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Does Dirt under Fingernails or Toenails Affect the Validity of Ghusl or Wudu?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch


Does dirt under fingernails or toenails affect the validity of ghusl or wudu? Does dirt in ear holes (where ears have been pieced) affect ghusl or wudu?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

Dirt Under The Nail

Dirt that is found underneath the nails does not affect the validity of ghusl. The dirt of the nails does not prevent the water from reaching the skin. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

Sunna of Grooming

However, it is the sunna and from the teachings of the Prophet (may Allah bless him and give him peace) to groom oneself.

The sunna is to trim the nails, pluck the hair of the underarm (though it is allowed to shave), to shave the pubic area, and the mustache (although trimming is best). [Mawsili, al-Ikhtiyar fi Ta’lil al-Mukhtar]


If one is wearing an earring, it is necessary to slightly move the earring if it is tight, so that water can reach inside. If one is not wearing an earring and the hole is tightly closed it is not necessary to go through difficulty trying to open the hole for water to reach. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

If, however, the hole remains open when the earring is not in, one should ensure to make the water reach the hole. Reasonable surety is sufficient and one is not obliged to put oneself in undue hardship or cause themselves pain.

Hope this helps

Allah knows best

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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