"Rather women should use Mehendi on their nails," said Mufti Ishrar Gaura of Darul Uloom Deoband
Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh:
Darul Uloom Deoband, one of the most respected Muslim seminaries in India, has issued a fatwa or a decree against women on wearing nail polish.
"Darul Uloom Deoband has issued a fatwa against Muslim women using nail polish because it is un-Islamic and illegal. Rather women should use Mehendi on their nails," said Mufti Ishrar Gaura, a cleric at the seminary.
Mr Gaura said that Islam does not prohibit women from using beauty products, they can apply nail polish but before offering Namaz they have to completely remove it.
The cleric argued that a layer of nail paint hinders the wuzu water (ritual purification) from washing the nails completely.
Farah Faiz, an advocate and national president of Rashtriyawadi Muslim Mahila Sangh, opposed the fatwa by the theological school.
"They never issue a fatwa against men. Islam prohibits a number of things but still, that is carried out by people. They only issue the fatwa against women to do everything with their permission," said Ms Faiz, adding that the Darul Uloom is there in Pakistan as well but "they don't issue such orders and only the one based in India comes up with such fatwas all the time."
Earlier this year, the seminary had ordered that Muslim women should not watch men playing soccer, saying, it violates the tenets of Islam.
"Football is played wearing shorts, so watching men playing with bare knees is forbidden for women; it's against religious belief," a senior cleric, Mufti Athar Kasmi had said, even as the Sunni Muslim kingdom of Saudi Arabia allowed women to watch matches in soccer stadiums.
Last year, the Islamic school issued a fatwa, prohibiting women from cutting hair and shaping their eyebrows. Darul Uloom Deoband, which is one of the largest Islamic seminaries in South Asia, is based in Uttar Pradesh's Saharanpur district.