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.

First, we must be aware that the Salat (prayer) is an act of worship. In all the Quran there are no words that forbid women from observing their Salat or fasting when they have menstruation.
The only case where a person is prohibited from observing the Salat is when he/she is intoxicated (4:43):

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.
Menstruation is a bodily cycle not any different from other bodily functions such as perspiration or excretion. There is nothing sinister or shameful about bodily functions. After all, they are designed by God. There is no reason whatsoever that should stop any woman from worshipping her Creator just because her body is performing one of its functions.

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!
Needless to say, the un-cleanliness mentioned in 2:222 is related only to having sexual intercourse. Anyone, Muslim or non Muslim knows that it is un-hygienic to have sexual intercourse during menstruation. There is no mention in 2:222 of the Salat nor is it implied.

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.
In addition, those who prohibit things which are not prohibited by God are in fact rejecting the Quran, and thus they are disbelievers. The believers should never prohibit something that is not prohibited by God in the Quran. The following Quranic words confirm this issue:

[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!
The Quran gives us confirmation that this could never have happened. These are lies against the Prophet.
The Prophet was commanded to deliver God's message then he was commanded to follow nothing other than the Quran which was being revealed to him:

[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.

Example 1
Any man could have an infected part of his body. The infected part could be full of pus, with all the germs and microbes contained in the pus, yet we never hear of any man stopping his Salat during such unclean infections!

Example 2
An even more blunt but factual example, any human being’s bowels are full of faeces awaiting excretion. Faeces are not exactly clean substance! The human being carries this around with him daily but he never stops his Salat because his body is full of faeces!

To conclude, women must always maintain their Salat at all times and never to stop worshipping their Creator.