In the name of Allāh, Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy
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Women who are on their menstrual cycle are permitted to enter the masjid, sit in the masjid, and listen to durūs. They are also permitted to make duʿā, dhikr of Allah, recite the Qur’ān, listen to it, read the Book of Allah, and the aḥādīth of the Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam). There is no authentic text that prohibits women from any of these righteous actions; therefore the origin remains that is is permissible. That is because there is no impurity in the hands of a woman as the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said to ʿĀ’ishah (radiyallāhu ʿanhā), “Your menstruation is not in your hand.”
Al-Bukhārī also reported in his Ṣahīh (no. 3835) that ʿA’ishah (radiyallāhu ʿanhā) said: “We set out with the Prophet (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) for Hajj and when we reached Sarif I got my menses. When the Prophet (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) came to me, I was weeping. He asked, “Why are you weeping?” I said, “I wish I had not performed Hajj this year.” He asked, “Maybe that you’ve got your menses?” I replied, “Yes.” He then said, “This is a matter which Allah has ordained for all the daughters of Adam. So do what all the pilgrims do except that you do not perform the Tawāf round the Ka’bah till you are clean.”
Shaikh al-Albānī (rahimahullāh) explained that here the Messenger (salallāhu ʿalaihi wasallam) did not prohibit her from the Masjid, nor from making dhikr and du’ā, or reciting the Qur’ān or even touching it, rather he only prohibited her from making Tawāf of the House. Allāh’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “The menstruating woman completes all of the rites of Hajj except for Tawāf of the House.” (Reported Ahmad, 6/137 and 1/364) He said (rahimahullāh): “What does the Pilgrim (Hāj) do? He enters the masjid, prays, makes Ṭawāf, sits in the masjid, and recites the Qur’ān. The Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) permitted all of this for her, except that excluded As-Salāh and Tawāf of the Kaʿbah… Yes, there are other hadeeths concerning the woman that she is not allowed to pray Salāh nor fast. However, she makes up the fasts but does not make up the prayers.”
Shaikh al-Albāni stated: “It is permitted for the menstruating woman to enter the Masjid. ‘A’ishah (radiyallāhu ‘anhā) said: ‘Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said to me, ‘Get me the mat from the Masjid.’ I said, ‘But I am menstruating.’ He replied, ‘Your menstruation is not in your hand.’‘ (Muslim, no. 298 and others) Ibn Hazm also permitted it, and he cited that position from Al-Muzani and Dawūd.”
As for the ḥadīth, “I do not make the masjid permissible for the menstruating woman or the one who is junub (condition of sexual impurity)”, then this narration is weak (da’īf) as Shaikh Al-Albānī pointed out (Daʿīf Sunan Abī Dawūd, no. 32) — and other scholars of hadeeth before him stated the same such as Al-Bukhāri, Al-Bayhaqī, and others. Ibn Hazm said: “It is a false narration.” And the hadeeth has two other reports, but it cannot be supported by them because one of them has an abandoned narrator in its chain and the other a liar.
And the position with us in this matter from the aspect of fiqh (i.e. the Islamic rulings) is like with the issue of touching the Qurān for the one who is in a state of sexual impurity, then the origin of permissibility remains due to the absence of any proof that would necessitate prohibition. And this was the saying of Imām Ahmad and others.
Shaikh Al-Albānī (rahimahullāh) was asked whether a woman who is menstruating can attend the gatherings of knowledge and sit in the masjid for Islamic lessons. So, he responded, “Yes, they are permitted to do that because menses does not prevent a woman from the gatherings of knowledge, even if that is in the mosques. That is because there is no evidence to prevent a woman who is on her monthly period from the masjid. And there is evidence to the contrary that shows it is permissible.” He continued, “Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) permitted ‘A’ishah to enter the Sacred Mosque (Al-Masjid Al-Harām), and he did prohibit except the Salāh and the Tawāf. Therefore, the ruling permitting women to enter other than the Sacred Masjid is more so allowed.”
He also said, “We are followers of Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam), so if there is no text from the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) let alone from the Qurān that disallows reciting of the Qurān for the junub; so who is there who can prohibit that which Allah has not prohibited… However, we say it is disliked for the junub (one who is in a state of sexual impurity) to recite the Quran.” Then he cited the hadeeth reported in the Sunan of Abu Dawūd with an authentic chain of narration where the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) relieved himself, then passed by a man who said to him, “As-salāmu ‘alaika O Allah’s Messenger!” So the Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) struck his hands against a wall and made tayammum (ritual purification with soil), then he said, “Wa-‘alaikas-salām. I dislike mentioning Allah unless I am in a state of purity.” Shaikh Al-Albānī made it clear that it is disliked, but we do not say it is harām. Furthermore, he narrated what ‘A’ishah (radiyallāhu ‘anhā) said: “Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) would make mention of Allah in whatever state he was in.”
So, a female teacher who teaches Qurān to girls at school does not need to excuse herself from teaching, and the girls do not need to excuse themselves from Quran memorisation classes because it is their time of the month. A woman who bleeds for 5, 7 or 10 days should not be prevented from reading the Mushaf, because prohibition requires a clear text that is not found in this issue, not in the Book of Allah, and nor from the Sunnah.
(See Jāmi’ Turāth al-ʿAllāmah al-Albānī, 1/531-541)
Imam Al-Bukhārī reported in his Sahīh (no. 3835) that ‘A’ishah (radiyallāhu ‘anhā) said: “A black lady servant of some of the Arabs embraced Islam and she had a small hut in the mosque. She used to visit us and talk to us.” This hadeeth itself is proof that a woman in her state of menstruation can be present in the masjid, because of the fact that this believing woman stayed in the mosque, and as other women she would have had monthly periods.
Finally, the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “Your menstruation is not in your hand.” Meaning there is no impurity in your hands or over the rest of your body; and the matter of your menstruation is not in your control, “This is a matter which Allah has ordained for all the daughters of Adam.” This is why the Prophet would embrace and kiss his wives while they were menstruating, he would play with them and eat with them, and they would make dhikr of Allah and enter the masjid.