Ablution and nail
Q6 :It is said that ablution is not valid if a
woman wears nail-polish. At the same time, it is said that ablution is
valid if one wipes over one's stockings, instead of washing one's feet.
If I apply my nail-polish after I take my grand ablution at the end of
my menstrual period, why must I remove it before renewing my ablution,
if I do not have to remove my stockings for the same ablution?
A6 : The analogy you have drawn may sound
logical. There seems to be a case for comparison. However, matters of
worship are not decided on the basis of logical arguments. In our
worship, we follow the Prophet's guidance. Whatever he says we must
follow. That is because he is the messenger who is infallible in
matters of faith and worship. On one or two occasions, he suggested
certain things which were not the best course of action in their
relevant situations. But these were matters which have nothing to do
with religion. As far as Allah's message is concerned, he conveyed that
to us complete and intact. Everything he said to us is correct.
Moreover, it is how Allah wants us to worship Him. With regard to
prayer, the Prophet instructs us; "Pray as you have seen me pray." When
he went to pilgrimage, he said: "Learn from me your rituals."
Therefore, we do not determine our actions in matters of worship on the
basis of logical analogy, but on the basis of what we have learned from
the Prophet.[Added; Islam prohibits prostration or kissing of stones,
which is termed as idol-worshipping. Yet, during pilgrimage, we are
directed to kiss the Black Stone.] In the case of ablution, when any
substance covers any spot of the parts of the body that we need to wash
and it prevents water from reaching the skin, then ablution is invalid
because it remains incomplete. Therefore, if the nail-polish you use,
prevents water from reaching your nails, it spoils your ablution.
Sometimes people use a certain red liquid to heal their cuts or wounds.
This takes a long time to wash away, but it does not effect the
validity of ablution, [Added: Use of hinna, for instance, does not
invalidate ablution.] since it does not prevent water from reaching the
skin. As for wiping over socks or stockings, we know that the Prophet
once did that. Hence, it is permissible. But it applies to socks and
shoes only, not to any other part of the body. For example, we cannot
wipe over gloves or over our sleeves in order not to wash our hands. If
we do that, then our ablution is not valid.
Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )