Is it true that Muslim women are not supposed to pray during their periods? If so, why?
بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيْم
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
When a woman is going through her monthly menstruation, she will not pray. The reason for the following is because of the following Ahaadith:
Sayyidatina Aisha says," We set out with the sole intention of performing Hajj and when we reached Sarif, (a place six miles from Mecca) I got my menses. Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) came to me while I was weeping. He said ' What is the matter with you? Have you got your menses? ' I replied, 'Yes.' He said, 'This is a thing which Allah has ordained for the daughters of Adam. So do what all the pilgrims do with the exception of the Tawaf (Circumambulation) round the Kaaba. " `Aisha added," Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) sacrificed cows on behalf of his wives. "
In another narration it says:
Sayyidatina Aisha reported: Fatimah bint Abu Hubaish came to the Apostle (may peace be upon him) and said: I am a woman whose blood keeps flowing (even after the menstruation period). I am never purified; should I, therefore, abandon prayer? He (the Holy Prophet) said: Not at all, for that is only a vein, and is not a menstruation, so when menstruation comes, abandon prayer, and when it ends wash the blood from yourself and then pray.
Apart from the above ahadith, if one is to look at the Quran ayah:
And they ask you about menstruation. Say, "It is harm (or a period of pain), 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 Allah has ordained for you. Indeed, Allah loves those who are constantly repentant and loves those who purify themselves." [Surah Baqarah, ayah 222]
If one looks at the above ayah, Allah says that it's a period of pain and someone who experiences such pain will understand that it's not a nice experience and a very difficult period that all women go through, so something to consider is that during this pain Allah relieves women from her daily prayers and Quran recitation, so in such case, a woman will get rest and be relieved of extra worship through this tough time, and still be rewarded by Almighty Allah.
Only Allah knows best
Written by Maulana Belaal Ahmed
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham