Praise be to Allaah.
The following question is listed in Fatawa Islamiyyah (1/239):
Is it permissible for a menstruating woman to recite the du’aa’s of the Day of ‘Arafaah despite the fact that they include aayat from the Qur’aan?
There is nothing wrong with the woman who is menstruating or bleeding after childbirth reciting du’aa’s that are prescribed for the rituals of Hajj. Also, according to the correct opinion, there is nothing wrong with them reading Qur’aan as well, because there is no clear saheeh report that states that the woman who is menstruating or bleeding after childbirth should not read Qur’aan. It was reported that the man who is junub (in a state of impurity following sexual activity), in particular, should not read Qur’aan whilst he is junub, because of the hadeeth of ‘Ali (may Allaah be pleased with him). With regard to the woman who is menstruating or bleeding after childbirth there is the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar: “The menstruating woman and the man who is junub should not read Qur’aan” – but it is da’eef (weak), because the hadeeth was reported by Ismaa’eel ibn ‘Ayyaash from the Hijaaziyeen, and he is da’eef in his reports from them. But she should read without touching the Mus-haf (copy of the Qur’aan in Arabic), from memory. In the case of the man who is junub, he should not recite Qur’an at all, either from memory or from the Mus-haf, until he has done ghusl. The difference between them is that the timespan for the one who is junub is very short, he can do ghusl straightaway, as soon as he finished having intercourse with his wife. He is not junub for long, and it is up to him when he wants to do ghusl; if he cannot find water, he can do tayammum (“dry ablution” using dust etc.) and pray and read Qur’aan. But the woman who is menstruating or bleeding after childbirth has no control over her situation – it rests with Allaah, may He be glorified. The period lasts for a number of days and nifaas (post-natal bleeding) is the same. So it is permissible for them to recite Qur’aan so that they do not forget it and so that they do not miss out on the blessings of reciting Qur’aan and learning the rules of sharee’ah from the Book of Allaah. If that is the case, then it should certainly be permissible for them to read books containing du’aas that are a mixture of aayaat and ahaadeeth, etc… this is the more correct of the two opinions of the scholars, may Allaah have mercy on them.
(Shaykh Ibn Baaz).
The following question was also mentioned:
I read some Tafseers (Qur’anic commentaries) when I am not taahir (ritually pure), such as during my monthly period. Is there any sin on me for doing that? Will I be committing a sin if I do that?
There is no sin on the woman who is menstruating or bleeding after childbirth if she reads books of Tafseer or even if she reads Qur’aan without touching the Mus-haf, according to the more correct of the two scholarly opinions. As for the man who is junub, he should not read Qur’aan at all until he has done ghusl, but he can read books of Tafseer and hadeeth etc., without reading whatever they contain of aayaat, because of the report that nothing would stop the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) from reading Qur’aan except janaabah (being junub). According to a hadeeth narrated by Imaam Ahmad with a jayyid isnaad, he said: “As for the man who is junub, he should not read even one aayah.”