Which acts of worship are permissible and impermissible during menstruation?

Question: Which acts of worship are permissible and impermissible during menstruation?

Answer:

Bismi Llahir Rahmanir Rahim

Assalamu alaykum wa rahmatuLlahi wa barakatuhu

Allah Most High says:

“But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.” [al-Baqara:216]

As Muslims, we must be content with the fact that Allah Most High ordains what is best for us. Scholars unanimously agree that all Sacred Law rulings have a benefit in them, even if we cannot logically deduce it. It is only with this mindset can we appreciate the following rulings.

It must be mentioned that there are only a select amount of acts of worship that become impermissible to engage in while in a state of menstruation, and many more that remain permissible. So, exert yourself to enter whichever door of worship that Allah opens for you.

Impermissible (Haram) Acts

According to the Hanafi madhhab, while a woman is in a state of menstruation (hayd) or post-natal bleeding (nifas) it is impermissible (haram) to:

  • Pray the ritual prayer (fard, witr, nadhrsunna, and nafl)
  • Prostrate (tilawashukrtawba)
  • Fast (fardnadhrsunna, and nafl)
  • Touch the Qur’an or a Qur’anic verse without a non-attached barrier
  • Recite the Qur’an
  • Enter any mosque
  • Make tawaf (ziyaraumrahsadrqudumnadhrsunna, and nafl)
  • Engage in sexual intercourse
  • Be touched between the navel to the knee without a barrier covering one’s skin

If a menstruating woman fulfills this command with the intention to submit to Allah’s order, she is actually worshiping Allah the entire time that she refrains from engaging in these works.

Furthermore, these are the general categories of prohibited acts. For details, please consider taking our courses on menstruation.

Permissible (Halal) Acts

Even though this list may seem limiting, there are numerous acts of worship that remain permissible alhamduliLlah.

In the Hanafi madhhab, it is an overall recommendation that a menstruating woman make ablution (wudu) for each prayer time, sit in her usual place of worship, and make dhikr for the time it takes for her to normally pray so that she does not lose her habit of worship while in this state.

A menstruating woman can also:

  • Supplicate for whatever she wishes
  • Make dhikr of Allah Most High
  • Repent (make tawba) to Allah Most High
  • Beg for forgiveness (istighfar) and the pardon of her sins (‘afu)
  • Demonstrate good character towards one’s spouse, parents, children, and fellow Muslims
  • Listen to the Qur’an
  • Make salawaat on the Prophet ﷺ
  • Memorize Prophetic duas
  • Study/review sacred knowledge
  • Give in charity
  • Perform acts of service to others
  • Read the seera and other stories about the sahaba/salihin
  • Practice gratitude for her blessings
  • Practice patience and contentment with her trials
  • Reflect about Allah’s great signs
  • Read hadith, like Riyad al-Salihin or Imam Nawawi’s 40 hadith collection
  • Listen to religious lectures

During Umrah

In addition to the aforementioned, in Makkah, a menstruating woman can:

  • Visit Ghar al-Hira
  • Visit Ghar Thawr
  • Visit the Prophet’s birthplace ﷺ
  • Visit the Mu’alla Graveyard
  • Visit museums that outline Islamic history/artifacts

In addition to the aforementioned, in Madina, a menstruating woman can:

  • Visit the Prophet ﷺ from outside the mosque
  • Visit the historical battle sites, like Badr, Uhud, and Khandaq
  • Visit museums that outline Islamic history/artifacts
  • Make dua for those in the Baqi’ cemetery

For more information, read our umrah advice for menstruating women inshaAllah.

Check out our courses for more details about the rulings of menstruation.

Jazak Allah khayran

Naielah Ackbarali


References:

منهل الواردين من بحار الفيض على ذخر المتأهلين في مسائل الحيض لابن عابدين – الفصل السادس

ارشاد الشاري إلى مناسك الملا علي القاري

رد المحتار على الدرالمختار للإمام ابن عابدين

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