PSP: Praying Salah during Period

“My reward was a community of like-minded Muslims together with whom I prayed behind Amina Wadud, an American Muslim scholar, in the first public female-led mixed-gender Friday prayer. Without a head scarf and on my period, I prayed next to a man — sacrilege to many but a delight to me.”

This is how Mona Eltahawy describes her “delightful” experience of being Muslim which many would call feministic and therefore, sacrilegious!  However, even many Quranists who are not necessarily feminist insist that a “woman must pray during her period.”

Here are two excellent posts on how period is viewed in mainstream Islam:

Got Period? The Problem of Purity by a male feminist and a friend, Rawi; and Only women bleed: Menstruation and prayer in Islam by Woodturtle, a Muslim feminist on my blogroll.

  1. Have you ever touched the Quran, fasted or prayed when on your period?
  2. What are your views on the topic?
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62 thoughts on “PSP: Praying Salah during Period

  1. wafa' says:

    will check the two links next.

    but as you may know that some scholars say that we are asked to not touch the Quran if we are not on wudu. Anyway, i kept wondering why would such harsh order be asked whether is it for men and women. لايمسه الا المطهرون could mean those clean at heart not necessarily having a wudu.
    I love seeing other religious books being read by the followers of that religion at any given time. So i guess it’s going to great if i can read the Quran or fast or pray at any time even if it’s my period. A few days ago i read the Aya that describes periods as اذى and didn’t like the description . but i guess it’s part of our religion.

    • Metis says:

      Wafa, لايمسه الا المطهرون could mean those of pure hearts but then Quran is read by non-Muslims as well and indeed is read by those who want to disprove the Quran. It is also gifted to non-Muslims and as such non-Muslim women never take the Islamic ritual bath so they are always in ‘janaba.’

      I never thought of اذى in 2:222 as ‘harm’ for men until I read your comment. I thought it was referring to the woman’s state, that sex during period could harm her – what do you think? But scientifically speaking there are actually benefits for the woman of having sex during period rather than harm. I was reading the Urdu and Hindi translations and all of them translate اذى as “nijasat” (from najas) or “gandigi” (which is also from najasat). Do you think perhaps early Muslims thought that having sex with a woman during her period would “harm” the man?

      • susanne430 says:

        I read an English translation of the Quran last year as you know and I never “wudu’d” myself before touching it. Thought nothing of it.

      • wafa' says:

        what i have read before is that it’s harm for both of them. But then you read articles by “western” doctors who says that’s sex during period is OK. and i said “western” because i don’t think those Muslims or Arab can go against a very wide conception. there is this saying and i don’t know if it’s true or not that says that babies conceived during such sex are not blessed and damned, it seems like an urban legend, and i just remember it.

  2. Lat says:

    Interesting articles!

    No i don’t fast nor do the ritual prayer while being in my period.But if I can/want to,I’ll rather go ahead and pray and fast.Whenever I can I recite the short Quranic verses and touch the Quran( with meaning and translations ) all the time.

    What I find confusing is that menstrual blood is said to be impure but if the period lasts for longer than normal,then a woman can pray the ritual prayer.How is this blood different and becomes clean from the earlier flow?

  3. Zuhura says:

    I touch the Qur’an. I pray if my underwear is clean (e.g. if I’m using a tampon or menstrual cup) and I’m feeling well. I have a post about this at: http://muslimfeminist.blogspot.com/search/label/menstruation

    And slightly off topic, but I also have sex while menstruating, as I believe that the injunction is that a husband shouldn’t bug his wife for sex during her period, but not that the wife can not initiate sex. I’m curious how others handle this.

    • Metis says:

      Thanks for the link, Zuhura! I’ll check it out now.

      “I believe that the injunction is that a husband shouldn’t bug his wife for sex during her period”

      This is an interesting view. I never thought like this before. The tafsir of the verse (2:222) gives a hadith as reason for the revelation according to which:

      “Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas said that the Jews used to avoid their menstruating women, they would not eat, or even mingle with them in the house. The Companions of the Prophet asked about this matter and Allah revealed 2:222. Allah’s Messenger said: “Do everything you wish, except having sexual intercourse.” When the Jews were told about the Prophet’s statement, they said, “What is the matter with this man He would not hear of any of our practices, but would defy it.” Then, Usayd bin Hudayr and `Abbad bin Bishr came and said, “O Messenger of Allah! The Jews said this and that, should we have sex with our women (meaning, during the menstruation period)” The face of Allah’s Messenger changed color, until the Companions thought that he was angry with them.”

      So I guess from the tafsir the idea behind the verse is prohibition on penetration during period. I’m interested in learning how you interpret it. Thanks!

      • Zuhura says:

        My interpretation is colored by the fact that both the verse and the Prophet’s words in this story are directed to men.

        I interpret that to mean that the people of that time and place thought that menstruation was unclean and that women needed special consideration during their periods. I think that’s understandable during pre-tampons and advil. Since it was believed that a woman should never refuse sex with her husband, being allowed to refuse sex during this period must have been a relief for women. If I need such relief, I don’t hesitate to claim it.

  4. Stephanie says:

    I’ve never prayed or fasted while menstrating, but mainly because I’m lazy about these things anyway. I do read and touch the Quran however.

    Regarding Zuhura’s comment and sex, I’m not sure I’d be entirely opposed to it if the urge presented itself, but I know for an absolute fact that my husband would NEVER go for it. He’s quite disgusted when it comes to the mere mention of menstrual blood. It’s cultural I guess. No worries, no person is perfect, especially not a man 🙂

    • Metis says:

      Stephanie, there was a show on the telly on one of the doctors programmes on sex during period and one of the doctors mentioned in passing that most women are easily aroused when they are menstruating and there were huge grins and nods from the audience. It was quite an explicit episode but from the audience’s reaction it appeared that American men don’t really mind having sex with their partners during period. I can’t say the same about Muslim men, though, no matter where they are from and it is definitely because of how they are raised to view menstruation. The word ‘athaa’ from the Quran is mostly translated as “pollution” even by Arabic speakers (athaa is an archaic word and most Arabic speakers don’t know what it means). So, majority of Muslim men are taught to view menstruation as pollution and filthy. I would say it is cultural because ‘athaa’ means harm, not pollution.

      However, now Wafa’s comment has made me wonder if that harm is believed to be caused to the woman or the man!

      • Zuhura says:

        My husband is proof that some can be re-trained on this issue. 😉

        • Metis says:

          Haha! Good for you Z!

          I do wonder how women born into Muslim cultures perceive having sex while on the period? If men see it as filthy, the feeling must transfer onto the women as well. And this also made me think how much ‘training’ Muslim men accept from women from their own culture?

          Do you think Muslim men born outside the Western part of the world remain in awe of the Western woman (even though some may be constantly condemning her, calling her “promiscuous”) and make very different husbands to them than to the women from their own culture?

          I have seen 2 married couples from different cultures who are into polygamous marriage and the behaviour of the two men with the Western wives is remarkably better than with the wives from their own countries. It is very intriguing.

          • Zuhura says:

            Hmm, that’s interesting. Some of my research is on how women in my husband’s culture teach each other about sexuality before marriage, and at our wedding there I was taught not to have sex while on my period, but that instead I should give my husband a blowjob! I couldn’t believe that if the idea is to give women a break that she would be expected to still pleasure her husband. I think it would be hard for a woman there to break from what she’s been taught not only because it’s so ingrained in women but also because if she did word might get back to others and she would gossiped about or rebuked by other women.

    • unsettledsoul says:

      Hehe! I concur with Stephanie. I have never prayed during my period because I am already lazy about it and like the excuse not to.

      Regarding fasting, I have not fasted while menstruating, but I always hate getting my period during that time because I would like to know what it feels like to fast an entire month. I LOVE Ramadan and I see it as an accomplishment and I would like to know what that feels like. It is so difficult not fasting for a few days right in the middle of Ramadan, and then having to feel like I am starting all over again.

      I do touch the Quran whenever I want to access it, regardless of being on my period, or not having taken wudu, or ghusl, or whatever.

      My views are that women should do what is comfortable for them.

      Regarding sex and menstruation. Hubs and I are all for it, as long as it is not full on. lol. I am more frisky right before, or the first days of my period, so I say why not?! lol My hubs used to feel reserved about the period, it was “dirty” to him, but that’s just how he was raised. When we are adults we should be able to sift through what we were raised to believe, and what we really think. Seeing how I am right when my period begins, I think he got over that thought pretty quickly… Hahaha!!! Ok, too much information!! LOL…. 😉

  5. LK says:

    This always confused me while studying Islam. I think it stems from an ancient missunderstanding of what menstration actually is since thousands of years ago they didn’t have the knowledge we do now. I remember getting into an argument with a teacher over whether or not I could be in the mosque on my period and why can a bleeding man come in but I can’t. She had no answer but that I was more unclean. I then asked her if I just shouldn’t come in an all since I’m also not Muslim. She kinda turned red and we ended the conversation at that :).

