The Office of the Supreme Leader

Performing Ablution while Wearing Nail Polish

Q.| Is it permissible to perform ablution if one has nail polish on?
A.| Performing the ablution of ghusl is categorically incompatible with the presence of nail polish, as it is a water-impervious substance and thus prevents water from reaching the nails, all of which are ablutionary body parts relative to the ablution of ghusl.  With regard to the ablution of wuḍū, the matter is slightly different.  The presence of nail polish on the fingers of the hands is categorically impermissible, as all the fingers are ablutionary body parts relative to the ablution of wuḍū.  The toes, however, are not all ablutionary body parts in relation to the ablution of wuḍū.  Only one toe of each foot needs to be rubbed in performing the ablution of wuḍū (although it is valid to rub all the toes if one so chooses), and that one toe is of one’s own choosing.  Thus, if only one toenail is clear of nail polish, one can validly perform the rubbing of the foot.
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