Q & A on menstruation and post-partum bleeding –II

09/05/2019| IslamWeb

Question: A woman had blood beginning to flow (i.e., her menses) while she was in the Mosque of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ). She stayed in the mosque for a short while, until her husband had finished his prayer, so that she could leave with him. Did she commit a sin?

Q & A on menstruation and post-partum bleeding –I


Response: If she was not able to depart from the mosque by herself, then there is no harm in what she did. However, if she was able to leave by herself, then it was obligatory upon her to exit as quickly as possible. This is because the menstruating woman, the woman who has post-partum bleeding and a sexually defiled person are not allowed to sit in the mosques. This is based on Allah's statement which forbids certain categories of people from approaching the places of prayer, one of which is (what means): "…Nor while sexually defiled, except when travelling on a road…" [Quran 4: 43] (1)

It is also narrated from the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) that he said: "I do not permit the menstruating woman or the sexually defiled person to enter the mosque." [Abu Dawood]

Shaykh Ibn Baaz


1. Note that the verse is in reference only to those who are sexually defiled. Obviously, the differences between a menstruating woman and a sexually defiled person are very great. Hence, one cannot make an analogy between the two. Furthermore, there is also a difference of opinion concerning whether this verse implies anyone who becomes sexually defiled or only the travellers who become sexually defiled.

Question: Is it allowed for a menstruating woman to read a book of supplications on the Day of 'Arafah (i.e., the ninth of Thul-Hijjah), given the fact that the book contains Quranic verses?

Response: There is no harm in a menstruating or post-partum bleeding woman reading the books of supplications that are written for the rites of the pilgrimage. In fact, there is nothing wrong with her even reciting the Quran, according to the correct opinion, as there is no authentic, clear text prohibiting a menstruating or post-partum bleeding woman from reciting the Quran. The narration that we do have is concerned with the sexually defiled person only, which confirms that such a person should not recite the Quran while he/she is sexually defiled, and this was narrated by 'Ali  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him. As for the menstruating or post-partum bleeding woman, there is the Hadeeth that was narrated by Ibn 'Umar  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him which states: "Neither the menstruating woman nor the sexually defiled person is to recite anything from the Quran." [Abu Dawood, At-Tirmithi & Others]

However, this is weak. This is because it is from the narrations of Isma'eel Ibn 'Ayyash on the authority of people from the Hijaz (western Arabia), and he is weak when he narrates from them. However, the menstruating or post-partum bleeding woman may recite from her memory without touching the Quran. As for the sexually defiled person, he/she may not even recite the Quran from memory or touch the Mus-haf (a copy of the Quran) until he/she makes Ghusl (ritual bathing). The difference between the two is that the amount of time one is sexually defiled for is very short, as he may make Ghusl as soon as he has done the act with his spouse. The amount of time is not long, and he is in control of its duration as he may make Ghusl whenever he wishes. Even if he cannot find water, he can make Tayammum (dry ablution using soil) and can then pray or recite the Quran. However, the menstruating or post-partum bleeding woman does not have control over its duration, such control is in the hand of Allah. Menstruation and post-partum bleeding last for days. Therefore, it is allowed for them to recite the Quran so that they do not forget what they have memorised and so that they will not lose the merits of reciting it. They may also learn the laws of the Sharee'ah (Islamic Law) from the Book of Allah. Therefore, it follows that it is certainly permissible for her to read the books of supplications that have verses and Hadeeth intermixed within them. This is the correct opinion of the scholars may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  them on that point.

Shaykh Ibn Baaz

Question: Some women have miscarriages - sometimes the foetus comes out fully formed while at others it is only partially formed. I would like you to make clear the ruling for prayer in both of those situations.

Response: If a woman has a miscarriage and the foetus has distinctly human features, such as a head, limbs and so forth, then her bleeding is post-natal bleeding. She should, therefore, follow the rulings of one who has post-natal bleeding. She should not pray or fast and her husband cannot have sexual intercourse with her until the bleeding stops, or she completes forty days. If the bleeding stops before the fortieth day, she must make Ghusl, pray, and fast if it is Ramadan, and her husband may have sexual intercourse with her (if she is not fasting and it is not Ramadan).

There is no minimum length of time for post-natal bleeding. The bleeding could stop after ten days, more or less, and she must then make Ghusl, and all the laws of a ritually pure person will then apply to her. If she sees any blood after the fortieth day, it is considered bleeding from illness. She would then fast and pray with that bleeding and it is permissible for her husband to have sexual intercourse with her. She must make ablution for the time of every prayer, like for the Mustahadhah, (1) as the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) told Fatimah bint Abu Hubaysh  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  her: "Make ablution for (the time of) every prayer." (2)

If the blood that flows from her after the forty-day period coincides with the time of her menses, then it takes on the ruling of menses. It is forbidden for her to pray or fast until she becomes pure. It is also forbidden for her husband to have intercourse with her.

However, if the miscarried foetus does not resemble a human being, such as when it is simply a smooth lump of flesh or clot of blood, then she takes the ruling of Istihadhah and not that of post-partum bleeding. She should pray, fast during Ramadan and may have intercourse with her husband. She should make ablution for every prayer while keeping herself clean from the blood by using a panty liner or something similar, as she would for the Mustahadhah, until the bleeding stops.

She may also combine the Thuhr (noon) and 'Asr (afternoon) prayers together and the Maghrib (sunset) and 'Ishaa' (night) prayers. She may also make a Ghusl for the combined prayers and a separate Ghusl for the Fajr prayer, based on the confirmed Hadeeth of Hamnah bint Jahsh  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  her. This is because she is to be treated as a Mustahadhah, according to the people of knowledge.

Shaykh Ibn Baaz


1. The Mustahaadhah is the woman with Istihadhah. Istihadhah is either a prolonged flow of blood (called menorrhagia in English) or bleeding outside of the menses (called metrorrhagia in English). Many hospitals and medical clinics in the United States have pamphlets stating what women should do in such cases. In some cases, especially when the bleeding is prolonged, it may be symptoms of some other disorder.

2. This translator was not able to find this Hadeeth with this exact wording. The authentic narrations in Al-Bukhari and Muslim simply state that she is to make ablution for every prayer.


Q & A on menstruation and post-partum bleeding –I