Fatwa ID: 06047
Answered by: Maulana Burhaan Rahman
I don’t personally use nail polishes but I wanted to know if it is permissible to apply nail polish? (The nail polish which I am referring to is the one which is water-proof).
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
One of the prerequisites of wudhu is that water reaches the nails, it is critical to remove the gel nails, as wudhu will not be legitimate with them on.
يٰۤـاَيُّهَا الَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اِذَا قُمۡتُمۡ اِلَى الصَّلٰوةِ فَاغۡسِلُوۡا وُجُوۡهَكُمۡ وَاَيۡدِيَكُمۡ اِلَى الۡمَرَافِقِ
Oh, you who believe, if you want to establish prayer (then do wudhu via) washing your face and hands to the elbow. [Surah Ma’idah verse 6]
The nails are part of the hands and water must reach them.
Even with regards to breathable (permeable) nail polish, there is a huge doubt and no 100% guarantee that water penetrates the entire nail going through the full nail polish.
Zahara (nail polish brand) mentions “permeable nail polish has a special formula which allows water and oxygen particles to pass through”.
There is still a huge question mark there as “passing through” is vague. Why would one want to sacrifice a patch of lacquer on the nails for their wudhu being accepted – essentially their prayer being accepted?
Only Allah knows best.
Written by Maulana Burhaan Rahman
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham