Can a menstruating women attend the upper hall of a Masjid for classes?
I want to ask a about specific Masjid, it is really important for me; I believe you branch is related to the Lozells Islamic Centre. A lot of local scholars and say that it is permissible for women to go to the upper floor of the masjid for study purposes. I am not sure whether this is accurate or not. I would like to ask about the building of this masjid. Is it after looking at the structure of the place, permissible for menstruating women to attend that upper hall for study purposes (as that hall is usually used for)? Is this Masjid fully a Masjid or part musallah?
In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.
Before we answer your question we need to establish the definition of a musallah and a masjid. Musallah literally means a place, where prayer is performed or where congregation are held. Generally, a Musallah is a temporary place where worshippers congregate to perform their prayers. A Masjid on the other hand is a sanctified area. A place which has been permanently dedicated to Allah for the sake of prayer, recitation of the Holy Quran and his remembrance. Once a Masjid is erected, it will always be a Masjid. It cannot return to the property of the community. (Raddul Muhtar p.371 v.3 & Tahtawi p.172 v.4)
A Musallah does not have the same rulings and injunctions of a Masjid. Therefore, the impermissibility of buying and selling and talking in a mosque would not apply in a musallah. However, if a group or people get together and pray salah in congregation they will receive 27 times more reward as promised in various ahadith of the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam . (Aapke Masaail p.108 v.3)
The answer to your question depends on whether the hall above the masjid was designated to be a Masjid or not. If the hall above was not excluded from being a Masjid in the design of the Masjid, then it will not be permissible it will also not be permitted for a person in the state of major ritual impurity or a woman on her periods to enter due to the principle of Fiqh that what is above and below the Masjid is also part of the Masjid. (Fatawa Mahmoodiyah p.229 v.17) Therefore, once a Masjid is built, it will not be permissible to exclude the areas above and below it from being part of the Masjid.
However, the jurists have said if the intention of excluding the area above and/or below the Mosque was made at the time of building the Masjid, then this will be permitted. (Raddul Muhtar p.547 v.6)Therefore, when constructing the Masjid if the intention was made to exclude the hall above the Masjid from being a Masjid, so that women could attend for lectures or classes then it will be permissible.
Only Allah Knows Best
Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham.