Wudu With Nail Polish For My Husband

Sep 4, 2010 | Women’s Fiqh


My husband wants me to wear nail polish all the time. I had read somewhere that you have to take it off for your prayers, and this would then be very cumbersome for me. I don’t understand the logic of this ruling either.

If you wear henna, it stains your hands and nails, and water cannot get under the dye to your skin for several weeks, but we know that henna is allowed, and has been worn for ages. What is the difference that makes nail polish not allowed, and therefore what might you suggest as an alternative that I could do to please my husband that won’t make my life difficult at the same time?

Answered by: Mufti Abdurrahman ibn Yusuf

Assalamu alaykum

Actually, nail polish is very different from henna. Nail Polish is like paint which forms a barrier on the nails so that water can not get to them, whereas wetting the nails is necessary in wudu and ritual bathing.

Henna, on the hand, does not form a coating but changes the pigment of the skin and nails, hence, does not stop the water from reaching the nails or skin.

In terms of an alternative, the most preferred is henna, since it has been recommended by the Prophet (upon him be peace).

Since, a woman does not pray during menses, the problem of nail polish being a barrier for wudu would not arise during that time. However, if it was applied during that period it would have to be removed for the ritual bathing afterwards.

Explain these points to your husband and hopefully he will understand the complication with nail polish.

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Abdurrahman ibn Yusuf