Menstruation and Fasting
Question: What are allowed and what are not allowed for a woman to read on the days when she is menstruating or having postnatal bleeding? More precisely, what are prohibited and what are permitted during these days?
The following are the things that are prohibited for a woman on the days when she is menstruating or having postnatal bleeding:
1. She cannot perform namaz (salat, ritual prayer). It is declared in ahadith-i sharif, "A menstruating woman cannot perform namaz" (Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawud).
2. She cannot fast. [It is declared in a hadith-i sharif narrated by our mother Hadrat Aisha that the fasts that are not observed during menstruation must be made up later while namazes that are not performed during menstruation are forgiven. (Bukhari)]
3. She cannot read the Qur'an. It is declared in a hadith-i sharif, "A menstruating woman and a person who is junub [ritually impure person because of sexual intercourse or semen discharge] cannot read the Qur'an al-karim" (Tirmidhi).
4. She cannot touch the Mushaf (the copy of the Qur'an al-karim). It is declared in the Qur'an al-karim, "No one can touch it except the purified ones" (Al-Waqi'ah 79).
It is stated in the hadith-i sharif, "Only those who are purified fromhadas [minor and major ritual impurity, menstruation and post natal bleeding] can touch the Qur'an" (Nasai, Hakim, Bayhaqi, Tabarani, Dara Qutni).
5. She cannot enter a mosque. A hadith-i sharif says, "It is not halal[lawful] for a junub person and a menstruating woman to enter a mosque" (Ibn Maja).
6. She cannot perform the tawaf (circumambulating the Ka'bah, which is one of the rituals of pilgrimage). A hadith-i sharif says,"Circumambulating the House of Allah is like namaz. That is, it is necessary to be with ablution" (Tirmidhi).
7. She is forbidden from sexual intercourse. (Al-Baqara 222)
8. It is haram (prohibited) to have anal intercourse with one's wife both during and after menstruation. Oral sex is not permissible both during and after menstruation, either.
9. A woman must let her husband know when her menstruation begins and ends. It is a grave sin not to say it when her husband asks. It is stated in a hadith-i sharif, "A woman who conceals the beginning and the termination of her menstruation from her husband is accursed" (Jawhara).
10. If a menstruating woman who does not have her husband or amahram (unmarriageable) relative with her sets off a long-distance journey, she is not considered a traveler. If she, after her menstruation is over, travels to a distance of more than 104 km from the place she is staying, only then will she be considered a traveler.
The following are permitted for a menstruating woman:
She can do everything apart from the prohibited ones. For example, these are permitted:
1. A menstruating woman is permitted to recite the Basmala, salawat,Kalima-i tawhid, prayers of repentance, and all other prayers. She can perform tasbih [by saying La ilaha ill-Allah or Subhan-Allah, for example] and make remembrance. She can recite from memory the Qur'anic verses that contain supplications with the intention of making supplication, such as Fatiha Sura, Rabbanâ âtina …, Rabbanaghfirli… and so on. She can visit graves and recite the Fatiha there with the intention of making supplication. If at each namaz time she performs an ablution, sits, makes remembrance and performs tasbih [by sayingLa ilaha ill-Allah or Subhan-Allah, for example] for as long as it normally takes her to perform namaz, she will be given as many rewards as she would normally receive if she performed namaz in the best manner.
2. It is makruh for a junub person to cut his/her hair and nails, but it is not makruh for a menstruating woman. Hair can be dyed when one isjunub or is menstruating. Eating and drinking are allowed when a woman is in a state of menstruation, but eating and drinking without first washing the mouth is makruh when one is junub and it causes poverty. If the time is not sufficient to make a ghusl (ritual washing)when a junub person gets up for pre-dawn meal (sahur), it is not sinful for him/her to eat and drink after washing the hands and the mouth and then to make a ghusl. (Halabi)
3. If a woman begins menstruating when she is junub, it is better for her to take a ghusl for janabat (the state of being junub), or it is also permissible for her to wait until the menstruation is over and then to take one ghusl for both. It is makruh tanzihi for a person who is junubto eat and drink before washing his/her mouth because the water touching his/her mouth becomes mus'tamal. And it is makruh to drink water that is mus'tamal. The case is not so with a menstruating woman, for she has not been commanded to make a ghusl during her period. A menstruating woman can suckle her baby without washing her breasts. However, it is makruh for a woman who is junub to suckle her baby without washing off [her nipples]. (Hadiqa)
4. A junub person who has heard a Qur'anic verse that necessitatessajda-i tilawah (recital prostration) has to make sajda-i tilawah after purifying himself or herself. When a woman in her monthly period or postnatal bleeding hears such a Qur'anic verse, it is not necessary for her to make sajda-i tilawah after purifying herself.