    Only benefit I see is you don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn for Fajr. I personally found it to disrupt my ability to pray 5 times a day, especially when learning. You finally get use to doing it and then you have a week off and its hard to start. I really don’t see a benefit to not praying.

    • Metis says:

      LK, on Woodturtle’s post some commenters pointed out this disparity between allowing a bleeding man to pray but not a woman and then someone pointed out that the ‘place of bleeding’ is what makes it different. But what if a man got injured in his groin area in a war, would he not be allowed to pray as well? I think lack of sanitary facilities and scarce water created such misunderstandings about period.

      Or it could be the fact that pagan worship laid heavy emphasis on menstruation blood and there were rituals involving it. Personally I don’t know if such practices existed in Arabia or were the creation of later writers but it is believed that pagan Arabic women smeared the Black Stone with their menstrual blood as it was considered that menstrual blood and semen together formed the “coagulated blood” or a fetus which was given a soul by God. The Black Stone was revered as a god who was offered blood so it would bless it with a soul. Perhaps Islam came to dispel this Meccan myth and forbade worship during period just like the Jews of Medina so that women would not revert to the old pagan practice. Perhaps this is why a woman can follow the entire Hajj if she gets her period but can’t circumambulate the Kaaba?

      In either case, there is no solid basis for this prohibition. The reason behind it is absent from Islamic literature.

  6. Becky says:

    I personally tend not to pray whilst on my period, though that is more so because I do see it as a blessing, not having to (as I suffer from endometriosis and get incredibly painful periods). I will however read the Qur’an and make du’a.

    • Metis says:

      Oh yes, praying with endometriosis would be painful. But I would be interested to learn from you – in fiqh there is the belief that one MUST pray even if on deathbed, like Umar Ibn Khattab did and if even one is completely paralysed s/he should pray with eye movement. According to one absurd view, it is compulsory for a woman to continue her salah even if she is in labour until “half of the child’s body is out of her body”! So, my question is if men and women are forced to keep focus on salah even when in such extreme situations, doesn’t this prohibition really lessen the religion of a Muslim woman as per the hadith?

      • Becky says:

        I would say it does, when you look at it from that point of view (though, personally I put a lot more weight on the Qur’an than on Hadiths and remain skeptical of most). I personally wouldn’t be praying if I was in labour, also following the verse of the Qur’an that says Allah made religion easy for us. I think we often make it too difficult. Like I said, I’ll still read the Qur’an, and I’ll still say du’a and I’ll still “pray”. By that I mean, the way I used to pray as a Christian, more of a conversation with Allah, than ritualized Salah.

  7. I’ve never prayed or fasted while on my period because, like Stephanie, I’m also lazy. On the other hand, I have read and touched the Quran during my period and I never felt guilty about it (I know of a woman who wept and begged Allah to forgive her because she made the mistake of touching the Quran during her period).

    I never paid much attention to this topic, usually due to the aforementioned laziness. However, after reading Wood Turtle’s post, I’ve been contemplating a lot. I don’t want to be told I’m less of a Muslim because I bleed every month. I don’t want to be barred from entering the mosque or told I am “impure” because of a natural occurence. I learnt to accept my periods from secular sources and never once thought I’d see it from a Muslim source. I now feel this topic is one that needs to be discussed so that we can challenge the accepted stance on menstruation and Muslim women.

    • Metis says:

      Thanks ECC, you make an interesting point with “I learnt to accept my periods from secular sources and never once thought I’d see it from a Muslim source.” Yes, the Muslim cultures teach varying degrees of taboo regarding periods ranging from “you can’t even touch the Quran” to “you can’t enter a mosque’s courtyard.”

  8. Coolred38 says:

    In the beginning I abstained from prayer and fasting while on my period simply because that is what all the Muslims around me said was correct. I never felt right about it….I felt guilty for missing those prayers and days of fasting. However, the more I researched and investigated the subject the more I came to realize that there is nothing but belief that women are unclean and dirty, or a “pollution” while on their periods…and that God does not want such a dirty creature worshipping or fasting for Him at that time…even though He, in fact, created us with this “pollution” and is to blame for that state of affairs…so to speak.

