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Forums Forums Islamic Sharia Can Females Fast In Ramadan During Monthly Menstrual Cycle?

  • Can Females Fast In Ramadan During Monthly Menstrual Cycle?

    Hassan Izhar updated 6 days, 21 hours ago 3 Members · 2 Replies
  • Umer

    Moderator April 1, 2024 at 2:11 pm

    The perpetual sunnah transmitted to us unanimously maintains that women are not allowed to keep fast during menstruation. Therefore, they must make up for their left over fasts once their cycle is over (after Ramdhan).

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  • Hassan Izhar

    Member April 8, 2024 at 3:42 pm

    To answer this question, the following aspects and issues should be addressed before invoking a knee-jerk appeal to ‘consensus’.

    1. Is it within the jurisdiction of “Sunnat” or any other authority besides God Almighty for that matter, to issue permanent prohibitions in religious matters? Was this authority ever delegated to any of the Prophets? To answer this question, we must consult Quran so that we can draw proper epistemological boundaries that distinguish between a justified belief vs. an opinion.

    When Quran discusses the matters of halal and haram, it makes it amply clear that issuing all prohibitions is the sole domain of God Almighty (6:150, 16:116, 10:59), and the prohibited matters are all exhaustively detailed in Quran, dietary (6:145) as well as non-dietary/general (7:33). Nothing new can be added in the list of prohibitions from outside of Quran.

    Verse 66:1 strongly indicates that Prophet PBUH did not have the authority to issue any prohibition, even for himself, unless it was clearly communicated by God.

    2. The MMC prevents women from being cleansed (2:222), and attaining cleansing is one of the requirements for offering Contact Prayer (Salat), (5:6). Therefore, it is a valid argument that women should not offer Salat during the MMC as evidenced from Quran. Salat means making a formal contact with God (salat = connect). Since during salat, a person is formally making a contact with God Almighty, therefore, the bar is at its highest for being cleansed to be properly presentable. Not just that, we are also told to dress nicely when we present ourselves before God (7:31).

    Does the same requirement of cleansing which is commanded for Salat apply to other acts of worship? It depends on the act of worship. If it requires you to enter a temple/mosque for instance, then cleansing should be attained first, such as in Tawaf when you are both present at a temple and presenting yourself before God in His house. God praises the righteous men who are careful of cleansing while standing at mosques:

    9:107 There are those who establish a temple to do harm and cause rejection, to cause division among those who acknowledge, and as an outpost for those who fought God and His messenger before. They will swear that they only wanted to do good, but God bears witness that they are liars.

    9:108 You shall never stand there. A temple that is founded on righteousness from the first day is more worthy of your standing; in it are men who love to be cleansed. God loves the cleansed.

    What about fasting or zikr? Fasting and glorifying God are both commanded in the same verse, indicating that they should be performed in unison:

    2:185 The month of Ramadan, in which the Quran was sent down as a guide to the people and a clarification of the guidance and the criterion. Therefore, those of you who witness the month shall fast it. Whoever is ill or traveling, then the same number from different days. God wants to bring you ease and not to bring you hardship; and so that you may complete the count, and glorify God because He has guided you, that you may be thankful.

    Fasting and zikr are both formal acts of worship, but ones for which you are not presenting yourself before God as in the case of Salat (remember, Salat = connect), but are in a state of retreat (not eating and not speaking or speaking less). The analogy between the requirement of cleansing for salat and fasting/zikr is clearly not similar. Simple reasoning suffices to distinguish that in Salat you are presenting yourself before God, in fasting you are not formally presenting yourself before God, although we are 24/7 present before God by default.

    3. Since Quran is the sole Criterion (furqan) and Scale (meezan) and a Complete, Perfect, and Fully Detailed Scripture, complete with all necessary spiritual and religious information (6:114, 16:89, 12:111, 7:52, 10:37), we need to get the verdict of Quran to conclude this matter, or any other religious matter for that purpose.

    Does Quran stipulate mandatory requirement of cleansing for Salat? Yes, a simple juxtaposition of verses 2:222 and 5:6 indicate that it does. Does it stipulate similar requirement for fasting? No, it does not.

    Does Quran want us to take partial information from Quran (for Salat) and the remaining information from Sunnat (for fasting)? This would be an erroneous method, as it would amount to challenging the Quran’s claim of it being a complete, perfect, and fully detailed Scripture. It is therefore, not a valid argument as it contradicts Quran’s claim and assertion about its completeness.

    Conclusion is that the issuance of prohibition for women to fast during menstruation is not within the jurisdiction of Prophet. And we know very well that Prophets have never over-stepped their lawful role and jurisdiction as repeatedly explained in Quran that Prophets only conveyed what God commanded them. Therefore, it is safe to say that Prophet Muhammad did not issue any such prohibition. Any false statement attributed to him on this matter is based on conjecture and hearsay, and since it contradicts Quran, it is void ab initio and should be regarded as null and void.

    The source of this prohibition needs further scholarly inquiry to determine its actual roots, which may likely be found in pagan/Nabatean Arabic traditions of 6th/7th century from where it might have permeated into the hearsay and conjecture-based institution of ‘Sunnat’.

    6:116 And if you obey most of those on the earth they will lead you away from the path of God; that is because they follow conjecture, and that is because they only guess.

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