Assalamualaikum, what is the ruling for a woman who is menstruating if she recites the Quran or ma’tsurat? Is it permissible to recite short or common verses of the Quran?
The second question is, what are worships that a menstruating woman can do in the month of Ramadhan or on the night of Lailatul Qadar?
Waalaikumussalam wrt, wbt.,
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
Scholars have differing opinions on the issue of the permissibility of a menstruating woman to recite the Quran. We simplify their opinions as the following:
First: Haram. This is the opinion of the jumhur (majority of scholars). They prohibit women against reciting al-Quran when they are menstruating or in the state of junub (major hadas/impure state) according to a hadith from Ibn Umar RA, where the Prophet PBUH said:
لاَ تَقْرَأ الْحَائِضُ وَلاَ الْجُنُبُ شَيْئًا مِنَ الْقُرْآنِ
"The menstruating woman does not recite - nor the Junub - anything from the Qur'an."
Sunan al-Tirmizi (131)
This hadith is dhaif (weak) according to some scholars because some of the narration is from Ismail bin Ayyasy from Hijaz and narrations from them are dhaif.
Second: Permissible. This is the opinion of Malikiyyah scholars according to a sahih hadith which permits menstruating women to hold the Quran and it is also permissible to recite it for the purpose of teaching and learning in education.
This relaxation is given only for menstruating women and not for those who are in the state of junub (major hadas). The reason is, if they are prohibited against reciting the Quran, then it is feared that they would forget what they have memorized (from the verses of the Quran). Whereas, dhikr (remembrance of Allah SWT) is permissible for menstruating women.
This is also the opinion of previous scholars such as Imam al-Bukhari, Imam Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Ibn al-Munzir, al-Zahiryyah, al-Syaukani, al-San’ani, al-Sya’bi and the qaul qadim of Imam al-Syafie cited by Abu Tsaur. Among the contemporary scholars Syeikh Muhammad Soleh al-Uthaymeen, Syeikh al-Azhar Ali Tantawi. See Tawdhih al-Ahkam min Bulugh al-Maram, Syeikh Abdullah al-Bassam (1/461)
Among the Statements of Scholars
- Syeikh al-Dusuqi al-Maliki: “It Is not prohibited due to menstruation against reciting al-Quran even when blood is flowing even if janabah precedes it.” See Hasyiyah ala al-Syarh al-Kabir al-Dardir(1/284)
- Syeikh Salih Abd al-Sami’ al-Abi said: “It Is not prohibited due to menstruation against reciting al-Quran without touching the Quran.” See Jawahir al-Iklil (1/32)
- Imma al-Mardawi al-Hanbali said: “It is prohibited for menstruating women from reciting al-Quran and this is absolute and sahih in madhhab Hanbali but there is an opinion which states that it is not prohibited. This is the chosen opinion by Syeikh Taqiyuddin Ibn Taimiyyah.” See al-Insaf (1/347)
- Instead, in the issue of women who are experiencing nifas (post-natal bleeding) it is also permissible for them to recite al-Quran as stated in the fatwa issued by Syeikh al-Islam Ibn Taimiyyah: “Reciting al-Quran for a woman experiencing nifas, it is permissible if she fears that she would forget her memorization of her Quran because the duration of nifas is long. However, if she is certain that she would not forget even if she does not recite them, then she should not recite it.” See Majmu’ al-Fatawa, Syeikh Ibn Taimiyyah, 1/636).
We would like to state that in short, reciting al-Quran in the forms of dhikr and supplication is not included among the matters which are prohibited for menstruating women. Examples of these are reciting the supplication when riding a vehicle for travel, ma’tsur supplications from the Quran as morning and evening dhikr and other similar recitations.
Regarding worships that a menstruating woman can perform during the month of Ramadhan, we would suggest the following:
First: Increase one’s donations and charity
As we all know, giving donations and charity in the month of Ramadhan is greatly rewarded by Allah SWT. In the issue of donations, it is not conditioned that the person must be in a pure state. Thus, a menstruating woman will still be rewarded if she donates while she is menstruating in the month of Ramadhan in accordance with her capability.
Second: Increase supplication and dhikr
For menstruating women, they are encouraged to recite supplications and dhikr during the month of Ramadhan. Among them is an encouragement in a narration from A’isyah R.Anha, she said:
يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَرَأَيْتَ إِنْ وَافَقْتُ لَيْلَةَ الْقَدْرِ مَا أَدْعُو قَالَ تَقُولِينَ اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي
"O Messenger of Allah, what do you think I should say in my supplication, if I come upon Laylatul-Qadr?" He said: "Say: 'Allahumma innaka 'afuwwun tuhibbul-'afwa, fa'fu 'anni (O Allah, You are Forgiving and love forgiveness, so forgive me).'"
Sunan Ibn Majah (3850)
Third: Give or provide food for people who are fasting
Menstruating women can also prepare or give food to people who are fasting. There are great rewards for people who do this. This is according to a hadith narrated by Zaid bin Khalid al-Juhani RA, where the Prophet PBUH said:
مَنْ فَطَّرَ صَائِمًا كَانَ لَهُ مِثْلُ أَجْرِهِ غَيْرَ أَنَّهُ لاَ يَنْقُصُ مِنْ أَجْرِ الصَّائِمِ شَيْئًا
"Whoever provides the food for a fasting person to break his fast with, then for him is the same reward as his (the fasting person's), without anything being diminished from the reward of the fasting person."
Sunan al-Tirmizi (807)
Furthermore, Imam Izzuddin al Izz bin Abd al-Salam when explaining the advantages of feeding a fasting person: “Whoever provides food to 36 fasting people throughout the year, then he will be rewarded with a fast of a year.” Refer Maqasid al-Saum, Izz Abd al-Salam (pg. 18).
The reason is every good deed a person did its rewards will be multiplied by 10 as stated by Allah SWT:
مَن جَاءَ بِالْحَسَنَةِ فَلَهُ عَشْرُ أَمْثَالِهَا
“Whoever comes [on the Day of Judgement] with a good deed will have ten times the like thereof [to his credit],”
Surah al-An’am (160)
Thus, when a person provides food for 36 people who are fasting, then he would have been rewarded with the rewards of fasting 36 times. Then, the rewards are multiplied by 10, then the total would be 360 rewards and this is the total number of days for a year according to the Hijri calendar.
To close, we would like to state that although there are some worships that a menstruating woman could not perform, this does not deny their chance to chase and attain the great rewards in the month of Ramadhan al-Mubarak. Furthermore, there are numerous other worships that can be performed while she is menstruating just as stated in the above examples.
Lastly, may Allah SWT give us all the correct understanding in religion. Amin.