    I realized that the period is only mentioned once in the Quran..and not in regards to prayer…but concerning sexual relations. I realize that God informs us that He only created us to worship Him…nothing else. (all the other stuff is extra..our lives, work, family etc) and that He explicitly lists the reasons why we might delay a prayer (travel) or what to do if we miss one (sleep, sick etc)…He tells us under what conditions we require wudu (sex, toilet, sleep etc)…but once that is fullfilled we pray. He even tells us that if water isn’t available then clean dust is permitted. He tells us sickness only gives us an excuse to shorten our prayers…but not to miss them. He tells us that prayer is the only thing that stands between us and our sins on Judgement Day. So God has told Muslims generally, and women specifically for this purpose, exactly what is required of us in regards to prayer…simply…to do it….Period. (no pun intended).

    Then Arabs (and I say Arabs as they are the creators of “extra” Islamic practices) jump up and say…but wait…women are polluted and dirty and can’t touch a book that is ink and paper..and can’t fast or pray because they have blood between their legs…blood that is a biological function…of which God created us to have…and of which God addresses (biological functions) etc etc etc…and says we are forbidden to pray and fast for those reasons. Reasons they find compelling and legit…but of which they have no proof of…other than hadith (extra) and cultural abhorrence to women in general and periods specifically.

    Nobody has to know you are on your period anyhow…so picking up the Quran…fasting…praying…all that is between you and God…why other people (Muslims) feel they need to police women over even THAT is beyond me.

    What’s it too you anyway?

    • susanne430 says:

      “Nobody has to know you are on your period anyhow…so picking up the Quran…fasting…praying…all that is between you and God…why other people (Muslims) feel they need to police women over even THAT is beyond me. ”

      I loved this and I totally agree! I can’t imagine a fourth of my church congregation or choir missing church each week because of a biological function that God created us to have. Nor can I imagine my church ladies not reading their Bibles or praying or whatever simply because of this. Why in the world is it ANYbody’s business?

    • Metis says:

      Coolred, do you think it could do with the exact fact that it is a “biological function”? I mean if you cab break your wadu by passing wind, blood is something way more *visible*! Perhaps there is taboo surrounding biological functions?

  9. Stephanie says:

    Metis said: ” I would say it is cultural because ‘athaa’ means harm, not pollution.”

    Yes, that certainly does beg the question as to why it’s considered harmful.

    And yes, I can say from speaking with men and *ahem* past experience, it’s true that American men don’t seem to have as many hangups with having sex during menstration.

    We could probably have an entirely different conversation regarding Muslim men and ideas about sex in general. For example, from what I’ve read and been told, oral sex is still quite taboo in parts of the Muslim world. In general I think men are just plain confused and fearful about what’s goin’ on down there. And is it any wonder when we have scholars debating whether or not it’s permissible to have intercourse while completely nude.

    I’ve had to do a bit of “re-training” myself (to steal Zahura’s term). OK, I’ll stop now 🙂

    • Metis says:

      “Yes, that certainly does beg the question as to why it’s considered harmful.”

      That would make an interesting study. I wonder why no one talks about it?

  10. Organica says:

    An nonacademic, ignorant comment from me:

    Having your period is like having a break card from a burden. I think all women LOVE the fact that we get off during periods.

    I used to teach Quran and touched it all the time.

  11. Coolred38 says:

    Organica…I never understood that “get out of jail free” mentality when it came to periods and prayer. How many times I heard…thank god I’m on my period so don’t have to pray this week…for whatever reason. Of course, one can only conclude that prayer IS a burden for many and, as you said, the period is an excuse to not carry the burden.

    I’m curious as to why women feel such a relief to have that excuse…makes you wonder how much of their heart is in the whole prayer process to begin with. I’m not saying that in a judgemental way as I cannot speak for anyone…just a thought I have concerning this subject.

  12. Sumera says:

    Prohibition is for ritual prayer only , one can still do dhikr (remembrance) and supplications whilst on their period. AFAIK, for the Quran it is recommended that one does not touch the pages – you can still hold it and read it, you won’t burn for touching it! The book itself is not “holy” – its only the message within, there is nothing stopping anyone from reading it EVEN when you arent in a state of wudu

    I had continous periods for a while – around 2 months- and I felt it wasnt right to pray even though I could have since it didnt count as a perid anyway but irregular bleeding but I didnt – and I dont feel I was wrong in not doing so either.

