Recitation of the Qur'an by a menstruating woman

Q: What is the ruling on a menstruating woman touching the Mus-haf (copy of the Qur’an) and reciting from it? Also, what is the ruling on her entering the Masjid (mosque)? Is it permissible for her to stay there for any purpose?


A: Firstly, it is not permissible for a menstruating woman to touch the Mus-haf, according to the opinion of the Jumhur (dominant majority of scholars); for Allah (Exalted be He) says: Which (that Book with Allâh) none can touch but the purified. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said in the letter which he sent to `Amr ibn Hazm: None should touch the Qur’an except one who is pure. However, women are permitted to recite the Qur’an without touching it during their menstrual and post natal periods, according to the more correct of the two scholarly opinions. There is no authentic Hadith reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) prohibiting this. Secondly, it is not permissible for a menstruating woman or a Junub (person in a state of post-sexual ritual impurity) to sit or stay in a Masjid. This is the opinion maintained by the Jumhur based on the Hadith on the authority of `Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her), who said: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) came and saw that the doors of the houses of his Sahabah (Companions) were opened facing the Masjid (and leading into it). He (peace be upon him) said, 'Turn the direction of (the doors of) these houses away from the Masjid.' Then the Prophet (peace be upon him) entered (the house or the Masjid), but the people did not take any action in this regard, hoping that some Rukhsah (concession) might be revealed. He (peace be upon him) again came out to them and said, 'Turn the direction of (the doors of) these houses away from the Masjid. I do not make the Masjid lawful for a menstruating woman or a Junub. (Related by Abu Dawud) (Part No. 4; Page No. 110) This Hadith gives a general prohibition regarding a menstruating woman or a Junub sitting in the Masjid or passing through it. The Junub was specifically mentioned in the Saying of Allah (Exalted be He): O you who believe! Approach not As-Salât (the prayer) when you are in a drunken state until you know (the meaning) of what you utter, nor when you are in a state of Janâba, (i.e. in a state of sexual impurity and have not yet taken a bath) except when travelling on the road (without enough water, or just passing through a mosque), till you wash your whole body. The meaning of the Ayah (Qur'anic verse) is as follows: O believers, do not approach Masjids when you are drunk until you regain consciousness nor when you are Junub until you take Ghusl (full ritual bath). If you enter them with the intention of just passing by or crossing, it is permissible to do so. A menstruating woman comes under the same ruling as a Junub. This exception is also substantiated by the Hadith reported by Sa‘id ibn Mansur in his Sunan on the authority of Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him and his father), who said: One of us would just cross through the Masjid while being Junub. Also, Ibn Al-Mundhir reported on the authority of Zayd ibn Aslam that he said: "The Sahabah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to walk in the Masjid while being Junub."May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

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