The Quran about menstruations
In the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful.
At all times, the condition of a woman during menstruation caused a prejudiced attitude towards them. Sometimes they were expelled from the house during this period. With the advent of truth from God, the status of women in society was improving, but over time, obstacles to full-fledged service to God began to appear again. Actively showing his faith in Islam, a woman during the month is forbidden to pray, and it is believed that her fast is broken. Turning to the Prescription of God, we find a completely different picture.
Let’s consider what does menstruation mean for a woman?
And they ask you about menstruation.
Say, “It is suffering (azan),
So keep away from wives during menstruation. And do not approach them until they are pure. And when they have purified themselves, then come to them from where God has ordained for you. Indeed, God loves those who are constantly repentant and loves those who purify themselves.” (2:222)
And those who no longer expect menstruation and those who have not menstruated among your women – if you doubt, then their period is three months. And for those who are pregnant, their term is until they give birth. And whoever is aware of God – He will make for him of his matter ease. (65:4)
In the whole Quran, only these two verses are devoted to this phenomenon. The first thing that catches your eye is the quality of this condition – suffering. In the Arabic version, the word suffering sounds like “izan” and means “pain, suffering, hurt, annoyance, harm, damage.” This is the way it is told in s2a222. When a woman has pain, suffering and annoyance, a man should refrain from sexual intimacy. The period of abstinence extends until the end of this state, i.e. till the cessation of blood. Ayat narrates only about the rule in the intimate relations of the spouses. However, many are confused by the expression “… until they are pure …“, which is presented as a ritual purity, without which you cannot pray. In an unbiased study of this issue, we see in the Quran that the word purification is applied not only to prayer, but also to clothing and charity:
O you who covered himself!
Arise and warn!
And your Lord glorify!
And your clothing purify! (74:1-4)
Take, from their wealth a charity by which you will purify them and cleanse them. Pray for them, for your prayer is a reassurance to them! And God is Hearing and Knowing! (9:103)
It would be wrong to assume that it is a question of ritual pre-prayer purity. Everywhere the state of a person after certain actions is shown. Returning to s2a222, it becomes clear that we are talking about cleansing from blood for the possibility of sexual intercourse between spouses.
Another questionable condition is the state of defilement, in which praying is forbidden, as described in s4a43:
O you who have believed! Do not approach prayer while you have intoxicated mind until you know what you are saying or in a state of sexual defilement, until you have washed, except those journeying. And if you are ill or on a journey or one of you comes from the toilet or you have touched women in intimacy and find no water, then seek clean earth and wipe over your faces and your hands. Indeed, God is ever Pardoning and Forgiving! (4:43)
It is believed that during the period of menstruation a woman is defiled. Defilement in Arabic sounds like “junubun” and is translated as “defiled, stranger“. Its root meaning is the word “janaba“, which means “lay aside, side“.
Firstly, this term is applied to men, because an ejaculation happens with them outside of sexual contact.
Secondly, prayer is prohibited only until the defiled place is purified. This is confirmed in the continuation, narrating about various “pollutions”, which are easily eliminated, even by ritual wiping of the face with a clean surface. I would like to note that defilement and suffering are completely different in meaning words. To strengthen this thesis, a selection of ayats is proposed, where the word “suffering” is used:
Those who spend their wealth in the way of God and then do not reproach and do not express resentment (azan) will have their reward with their Lord, and there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve. Kind speech and forgiveness are better than charity followed by resentment. And God is Rich, Forbearing!
O you who have believed! Do not invalidate your charities with reproaches or resentment (azan) as does one who spends his wealth to be seen by the people and does not believe God and the last life. His example is like that of a smooth stone upon which is dust and is hit by a downpour that leaves it bare. They are unable to use anything of what they have earned. And God does not guide the closed people! (2:262-264)
They will not harm you except by suffering (azan). And if they fight you, they will show you their backs; then they will not be aided. (3:111)
You will surely be tested in your possessions and in yourselves. And you will surely hear from those who were given the Scripture before you and from those who associate others with Allah much abuse (azan). But if you are patient and fear Allah – indeed, that is of the matters [worthy] of determination. (3:186)
And when you are among believing people, pray with them. Let a group of them stand with you and let the other group of them carry their arms. And when they have prostrated, let them stand behind you and have the other group come forward which has not prayed and let them pray with you, taking precaution and carrying their arms. Those who closed themselves wish that you would neglect your weapons and your baggage so they could come down upon you in one attack. But there is no blame upon you, if you are troubled (azan) by rain or are ill (marda), for putting down your arms, but take precaution. Indeed, God has prepared for the closed ones a humiliating punishment! (4:102)
The states described in the above passages do not in any way imply a ban on prayer. Moreover, in a state of suffering and pain, both the messenger and his companions prayed. The rules of prayer for such events are described in s4a102. Let’s agree that during the fighting it is impossible to do without wounds, and usually blood flows from them. All this is accompanied by suppuration, which together is no better than menstrual flow. Thus, the state of the wound (pain, suffering) and menstruation of a woman are described by the same word – “izan“, which indicates an identical attitude towards them (meaning in worship).
Insolvency of the statement of a breach of fasting during menstruation is shown by the following ayats:
The blazing (Ramadan) month in which was revealed the Literature (Quran), a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever witness the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill (mariidan) or on a journey – then an equal number of the counted days. God intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship, that you complete the counted period and glorify God for that He has guided you! And perhaps you will be grateful! (2:185)
The above passage defines only two states – illness and travel that permit fast to be postponed. However, the word disease sounds like a “mariidan”. As we see, pain and disease are different concepts. Especially since the Almighty Himself separates these two states:
And complete the pilgrimage and visit for God. But if you are constrained in the means, then sacrifice animals available to you. And do not shave your heads until the sacrificial animal has reached its place of slaughter. And whoever among you is ill (maridan) or has pain (azan) in the head, a ransom of fasting or charity or deeds of piety. And when you are in prosperity, then who uses the visit for pilgrimage, can sacrifice an animal within own means. And whoever cannot find – then a fast of three days during pilgrimage and of seven when you have returned home. Those are ten complete days. This is for those whose family is not in the area of forbidden for battles place for earthly worship. Beware of God and know that God is severe in penalty! (2:196)
The reality is that the prohibitions taken from the outside of the Quran detract and separate women from God, from performing duties before Him (prayer, fasting). Can we in the name of God forbid what God do not forbid?