    And regarding sex whilst on periods, you cannot pentrate nor touch skin on skin the area from navel to knee – anything else goes though!

    • Sumera says:

      Whoever says women are less Muslim than men because they dont pray when bleeding are a bunch of idiots! Why does man feel they have a permit to judge the religiousity of another person when we are told time and time again that judgement on this issue is between you and God only? Some people have a freaking need to police others- they enjoy the power trip!

      • Safia says:

        “Whoever says women are less Muslim than men because they dont pray when bleeding are a bunch of idiots! ”

        Isn’t that a hadith?

        “Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri: Once Allah’s Apostle went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer) o ‘Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. Then he passed by the women and said, “O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women).” They asked, “Why is it so, O Allah’s Apostle ?” He replied, “You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you.” The women asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?” He said, “Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?” They replied in the affirmative. He said, “This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn’t it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?” The women replied in the affirmative. He said, “This is the deficiency in her religion.”
        Sahih Bukhari 1:6:301″

        • Sumera says:

          That hadith has been discussed before, and its not as transparent as it appears. Some men use that hadith as say women are deficient in all aspects – hence she is “weak” and needs a man to “guide her”. Pfftt.

        • Metis says:

          Yes, well there is this hadith but I still don’t believe women are “deficient in intelligence and religion” 🙂

          • Sumera says:

            How can they be, when these same men exemplify Aisha (ra) as a teacher, commend her for her memory, and she’s the narrator of so many hadith! Did they all learn from a deficient woman? :-O

  13. Organica says:

    Sumi, “And regarding sex whilst on periods, you cannot pentrate nor touch skin on skin the area from navel to knee – anything else goes though!”

    I’ve never heard this before 🙂

  14. Organica says:

    @Coolred38

    I’m sure you know this, but I think prayer for 98% of Muslims is like a JOB they want to get out of the way. For example, LET’S reroute ourselves so we can stop and pray here first and then go to wherever we need to go with only 30 minutes before this place closes.

    From a behaviorist perspective, I think prayers should be paired with as many ‘good’ things as possible. The good things of course are supposed to be spiritual moments and connections with God. I think some people are able to gain these connections while most DON’T. In addition, I think that some people have to hear about the rewards of prayer to continue on with the task. Although it’s a distant reward, people use versus of the Quran to remind themselves of what awaits them.

    However, for the majority of Muslims, they pray out of fear. If I pray, I can avoid hellfire. When people tell you they are upset that they will hurt God’s feelings, I smell Bull. This is how we teach our kids and how we were taught.

    My two cents 🙂

    • Sumera says:

      I’d have to agree – the ritual prayer can seem like a burden and often a “do it and get it out of the way” mentality is associated with it. I wonder what it takes to truly become so absorbed in salah that one actively looks forward to it? You probably need to “feel” it from the soul – which in todays society where feeling dead inside is spreading like the plague – and that involves “training” the soul. My uncle has “turned Sufi” and he is so absorbed in it that it leaves me in awe. I’d turn sufi just to “get” and retain a soulful connection to ritual prayer instead of dead movements and headbanging the floor.

    • Metis says:

      I would agree with Organica on this. I know too many Muslims who don’t really find peace in ritual salah. My father did, but I never found that connection.

  15. Organica says:

    Thinking of it, I would have rather been raised a Sufi.

  16. Shawna says:

    I also wish I had been raised a Sufi and am currently searching a new path. Actually, I touch the Qur’an but do not have sex during my period. I don’t know why not other than the idea is gross to me. Not a fan of sharing blood. The question I really have burning inside is why we *have* to pray the ritual way. I was reading one of Zuhura’s posts a few days back about prayer. I had already been thinking about the hukm of why we are required to pray exactly as the Prophet (peace on his soul), when the various madhhabs can’t even agree on the extraneous motions. I know there is benefit in the ritual of the ritual prayer (for me, it provides a structure to my day is otherwise chaotic–and breaks during which my kids know to back off), but why is supplication (du’a) differentiated from prayer (salah), and is it differentiated in the Qur’an?

