Is it permissible for women to paint their nails by polishing them?

The Details of the Question
Is it permissible for women to paint their nails by polishing them?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Women can paint nails or other parts of their bodies with paints that form or do not form a layer over the skin in order to appear beautiful to their husbands. They can wear make-up unless it is too much. However, they must not wear make-up and they must wear hijab (cover their bodies except their hands and faces) when they go out or where non-mahram men can see them.

There are two disadvantages of growing nails and applying nail polish for women. The first one is that it is definitely makrooh (abominable) to grow nails. The second one is that it forms a layer on the nail and prevents water from penetrating to the skin while making wudu (ablution) and ghusl (full ablution); thus, it causes the wudu and ghusl to be invalid. Then, we advise women the following: The woman is the mother and housewife. She can only adorn herself for her husband. She must not polish her nails because she cooks, does the washing, makes wudu and ghusl. If she makes up only for her husband and pays attention to cleanliness, she will get rewards. It is sunnah for man to be clean and attractive for his wife, too. (Kaynaklarıyla İslam Fıkhı, Celal Yıldırım, Volume 4 p. 209-210.)

In addition, it is haram for women to show their hair to non-mahram men. If she makes up and adorns herself in order to seem more beautiful, her sins will increase. When a Muslim woman makes wudu and ghusl, if the paint or the substance on her skin does not let water penetrate to her skin, her wudu or ghusl becomes invalid. One must make sure that not even a place as tiny as a pinpoint on the body be left dry; the ears and the navel must be washed, too.

The water must penetrate to the skin under and the hair, beard, eyebrows and mustache, and among the hair. Even if they are dense, it is necessary to make the water permeate. If the hairs and the skin are left dry, the ghusl is not regarded to have been complete. However, it is not necessary for women to wash their hair that hangs down their heads. It will be sufficient to wash the roots of the hair. However, since the paint that forms a layer affects the skin, it is necessary to note that the paint will prevent the water from reaching the roots of the hair.

Since men have no obligation like that, it is necessary for them to wash all of the hair. Then, it is not appropriate for women to adorn themselves and to make up except for appearing beautiful to their husbands. If a woman has put on make-up and has adorned herself for her husband, it is necessary for her to remove the paints that prevent water from penetrating to the skin and then to make wudu or ghusl.

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