Over the past days the topic of menstruation and mosques came to mind. Often it is deemed impermissible for menstruating women to enter the mosque which is taken from the following:

the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)) commanded us on the two Eids to bring out the virgins and those who usually stayed in seclusion, but he told the menstruating women to keep away from the prayer-place of the Muslims.”

and

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“I do not make the mosque permissible for menstruating women and those in a state of ritual impurity.”
As for a menstruating woman passing through the mosque for some purpose, as long as she takes care to ensure that no blood leaks, then there is nothing wrong with this, because Allâh says (interpretation of the meaning):

“… Approach not As-Salaah (the prayer)… when you are in a state of Janaabah (i.e., when you are in a state of sexual impurity and have not yet taken a bath) except when travelling on the road (without enough water, or when passing through a mosque)…” [al-Nisa’ 4:43]

If passing through the mosque is necessary, then it is permissible for a menstruating women to enter:

Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told ‘Aa’ishah to fetch his prayer rug from the mosque, and she said that she was menstruating. He SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told her: “Your menstruation is not in your hand.

However, an interesting article I came across here noted the following points:

If those who prohibit a menstruating woman from entering the mosque wish to argue that there is a danger of the mosque becoming soiled by menstrual blood, we would say that women today have far better means of keeping clean than theyhad at the time of the prophet (peace be upon him). They protect themselves so perfectly at home, not to mention the mosque, that no matter how heavy the bleeding might be, their clothing never gets stained.

Nevertheless, since the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) women suffering from incessant vaginal bleeding have been attending the mosques, even though they were not so perfectly protected from dripping blood.

This is according to the hadîth of `Âishah where she said: “One of the Prophets’s wives joined him in i`tikâf and she used to see blood and yellow spots. She had a bowl under here and would pray.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî]

Ibn Hajar comments on this hadîth saying: “It indicates the permissibility of a woman suffering from perpetual vaginal bleeding to stay in the mosque and the validity of her i`tikâf and prayer and the permissibility of her being in the mosque with the impurity as long as long as she is secure from soiling the mosque. The same applies to any person with a perpetual condition of breaking his state of purity and a person with a bleeding wound.” [Fath al-Bârî]

So if menstruating women being restricted from entering the mosque is due to potential soiling of the prayer area, in this day and age its very possible to maintain a good level of hygiene and sanitation, with leakage being very minimal. The above excerpt is referring to chronic bleeding, and so would fall outwith the realm of “menstruation”. But is it not applicable to menstruating women?

And most mosque space is also used actively in teaching. The mosque is meant to be a centre of learning, so by preventing women who are in a state of impurity, something that occurs naturally as Allah (swt) ordained, that’s a significant majority of the population!

What do you think? Do you think menstruating women are right to be prevented from accessing mosques?

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