Validity of Wuḍūʾ when Wearing Permeable Nail Polish


Ml Yusuf Karaan

4 March 2024


Is wuḍūʾ performed while wearing permeable nail polish valid? Can you kindly provide clarity on this issue?


السلام عايكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

As I am sure you are aware, the requirement of a valid wuḍū’ is for water to make contact with the entirety of the prescribed limbs, the one in question being the arms.

On the issue of the nails, we know that conventional nail polish fails to allow water to permeate it and make contact with the nail beneath. The water-permeable variant reportedly allows water and oxygen to pass through due to its “staggered molecular structure”, which results in tiny holes within the final polymer layer.

My observation so far has seen a successful permeation of water. That being said, I have also noticed that the water takes some time to seep through the polymer layer, which potentially poses a problem for Shāfi‘ī women. This is because tartīb (sequence) is necessary for wuḍū’ according to our discipline, such that a given limb must be entirely washed before moving on to the next. With water-permeable nail polish, the water may not have made contact with the nails before one has moved on to washing the subsequent limb, invalidating the washing of that and possibly all ensuing limbs as well.

To avoid this dilemma, I suggest that the lady pause a few moments between the three washings of the hands/arms in order to obtain three complete washings, as is the Sunnah. I would also recommend testing for the precise period of time in which the water completely permeates. This also allows one to test the veracity of the claims made by the brand you purchase from, as we are no stranger to false advertising in this day and age.

وﷲ تعالى أعلم

And Allah knows best

Y Karaan
DUAI Fatwa Department