As Salaamu Alaikum,
What is the correct ruling regarding recitation of the Quran by a woman in her menses. I heard someone saying that the most correct opinion is that a woman in her monthly period is allowed to recite the Quran. Please explain.
Wa Alaikum As Salaam,
With respect to the issue of women in menses reciting Quran, there are differences of opinion among the great Imams of Fiqh and scholars of Hadith. The following is narrated from these scholars:
1). Imam Abu Hanifah and the scholars of his madhhab, Imam Shafi’ee and the scholars of his madhhab, Imam Ahmad and the scholars of his madhhab, the overwhelming majority of Sahabah, and the overwhelming majority of Taabi’een have all given the official verdict that it is not permissible for a woman in menses to recite the Quran. The same prohibition is given for one who is in the state of major ritual impurity ( Janabah). According to scholars of the madhhab of Imam Abu Hanifah, it will be allowed for a woman in menses to recite something of the Quran which is less than a verse without the intention of reciting Quran. It will also be allowed for her to recite Dhikr and duas with the intention of Dhikr and duas even if it be from the Quran.
2). Imam Bukhari, Dawood Dhahiri and Ibn Al Mundhir hold the opinion that it is permissible for a woman in menses and for a person ( male or female) in the state of major ritual impurity ( Janabah) to recite the Quran.
3). There are two opinions given by Imam Malik. In one opinion, he states that it is permissible for a woman in menses and one in Janabah to recite Quran, and in another opinion, he states that it is not permissible for one in Janabah to recite Quran, but a woman in menses can recite it since the days of her menses may be long ( which she has no control over).
The majority of scholars have taken their proof from Ahadith that clearly establish that a woman in menses cannot recite the Quran. In this regard, it is narrated from Abdullah bin Umar ( RA) that the Prophet ( SAW) said, ‘A woman in menses and one in Janabah must not recite anything from the Quran’. ( Tirmidhi- Chapter which states that the Junub and Haa’idh should not recite the Quran). After quoting this narration, Imam Tirmidhi states, ‘This is the verdict of most of the scholars from the Sahabah of the Prophet ( SAW) and the Taabi’een( 2nd generation of scholars) and those after them like Sufyan Ath Thawri, Abdullah bin Mubarak, (Imam ) Ash Shafi’ee, ( Imam)Ahmad , Ishaaq. They have all stated that a woman in menses and one in Janabah must not recite anything from the Quran except a piece of a verse’. ( Sunan At Tirmidhi; Nasr Al Baari- Commentary of Sahih Al Bukhari. Vol 2 pgs 269-272 Maktaba Ash Shaikh Karachi).
The above Hadith of Ibn Umar has also been mentioned in Sunan Ibn Majah and Al Baihaqi. Ad Dar Qutni has narrated it from Jabir ( RA) . Scholars of Hadith have mentioned that although some scholars have mentioned the narration of Ibn Umar to be weak, there are other narrations that strengthen it and grade it to accepted and not lower than being classified as ‘Hasan’ (a good and accepted tradition). ( Ma’arif As Sunan Vol 1 pg 446)
From the above explanations, it is evident that from the time of the Sahabah until today, the overwhelming majority of scholars have always held the verdict that it is not permissible for a woman in menses to recite the Quran. This is the official verdict of the great Imams of Fiqh and Hadith like Imams, Abu Hanifah, Ash Shafi’ee, Ahmad bin Hanbal, Sufyan Ath Thawri, Abdullah bin Mubarak, Ishaaq and many other grand jurist experts from the best of the scholars of Islam throughout the centuries of Islam.
(For more information on this topic, one can refer to the following books:
Al Fiqh Al Islami Wa Adillatih vol 1 pgs 624-626 Maktaba Rasheediya Queta; Fath Al Baari vol 1 pgs 536-538 Qadeemi Kutub Khana; Umdah Al Qaari vol 3 pgs 273- 275 Maktaba Rasheediya Queta; Ma’arif As Sunan vol 1 pgs 445-448 HM Saeed Karachi).
And Allah knows best
Mufti Waseem Khan