Are Acrylic Nails Extensions Permissible in the Shafi’I School?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu Alaykum

Are acrylic nail extensions permissible in the Shafi’i Madhab. I know that when it covers the whole nail then it is not permissible. It is “A lightweight plastic plate that follows the shape of the nail is glued to the tip of the natural nail in order to add length” (according to the webpage). Then gel is added to keep it sturdy and shiny. Would that be permissible?


Wa’alaykum assalam. Thank you for your question.

The actual wearing of nails extensions for beautification would be permissible in our school, if certain conditions are met. However, a secondary issue is making wudu and ghusl with the nails extensions on.

Nail extensions for beautification

It would be permissible for a woman to wear nail extensions on the condition that her hands (meaning the beautified nails) are not exposed to non-mahram men. This means she could only wear them in front of her husband, non-marriageable related males, and other women.

Nail extensions during wudu and ghusl

A condition of a valid purification is that water reaches all the skin, hair and nails of one’s body. Whether the nail extension covers all or some of the nail, even if only the tip of the nail, if it prevents water reaching any part of the real, underneath nail, then the purification would not be valid and the extensions must be removed.

Also to note, is that if any of the substances used in the process of applying the nail extension, removing it, or cleaning the real nail, consists of alcohol, then this would have to be cleaned away or removed before praying.

[Bushra al Karim]

And Allah knows best.

Warmest salams,

[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.