Nail polish is not haraam, neither is lipstick nor makeup nor any of those non permanent beauty products. But there is a place and time for them.

Having said that there are certain times that wearing nail polish might invalidate your wuduu and hence your prayer. Scholars have agreed that for someone’s wuduu to count as valid they cannot be wearing nail polish because the water has to touch the actual nail. If the nail is covered with polish then there is a barrier between the nail and the water… which means that the wuduu is incomplete and that in turn means that the Salah cannot be valid with an incomplete wudu.

Wearing nail polish is permissible if you remove it before performing wudu… but that would cause hardship and a huge waste of time … put it on… take it off… perform wudu… put it on … take it off … perform wudu. It will cost you money to buy massive amounts of polish as well as the acetone that removes it. Most women who are aware of this rule only wear polish when they have their menses or after Isha if they are beautifying themselves for their husbands.

With regards to growing your nails long. Again the scholars have condemned this as an act that is tashabuh (mimicing) of the kafiraat (the nonbelieving women). Muslims should not adopt the styles of none muslims nor should they hold these styles in high regard.

Scholars have also suggested that it is also mimicry of animals who require long nails to protect themselves. Islam requires cleanliness and sanitation and the Prophet of Allah peace be upon him has instructed us that we should cut our nails and remove our pubic hair (in all its forms) for the sake of hygiene. So I advise my sisters in Islam to only where your beautification products for your husbands and only when it will not invalidate your acts of worship.

And Allah knows best.

October 11, 2010