What to Do and Don’ts During Menstruation in Islam?

Islamic Shariah sets specific guidelines and restrictions during menstruation that every Muslim woman needs to be aware of. While menstruation is a natural biological process that occurs in women, it is also considered a phase of impurity in Islam.

Therefore, various activities are prohibited during this time, while certain others are permissible. During menstruation, Muslim women are not allowed to perform obligatory or voluntary prayers.

They are allowed to engage in Dhikr by repeating phrases such as SubhanAllah, Alhamdulillah, Allahu Akbar, etc.

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Sexual intercourse is also strictly prohibited during this time, but physical affection, such as kissing and touching, are allowed as long as they do not lead to intercourse.

We will discuss in detail the dos and don’ts during menstruation in Islam so that Muslim women can observe this important phase with adherence to Islamic teachings.

List of Do’s and Don’ts During Menstruation in Islam

During menstruation in Islam, there are certain things that women can do and certain things that they can’t do; these include:

  1. Do During Menstruation in Islam
  • Engaging in dhikr
  • Physical affection
  • Performing a marriage contract
  1. Don’t During Menstruation in Islam
  • Prayer restrictions
  • Fasting restrictions
  • Prohibition of sexual intercourse
  • Prohibition of touching and reciting the Quran
  • Divorce restrictions
  • Prohibition of circumambulating the Kaaba
  • Prohibition of staying in the mosque

Now we will discuss each of these points in detail to understand them better.

Dos During Menstruation in Islam

During menstruation in Islam, there are certain activities that women can engage in, including the following:

1. Engaging in Dhikr

Do and Don'ts During Menstruation in Islam - Engaging in Dhikr

In Islam, women are permitted to engage in Dhikr, or remembrance of Allah through various forms of worship, during their menstrual cycle.

It involves repeating phrases that glorify and remember Allah, such as SubhanAllah (سُبْحَانَ ٱللَّٰهِ), Alhamdulillah (ٱلْحَمْدُ لِلَّٰهِ), Allahu Akbar (الله أكبر), La ilaha illallah (لا إله إلا الله), Astaghfirullah (أستغفر الله), etc.

Women can also read hadith & Islamic books, which is an excellent way to gain knowledge and strengthen faith during menstruation.

Also Check: What Can We Recite During Periods?

2. Physical Affection

Physical affection, including kissing and touching, is allowed during menstruation as long as it doesn’t lead to intercourse. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) allowed intimacy with menstruating wives without engaging in sexual intercourse.

3. Performing a Marriage Contract

During menstruation in Islam, women are still able to participate in the process of performing a marriage contract, as it’s permissible for them to engage in the contractual agreements. This means that women can initiate or be a part of the marriage contract despite being on their period.

Don’ts During Menstruation in Islam

While menstruating in Islam, certain things are prohibited, such as:

1. Prayer Restrictions

Prayer Restrictions

Menstruating women are prohibited from engaging in both obligatory and voluntary (nafl) prayers. This restriction is based on the belief that during menstruation, women are considered ritually impure.

Therefore, it’s recommended that women take this time to rest, reflect, and engage in other forms of permissible worship, such as reciting supplications, engaging in Dhikr, etc.

2. Fasting Restrictions

When on menstruation, women aren’t allowed to fast, whether it’s an obligatory fast or a voluntary (Nafl) one. Any fasting done during menstruation isn’t considered valid.

It is necessary to make up the fasts missed due to menstruation later on. Women need to adhere to these fasting restrictions during their menstrual cycles as a religious obligation in Islam.

3. Prohibition of Sexual Intercourse

Prohibition of Sexual Intercourse

Engaging in sexual intercourse during menstruation is strictly prohibited in Islam. In Surah Al-Baqarah (2:222), Allah says: 

وَيَسْـَٔلُونَكَ عَنِ ٱلْمَحِيضِ ۖ قُلْ هُوَ أَذًۭى فَٱعْتَزِلُوا۟ ٱلنِّسَآءَ فِى ٱلْمَحِيضِ ۖ وَلَا تَقْرَبُوهُنَّ حَتَّىٰ يَطْهُرْنَ ۖ فَإِذَا تَطَهَّرْنَ فَأْتُوهُنَّ مِنْ حَيْثُ أَمَرَكُمُ ٱللَّهُ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُحِبُّ ٱلتَّوَّٰبِينَ وَيُحِبُّ ٱلْمُتَطَهِّرِينَ ٢٢٢

They ask you ˹O Prophet˺ about menstruation. Say, “Beware of its harm! So keep away, and do not have intercourse with your wives during their monthly cycles until they are purified. When they purify themselves, then you may approach them in the manner specified by Allah. Surely Allah loves those who always turn to Him in repentance and those who purify themselves.

