Inglot releases halal nail polish

Published: January 29, 2013

Freedom to wear nail polish: A 'breathable' nail polish, which allows water vapors to pass through to the nail, is causing a stir among devout Muslim women who are unable to wear regular polish because of daily prayers. PHOTO: REUTERS

Cosmetic company Inglot claims it’s manufactured the world’s first ‘wudu-friendly’ nail polish.

Being a relatively modern creation, nail polish remains obviously unaddressed by early Islamic sources. But the general consensus in the Islamic community is that praying with nail polish is impermissible because of the waterproof barrier it creates on nails, which prevents the wudu ritual from being completed five times a day.

Enter Inglot’s happy accident – their 02M Breathable nail polish line, akin to breathable contact lenses, is made with a breathable polymer that allows oxygen and water vapour to seep through to the nails.

Inglot’s tapping into the market of ‘halal’ cosmetics is something of a goldmine – no doubt, a strategic, lucrative move. And frankly, I’m not ashamed to admit that discovering 02M Breathable polishes constitutes the entire sum of my current happiness.

Ever since I clued in on nail polish’s nullifying effects on wudu, I’ve had conversations with almost all the women in my life on the topic.

Some choose to overlook the matter, others are undecided, while others choose to refrain entirely – instead choosing to paint their talons red only while on their red, which can get embarrassing pretty fast because then “everyone and their moms immediately know you’re on your period”, as a friend bluntly puts it.

Even though I have long known the stance of Islam’s intelligentsia on nail polish and prayer, I couldn’t resist bringing it up during an interview I was doing with one of the greatest Islamic scholars of our time.

I struggled with how to pitch myself, ultimately saying,

“I realise that this may not be the kind of deep and thoughtful question you hope journalists would ask of you but… your stance on nail polish and prayer, please?”

Well, ask and ye shall receive – and so I received, in a politely non-judgmental manner, an answer I’d already known.

Later, I ruminated with a friend on the absurdity of my wasting precious face time with someone who was such a repository of knowledge. I also lamented on the weight of obligation, which pressed down on me even more now that I had in personam received affirmation from authority.

My friend suggested I “go and get a second opinion”, to which I said, “I’m not having a medical crisis,” shunning his suggestion.

Plus, going Imam-shopping so that I could get a religious verdict more amenable to my desired lifestyle just feels many shades of wrong. After all, isn’t the grand plan of a religion like Islam to function as a lifestyle? How then can we tailor bits of it so that it aligns better with our whims and worries?

So this is why Inglot’s halal-certified nail polish comes as a welcome, oil tanker sized source of joy for me.

And the fact that a fellow, equally concerned Muslimah went so far as conducting a rigorous coffee-filter test to verify Inglot’s claims of water permeability, indicates I’m not the only one celebrating!

Read more by Maria here or follow her on Twitter @mariakari1414

Maria Kari

Maria Kari

A freelance writer and journalist currently based in Vancouver, BC. She writes on South Asian and Middle Eastern politics, portrayals of Islam in the West and the occasional preoccupation with pop culture faddism and tweets at @mariakari1414.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Happens

    Haha…then would come Halal cold drinks and Halal Roti….Recommend

  • choclat85

    Absurdity at best.Recommend

  • Queen

    This shows the power marketing. Though proper market strategy and brand placement, one can sell anything!Recommend

  • Wasted

    One Halal jin and tonic on the rocks to digest the article pleaseRecommend

  • Nandita.

    If you like nail polish, just wear it. Living life will turn into a painful tedious task if you decide to base even the smallest of decisions on religion.Religion does not evolve with time but human beings should.Recommend

  • Zeenia

    @wasted: halal jin?? hahahaRecommend

  • Maher

    What non sense.. I am sure now people will make Halal Commode and halal tvRecommend

  • Final Solution

    What’s next Halal Condoms and Halal Sanitary Napkins?Recommend

  • danny boy

    i m waiting for the day they make halal Champagne…Recommend

  • http://think-islam.blogspot.com PostMan

    I have stated this before on these blogs but still… I had a pencil and it had written halal on it. I always wondered when I would eat it.Recommend

  • Ms. N

    What a ridiculous article. Why is this even a topic of discussion? I would suggest that the author spend her time trying to pay attention to more important events happening around the world, rather than obsessing over nailpolish and it’s implications.Recommend

  • Disgusted in USA

    I am amazed at how little Pakis know about Islam. Halal nail polish has to be the most idiotic concept to date. Recommend

  • http://- Abid P Khan

    @Queen:
    “This shows the power marketing. Though proper market strategy and brand placement, one can sell anything!”

