when you're next to a river or have a bathroom sink ect. in Islam right?

As for what is said in reasoning for pro polish #3 about wudu not being about an act of physical cleanliness, THAT IS 100% TRUE. It is ABOUT spiritual PURITY, about being in a state that is ONLY FOR ALLAH in preperation of prayer. But that said, it doesn't mean we get to choose what actions we want to take from the sunnah/example/instruction of Mohammed (sallalhu alahi wa salaam) and leave the ones that don't "fit" our lifestyles. For example, if you are truly preforming ablution in the desert with sand you can't just choose not to strike your face with sand because it will mess with your makeup right? Even THAT special circumstance of ablution/ritual purification has to be done the way Allah chose for us to preform it or the salat/prayer is invalidated and one has sinned if they don't make it up in the proper state before the time for the prayer has passed and they are in knowledge that they invalidated the prayer.

So if you have water available, you have to make sure it reaches ALL parts of your hand including the nails as Allah commanded us:). If the Sahaba had to remove their rings to get the water to all parts of their hands girls, you have to remove your polish to make a wudu, no if's, and's or but's about it.

As for nailpolish in the desert and you have no water or nail polish remover at hand?

I'd feel pretty safe still making my prayers, but Allah and His Messenger know best.

....But if you have a further reason than these I have here refuted, please let me know if you believe I am mistaken, how, and why.


Maryam said…
so sis, it isnt actually wrong to wear as long as we know the hukum? some people here are quite skeptical about nail polishes, including me.
Mrs. Sara B. said…
Salam alaikum
I can't stand it when people make excuses for nail polish!! I have tried explaining to several people why it shouldn't be worn, and they say that they either don't care or that I'm wrong. First off-you don't care? Really? You don't care if your wudu and prayers are being accepted? AstaghfirAllah! Second, if there's even a chance of something affecting your prayers, why do it? Why not avoid it? Gah!
Albie said…
Asalamu alaykum Pixie! Great post :) I have often noted sisters wearing polish and wondered why they did that...

Here's another point that might add to your argument (anti-polish): "That which is lawful is plain and that which is unlawful is plain and between the two of them are doubtful matters about which not many people know. Thus he who avoids doubtful matters clears himself in regard to his religion and his honor, but he who falls into doubtful matters falls into that which is unlawful, like the shepherd who pastures around a sanctuary, all but grazing therein. Truly every king has a sanctuary, and truly Allah's sanctuary is His prohibitions. Truly in the body there is a morsel of flesh which, if it be whole, all the body is whole and which, if it be diseased, all of it is diseased. Truly it is the heart."

narrated by Bukhari and Muslim

And also:

On the authority of Al-Hasan bin Ali, the grandson of the messenger of Allah, who said : I memorized from the messenger of Allah his saying :
"Leave that which makes you doubt for that which does not make you doubt."

narrated by Termithi and Nasaee, and Tirmithi said it is true and fine hadith.

So, if wearing nail polish during salaat is a "doubtful matter" for some sisters, they should just avoid it to keep from falling into that which is unlawful :) And Allah (S.W.T) knows best, amen.


P.S.--I took all of the hadith that I cited from
Habiba Kaba said…
Salaamualaikum. i like that you bring up issues that so many people from different areas can relate to because they have seen it or done it themselves. Always helpful and thoughtful. Anyway, to the issue, People always try to justify doing the wrong thing. Sometimes we have to think about things reasonably and objectively. Then when we try to justify doing things that are inappropriate (like trying to explain your way out of it or depending on a loophole or technicality for the basis on your opinion.) Something that I have found helpful is to understand that when you are justifying something you do to yourselves or others think about later when we are judged. Would you even open your mouth to try to justify it to Allah SWT, or would you know you were wrong and your points were bogus... That helps clear up many morally fuzzy issues for me.
Gail said…
Assalaam waliekum. I have heard of all these reasons and I totally avoid nailpolish. I have had women scoffed at me because they noticed that I didnt wear nail polish on my nails or when I politely pointed out that their nail polish.
Seriously, I don't feel like repeating wuduu just because my nails, so I try to get it right the first time.
When it boils down to it, women including Muslimahs want to do what they want to do without trying to find a Islamic solution. Trying to find a Islamic solution is too much work or a sign of not being "modern". It's easier to run to the 1$ store and pick out 5 shades of nail enamel than to have your friends do henna with you. I prefer the water soluble stuff like henna and even water based markers.
Anonymous said…
YAy ure back..honestly i don't know how may msgs i have put up and none have shown from older posts..please check ure commenting thingo it seems to not be working..
i was overjoyed when i saw u had posted again after such a long break..keep it up!
Candice said…
If anything, it's kind of neat to be able to feel comfortable and proud of menstruation by showing it off with nail polish each month :)
Anonymous said…
Actually, during wudu water must go over your WHOLE body with not even a tiny chip left dry.
Laila said…
As'salaamu alaykum sister! I had a question about the male aspect of wudu along these lines. The nails are dead cells as well as the hair, so why isn't hair supposed to be drenched? And if it is, are men required to remove hair gel as it would be a blocker to water getting through? I'm not sure there are many articles about it but I'm just curious if you know of anything.
Anonymous said…
With reason number two, that there are already cracks in the enamel, if you do break wudu, then do wudu again over the nail polish, wouldn't the water reach the cracks and keep it clean. I don't mean to be disrespectful, but in all honesty, wudu is about intention, spirituality and cleanliness. I avoid long nails because it's so easy for dirt to get in and for me to not notice. But keeping them short with nail polish reasons with me to be able to perform my salat. I hope I am forgiven if I'm wrong, truly, but I don't think it is haram to wear nail polish when you re-do your wudu. Whatever dirt that gets on my nail after applying nail polish gets cleaned with water on the surface, it doesn't go under my waterproof nail polish.