Wa `alaykum as-salamu 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.
In this fatwa:
Answering your question, Dr. Wael Shehab, PhD in Islamic Studies from Al-Azhar University and currently the Imam of the Downtown Toronto Masjid in Canada, states:
A menstruating woman is not allowed to fast or offer the prayers. However, she is asked to make up for the missed days of the fast of Ramadan later on; she is not required to make up for the missed prayers during her period.
`A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: “That – meaning menses – used to happen to us and we were commanded to make up for missed fast-days but we were not commanded to make up for missed prayers.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
This ruling is a clear manifestation of the ease and mercy of Islamic Shari`ah. Allah says in the Qur’an:
“The month of Ramadan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.” (Al-Baqarah 2:185)
Allah Almighty promises great rewards and blessings for the fasting persons. Allah says about the fasting person: “He has left his food, drink and desires for My sake. The fast is for Me. So I will reward (the fasting person) for it and the reward of good deeds is multiplied ten times.” (Al-Bukhari)
As the menstruating woman doesn’t fast in obedience to Allah and makes up for the missed fast-days of Ramadan later, Allah Almighty will bless her with His favors and great rewards.
Her reward may exceed the reward of many others who fast in Ramadan but don’t disobey Allah’s commands.
Sister, be assured that Allah Almighty is the Most-Just and Most-Generous; you’ll gain by obeying Allah’s Shari`ah countless favors and blessings.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.