    .
    You are right. You may remember when G Bush (Jr) hired a very expensive woman from Madison Avenue, to sell the idea of war to the Yanks and the rest of the world. She came up with the catchy slogan,“Shock and Awe”.
    .
    Every country calls its military as, “Defence Forces”. Recommend

  • Madhia

    If this news is true.. i am glad, as it will be easy to wear nail polish for me.. I love wearing nail polish but couldnot wear it that often becoz of namaz :)Recommend

  • Maisha

    @Nandita.: For us Islam is not just a religion which we take wen we like and drop wen we want. Its a code of Life. Say for example, If u work in a company which doesnt let u wear certain coloured cloth, u wont just leave dat work, u’ll take it as a code for work. So same for us. As Muslims we have to maintain certain rules set for us.Recommend

  • Adnan

    Much appreciated your artical as subject is highly sensitive related to the ablution of woman. its is highly poignant that majority of ignorant muslim ladies don’t cares and use nail polish. Please change life style as set by islam and shun adsud arguments.Recommend

  • Ammar

    I am looking for a Sharia-compliant Halal Tattoo — any ideas, anyone? =PRecommend

  • http://salmanzq.blogspot.com/ salmanzq

    @danny boy: already available! Recommend

  • http://salmanzq.blogspot.com/ salmanzq

    This is a satire piece. It is the only way I can stop myself from thinking that Pakistanis have become the most backward people in the world and concerned with the most nonsensical of things. Recommend

  • shocked (former) pakistani

    @Danny Boy and others

    There is already Halal Champagne. Google ‘Saudi Champagne’ and you will find the details. Its not real Champagne and is totally non alcoholic , its more of a collection of juices which gives it the champagne look.Recommend

  • shocked (former) pakistani

    similarly I have also had ‘Mocktail’ or ‘Halal Cocktail’ if you may want to call it. A collection of Juices and is very tasty.Recommend

  • Faisal

    Absurdity has no limits as it’s evident in the way people are suggesting different type of Halal items in the comments. Please stop ridiculing Islam it’s not something to make fun of it.Recommend

  • zeekay

    i think this is absolutely absurd….as a muslim,i totally disagree and i think we should stop making up things!!!i myslf like nailpolishes,its not dt i am an extremist buh wat is wrong is wrong!!Recommend

  • Queen

    @Abid P Khan:
    Being a marketing graduate, i can understand how marketeers use techniques to sell their products but the concept of “Halal” nail polish is really hilarious :) Recommend

  • ahmed hussain qureshi

    Firstly in order for wudu to be valid, water should flow and penetrate the skin. In this case the water took ten seconds to penetrate. The water isn’t flowing, it is merely wetting the nail. Furthermore even wetting the nail means you have to dip your fingers in water for 10seconds. It should be noted that wudu will be invalid by just dipping your hands or nails etc. in stagnant water. Secondly, the dripping of water will still not validate the wudu if water has not flowed and permeated the nails.Recommend

  • observer

    @Final Solution:

    What’s next Halal Condoms and Halal Sanitary Napkins?

    Condoms and Sanitary napkins that are permeable and ‘breathe’? God Forbid.Recommend

  • Sinclair

    @ahmed hussain qureshi

    Your whole comment is about dogma, not a ritual. How unfortunate that you left Hinduism, but took the superstition with you. This level of thinking for something as simple as cleansing before praying is dogmatic. Recommend

  • Danish

    @Queen:
    Yeah marketing has a lot to put the products in the market in front of proper audience but, it is not at all hillarious…….because if islam prohibits any such thing and if there is some work around (like this nail polish which allows water to go beyond its layer and wet the nail) then what’s wrong in it? Did anyone every mocked Diet Cold Drink? or Fat Free Cheese or Cholestrol Free Oil…..they all are from the same genre!! People are only making fun of it because it has an islamic connotation attached with it i.e. “Halal”. If it would have been marketed as “Water Absorbent Nail Polish” or “Nail polish that keeps your nails healthy by allowing water to pass through it” etc. no one would have made fun of it….rather appreciatedRecommend

  • Dq

    @Happens: They are already halal, jojo…Recommend

  • http://- Abid P Khan

    @Queen:
    “…… but the concept of “Halal” nail polish is really hilarious :)”

    .
    The Mullahs (from whatever confession) they are quite a breed. Some 5 years back a firm in the US was marketing a Muslim swimming pool.

