Qaanitah Hunter 19-01-2012

In the world we live in, the growing consumer trend has become the so- called “Haalalisation” of products.

Many manufacturers are now making goods, edible and otherwise, suitable for Muslim consumption and usage.

The Halaal industry has become a multimillion trillion dollar one and it seems that even the cosmetic industry has jumped on the bandwagon.

Among the modern day innovations created to attract Muslims and secure a piece of the pious pie is, ‘Halaal’ nail polish.

From the conception of nail polish the traditional view has held firm that Islam does not permit it.

Even during the last decade or so, nail polish or nail art has been popular in the western culture but a complete red zone for Muslims.

The main reason accounted for the prohibition of nail polish is the impenetrable nature of the substance on the nails which results in the invalidation of ablution for prayers.

The ablution or Wudhu is a necessary per-requisite before the prayer.

That barrier now seems to have been broken.

The Timeslive website has quoted the main importer of a new type of nail polish, a Muslim businesswoman as saying that the Halaal nail polish is water-based, non-toxic and has no chemicals.

It allows water to get through to touch the nails therefore your prayer can be completed properly.

However, when Cii conducted an impromptu survey among Muslim women, the common response was in opposition to the Halaal nail polish.

The survey (albeit unscientific) was done among women from various societies, age groups and spiritual standings.

When asked the motive to their negative attitude towards the Halaal nail polish, many women cited imitation of disbelievers as the main reason why they would abstain.

Sayyidna Ibn Umar (radiallahu anhu) narrates  that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)  said: “Whoever imitates a nation (in its ways and culture) becomes one of them.” (Ahmad, Abu Dawood)

Speaking to Cii, a female Islamic scholar who wished to remain anonymous vehemently lambasted the mere concept of Halaal nail polish.

“Whether it is Halal cutex or not, I would be ashamed to expose my nails even to another Muslimah. It is a grey area and I think we should stay clear of it,” she said.

The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “That which is Halaal is clear and that which is Haraam is clear, and between the two of them are ambiguous (mutashabihat) matters about which many people do not know. Thus he who avoids ambiguous matters clears himself in regard to his religion and his honour, but he who falls into ambiguous matters (eventually) falls into that which is Haraam, like the shepherd who pastures around a sanctuary, all but grazing therein. Truly every king has a sanctuary, and truly Allaah’s sanctuary is His prohibitions. Truly in the body there is a morsel of flesh, which, if it be whole, all the body is whole, and which, if it is diseased, all of (the body) is diseased. Truly, it is the heart.” [al-Bukhaari and Muslim]

Others expressed that it is completely ludicrous that we want to wear nail polish when Islam has offered us henna powder as the perfect substitute.

It is narrated by Aisha, Ummul Mu’minin (radiallahu anha) :

“A woman made a sign from behind a curtain to indicate that she had a letter for Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) closed his hand, saying: ‘I do not know this is a man’s or a woman’s hand.’ She said: ‘No, a woman.’ He (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: If you were a woman, you would make a difference to your nails, (ie. the application of henna)’(Sunan of Abu-Dawood Hadith 4154)

“I would rather apply mehndi. I would be adorning myself and get reward for following a Sunnah,” a Muslim female teenager expressed.

Many also gave modesty as the reason to why they will abstain from it with some saying that colourful nails will draw unsolicited attention from males.

The random few who were inclined to the nail polish said that they would use it because it is hundred percent Shariah compliant and they are now able to pray with nail polish.

The main importer, Saaima Moola-Hafejjee was quoted to have said: “I say: Be modest, be smart and be fashionable and respect your prayer as well.”

Many ordinary female Muslims lambasted that statement by saying that Halaal nail polish is a paradox in its nature.

Ultimately it is reduced to one question.

Is this another one of Shaitaan’s ploys to deceive the Ummah from within and create murkiness and doubt?

Allah Ta’ala says: “Shaitaan said: ‘I will teach them to ruin the appearance made by Allah. ” (Surah Nisaa)