Is Halal Nail Polish Really Halal?

Disclaimer: We are NOT calling out any companies nor people who choose to wear halal nail polish. This is simply the research and observation that of a user and her post that we wanted to share to give insight for in case there were others dealing with this same question. There are NO legal Islamic rulings given here, please reach out to someone more knowledgeable for that.

by Nilly Naseer-Farooqui, originally written on @wordsbehindasmile

Having said that, let’s get started on one of the most controversial topics of halal beauty products. As many of you may or may not know, I’ve stopped wearing “halal” nail polish due to many reasons I’ll explain throughout this series. When I say halal, I’m not talking about the ingredients used in the nail polish, I’m talking about whether or not it can be actually used for wudhu and prayer. “Halal” nail polish is usually described as breathable/permeable polish which water can pass through. Similar to the type of technology used for contact lenses allowing hydrogen and oxygen to flow through.

There are a lot of technicalities that come into question here: what determines the permeability? Is it just microscopic holes in the layer of nail polish? Is it actually getting the entire nail? How many layers? What’s the allowed thickness of each layer? Is it subjective? Etc. A lot of companies I’ve bought from have done poorly with the coffee filter test you see mostly, but even those that use technology relevant beyond a coffee filter raises these questions.
Nail polish used to be my favorite thing to wear because it just made you feel somewhat put together even if everything else physically was out of place. I’m someone who always needed my nails painted and would change up colors every other week. In fact, my boss at one point had even walked by my office asking what colors were my nail that week because I was known for changing colors so often and being proud of it lol. Same with my family being aware and asking to see my nails. So when I tell you it was hard to let go and for a good reason, trust me on it. It wasn’t something I stopped just for the heck of it or didn’t care about it anymore.

In fact, this picture in the background [shown on the @wordsbehindasmile Instagram] is mine when I was promoting a halal nail polish brand. I’ve crossed out the name of it, but just goes to show my obsession. My “aha” moment came when I was getting ready to go to Umrah, and I was removing my “halal breathable” nail polish. I stopped and questioned myself for a second why I didn’t want to keep it on for my duration of Umrah. The answer I knew within finally came forward. I didn’t want to keep it on in the off chance my prayers and Umrah don’t get accepted while I have this nail polish on.

Which then I asked myself the next question: This Umrah and prayers I make here is such a small percentage of my life. If I wanted to make sure they counted, why didn’t I show this concern for the rest of my prayers that are a huge percentage of my life?
The answer hurt.
"If I wanted to make sure they [Umrah prayers] counted, why didn't I show this concern for the rest of my prayers that are a huge percentage of my life? The answer hurt. "
At the end of the day, something so small as the colors of my nails was not something I wanted to sacrifice my prayer for, on the off chance it didn’t get accepted. Think of it this way with any significant relationship in your life- would you take a risk of doing something if you knew that it could significantly harm your relationship with that person? No, right? Except this relationship is yours with God, and why would you want to harm that?
People will come at me with different things saying “Nooo it DEFINITELY works if you have a thin layer and rub each nail under the water for 15 seconds every time you wudhu.” To that I have to say, if you think I’m rubbing each nail 15 seconds at 5 am for fajr... GIRL, you’re out of your mind.

Not only that, but what if you miss a part of your nail? What if the water reaches your nail but not all of it? That in itself makes your wudhu invalid. I’m not criticizing the companies because maybe if you followed directions 1000% correctly, it would work. However, most of us don’t or can’t be sure they are, which leads to user error in a lot of cases. I’ve worked so hard to get my prayers on time and make it part of my life. I’d be devastated if I found out none of them counted since my wudhu was invalid just because I wanted my nails to be colorful.
"Think about what you’re giving up if your prayer doesn’t count because of it."

I’ve made my peace with my nails and have embraced the natural look of them. Obviously this goes without saying- it’s a different case if you don’t have to pray etc. I don’t think I’ve completely sworn off nail polish in that aspect. Again, not giving a legal ruling, but I urge every girl to rethink it when they put nail polish or go to get their nails done knowing they have to pray. Think about what you’re giving up if your prayer doesn’t count because of it.
Our Sunna Solutions Nail Radiance File helps shine your nails naturally without leaving a film or coat of varnish that could prevent completion of wudhu: giving an impression of clear nail polish without the actual use of one. The new halal nail polish alternative! Shine your nails a healthy natural way. 

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