Usually, the menstrual cycle of my wife is seven days. Recently, after seven days of her menstruation and performing the obligatory bath, we had intercourse. However, after we both performed the obligatory bath, my wife realizes that there is residual blood of yellowish color from her vagina. My question is; is it considered sinful that I had intercourse with my wife during her menstruation when I do not know of the fact at the moment and I was certain that her menstruation has ended at the time?
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
Islam prohibits husband and wife from having intercourse when the wife is menstruating. This prohibition is stated through the statement of Allah SWT:
فَاعْتَزِلُوا النِّسَاءَ فِي الْمَحِيضِ ۖ وَلَا تَقْرَبُوهُنَّ حَتَّىٰ يَطْهُرْنَ
And they ask you about menstruation. Say, "It is harm, so keep away from wives during menstruation. And do not approach them until they are pure."
Surah al-Baqarah (222)
Imam al-Mawardi commented on the above verse said: “What is meant with al-I’tizal in the verse is divided into three opinions;
- Leaving the whole body of his wife from mubasyarah (sexual or direct contact). This is the opinion of Ubaidah al-Silmani.
- Leaving (mubasyarah) between the navel and the knee. This is the opinion of Syuraih.
- Leaving (intercourse) in the vagina. This is the opinion of Aisyah, Maimunah, Hafsah and majority of commentary scholars.
Refer al-Nukat wa al-`Uyun (1/238)
If intercourse happens during menstruation or before the obligatory bath, then it is considered sinful and it is sunnah to pay the kaffarah (fine) to the poor and needy. This is in accordance with a hadith from Ibn Abbas R.Anhuma:
إِذَا أَصَابَهَا فِي الدَّمِ فَدِينَارٌ، وَإِذَا أَصَابَهَا فِي انْقِطَاعِ الدَّمِ فَنِصْفُ دِينَارٍ
“If a man has sexual intercourse (with menstruating woman) during her bleeding, he should give one dinar as sadaqah, and if he does so when bleeding has stopped, he should give half a dinar as sadaqah.”
Sunan Abu Daud (2169)
The payment should be made by the husband and not the wife for the husband is performing the intercourse. The same goes if the intercourse happens when the menstruation has ended but she has not yet performed the obligatory bath, then she is considered the same as a woman who still experience yellowish bleeding. Which means that it is sunnah to pay the fine of half a dinar. Refer al-Iqna` by Imam al-Khatib al-Syarbini (146-147)
However, if the intercourse happens due to one’s ignorance regarding menstruation and a mistake, then the husband and wife is not considered as a sin and it is not commanded for the husband to pay the fine.
Imam al-Nawwi Rahimahullah: “The Muslim ummah had agreed on the prohibition of intercourse with a menstruating wife according to the holy verse (in the Quran) and sahih hadiths. Al-Mahamili said in al-Majmu’: Imam al-Syafie Rahimahullah said: Whoever commit it has committed a great sin. Our ashab and others said: Our ashab said that whoever commits it (had intercourse during menstruation) due to ignorance of the menstruation, or ignorance on its prohibition or forgetfulness, or forced, then it is not considered as a sin and there is no kaffarah (fine). This is according to the hadith of Ibn Abbas R.Anhuma where the Prophet PBUH said:
إنَّ اللَّهَ تَجَاوَزَ لِي عَنْ أُمَّتِي الْخَطَأُ وَالنِّسْيَانُ وَمَا اُسْتُكْرِهُوا عَلَيْهِ
"Allah has forgiven my nation for mistakes and forgetfulness, and what they are forced to do."
This hadith is hasan, narrated by Ibn Majar, al-Baihaqi and others. Refer al-Majmu` Syarh al-Muhadzzab (2/359)
According to the above facts and explanation, the ruling of a husband purposely having intercourse with his wife during her menstruation is prohibited, a major sin and it is obligatory for him to repent. The same is applicable for the wife if she is willingly participating for it is considered as helping towards a sin. As for husband and wife who commit it because it is a mistake assuming that the menstruation has ended, when it hasn’t, then they are not considered as sinful.
Hopefully, this explanation will benefit us all.