    Do we have to pray five times, or is that a metaphor/suggestion? Should we be making prayers that create a problem for us to make? Is remembering and praising God throughout the day prayer?

    Sorry. I’ve been ruminating on this awhile and like this forum. Thought I’d throw it out there. Simply direct me to the conversation, please, if it’s already been had. 🙂

    • Becky says:

      I really think the questions you raised about having to pray exactly like the Prophet (pbuh), pray five times a day, differentiation between salah and du’a are incredibly important and interesting. Something I’ve wondered a lot about myself.

    • Metis says:

      Shawna, I just read the other day that ritual salah (timings, motions and rakats) was fixed and codified in the 9th century. Thus it differs from madhab to madhab and from sect to sect. I think Sufis generally pray thrice a day and only 2 rakats.

      “Is remembering and praising God throughout the day prayer?”

      In my opinion it is definitely worship. There must have been some sort of ritual prayers in the Prophet’s time for him to prohibit women from praying during period.

      • Salaam Alaikum,

        ‘I think Sufis generally pray thrice a day and only 2 rakats. ‘

        Not sure about that. The sufis I’ve read about and encountered not only did the five prayers, but many more on top.

        I guess because ultimately, prayer and dhikr are forms of meditation, the better you get at khushoo or mindfulness, the more you get from it and the more you want to do them.

        I honestly believe that if we focused more learning to improve our spiritual selves and less on joining the haraam police academy, we all be so much better to ourselves and each other. However, given the number of charlatans posing as sufis these days, it is very difficult.

        Also, the argument about not praying during periods making women lesser believers is so weak and easily countered, it saddens me that some men still wish to tell such lies against Allah in order to harm their fellow believers.

        • Metis says:

          Salaam Safiya! You are back! Oh, how I missed thee…

          Thanks for the comment and correcting me. I think I misunderstood what a good Sufi friend once said then. He does do an awful lot of dhir though. Maybe it is just him. But thanks for clarifying. That makes sense.

          “men still wish to tell such lies against Allah in order to harm their fellow believers.”

          So true!

    • Zuhura says:

      Great questions! I’m writing a response to you on my blog and will update you when it’s done.

  17. Coolred38 says:

    The most interesting aspect related to a woman having sex while on her period being harmful to her is the fact that she (we) is generally more aroused, more sensitive…need I say the word “horny” while on her period. Also there is the fact that if she is experiencing cramps and pain of any sort, an orgasm is a nonmedical way to relieve pain. It relaxes and temporarily reduces pain in the pelvic region.

    Doesn’t sound like harm to me…but then maybe they are referring to the actual penis in the vagina causing the harm? My (ex)husband actually declared to me when questioned about this that the woman’s blood could enter the man’s urethra and cause HIM harm…and, while that could be plausible…the ayat doesn’t stress the potential harm to men but to women. So?

  18. sushimama says:

    Going back to the pray/menstrual thing: it has always been interesting to me that people interpret the verse that “none shall touch it except the pure.” I have always interpreted it as “none shall touch it (its meaning) except the pure (of heart). I continue to believe this is the meaning.

    I became Muslim awhile after a complete hysterectomy so have never experienced menstruation while being a Muslim. I have thought about this issue though. Although I can find nothing in the Qu’ran that says a woman may not pray during menstruation, it is there indirectly when it says, ” do not approach prayer…when you are unclean and until you have bathed yourself.” (4:43) and verse (2.22) which designates women in menstruation are “unclean” and should not be approached until they have “cleansed themselves.” I know that verse 2:22 is referring to sexual relations only, but I feel “unclean” is the common denominator between the two verses and requires ghusl to be cleansed.

    Although I can’t find anything in the Qu’ran that states a woman has to perform ghusl after menstruation, I think it is implied by these two verses. If it were me, I would praise Allah every day during my period but would not do the formal prayers. Since ijtihad is forever, I think you are free to disagree with fiqh if you think you have adequate Qu’ranic justification. I use Hadith as a guide, but if something about the Hadith does not seem right, I don’t follow it.

    As to the praying five times a day – I think this is the hardest thing a Muslim has to do, because it is a work in progress – you will never complete it. And I believe Allah’s “reason” for the five prayers is exactly TO interrupt your day to remind you that all the things of this world that you enjoy doing are only temporary. This is why you are not to approach prayer if you are not in your senses and why the prayers are obligatory– you are obligated to disrupt this life to remember your Creator and the real life later. Yet, Allah says he doesn’t want to make life difficult for you.

