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Does “halal” nail polish affect the validity of wudu?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: We’re wondering about about inglot “halal” nail polish? What’s the fiqh on that? Is it legit?

Answer: walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and spirits.

The way of care and caution would be not to use anything that would endanger one’s purification and (thereby) one’s prayer. There doesn’t appear to be sufficient proof that such nail polish allows water to “flow” over the entire area of the nails ​–​such that they would ​be ​consider ​ed​ to have been “washed,” which is the condition by clear Qur’anic text [Q. 5:6] and explicit hadiths of the Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him & his folk).

The Valid Wudu: Washing and Flow Required

Allah Most High commands in the Qur’an: “You who believe, when seek to pray, completely wash your faces and your hands up to the elbows; wipe your heads; and completely wash your feet up to the ankles.” [Qur’an, 5.6]

1. The condition for the validity of wudu is that one’s entire face, arms, and feet be “washed” (and a quarter of one’s head be wiped). [Tahtawi/Shurunbulali, Hashiyat Maraqi al-Falah; Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

2. Washing the arm requires washing the entire area of the arm–from tips of one’s fingers, including the entire nails, up to and including one’s elbows. [ibid.]

3. Anything that prevents–our could reasonably prevent–full washing of the area to be washed is to be avoided.

4. The basis in acts of worship is that one seeks to fulfill one’s duty, as a servant of God, with certainty–and one avoids anything that risks non-fulfillment of the Divine Command. This is what is entailed both by servitude (`ubudiyya) to Allah, and by one’s thankfulness (shukr) to Allah. The Beloved Messenger of Allah (peace & blessings be upon him & his folk) said, “Should I not seek to be a truly thankful servant?”

This is what we’ve learned from our teachers and believe to be best and most proper. Others may state otherwise. And Allah knows best.

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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