Question: Is it allowed for a menstruating woman to read a book of supplications on the Day of ‘Arafah, given the fact that the book contains Qur.aanic verses?
Response: There is no harm in a menstruating or post-partum bleeding woman reading the books of supplications that are written for the rites of the pilgrimage. In fact, there is nothing wrong with her reciting the Qur.aan according to the correct opinion. There is no authentic, clear text prohibiting a menstruating or post-partum bleeding woman from reciting the Qur.aan. The thing that is narrated is concerned with the sexually defiled person only, as such should not recite the Qur.aan while he is sexually defiled. This is based on the hadeeth of ‘Alee.
As for the menstruating or post-partum bleeding woman, there is the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar which states, “Neither the menstruating woman nor the sexually defiled person is to recite anything from the Qur.aan.” However, this is weak. This is because it is from the narrations of Ismaa’eel ibn Iyyash on the authority of people from the Hijaaz and he is weak when he narrates from them. However, she may recite from her memory without touching the Qur.aan. As for the sexually defiled person, he/she may not even recite the Qur.aan from memory or touch the mushaf until he/she makes ghusl. The difference between the two is that the amount of time one is sexually defiled is very short as he may make ghusl as soon as he has done the act with his spouse. The amount of time is not long and he is in control of its length as he may make ghusl whenever he wishes. Even if he cannot find water, he can make tayammum and pray or recite the Qur.aan. However, the menstruating or post-partum bleeding woman does not have control over their lengths, such control is in the hand of Allaah. Menstruation and post-partum bleeding take days.
Therefore, it is allowed for them to recite the Qur.aan so that they do not forget what they have memorized and so they will not lose the merits of reciting it. It is also so they may learn the laws of the Sharee’ah from the Book of Allaah. Therefore it is even more so permissible for her to read the books of supplications that have verses and hadeeth intermixed with them. This is the correct view and is the correct opinion of the scholars- may Allaah have mercy on them- on that point.
[Shaykh Ibn Baaz|Fataawa al-Mar.ah]