Entering the Masjid
In Islam, the masjid is a place of great honour and reverence. It should only be entered if one is in the utmost state of cleanliness and with ritual purity, as defined by Islamic law (Shari’ah). For women who are menstruating, it is important to understand the regulations regarding what areas of the masjid they can access and what areas they should avoid.
The Fiqh of It
It is not permissible for a woman to enter or even pass through a masjid while menstruating (hayd) or in post-natal bleeding (nifas) without a valid reason, similar to anyone in a state of major ritual impurity (janabah) (Manhal al-Waridin p.280).
A masjid is an area that is permanently designated for the worship of Allah, whereas a musallah is a temporary place of worship. Today, many of the masjid buildings include a masjid and a musallah. The masjid is commonly referred to as the main prayer hall. During hayd and nifas, a woman cannot enter the portion designated as the masjid, i.e. the main prayer hall. However, she may attend lectures and programs if they are held in other areas of the facility. If a woman is unsure what physical space constitutes the masjid, she should consult the administration for clarification.
If a woman is in spiritual seclusion (‘itikaf) in the masjid and starts menstruating, she should leave immediately, and her ‘itikaf will be invalidated.
If the Eid and Janazah prayer are not held in the masjid, it is permissible for a woman in hayd or nifas to attend the gathering.