Is it nesessary to remove the nail polish on the deceased before burial? The Ruling on “permeable or breathable” Nail-Polishes

Question:

What is the ruling on a woman who dies in a state that she was wearing nail polish, is it necessary that the nail polish be removed before burial?

 

Answer:      

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

 

It is obligatory that the deceased be given a ghusl (ritual bath). The ghusl would only be correct if the water reaches every part of the body as in the case of the living. If there is anything attached to the body which prevents water from reaching the skin, nails or hairs then the ghusl will be invalid. Furthermore the deceased will not attain Taharah (ritual purity).

Regarding your question, the nail polish prevents water from reaching that part of the body which is obligatory to be washed i.e. the nails. Subsequently, the ghusl will be invalid causing the body to remain in a state of Ritual Impurity. Such a state prevents the validity of Salatul Janaazah. Therefore the nail- polish must be removed in order that the water reaches the nails.

In the event that the nail-polish was not removed from the nails of the deceased, there are four situations that must be considered, they are as follows:

(a) If the deceased was shrouded without the nail-polished being removed, it is incumbent that the Kafan (Burial Shroud) be taken out, thereafter the nail-polish be removed and then the nails be washed.

(b) If Salaatul Janaazah was performed without the nail-polished being removed, then the same will apply i.e. it will still be incumbent to remove it and complete the ghusl by washing the nails. As stated above, Taharah (ritual purity) is a condition for the validity of the Salatul Janazah. Therefore, Salatul Janazah would have to be repeated as the first one would not be valid.

(c) Similarly is the case where the deceased was placed in the grave, before the dirt was thrown i.e. the body would have to be taken out of the grave, nail-polish removed, nails washed, Salaatul Janazah repeated and then re-entered into the grave.[1]

(d) If however, dirt was thrown on the grave the body would not be removed, except that, Salaatul Janazah would have to be repeated. This is because the first Janazah was not valid. However, the reason why the second Janazah would only be valid (even though the ghusl is not complete) is because of the difficulty involved in giving the body a proper ghusl after being buried. In this case the second Janazah would be performed upon the grave of the deceased.

 

The Ruling on “permeable or breathable” Nail-Polishes

 

The above ruling refers to all types of nail-polish, even though it may be labelled as: breathable nail-polish, permeable nail-polish, water based nail-polish, halal nail-polish etc. The reason for this is as follows:

 

(1) Various tests conducted have shown that most of these nail-polishes listed above are in fact water resistant or do not allow the water to penetrate especially when considering the manner in which wudhu is normally performed.

 

(2)If a test proves the permeability of the nail-polish, then such results may be based on specific conditions and factors, alteration of these conditions may affect the permeability. These factors includes: time (i.e. duration of time before penetration occurred), pressure (at the time of application), temperature, number of layers (most of the time a single layer is applied to prove permeability), manner of spreading, testing surfaces etc.

 

(3) There may be nail-polishes that are regarded as permeable in that water reaches the surface of the nail. However, such penetration is only attained after rubbing the nails several times, and in most instances such exaggeration (i.e. the rubbing of ten nails several times) is not exercised when performing ghusl/wudhu.

 

(4) Even though the nails may be rubbed several times, there is a great possibility that portions of the nail’s surface beneath the polish remains dry. This is because the penetration is not generalised (i.e. reaching the entire surface of the nail), what actually reaches the surface is a localized dampness that does not spread unto the dry area.

(5) Taharah (ritual purity) is an aspect connected to Ibaadah (worship) and the Islamic Jurists state that precaution must be adopted in matters related to Ibaadah

NB: The above ruling also applies to the living, in fact it is more applicable to them.

 

 

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mufti Kaleem Muhammad

Darul Iftaa, Jaamia Madinatul Uloom

Trinidad, West Indies

www.fatwa-tt.com /www.jaamia.net

[1] المحيط البرهاني في الفقه النعماني (2/ 196)

وإذا صلي على الميت قبل الغسل، فإنه يغسل ثم تعاد الصلاة عليه بعد الغسل، وكذلك لو غسلوه وبقي عضو من أعضائه أو … ، وإن كان قد لف في كفنه وقد بقي عضو لم يصبه الماء (123أ1) يخرج من الكفن فيغسل ذلك العضو، وإن كان الباقي شيء يسير كالأصبع ونحوه، فكذلك الجواب عند محمد رحمه الله؛ لأن الأصبع في حكم العضو بدليل اغتسال الحي. وقال أبو يوسف رحمه الله: لا يخرج من الكفن؛ لأنه لا يتيقن بعدم وصول الماء إليه، فلعل وصل إليه الماء لكن أسرع إليه الجفاف لقلته، ذكر الخلاف على هذا الوجه في «نوادر أبي سليمان» .

وإن دفنوه ثم تذكروا أنهم لم يغسلوه، فإن لم يهل التراب عليه يخرج ويغسل ويصلى عليه، وإن أهالوا التراب عليه لم يخرج، وهل يصلى عليه ثانياً في القبر؟ ذكر الكرخي رحمه الله في «مختصره» : يصلى عليه، وفي «النوادر» عن محمد: القياس أن لا يصلى عليه؛ لأن طهارة الميت شرط جواز الصلاة عليه ولم توجد.

وفي الاستحسان يصلى عليه؛ لأن تلك الصلاة لم يعتد بها لترك الطهارة مع الإمكان، والآن زال الإمكان، وسقط فرضية الغسل، فيصلى عليه في قبره. أو نقول: صلاة الجنازة صلاة من وجه ودعاء من وجه، ولو كانت صلاة من وجه لا تجوز بدون طهارة أصلاً، ولو كانت دعاء من وجه تجوز بدون الطهارة، فإذا كانت بينهما.

قلنا: أنه تشترط الطهارة حالة القدرة، ولا تشترط حالة العجز

 

البحر الرائق شرح كنز الدقائق ومنحة الخالق وتكملة الطوري (2/ 193)

(قوله وشرطها إسلام الميت وطهارته) فلا تصح على الكافر للآية {ولا تصل على أحد منهم مات أبدا} [التوبة: 84] ، ولا تصح على من لم يغسل؛ لأنه له حكم الإمام من وجه لا من كل وجه وهذا الشرط عند الإمكان فلو دفن بلا غسل، ولم يمكن إخراجه إلا بالنبش صلي على قبره بلا غسل للضرورة بخلاف ما إذا لم يهل عليه التراب بعد فإنه يخرج ويغسل، ولو صلي عليه بلا غسل جهلا مثلا، ولا يخرج إلا بالنبش تعاد لفساد الأولى، وقيل: تنقلب الأولى صحيحة عند تحقق العجز فلا تعاد، وفي المحيط، ولو لف في كفنه، وقد بقي عضو منه لم يصبه الماء ينقض الكفن ويغسل ثم يصلى عليه، ولو بقي أصبع واحدة ونحوها ينقض الكفن عند محمد ويغسل وعندهما لا ينقض الكفن؛ لأنه لا يتيقن بعدم وصول الماء إليه فلعله أسرع إليه الجفاف لقلته فلا يحل نقض الكفن بالشك؛ لأنه لا يحل نقضه إلا بعذر بخلاف العضو؛ لأنه لا يسرع إليه الجفاف