Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: I’ve had a terrible habit of biting my nails since I was very young. When I was younger I used to get short acrylic nails because I felt it worked as a Band-Aid. I was much younger so I would just pray with the acrylic nail but now I have doubt that my prayers or wudu will actually be accepted. Is there an alternative to acrylic nails?
Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you well. Any barrier on your nails will invalidate your wudu, and hence your prayer. Instead of using nail polish or acrylic nails, I strongly recommend that you purchase this hypnosis track to help you overcome your habit:
Please be consistent with your daily practice of relaxing to the hypnosis tracks. InshaAllah, this method will address and solve the root of your anxiety and the resultant nail-biting.
Also, make it a daily practice to make salawat upon the Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace), make istighfar, and regular, earnest dua for healing. The last third of the night is a special time for you to pour your anxieties out to Allah, the only One who can lift any trial.
Consider seeing a doctor for the physical pain of your bitten fingers, and a counsellor/therapist to help you learn how to manage your anxiety. Healing is ultimately from Allah, but these are means to attaining some peace of mind.
Replacing your prayers
Verily Allah (Glorified may he be) has said: ‘Whosoever shows enmity to a friend of Mine, then I have declared war against him. And My servant does not draw near to Me with anything more beloved to Me than the religious duties I have obligated upon him. And My servant continues to draw near to me with supererogatory deeds until I Love him. When I Love him, I become his hearing with which he hears, and his sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he strikes, and his foot with which he walks. Were he to ask something of Me, I would surely give it to him; and were he to seek refuge with Me, I would surely grant him refuge.’ [Bukhari]
As you recover, start to pay back the prayers which you performed while using acrylic nails. This applies for the prayers you were obligated to do from the age of puberty, and not before that.
Take this a day at a time, ask Allah for ease, and don’t overwhelm yourself with paying back too many prayers a day. Start with a pace that is sustainable for you, and view this opportunity as a way to get closer to Allah through obligatory acts of worship.
All discomfort in this dunya is a reminder that we do not belong here. May Allah grant you swift healing, ease from your tribulations, and lasting peace in Jannahtul Firdous.
Raidah Shah Idil
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.