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Entering a mosque during menses

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Question: Can a Muslim woman enter a mosque when she is menstruating? Can a non-Muslim woman enter when menstruating?

Answer:

Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

No, a Muslim woman may not remain in a mosque when she is menstruating. She may pass through by entering one door and leaving from another, but she may not remain in the mosque. (Minhaj al-Talibin, Nawawi)

Allah Most High says, ‘You who believe, do not come anywhere near the prayer if you are intoxicated, not 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)

It is also narrated from the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) that he did not allow people in major ritual impurity or women in menses to be in the mosque. (Abu Dawud) Even though the hadith is weak, it is clear that a menstruating woman cannot remain in a mosque because, in Sahih Muslim, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) asked Aisha (Allah be well pleased with her) to give him something while he was in the mosque and she declined saying that she was menstruating.

As for a menstruating non-Muslim woman entering a mosque, it is permissible. (Hashiyat al-Qalyubi) We know this because non-Muslims used to come inside the mosque sometimes during the life of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) even though they were not in ritual purity. (Bukhari)

It is essential to note that this only applies to mosques properly, not to prayer halls, Islamic centers, or other religious areas. Even if an Islamic center is a religious endowment (waqf), only the area designated for prayer counts as a mosque.

It is also worth noting that other opinions in the Shafi’i school do allow menstruating women to enter the mosque. While they are not relied upon positions, they are still significant, so we shouldn’t become dogmatic. (Mukhtasar al-Muzani; al-Awsat, Ibn al-Mundhir; al-Majmu’, Nawawi) That said, one should personally always stick to the relied upon positions of one of the Four Schools and not take such a dispensation for one’s self.

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years, he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

 

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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