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FAQ

al kafi 1718

Question:

Assalamualaikum ustaz. Hopefully you are well. I have a question. Is it permissible for a menstruating woman to cook? The reason is I heard that it is impermissible for a menstruating woman to cook because it is not suitable for her to cook in an impure state. Is this true? Hope for an explanation from ustaz.

 

Answer:

Waalaikumussalam.

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.

Among the privilege of women is menstruation. It is a natural cycle every woman experience when she reaches maturity. The Prophet PBUH said:

إِنَّ هَذَا شَىْءٌ كَتَبَهُ اللَّهُ عَلَى بَنَاتِ آدَمَ

“That is something that Allah, the Mightily and Sublime, has decreed for the daughters of Adam.”

Sahih Muslim (2976)

For a woman who is on her menses, she is prohibited from doing some matters which is permissible for her when she is pure. The prohibitions during menstruation are:

  • Pray for both obligatory and sunnah prayers
  • Tawaf (circumambulation)
  • Holding the mushaf al-Quran
  • Sitting in an area in the mosque
  • Reciting the Quran
  • Fast
  • Walking through a mosque if one feared that she may dirty the mosque
  • Having intercourse with her husband (Refer Al-Taqrirat Al-Sadidah Fi Al-Masail Al-Mufidah, pg. 172-175)

All of these matters are impermissible during the fatrah of haid and when she becomes pure again, then it is permissible again as usual.

Coming back to the above question presented, there is no issue for a menstruating woman to cook. Cooking is not among the impermissible matters for menstruating woman. Al-Bujairimi said:

وَكَانَتْ الْيَهُودُ إذَا حَاضَتْ الْمَرْأَةُ فِيهِمْ لَمْ يُؤَاكِلُوهَا وَلَمْ يُسَاكِنُوهَا فِي الْبُيُوتِ ، وَالنَّصَارَى يَسْتَبِيحُونَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ حَتَّى الْوَطْءَ فَخَلَتْ هَذِهِ الشَّرِيعَةُ مِنْ الْإِفْرَاطِ الْوَاقِعِ مِنْ الْيَهُودِ وَالتَّفْرِيطِ الْوَاقِعِ مِنْ النَّصَارَى

“For the Jews, when their women are menstruating, they would not eat nor live with them in their houses. Whilst the Christians ruled everything is permissible which includes intercourse. Consequently, the shariah would be destroyed with the stringency of the Jews and the carelessness of the Christians.” (Refer Tuhfah Al-Habib ‘Ala Syarh Al-Khatib, 3/288)

This is according to an incident which is narrated by Anas bin Malik himself where he said:

أَنَّ الْيَهُودَ كَانُوا إِذَا حَاضَتِ الْمَرْأَةُ فِيهِمْ لَمْ يُؤَاكِلُوهَا ، وَلَمْ يُجَامِعُوهُنَّ فِي الْبُيُوتِ فَسَأَلَ أَصْحَابُ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَأَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى {وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْمَحِيضِ قُلْ هُوَ أَذًى فَاعْتَزِلُوا النِّسَاءَ فِي الْمَحِيضِ} إِلَى آخِرِ الآيَةِ ، فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ : اصْنَعُوا كُلَّ شَيْءٍ إِلاَّ النِّكَاحَ

Among the Jews, when a woman menstruated, they did not dine with her, nor did they live with them in their houses; so the Companions of the Apostle (ﷺ) asked The Apostle (ﷺ), and Allah, the Exalted revealed:" And they ask you about menstruation; say it is a pollution, so keep away from woman during menstruation" to the end (Qur'an, ii. 222). The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: Do everything except intercourse. 

Sahih Muslim (455)

Imam al-San’ani said that regarding the hadith which ruled it impermissible to have intercourse and other than this is permissible such as sit with them, eat their cooking and others. (Refer Subul Al-Salam Syarh Bulugh Al-Maram Min Adillah Al-Ahkam, 1/104)

Al-Khatib al-Syarbini said:

وَلَا يُكْرَهُ طَبْخُهَا

“And the food cooked by menstruating women is not prohibited,” (Refer Mughni Al-Muhtaj Ila Ma’rifah Alfaz Al-Minhaj, 2/35)

To conclude, it is permissible for menstruating women to cook. Their condition does not prevent them to do other activities such as cooking and others. Syara’ only limits some matters for women during their menses. As for other than these matters, they are permissible.

May Allah SWT give us all the correct understanding of His religion. Wallahua’lam.