Being a Muslim woman myself, the urge to look beautiful comes naturally. With the availability of so many forms of beautification products, I cannot help but join the trend. Whilst searching for some make up online, I came across a product called ‘halal nail polish’. That came as a surprise because we all know that nail polish is forbidden in Islam because it does not allow for water to pass through to the woman’s finger nails during wudhu (ablution). After carrying out series of research, these are some of the arguments I found on both sides; to justify or discourage the use of the so-called halal nail polish:
Halal or breathable nail polish (O2M)was first manufactured and distributed by a Polish company called Inglot. Originally, it was intended to allow water vapour and air to pass through, and to serve as a healthier option for women who wore nail polish for longer periods of time. It was not until when an Islamic scholar by the name Mustafa Umar wrote about it in his blog in 2012, suggesting that the O2M nail polish was permissible for Muslim women. This caused a massive increment in sales for the company Inglot.
There have been incidences reported by individuals who tried on this nail polish and they claim it is indeed, permeable to water. One woman claimed that she was using the halal nail polish and one day, as she was applying henna, it got stuck in her nail. After getting home, she washed the nail polish off and still found some henna stains on her nail. Which meant the nail polish was permeable. In another instance, one sister called the company and was told that water vapour reaches the nail, but not water in its liquid form. Question is, is that sufficient for Wudhu?
It is not entirely clear what the nail polish is made up of, and the mechanism through which it allows water to reach the nails. This is why woman must be extremely careful not to fall into a trap. Dr Ali Ahmed Mashael, Grand Mufti at the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department in Dubai was asked concerning this matter and he said: ‘’If this is claimed to be a breathable nail polish which does not make a coat on the nail, a woman must try to peal it away. If it does not peal, then yes it might be ‘halal’. However, if the woman tries to peal it and finds a pealed part coming out, then it is not ‘halal’, as it covers the nail and creates a shield on it. Thus, women cannot put it and pray.” Indeed, other people who have carried out tests on this so-called breathable nail polish have also claimed that they had negative results. They claimed that it is NOT water permeable and so, should be AVOIDED by Muslim women.
Well, what do I know? But before you go ahead and try it on, make sure to confirm. This could be propaganda, it could be truth. Besides, we always have the option of henna (which may not be as fashionable but it is at least halal for sure). One thing I know is, Salaah is more important than any beautification. Allah knows best.