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Jilbabs & Nail Polish.

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

Respected Mufti Ebrahim Desai Saheb. I trust you are enjoying the gifts that Allah (SWT) has blessed you with and bestowed upon you.

Alhamdulillah! I came across the fatwa written by Mufti Huzaifah Deedat regarding laws of beautification. It has been beautifully elucidated except the nail polish answer and the colored jilbabs answer. which was brought up at a family gathering over the weekend. The women were furious and could not understand how an answer like this could be given by Darul Iftaa. So we all unanimously agreed that I should seek clarity on the subject from you. Mufti Saheb I do this filled with humbleness and respect for you and darul Iftaa.

The question on colored Jilbabs, the answer given by the learned Mufti Huzaifah Deedat was- 
It is permissible to wear a jilbab of any colour. However, the colour should not be attractive.

The contention here is, first the Mufti says females can use any colour jilbab, (ANY COLOUR IS ANY COLOUR). But then he goes further to say the colour should not be attractive. The question is who decides what colour is attractive, for one wearer blue will be attractive, for another wearer yellow will be attractive and so on. The answer is not clear, because clearly just as there are hundreds of colours that one person my find attractive, there are just as many of women that will find those colours hideous.

The second contention was about Nail Polish, as much as it may be halaal, but lets face it, to remove it before wudhu which is 5 times a day will certainly lead to laziness and carelessness in removal, as it is a very tedious exercise to apply and an even more tedious task to remove 5 times a day. And who’s to say that every bit of nail polish was removed (Especially when it comes to the area around the cuticle) also there is no guarantee that every bit is out, especially from the toenails. Mufti Saheb, we are all insaan and we all get lazy at times. There are times when we have to perform our Salaah and delay it because of the laziness to perform Wudhu, now how hard will it be for a sister to first remove all the nail polish thoroughly and then perform her wudhu. Also what happens to that female who has nail polish on and passes away. at a time where one cannot find any nail polish remover.Does the ghusal get delayed until a pharmacy opens to purchase this remover, let’s be honest there is only a tiny fraction of Muslim females that want to adopt this unislamic trend, is it not better to advise against the use of this product, because our Noble Leader SAW always advised us that, if there are 2 options, we should take the easier one.

Another angle of this scenario was discussed in Surah An Nisa’ 4;43. Where the believers are addressed: if someone is in a Drunken state He should not approach the Salaah until he knows what he is uttering…

This does not mean that we are allowed to be in a drunken state until we Pray. The same law should be applied to anything that disqualifies Salaah. The fact that nail polish disqualifies the wudhu, it should be frowned upon as a habit.

My respect Mufti Saheb, as you know I am a layman, and I am not equipped to answer these questions, I am only doing this to seek clarity on behalf of some of the women in my family. I address and leave you with the utmost respect and humbleness, and look forward to hearing from you.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Jazakallah for your wishes and duas.

We value you seeking clarity on the two issues of our article on Laws of adornment and beautification.


The issue of the colours of jilbab should be analysed in the context of the spirit of jilbab in Shariah which is to achieve concealment of the woman to the best of her ability. Hence, the colour of the jilbab not being attractive refers to the onlooker and not to herself.  It is obvious that there is no point in a woman concealing herself from herself. There is a need to distinguish between one’s personal choice of attraction and hideousness and the general attraction to others.

Attraction refers to the action or power of evoking interest in or liking for someone or something.1 We agree that colours are personal choices, however, there are some colours, for example red, yellow, pink etc., to some women these colours may be hideous but are nonetheless attractive to the onlooker, thus defeating the object of hijab.

In law, we analyse issues in a context and consider generality within a context rather than generalising out of a context. In the issue of reference, if the spirit of jilbab was considered and in relation to the onlooker, then the issue would be easily understood. It is precisely for that reason we qualified any colour with being attractive and in the context of hijab it obviously refers to generally being attractive to the onlooker.


We take note of your stringent sentiments on nail polish which is stark contrast to the flexibility of the colours of jilbab. Nevertheless, we agree that the ideal is a person should be sensitive to ones salaah and do all that is easy to execute one salaah. Removing non permeable nail polish is indeed a mammoth task.

We have to be realistic. There are women who sincerely wish to perform salaah but also use such type of nail polish. We consider their sincerity and offer guidance to them to safeguard the validity of their salaah. It is either they bear the pain of the non-validity of their salaah or the difficulty in removing the nail polish.

Your analogy of nail polish on a drunken state is non analogous. The verse in reference is abrogated. Furthermore, should we consider it at the time when alcohol was permissible, then that is exactly our point of reference. Come out of the alcoholic state then perform salaah. Likewise remove the nail polish and then perform salaah.

Do remember, we cannot make anything halal as haram. That is equally a crime. However, we acknowledge the ideal is not to use nail polish. However, the reality is that non-permeable nail polish it is used and women may perform salaah in that condition risking the validity of their salaah. We thus advised on the Shari ruling on that. We have also advised against the use of such nail polish in many of our fatawa.2

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Huzaifah Deedat

Student Darul Iftaa
Lusaka, Zambia 

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.


  1. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/attraction
  2. http://www.askimam.org/public/question_detail/33892
  3. http://www.askimam.org/public/question_detail/25327

This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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