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The Quran => Q&As with Joseph Islam - Information Only => : Reader Questions November 25, 2011, 03:21:54 PM

: Can Women Pray and Fast During Menstruation?
: Reader Questions November 25, 2011, 03:21:54 PM

Can women pray and fast during menstruation?
: Re: Can Women Pray and Fast During Menstruation?
: Joseph Islam November 25, 2011, 03:24:01 PM
As-salamu alaykum

There is not one explicit verse in the Quran that forbids women from praying whilst they are menstruating or stops them fasting whilst in this condition.

Muslim theologians attempt to make use of verse 2.222 to suggest that as the Quran forbids men from approaching women when they are menstruating until they are cleansed / purified (tataharna), therefore by inference, women are also ‘unclean’ to pray.

However, the context of verse 2.222 deals with sexual relations and has nothing to do with prayer.

Being 'tatahharna' (cleansed) for the purpose of intimacy has little to do with being 'cleansed' for worship. The two conditions are only superficially comparable.

One also notes that verse 5:6 dealing with ritual ablution (wudu) clearly provides 'all believers' (men and women) the conditions which would invalidate the prayer and where an ablution would be required.

There is mention of 'janub' (ceremonial impurity) which requires 'tahara' (cleansing). Calls of nature are addressed. However, there is no mention of 'menstruation' as a state unfit for prayer. After all, the Quran could have clearly suggested that women are not to approach prayers until they they are 'cleansed' from menstruation.

Therefore, to connect the requirement of purity (tatahharna) in verse 2:222 for sexual relations with 'tahara' required in 5:6 for prayer is not persuasive.

As an example, based on the Arabic term 'tahara' alone, the Quran also makes use of this term in the following verses:

    008:011    And He caused rain to descend on you from heaven, to purify you with it
    009:103    Take alms out of their property, you would cleanse them and purify them thereby
    033:033    God only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House! and to purify you (with a thorough) purification.

Does the need to be purified in the above three examples therefore infer that a state of impurity existed before purification and thus one could not pray? Such a suggestion would be unfounded as the need for purification in the above examples are not related to prayer and have specific contexts.

Hence there is no explicit or implicit verse in the Quran that prohibits women from praying or fasting during their monthly condition. 

Such an instruction is based purely on Islamic secondary sources.

: Re: Can Women Pray and Fast During Menstruation?
: Joseph Islam June 28, 2015, 11:19:41 AM
Dear All,

As-salamu alaykum

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