Praying while on your period is haram (forbidden) according to Islamic law. There are a few reasons why menstruating women are exempt from prayer during this time:
The Quran specifically exempts menstruating women from prayer in verse 2:222 which states: “They ask you about menstruation. Say: ‘It is an impurity, so keep away from women during menstruation and do not approach them until they have become pure. But when they have purified themselves, then approach them from where Allah has ordained for you.'” This verse establishes that women on their period should not engage in ritual prayer, as prayer requires a state of purity (tahara).
Hadiths of Prophet Muhammad
There are several hadiths (sayings of Prophet Muhammad) that instruct menstruating women not to pray:
- “Is it not the case that when she is menstruating, she does not pray or fast?” The Prophet said: “That is the defect in her religion.” (Sunan al-Nasa’i)
- “When the menstruation begins, stop praying, and when the menstruation has ended, wash the blood from yourself and pray.” (Sunan al-Nasa’i)
These hadiths establish ritual prayer as forbidden for women during menstruation.
State of impurity
Islam requires spiritual purity and cleanliness for prayer. Menstruating women are in a state of impurity (najasah) and cannot attain the required purity for salat. This temporary state of impurity is considered natural and not sinful.
Major ablution (ghusl) is required to remove this state of impurity before prayer can be performed. Women must wait until their period has fully ended before performing ghusl and resuming ritual prayer.
Exemption, not prohibition
It’s important to note that menstruation does not prohibit women from worshipping altogether. They are exempt from obligatory prayer and fasting, but they can still engage in dhikr (remembrance of Allah), dua (supplication), and other acts of worship. The exemption is seen as a mercy, not a punishment.
In summary, menstruating women are prohibited from performing ritual salat prayer primarily based on Quranic injunction and the hadiths of Prophet Muhammad. Women in their period are in a state of temporary impurity that prevents the spiritual cleanliness required for prayer. However, this exemption is not considered a deficiency in their faith. Women can still engage in other forms of worship while on their period.