Sat 19 Jm2 1435 - 19 April 2014
36722

Intimacy with one’s wife when she is menstruating or in nifaas

Can I have romance with my wife while she is in the state of inpurity (mens. and after child birth).

Praise be to Allaah.  

A man can be intimate with his wife when she is menstruating or in nifaas; this falls into three categories: 

1 – Being intimate and having intercourse with her in the vagina. This is haraam according to the consensus of the Muslims and the text of the Qur’aan. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“They ask you concerning menstruation. Say: that is an Adha (a harmful thing for a husband to have a sexual intercourse with his wife while she is having her menses), therefore, keep away from women during menses and go not unto them till they are purified (from menses and have taken a bath)”
[al-Baqarah 2:222] 

2 – Being intimate by kissing, embracing, touching etc. parts that are above the navel and below the knee. This is permissible according to scholarly consensus. 

See Sharh Muslim by al-Nawawi, and al-Mughni, 1/414 

3 – Being intimate with regard to the area between the navel and the knee, apart from the front or back passage. The scholars differed as to whether this is permissible. Imam Abu Haneefah, Imam Maalik and al-Shaafa’i were of the view that this is haraam, and Imam Ahmad was of the view that this is permissible; the latter view was also shared by some Hanafis, Maalikis and Shaafa’is. Al-Nawawi said: The evidence for this view is stronger and it is the preferred view. 

Those who say that it is permissible quoted evidence from the Qur’aan and Sunnah. 

With regard to Qur’aanic evidence, they quoted the verse mentioned above (interpretation of the meaning): 

“…therefore, keep away from women during menses and go not unto them till they are purified (from menses and have taken a bath)”
[al-Baqarah 2:222] 

The phrase fi’l-maheed (translated as during menses) refers to both the time of menstruation and the site of menstruation, which is the vagina. So long as the woman is menstruating, having intercourse with her in the vagina is haraam. 

Ibn Qudaamah said in al-Mughni, 1/415: 

The fact that the site of bleeding is mentioned specifically indicates that it is permissible to be intimate in other areas. 

With regard to the Sunnah, Muslim (302) narrated from Anas that the Jews, if any of their women was menstruating, would not eat with them or meet with them in their houses. The companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) asked the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) about that, then Allaah revealed the verse (interpretation of the meaning): 

“They ask you concerning menstruation. Say: that is an Adha (a harmful thing for a husband to have a sexual intercourse with his wife while she is having her menses), therefore, keep away from women during menses and go not unto them till they are purified (from menses and have taken a bath). And when they have purified themselves, then go in unto them as Allaah has ordained for you (go in unto them in any manner as long as it is in their vagina). Truly, Allaah loves those who turn unto Him in repentance and loves those who purify themselves”

[al-Baqarah 2:222] 

The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “So do everything except intercourse.” News of that reached the Jews and they said, “What does this man want? He does not leave any of our affairs but he differs from it!” 

What is meant by “they would not meet with them in their houses” is that they would not mix with them or stay in the same room with them. This was the view of al-Nawawi. 

Abu Dawood (272) narrated from ‘Ikrimah from one of the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) wanted to engage in any intimacy with one of his wives when she was menstruating, he would put a piece of cloth over her private part. Al-Haafiz said: its isnaad is qawiy (strong); it was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood, 242. 

It says in Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 5/395: 

It is haraam for the husband to have intercourse with his wife in her vagina when she is menstruating, but he may be intimate with her everywhere else. 

It is better for the man, if he wants to be intimate with his wife when she is menstruating, to tell her to wear something to cover her between the navel and the knees, then he may be intimate with her in any other area. 

Al-Bukhaari (302) and Muslim (2293) narrated that ‘Aa’ishah said: “If one of us was menstruating and the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) wanted to be intimate with her, he would tell her to wear an izaar (waist wrapper) at the peak of her menstruation, then he would be intimate with her.” 

Muslim (294) narrated that Maymoonah said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would be intimate with his wives above the izaar (waist wrapper) when they were menstruating. 

“The peak of her menstruation” means at the beginning when the flow is heaviest. This was the view of al-Khattaabi. 

Ibn al-Qayyim said in Tahdheeb al-Sunan, commenting on hadeeth no. 2167 from ‘Awn al-Ma’bood

The hadeeth “Do everything except intercourse” clearly indicates that what is forbidden is only intercourse in the site of menstruation, which is intercourse in the vagina, but everything else is permissible. The hadeeth which speak about the izaar (waist wrapper) do not contradict that, because that is a precautionary measure and is better. 

It may be that a distinction is made between the beginning of the period and the end, so that it is mustahabb to cover the area between the navel and the knee when the bleeding is heaviest, which is at the beginning of the period. 

Al-Haafiz said: 

This is supported by the hadeeth narrated by Ibn Maajah with a hasan isnaad from Umm Salamah, that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would avoid intimacy with her for three (days), then he would be intimate with her after that.  

Note: 

The rulings mentioned above apply to both menstruating women and women in nifaas (bleeding after childbirth). 

Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, after mentioning the rulings on a man being intimate with his wife when she is menstruating: 

The woman in nifaas is like the woman who is menstruating in this regard. 

Al-Mughni, 1/419. 

And Allaah knows best.

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