At the beginning of the year, a new school session starts. Most of our children will start their new school term and some would start their boarding schools which are based on the concept of the memorization of Quran such as SEMESTA, IMTIYAZ, MRSM Ulul Albab and private tahfiz institutions. The question is, is it permissible for our female students to recite or review their memorization when they are menstruating?
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the many 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.
In this issue, there are two opinions:
First: Prohibited. This is the opinion of the majority of the scholars. They prohibit women from reciting the Quran when they are in an impure state such as when they are menstruating or in the state of junub. This is in accordance with a hadith from Ibn Umar RA:
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 for some of the narration is from Ismail bin Ayyash who are among the people of Hijjaz and their narration is dhaif.
Second: Permissible. This is the opinion of Malikiyyah scholars according to an authentic narration, it is permissible to hold the Quran for women who are menstruating and it is also permissible to recite it for the purpose of teaching and learning.
This facilitation is only for those who are menstruating and not for those who are in junub. The reason is, the duration for menstruation is long, where if they leave their recitation of the Quran for this long period, they may forget what they have memorized. While, the remembrance Allah SWT (zikr) is permissible for women who are menstruating.
It will also facilitate madrasah Tahfiz al-Qur’an to continue its lessons so that the huffaz will not forget their memorization due to the stop of the recitation due to menstruation.
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 opinion of Imam al-Syafi’i in qaul qadim written by Abu Thaur. Among the contemporary scholars who also ruled it as permissible are 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 Their Statement
- Syeikh al-Dasuqi al-Maliki said: “It is not impermissible to recite the Quran due to menstruation even if janabah preceded it.” (See Hasyiyah ala al-Syarh al-Kabir al-Dardir, 1/284)
- Syeikh Salih Abd al-Sami’ al-Abi said: “It is not impermissible to recite the Quran during menstruation without touching it.” (See Jawahir al-Iklil, 1/32)
- Al-Mardawi al-Hanbali said: “It is absolutely impermissible for menstruating women to recite the Quran and this is what is accepted in madhhab Hanbali, but there is an opinion that said that it is not impermissible. This is the chosen opinion by Syeikh Taqiyuddin Ibn Taimiyyah.” (See al-Insaf 1/347)
- Furthermore, in the issue of women who are experiencing nifas (post-partum bleeding), it is also permissible for them to recite the Quran as stated in a fatwa issued by Syeikh al-Islam Ibn Taimiyyah: “Reciting the Quran for a woman in nifas (bleeding due to childbirth) is permissible if she feared that she would forget her memorization due to the long period of time of nifas. But, if she is certain that she will not forget it, then it is unnecessary for her to recite it.” (See Majmu’ al-Fatawa, Syeikh Ibn Taimiyyah, 1/636)
As a conclusion, reciting and memorizing the Quran while menstruating is PERMISSIBLE according to the reasons presented above. Here we would like to reiterate several opinions or athar that supports this opinion.
- It is recorded that Saidatina Aishah recites the Quran while menstruating. This is cited by Imam al-Nawawi in al-Majmuk 1/357, al-Tabarani in Awsat 2/98, Ibn Rajab in Fath al-Bari 1/46, Ibn Hazm in al-Muhalla 1/78-79.
- This is also the opinion of Ibn Abbas, Ibn Musayyib who state the permissibility of reciting the Quran for women who are menstruating include Muhammad ibn Maslamah.
I would like to assert a good opinion from former Syeikh al-Azhar, Syeikh Jad al-Haq Ali Jad al-Haq through his book Buhuthun wa al-Fatawa. He stated the permissibility of female students who are menstruating to memorize the Quran and recite it while menstruating considering factors such as examinations or tests. The reason is, the time is limited and short. Hence, the concept of exigent circumstances or masyaqqah is applicable.
There are also opinions stating that the ruling of menstruating women is the same as women who are in nifas in terms of reciting the Quran; where it is permissible for the woman to hold and recite the Quran if she is either a teacher or a student. (See Hasyiyah al-Dusuqi, 1/175)
I advise students to substitute reciting the Quran with listening to the Quran through CDs or Youtube that is the same as reviewing and repeating the memorization of the Quran.