This prohibition serves as a reminder of the importance of purity and cleanliness in Islam. By adhering to this prohibition, Muslims demonstrate their obedience to Allah’s commandments and maintain the sanctity of marital relations.

So, sexual intercourse during menstruation is considered a major sin that both partners must avoid.

4. Prohibition of Touching and Reciting the Quran

According to Islamic scholars, it’s forbidden to touch the mus-haf (physical copy of the Quran) when one is in a state of impurity. This ruling is based on the verse from Surah Al-Waqi’ah (56:79), which states that the Quran is to be touched only by those who are purified.

Therefore, menstruating women are advised to refrain from touching the Quran during their menstrual cycle. It is also prohibited to recite the Quran during menstruation, according to the majority of Islamic scholars.

5. Divorce Restrictions

Divorce Restrictions

During menstruation in Islam, there are specific restrictions regarding divorce that must be observed. Giving divorce to a woman during her menses is prohibited and considered sinful. The waiting period (iddah) can’t commence if the divorce occurs during menstruation.

It is important to follow the guidance given in Surah At-Talaq (65:1), which states:

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّبِىُّ إِذَا طَلَّقْتُمُ ٱلنِّسَآءَ فَطَلِّقُوهُنَّ لِعِدَّتِهِنَّ وَأَحْصُوا۟ ٱلْعِدَّةَ ۖ وَٱتَّقُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ رَبَّكُمْ ۖ لَا تُخْرِجُوهُنَّ مِنۢ بُيُوتِهِنَّ وَلَا يَخْرُجْنَ إِلَّآ أَن يَأْتِينَ بِفَـٰحِشَةٍۢ مُّبَيِّنَةٍۢ ۚ وَتِلْكَ حُدُودُ ٱللَّهِ ۚ وَمَن يَتَعَدَّ حُدُودَ ٱللَّهِ فَقَدْ ظَلَمَ نَفْسَهُۥ ۚ لَا تَدْرِى لَعَلَّ ٱللَّهَ يُحْدِثُ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ أَمْرًۭا ١

O Prophet! ˹Instruct the believers:˺ When you ˹intend to˺ divorce women, then divorce them with concern for their waiting period, and count it accurately. And fear Allah, your Lord. Do not force them out of their homes, nor should they leave – unless they commit a blatant misconduct. These are the limits set by Allah. And whoever transgresses Allah’s limits has truly wronged his own soul. You never know, perhaps Allah will bring about a change ˹of heart˺ later.

According to Sunan an-Nasa’i 3397, Ibn ‘Umar divorced his wife while she was menstruating. He mentioned that to the Prophet (S) and he (S) said:

Tell him to take her back, then divorce her while she is pure (not menstruating) or pregnant.”

Another Hadith found in Sunan an-Nasa’i 3395, mentioned that ‘Abdullah said:

The Sunnah divorce is to divorce her when she is pure (not menstruating) without having had intercourse with her.

So, it is highly recommended to follow the guidance given in these Hadiths and refrain from divorcing during menstruation.

6. Prohibition of Circumambulating the Ka’Bah

Menstruating women are forbidden from circumambulating the Ka’bah (Tawaf). However, they can perform other Hajj and Umrah rituals.

A Hadith found in Sahih al-Bukhari 294, narrated by Al-Qasim: “`Aisha (RA) said: 

“We set out with the sole intention of performing Hajj and when we reached Sarif, (a place six miles from Mecca) I got my menses. Allah’s Messenger (S) came to me while I was weeping. He said ‘What is the matter with you? Have you got your menses?’ I replied, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘This is a thing which Allah has ordained for the daughters of Adam. So do what all the pilgrims do with the exception of the Tawaf (Circumambulation) round the Ka`ba.” `Aisha added, “Allah’s Messenger (S) sacrificed cows on behalf of his wives.”

So, based on this Hadith, women should avoid Tawaf while performing Hajj and Umrah during menstruation.

7. Prohibition of Staying in the Mosque

Menstruating women are prohibited from staying in the mosque during their menstrual cycle, as advised in Islamic teachings. This rule stems from the belief that menstruation is a state of impurity.

Follow the Guidance of Islamic Shariah During Menstruation

Islamic Shariah outlines specific guidelines for women during menstruation, emphasizing the importance of maintaining spiritual connection while observing the restrictions.

Permissible activities include engaging in Dhikr, physical affection excluding intercourse, participating in marriage contracts, and performing ritual baths after menstruation.

However, restrictions encompass prayer, fasting, sexual intercourse, touching and reciting the Quran, divorce proceedings during menstruation, circumambulating the Ka’bah, and staying in the mosque.

Adhering to these guidelines allows Muslim women to navigate this natural phase while upholding religious principles. May their observance be a source of spiritual growth and adherence to Islamic teachings.






Talha Ubaidullah
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