Fiqh-us-Sunnah - 1.53

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Reciting the Qur'an

According to most scholars, one who is physically unclean (because of sex or menstruation) may not recite any portion of the Qur'an. This is based on a hadith from 'Ali, in which he stated that nothing kept the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, from the Qur'an save being sexually impure. This is related by "the four." At-Tirmidhi graded it sahih. Says al-Hafez in al-Fath, "Some people declare some of its narrators weak. But, in fact, it is of the hassan class and it is satisfactory as a proof." He also related, "I saw the Messenger of Allah perform ablution and recite some of the Qur'an, after which he said, 'This is for the one who is not in post-sex impurity. If one is in post-sex impurity, he may not do so, not even one verse." Ahmad and Abu Ya'la related this hadith with that wording. With that wording, al-Haithami says, "Its narrators are trustworthy." Says ash-Shaukani, "If that (report) is authentic, that is proof enough that it is forbidden." The first hadith does not forbid it, for it just states that it was his practice not to recite the Qur'an while he was in post-sex impurity. Similar reports do not show that it is disliked. Therefore, how can it be used as a proof that it is forbidden?" Al-Bukhari, at-Tabarani, Dawud, and Ibn Hazm are of the opinion that it is permissible for one who is in post-sex impurity (or in menstruation) to recite the Qur'an. Says al-Bukhari, "Ibrahim said, 'There is no problem if a menstruating woman recites a verse.' Ibn 'Abbas did not see anything wrong with a sexually impure person reciting the Qur'an. The Prophet, upon whom be peace, used to mention Allah under all circumstances." In Ibn Hajr's notes to that work, he says, "There is no authentic hadith reported by the author (al-Bukhari) concerning the prohibition of reciting by one who is sexually impure or menstruating." The sum total of what has been related on this issue informs us on this point, though the interpretations differ.

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