Saturday, November 18, 2017 - 29 Safar 1439

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What is the position of Islamic law on a menstruating woman entering the mosque to attend lectures of Islamic law; memorize the Qur`an, recite it and touch a copy of the Qur`an via a barrier?

14. What is the position of Islamic law on a menstruating woman entering the mosque to attend lectures of Islamic law; memorize the Qur`an, recite it and touch a copy of the Qur`an via a barrier?

Answer

It is impermissible for a menstruating woman to enter the mosque for reasons such as attending classes or memorizing the Holy Qur’an.

God the Almighty said:
You, who believe, do not come near the prayer if you are intoxicated until you know what you are saying; nor if you are in a state of major ritual impurity-though you may pass through the mosque-not until you have bathed. [Qur’an 4:43]
A menstruating woman is in a more severe state of impurity than someone in major ritual impurity. This is because a person can remove his/her state of major ritual impurity by bathing whereas a menstruating woman remains in a state of impurity until her period ends. It has been reported that the Prophet ,upon him blessings and peace, said: “I do not permit a woman in her menses or a person in a state of major ritual impurity to enter the mosque” [Reported by abu Dawud, al-Bayhaqi and Bukhari in Al-Tareekh al-Kabir].

Although this hadith is weak, the majority of scholars put it into practice; it is cited in the fatawa of the pious students of the Companions and is the opinion adopted by the followers of the four schools of jurisprudence.
The Maliki scholars maintain the impermissibility of a menstruating woman from entering the mosque even if she is merely passing through. The Maliki scholar, ibn Rushd stated in Bidayat al-Mujtahid: “Some scholars permit menstruating woman to enter the mosque whether they remain there or are passing through. These scholars include Dawud i.e. the Zahirite and his companions.”

From the above, it is clear that the scholars who permit menstruating women to enter the mosque are the Zahirites and their opinion is weak when compared to that of the majority of scholars.

Touching a copy of the Qur`an

The imams of the four schools of jurisprudence are unanimous on the impermissibility of a menstruating woman touching a copy of the Qur`an. The majority of scholars likewise maintain the impermissibility of reciting the Qur’an. It is permissible in the Maliki school for a menstruating woman to read a small amount without touching the Qur`an because:

She has an excuse; due to the length of her menstrual period; to prevent her from forgetting what she has memorized. And God the Almighty knows best.
 

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