Monday, March 24, 2008

Menstruation and the Shariah

The Sahih Bukhari Hadith contains the Shariah Code related to menstruation. In Chapter 6, the Book of Menstruation, of Sahih Bukhari, it is written:

The words of Allah, “They will ask you about menstruation. Say, ‘It is an impurity, so keep apart from women during menstruation and do not approach tem until they have purified themselves. But once they have purified themselves, then go to them in the way that Allah has enjoined on you.’ Allah loves those who turn back from wrongdoing and He loves those who purify themselves.” (2:222)

In Islam, the faith or practice of women is viewed as deficient due to the existence of menstruation, which is interpreted as evidence of female immorality.

In the Hadith, menstruation is associated with a bad odor and specific garments must be worn during this time of a woman’s monthly cycle. The time period before as well as during menstruation are seen as times of increased mental and psychological stress that temporarily compromise the legal competence of women.

During the period of menses, women are prohibited from doing the following:

- To touch the Koran
- To enter the mosque
- To offer prayers
- To circle the Kabah during Haj
- To fast
- To have sexual intercourse
- To be divorced by their husbands.

Menstruating women may recite the Koran from memory or listen to broadcasts of prayer. They may pray from a copy of the Koran without touching it.

Women must take a purification bath immediately following menstruation and then offer prayers. Any missed prayers and fasts during Ramadan must be compensated at another time of the year.

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