Period Prohibitions

Period Prohibitions

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There are certain acts of worship you are not allowed to perform when you are on your period. Once your period has ended and you have done ghusl (purifying wash), you can resume the acts of worship that you weren’t allowed to previously perform. The below are the period prohibitions:​

Prayer​

Women are not allowed to pray during their period until it ends and ghusl is performed. But, be mindful of the time you started your period:​

  • If your period started at the beginning of the prayer time and you had enough time to complete one full rakaa, you will have to make it up once you are purified. 
  • If your period started at the end of the prayer time, i.e. fajr – before the sun rose, and you had enough time to complete a rakaa, you will have to make it up once you are purified.​

But don’t worry if you started your period just a moment after the prayer time began or ended, you do not have to make them up.​

You can however, do dhikr, takbeer, say Subhaan-Allaah, praise Allah, say Bismillaah when eating and so on and read hadeeth, fiqh and dua’s, or saying Ameen to dua’s, and listening to the Quran.​

You can also go out to Eid prayers during your period to witness and join the celebrations – just make sure to avoid the prayer place.​

When it comes to reading the Quran, scholars are divided. The hadeeth that says women who are on their period or have not yet purified themselves after intercourse should not recite the Quran is weak. Plus the logic: is that obviously women had their periods at the time of the Prophet (S.A.W) and if reading the Quran was not allowed, like prayer was not, this would have been explained to us. The Mothers of the Believers would also have known and told people.​

The general advice though is that it is better for a woman on her period to not recite the Quran out loud except when she has to i.e. she is a teacher.​

Fasting

A Muslima is not allowed to fast when they are on their periods – whether obligatory or nafil fasts, but you have to make up any obliatory fasts that you missed.​

If you start your period during a fast, the fast becomes invalidated even if your period comes moments before Maghrib. You have to make up that day if it was an obligatory fast. ​

If you only feel the symptoms of your period before Maghrib and there is no blood until after sunset, then your fast is complete and it isn’t invalidated.​

If dawn comes and you are still on your period, you shouldn’t fast that day even if you did your ghusl just moments before dawn. But, if your period ended just before dawn and you intended to fast, the fast is valid even if you didn’t do ghusl until after dawn.​

Tawaaf around the Kaba​

A Muslima on her period can do everything that pilgrims do but they are not allowed to circumambulate the Kaba.​

So, if you do tawaaf when you are pure and then your period came immediately after, or during sa’ee, there is nothing wrong with that.​

Tawaaf al-wadaa’ (the farewell tawaaf) is waived​

If you complete the rituals of Hajj and Umrah and then your period starts before you leave, you can go without doing the farewell tawaaf.​

But the tawaaf that is required for Hajj and Umrah is not waived and you must do it once you are purified.​

Staying in the mosque​

A Muslima on her period is not allowed to stay in the mosque.​

Intercourse​

It isn’t permissible for a Muslima to have sex with her husband when on her period.​

Divorce​

A husband and wife are told to divorce at a time when they haven’t had sex and the wife isn’t on her period. It is sinful for a husband to divorce his wife when she is on her period.​

If the divorce happens when you are on your period, you have to make up and resume the marriage until you have had another period – so, you become pure, start another period and become pure again. Only then, should you decide to either stay married or get divorced (don’t have sex either until you decide).​

The exceptions to this are:​

  1. You get divorced before sex or intimacy.
  2. You get divorced during pregnancy.
  3. You compensate your husband to divorce you.​

Even though divorce and periods have specific rules, there is nothing wrong with entering into a marriage contract when you are on your period –  there is nothing to suggest otherwise. But remember not to have sex during your periods.​

Calculating the waiting period after divorce by means of the menstrual cycle

If you decide to divorce before sex or intimacy with your husband, there isn’t a waiting period for the divorce to be effected.​

But if you were intimate or have had sex, you have to observe the waiting period which takes one of the following forms: ​

  1. If you menstruate, you have to wait for three complete menstrual cycles after the divorce, i.e. your period comes then you become pure, then it comes again and you purify yourself, then your period comes again and you become pure. That is three complete menstrual cycles, regardless of whether the time between them is long or short. So, if your periods stopped because you are breastfeeding, you have to wait until it starts again and you complete three menstrual cycles.
  2. If you are pregnant, you have to wait until the pregnancy ends – no matter how long you had left.
  3. If you don’t have your periods anymore i.e. because of menopause or an illness that stopped it completely (hysterectomy), the waiting period is 3 months.
  4. If your periods stopped because of a known reason, wait for it to return, then complete the waiting period according to your menstrual cycle.
  5. If your periods stopped and you don’t know why, scholars say you should wait for a full year – nine months for pregnancy and three months for the waiting period.
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