Should women observe the 'Salat' during menstruation?
Email with Question:
Dear brother, first I thank you for a marvellous site where we know that all info is derived from God's Holy book and not from the imagination of the ulama. My question is: should Muslim women observe the prayer during menstruation?
The simple answer to the question is yes.
[4:43] O you who believe, do not come near the Salat while intoxicated, until you know what you are saying.
The reason, which is given in the same verse, is because a person who is intoxicated/drunk would not know what he/she is saying, thus their Salat would have no meaning. But as soon as they are sober they must resume observing the Salat.
The only Quranic prohibition related to menstruation is that married couples should not have sexual intercourse during menstruation (2:222), but they should never stop worshipping God:
[2:222] They ask you about menstruation: say, "It contains harm, so refrain from the women during menstruation, and do not approach them until they are cleansed of it, and when they are cleansed of it, you can approach them as God has commanded you. God loves the repenters, and He loves those who are clean."
Those who deprive women from worshipping their Creator during parts of the month manipulate 2:222 to claim that women are “unclean” during menstruation so should not worship God in an unclean state!
Moreover, when we read 2:222 we note that the words are addressed to men and not to women. It goes without saying that if God was prohibiting women from Salat during menstruation God would be addressing women in 2:222, which is not the case.
[6:150] Say, "Bring your witnesses who would testify that God has prohibited this." If they testify, do not testify with them, and do not follow the desires of those who disbelieve in Our revelations, and those who disbelieve in the Hereafter, and they make equals with their Lord.
Also, the following verse confirms that we should never follow any rules/laws not decreed by God Himself:
[42:21] Or do they have idols who legislate for them religious laws which were not authorized by God? If it were not for a preordained decree, they would have been judged immediately. Indeed the transgressors shall have a painful punishment.
The only source for God's law is the Quran and nothing else:
[6:114] Shall I seek other than God as a source of law when He has revealed to you this book fully detailed?
In their attempts to instate their false claim, they will also proclaim that the Prophet prohibited women from observing Salat during menstruation!
[46:9] Say (O Muhammad), "I am not any different from other messengers. I have no idea what will happen to me or to you. I only follow what is revealed to me. I am no more than a clear warner.
In addition, the Prophet was warned clearly not to prohibit anything which was not prohibited by God. On one occasion when the Prophet made the mistake of prohibiting something made lawful by God he was quickly reprimanded by God:
[66:1] O you prophet, why do you prohibit what God has made lawful for you, seeking to please your wives? God is Forgiver, Merciful.
A final word must be mentioned about the claim that women should not observe their Salat during menstruation because they are unclean. For that matter, it must be said that the human being, male or female, is never clean in an absolute sense.
To conclude, women must always maintain their Salat at all times and never to stop worshipping their Creator.