    Once I saw a bottle of Soya Sauce looking very much like a copy of Kikkoman, with a reassuring information at the back,“Made by a Muslim Chinese”.
    .
    You can’t laugh at “halal” but choke on it.Recommend

  • John B

    @Ammar:
    Mendhi- halal and sharia compliant. Recommend

  • English teacher

    @Maisha you are correct, however we must not focus on trivial and petty issues such as nail polish. People commit every sin under the sun and focus on stupid issues like nail polish being halaal. Majority of these fanatics are biggest hypocrites out there. They Go about shouting to everyone to roll up there pants above the ankles in mosques and later at night are busy watching porn, taking bribes and committing other sins. i agree with Nandita religion Should be practiced in it principle and true essence. Not focus on stupid petty issues, but rather be better humans.Recommend

  • manish

    How many of the guys reading this article are using
    a ‘halal’ laptop?Recommend

  • A moons

    I think it is a great idea. I do not think we sisters are less Islamic by wanting to paint our nails. As long as we pray, follow an Islamic life, be kind, treat others as we should. There is nothing wrong with painting our nails for a wedding or an event. There are lots of Muslims out there who pray 5 times a day but living a more sinful life and do not make me go there and rant about what that is. Point is thank you Maria for writing about this it does not always have to be about politics and war. There are many sisters who are ahoy about this. Ok that’s it aim done. Where can I purchase inglot?Recommend

  • fizza.

    I’m so glad about this!
    Confused about why everyone is going so crazy in the comments though.
    For someone who has been genuinely concerned about the issue, it’s not stupid or irrelevant. AND it’s not absurd because if the hinna/mehndi/ark can be wudhu friendly, so can this nail polish.Recommend

  • BRUISED INDIAN

    @Maisha: For us Islam is not just a religion which we take wen we like and drop wen we want. Its a code of Life
    Show me ONE person in your land of the pure who follows Islam to the “T”! If you do so then I PROMISE to be your slave for the rest of my life!

    Each one of US (Muslims, Hindus, Christians all, all) treat their respective and individual faith / religion like a grocery store. We take what suits us and we leave the rest behind. We’re all a bunch of hypocrites and liars Recommend

  • Critical

    @Maisha:
    There is a word coined for people like you

    “Sheeple” Recommend

  • MK

    @Danish:
    Great Answer. Totally agree. There is a product in the market for people who want it. I never see such a rant for “Kosher Salt” or other Kosher products sold in markets all across Europe and N America. Kosher for observant Jews is same as Halal for observing Muslims. One does not have to agree with someones religious views, but you can always learn to respect their choice of religion and interpretation. It is ironic that many religious people are accused of being not tolerance of other’s beliefs. Reading comments above I see that intolerance is not limited to religious people only. Recommend

  • ss

    i like the idea :)Recommend

  • Aisha

    Oh please, you just spun an article from muslimvillage.com and passed it off on your own! Great standards ET!Recommend

  • MAD

    @Ammar: halal tattoo exists. Its called Henna (Mehendi) enjoyyyyy :)Recommend

  • Nasamajh

    nice article..!Recommend

  • PrincipalSoftwareEngineer

    @danny boy:

    they actually do. google itRecommend

  • Javeria Ali

    it is a lot better to use peel off nail polishes which are awesome and are easily available in saudi arabia…Though i dont know about pakistan….we can not trust the ideology of breathable!Recommend

  • Rabia

    hala nail polish…get a life. If you want to be so literal/rigid/nit picking, why use nail polish to start with? isn’t that supposed to be luring innocent men or something?Recommend

  • TTV

    So……people are cast into an eternal hell fire for wearing nail polish? Heaven’s gonna be a lonely place. Save me a seat at the barbecue down below.Recommend

  • Arsalan

    @MK
    Koshur Salt means Kashmiri Salt!!!Recommend

  • Sonia K

    If women like painting their nails y can’t they do it often?
    Ok i agree taking off paint and putting it back on in an office setting is not quite easy but other settings are quite ok for it- like home and parties. There are many types of nail polishes available- which can be used to give quick fix at parties so applying and removing is not an issue- btw who prays during a party- unless it is a party during Ramadan or some religious, formal or homely gathering!!???!!!!!
    As for home- girls usually have complete bottles- they can take the polish off and put it back on, can even use a different color, be creative, between prayers.
    Concepts like these create doubts- no one is sure whether the wudu was hampered or not. So its better to avoid it till the techniques is perfected- which will be difficult coz some part of the nail will have to be covered with a non-permeable membrane to hold the permeable part intact. Unless it can be totally permeable- and the nail completely exposed to running water- there is no point in being ecstatic :) Recommend

  • Dan

    Lol I’m confused why people are asking the ‘What next? Halal this or halal that?’ question. Apparently, this nail polish is wuzu-friendly, so what’s the harm in using that for the women? Nail colouring in itself is not bad…there are examples from the Islamic tradition of women looking attractive by colouring their nails and piercing their ears. So if there’s been an innovation where if Muslim women want, they can paint their nails AND perform wuzu 5 times a day, then this is actually a good thing. Why all the negativity, people?Recommend

