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Last updated: 17th November 2006
Question ID: #3054
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17th November 2006

When a lady is menstruating, she is not able to perform her salaat, but it is permissible to perform ablution (wudhu). Why is this so?
What deeds can a lady perform while in her menses and which deeds can she not perform?

Ulamaa ID 04
Answer last updated on:
26th September 2007
Answered by:
Ulamaa ID 04
Location: London

Al-jawab billahi at-taufeeq (the answer with Allah's guidance)

1) In the period of Haidh (menstruation), it is Mustahab (perferable) for a woman to make Wudu at the time of prayer, to sit in a clean place and take the name of Allah Ta'ala so that she does not forget the habit of offering her prayer, and when she gets pure she is not reluctant to offer her prayer. (From 'Heavenly Ornaments' by Imam Asraf Ali al-Tahanawi)

2) Prohibitions during Haidh (Menstruation) and Nifas (Postnatal Bleeding)

During the time a woman is menstruating (Haidh) or experiencing postnatal bleeding (Nifas), the following eight activities are prohibited:

1. Salah (ritual prayer).

• It is also not permissible for her to perform a prostration of gratitude (Sajda Shukr) or prostration of recitation (Sajda Tilawa).

2. Fasting—obligatory or otherwise.

3. Recitation of even a single verse of the Holy Qur’an:

• Reading less than a verse without the intention of reciting the Qur’an is permissible, such as reciting Al-Hamudu li ’Llah “All praise is for Allāh,” with the intention of gratitude or the recitation of Bismi’Llah “In the name of Allāh,” before eating (Al-Lubab 43).

• It is permissible to read a word from a verse (Ayat) or (according to another opinion) even half a verse, as long as it does not equal a short verse.

• It is permissible to recite a verse or more with the intention of supplication (Du'a). For instance, the entire Suratul Fatiha can be recited with the intention of Du'a. Likewise, any other verse or chapter from the Qur’an can be recited with the intention of Du'a as long as they contain words indicative of supplication—and there is no sin in this.

• If a woman is teaching Qur’an to students, then it will be permissible for her to spell out the words bit by bit and not recite the entire verse altogether. She can read one or two words at a time, breaking her breath in between.

• It is permissible to take the name of Allah, read Du'as, send salutations and blessings (salawat) on the Messenger of Allāh i.e, to recite prayers of forgiveness (Istighfar), or any other zhikr(remembrance).

4. Touching the Qur’an.

• However, it is permissible to touch the Qur’an with a covering, such as a cloth sleeve or bag, but not a covering that is permanently attached to the Qur’an. It is also not permissible to touch the Qur’an with a portion of one’s garment, such as the sleeve or the edge of a dress while one is wearing them (Shar al-Hidaya of Imām Abd al-Hay Lucknawī 1:212).

5. Entering the Masjid.

• It is permissible for a menstruating woman to enter a Musalla(temporary place of prayer) or the place where Eid prayer is performed as long as it is not in a Masjid. The laws regarding the impermissibility of entering the Masjid are not applicable to the prayer room which is not a Sharī Masjid.

6. Circumambulation (Tawaf) of the Holy Ka'ba.

7. Sexual intercourse.

8. Sexual enjoyment from the navel to below the knees of a menstruating woman.

• Therefore, other than intimacy (without a covering) or looking at the above mentioned area, all other types of intimacy and sexual enjoyment are permissible. There is absolutely no problem in the husband and wife eating, drinking, and sleeping together during her menstruation.

(The Laws of Menstruation, Postnatal Bleeding, & Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding- Based on the Hanafi school of Islamic law, By Abdurrahman Ibn Yusuf)

And Only Allah Ta'ala Knows Best.