Girls Learning Quran During Menses
  • Question:

    Few girls that study at Islamic Foundation mentioned that their teacher had told them to recite the Quran while they were in the state of haidh (menses). The girls were told it is allowed to recite and touch the Holy Quran by their teacher who apparently obtained this ruling by yourself [Sh. Yusuf Badat]. This has caused them to be confused as they were taught not to touch or recite in the state of menses.

    Please could you kindly clarify this matter as soon as possible.

    Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

    Thank you for your question.

    I anticipate this message finds you in all goodness and prosperity.

    I appreciate you contacting me directly in a matter that involves me, rather than getting caught up in hearsay and rumours, which generally lead to unlawful discussion and misunderstandings. May Allah bless you tremendously for this.
    Now to clarify your concerns, kindly note:

    Sometime ago, at the Islamic Foundation School, where I am the head of Islamic affairs, a concern was brought to my attention by the Quran teachers and the principal. The issue was that, during the Quran period, the children in elementary and middle school constantly skip half the period for the purpose of making wudhu to handle the Quran, while some young girls would continuously refuse to recite Quran with the excuse of menses. The result was, the students were not learning Quran. I was told to address the matter and provide a viable solution; hence I came up with the following protocol, which is now the policy at the Islamic Foundation School:

    “In general circumstances, one must be in a state of purity, cleanliness and wudhu for recitation and handling of the Holy Quran. However, for educational purposes, children under the age of 13 may handle and recite the Holy Quran without being in a state of purity and or wudhu.” (Islamic Protocol – IFS)

    This policy ruling is specific to a context and situation. In no way is it a general ruling.

    This was based on the fiqh principles of ‘jalb al manfa’ah wa daf al dharar’ (seeking the benefit and avoiding the harm) ‘li al taleem’ (preserving religious education) and ‘muraahiq’ (one who has just reached puberty or may be near to puberty)
    The great Hanafi jurist, Imam Haskafi mentions in Dur al Mukhtar:

    “It is not disliked for a child to touch a Quran, and there is no harm in giving it to him or seeking it from him, for the sake of necessity, because memorization in youth is like engraving in stone”.

    Imam Ibn Abidin comments on Imam Haskafi’s saying, “for the sake of necessity” mentioning that in commanding the child to perform an ablution every time would be difficult for the child and if one delays teaching the child until he matures, one would miss out on utilizing the gift of memorization that young children possess. This reason indicates, as mentioned by Tahtawi, that if one is not teaching the child then it would not be permitted to give the Quran to him or seek him to bring it to one”. (Ibn Abidin, Radd al Muhtar ala Dur al Mukhtar)

    It is also commonly agreed amongst the fuqahaa that:

    • It is permitted to hold dua books that contain Qur'an in them, in a state of menstruation.
    • It is permitted to recite duas from the Qur'an, with the intention of supplication, though not with the intention of reciting the Qur'an.
    • If the Quran is in a casing, or wrapped in a cloth, or covered with a cloth jacket which is not stitched to the Quran and which can be removed; then in such a case, the Quran could be touched and could also be carried without purity.
    • If a woman experiencing menstruation, is teaching the Quran to girls, then in such a case it will be permissible for her to spell out the words. When she is teaching them to read, she should not recite the entire verse, but should read one or two words at a time and after every word or two, she should break her breath.

    It is reported form Ali (r) and also Imam Abu Hanifa that “an articulation is only considered a recitation if it is read in its entirety – a complete verse” (Majma al Zawaid)

    “Whatever is articulated as less than a verse would not be considered as recitation of the Quran”. (Fath Al Qadeer, I’elaa Al Sunan, Al Hidaayah)

    “It is not prohibited upon a junubee (one who is in the state of major impurity) and haaidh (one who is in menses) to recite one or two words at a time of the Holy Quran”. (Fath Al Qadeer).

    Imam Tirmidhi states that most people of knowledge from amongst the companions, tabioon and those who came after them, such as Sufyaan Al Thawree, Abdullah bin Mubarak, Imam Shafiee, Imam Ahmad, and Ishaaq have stated, “The woman in menses and the man in major impurities (janaabah) is not to recite the holy Quran except isolated words or parts of a verse etc.”. (I'elaa Al Sunan)

    And Allah knows best.

    Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Badat
    Hadith of the Day Imam
    Imam of the Islamic Foundation of Toronto and Director of Mathabah institute
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