    The Jihad of prayer is like Zen discipline: you must empty your mind of everything to concentrate on the moment of prayer and you do this while you make wu’du. I have certainly not even approached perfection or consistency in this area. Some of my best connections with Allah are while I am driving and not thinking about anything in particular, while during my prayers, my mind wanders sometimes. But I believe eventually, I will achieve the Allah connection more consistently. I made up an aid to help me: a short string of beads -one large and one small for each Al Fatihah and recitation and then 2 large beads for the last two Fatihahs of a 4-raka prayer. It just helps me concentrate better.

    Prayer is hard to do so many times a day, day after day, because human nature is moody. Allah knows this, but He wants you to try and likes the thing done consistently. At least we know how much time out of this life we are supposed to spend on prayer and our future life.

    Allah knows best.

  19. Coolred38 says:

    Sushimama…when someone refers to an ayat and use the words “I believe it is implied”…or “it is implied”…I immediately get my ire up. My question is….why do we assume God can be so direct and to the point in some verses…and yet only implies things in other verses? In other words, if forbidding women to pray while on their period is an order…why not word it as an order…why imply anything and thus leave it up to interpretation and therefore ambiguous and controversial?

    Is God a “I say what I mean and mean what I say”…kind of Creator or isn’t He? When we use the word “implied” we are determining that God left a thought unspoken…if he left it unspoken then we must assume he did so deliberately…if he did so deliberately than we must also assume he did so for a reason….and the conclusion from this particular subject would be that because he doesnt clearly state and outright forbid prayer while menustrating then does that mean it was not an issue with him?

    Clearly a woman is not “polluted” while on her mensus. Such a horribly demeaning word to use…do you assume god would use such a word when describing a bodily function he himself created within us? (not picking on you here, a general question) Muslims are not referred to as polluted when they pas gas, urinate or defecate, when men ejaculate they are not referred to as polluted…and yet women who are experiencing a similar biological function as any one of those are considered polluted. Why?

  20. MuslimRevert says:

    Sorry to play angels advocate – but you guys are musims right? so what is your evidence from the quran or hadith that psp is correct, because the prophet (saws) told women that salah is not fard upon them during this time and Allah said in the quran what ever He (saws) gives you take it and what he abstains you from leave it so how exactly did you come up with this idea.

    If we say that we know better than the prophet or he didnt tell us to psp when it was something good then we are saying that he didn’t do his job of conveying the message properly.

    Islam is submission – not to your intellect and free thinking but to Allah, his book and his messenger. I’m not a feminist, I am muslim.

  21. Asfora says:

    Salaam Aleykum. More info about Quranists and Quranism can be found on The Quranists Network Please submit your blog to the Quranist Blog Directory by emailing asfora (at) quranists (dot) net

  22. Believer of the Quraan says:

    Dear sisters….

    The Holy Quran CLEARLY states in many verses that husbands SHOULD NOT have intercourse with their wife’s during their period as ALLAH swt has said that a women’s period is a disease but her husband is allowed to touch her & her him in other ways for pleasure. He is only to touch her when she has purified showered/wudu).

    I am unable to quote the exact verses where this is mentioned. But I am reading the English transliteration and I take it for word for word.

    Plus making love with your husband is an act of worship & fullfills half your deen, having a period makes a women unclean so you have to be clean to participate in acts of worship & I being a women feel dirty & unclean & don’t feel it nice for my husband to have sex with me during my period.

    Before touching the Holy Quraan, or praying one should purify (be clean) by doing wudu.

    The Quraan is supposed to be taken for TRUTH & A GUIDANCE from ALLAH swt and proper practicing Muslims believe the Quraan has never been tampered with so believe in its words completely.

    I for one will not try to anger ALLAH swt by following some & not the other of the verses or by changing the meaning of the verses slightly in your mind to make the acts seem right…..

    It is GUNAH!! To have sex while on your period… Please sisters don’t give into your desires & commit sin. Especially when ALLAH swt has mentioned it in his Holy Quraan. For all humankind to follow & learn from it, to stop us from committing sins knowingly or unknowingly.

    also ALLAH swt doesn’t have to explain himself to his servants/creations …about every single thing…. ALLAH says NO to things that means NO…. So follow his guidance blindly without question.

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