Is It Permissible for a Woman to Grow Nails and Shape Them?

Does Islam allow Muslim women to grow and shape their nails to enhance their appearance?
Nails
Photo: Valeria Boltneva

Growing and shaping nails is a common practice among many women. Some do it to enhance the appearance of their hands, making their fingers look longer and more elegant.

But what does Islam say about this practice? Is it permissible for a woman to grow her nails and shape them without the intention of showing off?

Is It Permissible for a Woman to Grow Her Nails?

The Prophet Muhammad, peace and prayers be upon him, maintained short nails and recommended his followers to do the same.

This practice is a part of personal hygiene and grooming, which holds significant importance in Islam.

Growing out nails would be considered going against the blessed practice of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and prayers be upon him. He advised clipping the nails regularly, and the recommendation is to clip them every Friday. Following this practice not only aligns with the Sunnah but also ensures personal cleanliness.

Evidence

  • The Messenger of Allah, peace and prayers be upon him, is reported to have maintained short nails and recommended regular clipping.
  • In the Maliki school of thought, it is considered reprehensible (makruh) to leave nails unclipped for 40 days or longer (Risalah of Ibn Abi Zayd al Qarawani).
  • It is makruh tahrimi (sinful) to leave nails uncut for 40 days or longer.
  • Clipping nails is one of the acts of Fitra (natural disposition), which completes a person’s outward appearance (Risalah of Ibn Abi Zayd al Qarawani).

It is reprehensible to leave nails unclipped for 40 days or more.

The act of clipping nails is also mentioned in the Risalah of Ibn Abi Zayd al Qarawani under the chapter of Fitra.

Acts of Fitra are those that, when performed, enhance a person’s outward appearance. Clipping nails is one of these acts, highlighting its importance in maintaining an individual’s overall cleanliness and presentation.

Some scholars suggest starting with the right index finger and proceeding in a specific sequence, though this order is not confirmed as a practice of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and prayers be upon him. Following such practices, however, can be seen as an additional act of devotion and care in personal grooming.

Bottom Line

Muslim women should maintain cleanliness by cutting their nails every Friday. This is also essential because a number of woman cook food and even feed their children with the same hands, while keeping long nails can carry a lot of germs.

Got a question? Feel free to ask mufti and get quick answers.

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