Why should a woman who menstruates perform fasting as qada later since she does not perform prayers as qada?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

We will deal with the issue in a few items so that it will be understood better.

1. The word “qada” has a few meanings:

a. To complete/finish: The word qada is used in this sense in the verses below:

“And when the Prayer is finished, then may ye disperse through the land, and seek of the Bounty of Allah...” (al-Jumua, 62/10)

“So when ye have accomplished your holy rites...”(al-Baqara, 2/200)

“When ye pass (Congregational) prayers, celebrate Allah´s praises, standing, sitting down, or lying down on your sides...” (an-Nisa, 4/103)

b. To decide: The word “qada” is used in this sense in the verse below:

“It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision.”(al-Ahzab, 33/36)

c. To decree: It is used in this sense in the verse below:

“To Him is due the primal origin of the heavens and the earth: When He decreeth a matter, He saith to it: ‘Be,’ and it is...” (al-Baqara, 2/117)

d. To order:  The word “qada” is used in this sense in the verse below. (see Raghib, Mufradat, Qada item):

“Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents...” (al-Isra, 17/23)

2.  The word “qada” has various nuances in the verses. However, the common meaning is to complete, finish, decree and fulfill.

3. As a term, it means to pay one’s debt, to perform missed prayer. In other words, “qada” means to fulfill something that needs to be done after its time expires. (see ad-Durrul-Mukhtar, 676-679; al-Fiqhul-Islami, II/130)

4. We will deal with a hadith regarding the issue now:

“Muadha narrates: I asked Aisha: “Why does a woman perform fasting but not prayers that she misses during the period of menses as qada later?” She asked me, “Are you a Haruriyya?” I said, “No, I am not a Haruriyya but I am asking a question.” She said, “When we were in the period of menses, we were ordered to perform fasting later but we were not ordered to perform prayers later.” (Muslim, Hayd, 69; Abu Dawud, Taharah, 104; Nasai, Siyam, 64)

We will explain the hadith in a few points:

- The reason why Hz. Aisha reacted to the woman by asking, “Are you a Haruriyya?” is as follows: The Kharijites, who united against Hz. Ali, were called Haruriyya because of the place called “Harawra”, where they first came together. Some of them claimed that it was wajib for women to perform prayers that they missed when they were in menstruation. When Hz. Aisha heard the question, “Why does a woman perform fasting but not prayers as qada during the period of menses?”, she got angry and asked, “Are you a Haruriyya?” For, this view of Haruriyyas is contrary to the consensus of the Muslims. (see Nawawi, the interpretation of the hadith in question)

- The meaning of the statement “When we were in the period of menses, we were ordered to perform fasting later but we were not ordered to perform prayers later” is as follows: The Prophet (pbuh) knew that Hz. Aisha did not perform prayers when she was in menstruation but he did not order her to perform those prayers later. If it had been necessary to perform them, he would definitely have ordered her to perform them later. (Nawawi, ibid)

- We can understand from the explanation above that Imam Nawawi used the word   “qada” in the sense that we know and believed that this understanding belongs to all Muslims.

- Imam Nawawi included the following views when he explained that hadith:

"All Muslims agree unanimously that prayers and fasting are not fard for women who are in menstruation period and puerperium. They all agree that women do not have to make up for those prayers after they become clean."

"They also unanimously agree that those women have to make up for the fasts after they become clean."

"The difference between prayers and fasting originates from the following fact: Fasting is fard only once a year. Prayer is a fard that is performed five times a day. It is a grace of Allah that women are exempted from performing those prayers later; it is a tolerance shown by Islam, which is a religion based on ease." (Nawawi, The explanation of the hadith in question).

- In order to see how scholars of four madhhabs have the same view as the view of Imam Nawawi and understand the concept qada in the same way as we do - not as Ibn Taymiyya says -, see al-Fiqhul-Islami, I/467-470; II/129-145; Jazari, al-Fiqhu Alal-Madhahibil-Arbaa, 491-496.

- Ibn Taymiyya is a very intelligent scholar but it is known that he disagrees with the majority of the scholars related to some issues. That is one of those issues.

- “My ummah will not agree on misguidance/an error.” As this hadith expresses, the view of the majority of the scholars is more appropriate than the view of individuals. Those who lead people to narrow roads serve what is wrong unknowingly.

According to those explanations, the order of Islam regarding the issue is as follows:

"Women do not perform the prayers that they miss when they are in menstruation later but they perform fasting that they miss later."

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