Cutting Nails or Hair During Menses


Question :

Respected scholars, as-salamu `alaykum.

I know little about fiqh of women during their menstruation. However, I know that a woman is not supposed to pray, touch Qur’an and so forth while menstruating. My question is: are women allowed to clip their nails, cut their hair, or take shower during the days of menstruation?

Could you please shed some light on this issue?

Jazakum Allah khayran.

Answer (Sheikh Ahmad Kutty):

Wa `alaykum as-salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Sister in Islam, we do really appreciate your question, which shows how far you are interested in getting yourself well-aquatinted with Islam and its teachings. May Allah bless your efforts in the pursuit of knowledge!

As far as Islamic Shari`ah is concerned, a menstruating woman is allowed to clip the nails or hair, take a shower, or anything halal with the exception of performing Prayer or fasting or touching or carrying the mus-haf (Arabic for: copy of the Qur'an) according to some scholars.

Explaining what is allowed and what is not allowed for the menstruating woman,Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, stated,

There is absolutely no prohibition for women against clipping or cutting nails or hair or taking showers or bathing during menstruation. Women are only required to refrain from Prayer and fasting. They can also, without incurring sin, listen to the Qur'an or read it from memory, especially if they are afraid of forgetting it.

Imam Malik is of the view that women can even read Qur'an from the mus-haf , especially if they are teaching or studying. It also goes without saying that all scholars agree that during menstruation, women can always make dhikr (Arabic for: words invoking remembrance of Allah) or du`aa' (Arabic for: supplication to Allah).

We are, therefore, best advised to stay away from things forbidden, while not forbidding that which is not forbidden. For as explicitly stated by Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), "Whatever Allah has been silent of will be deemed as part of His grace, for Your Lord is never forgetful."

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