Many people ask if it is permissible for Muslim women to wear artificial nails or not. This question has a lot of different dimensions, and there is no one straight answer to it when we look at the teachings from different scholars. However, if one would summarize it in a few lines, then according to the scholars, it is not haram for a woman to wear artificial nails. Still, it is not recommended as when one has artificial nails; they cannot perform wudhu, which inhibits them from praying. But if you can manage it between prayer timings, there's no issue doing what you like the best!
Rulings Regarding Such Practices
Many narrations state that anyone adapting to practices of other tribes who are not Muslims is not an admirable thing.
So, one can draw a correlation from this narration and understand how it is not likable for Muslim women to wear artificial nails. Therefore, one can say that it is not practically Haram for you to wear fake nails and fake hair extensions. So, the best thing would be to avoid them for obvious reasons stated in such narrations.
However, using nail polishes or artificial nails is totally one's personal choice. If you feel comfortable doing so, you should not hold back. Just make sure to keep a balance between your religion and fashion so that one thing won't come in the way of other.
When is it 'Not Permissible'?
One of the main reasons why one should not indulge in the practice of acrylic nails or artificial nails is the process by which it is applied to your nails. For example, acrylic nails are plastered over your original layers by using UV lights and other products. This means that your original nail cuticles will have an extra product layer over them. On top of this, the artificial nails also have nail polish applied over them. This means that that will be another layer of substance over your nails.
Now, why is it important? It is because when you have so much substance applied or plastered over your nails, it means you cannot perform wudhu. Plus, it damages your nails too. Applying nails is not specifically Haram, but not being able to pray because of it is a sin. And yes, some of you might wonder if you can apply these nails between Namaz timings. That is permissible, so go ahead!
However, some might find it a waste of time and money as it takes around one hour for you to get a perfect manicure for your fake nails. And you cannot spend that much time three or four times a day just so that you can pray.
Are Artificial Nails Damaging?
Nails themselves are not damaging or harmful. What is harmful is the procedure involved. Wearing artificial nails includes the use of different chemicals and harmful substances. When you wear them, go for touch-ups, take them off, you use chemicals on your nails. These substances can hurt your natural nail coverings. Furthermore, this can lead to fungus and other infections in nails.
So, a reliable way to do this is to stay careful about the chemicals you use with them. And also, whenever you go for touch-ups or manicures, make sure you know what substances are being used over your hands and if they are safe or not.
When Can You Wear Artificial Nails?
Now, we know that most of you might feel bad because many people find these nails beautiful and admiring. So, here are some conditions in which you can wear artificial nails:
When you are menstruating, you are exempt from praying and fasting. Therefore, you will not be committing any sin of missing your prayers. So, apply them while you are on your periods and remove them when you start praying again. But if you have an event or a wedding to attend, you can also apply them at that time and remove them afterward to continue with your usual life.
Another way you can wear colors on your nails without worrying about anything is using water-permissible nail polishes. There are water-permeable nail polishes and acrylic nails available - they let the water in when you are performing wudhu. In this case, your wudhu will be valid, and you will not miss any prayer. And on top of those nails, you can also apply breathable nail polish, which is stated as Halal nail polish, as it does not prevent water from reaching your body.
During their conversation about fake nails and hair extensions, many Islamic scholars allowed people to wear them. However, when you die, your acrylic nails and extensions would have to be removed as they will prevent water from reaching your body. In some cases, people might not be able to remove acrylic nails from your body, which will not be deemed suitable as your ghusl will not be complete.
If you are confident in yourself and can manage between prayers and nails, you can do it by all means. They look great, and no doubt you will look amazing by wearing them too.
When we look at the Quran or narration, there are not any specific rulings about fake nails or hair extensions. Mostly because these things were not as common among people at that time. However, if you really want to get them, you can compensate yourself by wearing breathable nail polishes. Muslim scholars deem them Halal as they do not inhibit water from reaching your body. And you can use artificial nails in between your namaz timing.
Hence, the bottom line is that it's everyone's personal choice. If you want to do it, do it by all means. No one is going to stop you - but try finding substitutes such as breathable nail polish that would allow you to pray and perform wudu while you have it on. So, you don't have to leave out everything; just learn to prioritize your life according to Islam.