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Nail Polish prevents Wudu and Ghusl

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Shafiifiqh.com


Asaalam alaykum..A Sister asked me what is the fiqh of wudu related to nail polish. She wanted to know if she can have nail polish on and make wudu.


Taken from “Reliance of the Traveller” (Translation of ‘Umdat As-Salik by Shaykh Nuh Keller):

“If dirt under the nails prevents the water (O: of ablution or the purificatory bath from reaching the skin beneath) then the ablution (Shaykh ‘Umar Barakat: or bath) is not valid. (Shaykh Nuh ‘Ali Salman: The same is true of waterproof glue, paint, nail polish, and so forth on the nails or skin: if it prevents water from reaching any part of the nails or skin, no matter how small, one’s ablution or purificatory bath is not valid.)” [e5.26]

The proof for this is the fact that we are commanded in the Qur’an to wash the hands – the fingernails being part thereof – and if there is something preventing the water from penetrating the nails, then you have not actually washed the nails, but in this case the polish. The fingernails must be washed.

Allah, the exalted says,

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا قُمْتُمْ إِلَى الصَّلَاةِ فَاغْسِلُوا وُجُوهَكُمْ وَأَيْدِيَكُمْ إِلَى الْمَرَافِقِ وَامْسَحُوا بِرُءُوسِكُمْ وَأَرْجُلَكُمْ إِلَى الْكَعْبَيْنِ

Translation: “O ye who believe! when ye prepare for prayer, wash your faces, and your hands (and arms) to the elbows; Rub your heads (with water); and (wash) your feet to the ankles. ” [5:6]

And Allah Knows Best

Shafiifiqh.com Fatwa Dept.


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