  • Zaidi

    so there’s nothing wrong about demanding kosher products but we should definitely make fun of anything being halal im excited about it i love nail polish this is a great product if approved it will turn into a multi million dollar idea i totally agree with tthe author nice piece :)Recommend

  • abhi

    This should get nobel price.Recommend

  • Tabinda Atif

    Thts awesome news! so v thrilled:) As for ppl posting negative comments out of sheer ignorance regarding Islam, i suggest kindly keep ur mockery to urself! Religion is purelybased on ‘Faith’ & ‘obedience’ not on reasoning alone. Recommend

  • Tabinda Atif

    @Zaidi:
    couldnt agree with u more!!:) so v thrilledRecommend

  • halal admi

    Halal Commode is next…Recommend

  • Muhammad

    May I ask all of you, why you do “Wadhu” before every prayer? If you get the answer you get the “answer” to “Hilal” or “haram” nail polish. As far as I know, wadhu is required to cleanse and wipe out any dirt and or foreign material from the body so that you are all fresh, neat and tidy when you enter bow before Almighty. A layer of nail-polish on nails shall prevent any dirt or dust on actual nail surface, and its the nail-polish surface that needs to be washed rather than the nail surface which is already protected from atmosphere by the polish. I would not go door to door to any Aalim on this issue, this is simple, I have a brain gifted by Almighty and have Quran & Hadiath to understand myself directly. I do not do Wadhu just to flow water on skin, but to cleanse myself hygienically.

    For those who think water should touch the skin itself may I ask them a few questions?

    1- There is always a layer of dead skin over fresh skin; shall we scratch ourselves well enough to remove the dead skin before doing Wadhu?
    2- What about “mehndi or hennah” applied on hair, beard or even on hands, micro layers of color of hennah shall prevent the molecules of water touching the skin and hair?
    3- Oil on hair prevents water wetting the hair?

    Please understand the beauty of Islam, there are no rituals in Islam, Wadhu is nothing but pure Hygiene.Recommend

  • Sudheer

    Is there a halal soap to clean your brains? No, I don’t think is any.
    By the way, I am happy that all nail polishing women would be available to us kafirs in the hell and I am sure that they would be more beautiful than the houris of heaven! Recommend

  • ali
  • Parvez

    Just found out what this means, so I’ll use it……………..ROFL.
    A Polish cosmetic maker has done what a lot of our mullahs have been doing for a long time…………making monkeys and money out of the many.Recommend

  • Changing with time

    At those people who think this is ridiculous…don’t be so quick to judge. First, I think the author is just passing along some news that many of you out there may not have heard about so don’t judge her on that. Second, no matter how hard you try to fight it, times and people are changing and moving forward. Unfortunately since religions were created so long ago, the lines aren’t as clearly defined as they were back then. Third, each person should read the qur’an and interpret it for themselves. I think it’s very important to remember the distinction between culture and religion. People are involving culture too much into religion when it should be the other way around. Remember, this is supposed to be a fun, positive article to ease some concerns many muslim women out there have (don’t pretend you haven’t thought about it). Recommend

  • http://salmanzq.blogspot.com/ salmanzq

    Research shows that washing your body too often is actually bad for you. Also the water wastage is quiet significant (specially the way most people perform wudu). However, we will continue to defend this practice. I wonder why?Recommend

  • Deb

    @Wasted

    ‘One Halal jin and tonic on the rocks to digest the article please.’

    Can I have the pleasure of paying for it?Recommend

  • lily

    @Changing with time: well said.. :D Recommend

  • Q.

    @Ammar:
    Tattoos are actually allowed in the shia sect depending on the Marajah they are in taqleed off.Recommend

  • Mujtaba Shuja

    Time will come there will be Halal Alcohol :)Recommend

  • nida

    i think that this solves my problem too. halal nail polish is a good idea serves a purpose. nice blogRecommend

  • Singh

    @Final Solution: Best one.

    You are right there must be sum limit to idiotic y.Recommend

  • Marisol Martinez

    @Dan:
    Thank You Dan…. I was thinking the same thing…. If a Muslim woman’s priorties are in order…. First and foremost Islam and her family, then so what if she can wear halal nail polish not for any other reason that to look pretty for her husband……Recommend

  • IB

    You guys the article is satire!! its not crazy, backwards or trivial its funny how they are releasing halal things its made to be laughed at and pique your interests enough to buy it- its a marketing gimmick. if we can’t even laugh at ourselves how can we be in a position to criticise others???Recommend

  • Rashida

    Ok this can seep the water through to the nails but say when you die, will the nail polish itself come off? Because when you apply normal nail varnish on your nail and you die, no matter how hard you try to remove it with remover it wont come off because of somthing to do with blood circulation. Im just wondering would this come off if you die. No one wants to go into their grave with nail varnish on :/
    Let me know Recommend