Is It Permissible for a Woman to Grow Long Nails and Shape Them?
It is permissible, per se, for a man or even a woman to grow nails. However, the Messenger of Allah, peace and prayers be upon him is reported to have maintained short nails. Hence, growing out nails would be considered going against his blessed practice, peace and prayers upon him.
The recommendation is to clip them every Friday. It is reprehensible (makruh) in the Maliki school to leave them unclipped for 40 days or longer. (Risalah of Ibn Abi Zayd al Qarawani)
In addition, it is makruh tahrimi (sinful) in the Hanifi school to leave them for 40 days or longer.
The minimum practice would be to clip them such that they no longer cover the tips of the fingers. Covering of the fingertips by the nails could prevent water from reaching the specified area during wudu. Water not reaching a portion of the limb would render the wudu incomplete and possibly invalid.
In the Risalah of Ibn Abi Zayd AlQarawani, the Shaykh mentions five acts under the chapter of Fitra. Fitra acts are those that, when performed, complete the person’s outward appearance. One of these is clipping one’s nails.
Some scholars recommend starting with the right index finger (shahadah finger) then the right middle finger till one completes the right hand (except for the thumb) then one moves to the left hand starting with the pinky finger, then the ring finger and so on ending with the left thumb and then finally the right thumb (in a circular fashion). However other scholars mentioned that it cannot be confirmed that the order of clipping was the practice of the Messenger of Allah, peace and prayer upon him.
And Allah (swt) knows best.
Answered By: Shaykh Faraz Rabbani