5. A woman undergoing the days of istihada (vaginal bleeding apart from menstrual and postnatal bleeding) is categorized as a person who has an excuse ('udhr), like someone who is not able to control his/her bladder or someone whose nose frequently bleeds or a woman who has an unceasing discharge from her body. Hence, she has to perform namaz and fast, and sexual intercourse is permissible despite the bleeding. The bleeding of istihada (menorrhagia) is a sign of a disease. If it continues for a long time, the person concerned must see a gynecologist.
Question: Is it permitted for a menstruating woman to listen to the Qur'an al-karim, which her husband, her son, or her daughter recites at home?
There is no religious obstacle to listening to the Qur'an al-karim providing that she does not touch it. But a woman with menstrual bleeding is not permitted to go to a mosque to listen to the recitation of the Qur'an al-karim. It is haram (prohibited) for her to enter a mosque in such a state. One cannot enter a mosque without having an ablution (wudu), either. (Mawkufat)
Those who say, "The recitation of the Qur'an at home does not bringthawab," are slandering our religion. It is very thawab for women to listen to the Qur'an recited by a female at home instead of going to a mosque for it.
Question: If a mosque has two doors, is it permissible for a menstruating woman to enter from one door and go out from the other? Is it permitted to enter a mosque without having an ablution (wudu)?
It is haram to enter a mosque or to even walk through a mosque when one is junub and when a woman is menstruating. If one has no other way than the one leading through a mosque or if one becomes junubin a mosque or if one cannot find water anywhere but in a mosque, one makes a tayammum (dry ablution) and then one can go in and out of the mosque. Entering a mosque without an ablution is makruh.(Durar)
Question: If a woman's menstrual bleeding starts in Ramadan, is it permitted for her to eat and drink? Is it sinful for her to eat and drink when her bleeding stops?
If her menstruation stops after the imsak (the time when prohibition on eating and drinking starts) time in Ramadan, she acts like a fasting person. If her menstruation begins after the imsak time, she eats and drinks secretly on that day. In both cases she has to make up for these fast days later on. However, a woman whose menstruation begins before she has performed a fard namaz does not make up for that namaz.
If bleeding stops before the time of imsak and if she has only time enough to make a ghusl and dress up but not enough also to say “Allahu akbar” before the time of morning namaz, she fasts that day, but she does not have to make up for the night namaz she missed. But if the time is long enough to say “Allahu akbar,” she will have to make up for it. If bleeding begins before iftar (time for breaking a fast), her fasting becomes invalid, and she has to make up for it after Ramadan. If menstruation begins while performing namaz, her namaz becomes invalid.
Question: If a woman makes intention in the evening to fast the following day and if her menstruation begins the following day, will she fast on that day?
The fast is broken when menstruation begins, so she can eat and drink. However, she must not eat in the presence of fasting people.
Question: If a woman breaks her fast at noon, for which she made intention at night, and if her menstruation starts in the afternoon, does it entail qada (make up for that day)?
If her menstruation had not started, it would have entailed kaffarah(expiation). Similarly, if a person breaks his/her fast and then if he becomes too ill to observe the fast, it entails qada.
Question: Is it permissible for a menstruating woman to fast in Ramadan?
Question: Is it permissible to delay menstruation by taking pills in order not to miss fast days?
It is permissible.
Question: If a woman who is in the Hanafi Madhhab but imitates the Maliki Madhhab bleeds for 13 or 15 days, can she resume the Ramadan fast after the 10th day?
Yes, she has to resume. She must resume the fast not after the tenth day but after her habitual menstrual duration. Her menstruation has ended according to the Hanafi Madhhab, so she takes a ghusl and observes the fast. The fasts she observes are valid, even if she does not take a ghusl, but it is certainly better to fast with ghusl. She must take a ghusl again according to Maliki Madhhab after the bleeding ceases, that is, after the 15th day.
Question: My menses began on the day when I was observing a make-up fast. When my period ends, will I have to observe an additional fast because of my uncompleted fast?
You will not observe an additional fast. Your make-up fast was not completed, so you will have to repeat that fast.