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“They ask you about menstruation: Say, it is a discomfort; you shall avoid sexual intercourse with the women during menstruation; do not approach them until they are rid of it. Once they are rid of it, you may have intercourse with them in the manner designed by God. God loves those who are clean. Your women are the bearers of your seed. Thus, you may enjoy this privilege however you like, so long as you maintain righteousness. You shall observe God, and know that you will meet Him. Give good news to the believers.” (2:222-223)

This verse is continuously quoted by “Islamic scholars” in order to lead Muslims down the road of believing menstruating women are contaminated, and thus they are not to perform prayer or fast, given their state of impurity.  They ignore context, content, and audience, intentionally or not, I’m not here to argue that matter.

1)  The audience for this verse are males, as demonstrated by the following phrase:  “Your women are the bearers of your seed.”  This clearly cannot be directed at women (lesbians/bisexuals) but possessors of penises.

-Going by the audience, we are to understand that this verse deals with addressing men about having sex with their wives.  They are to stay away from their wives during menses to maintain good hygiene. 

2)  These verses make no point towards women not being allowed to fulfill their religious obligations given the fact that they are directed at males and sexual activity, and only males and sexual activity.  God would have made the statement directed at an audience of women had it dealt with their impure state to pray or fast, given menstruation is a feminine issue.

Additionally, God troubles Himself to explain what conditions make a person impure for prayer in the following verses:

“O you who believe, do not observe the Contact Prayers while intoxicated, so that you know what you are saying. Nor after sexual contact without bathing, unless you are on the road, traveling; if you are ill or traveling, or you had urinary or fecal-related excretion, or contacted the women sexually, and you cannot find water, you shall observe Tayammum (dry ablution) by touching clean dry soil, then wiping your faces and hands therewith. GOD is Pardoner, Forgiver.”  (4:43)

And

“O you who believe, when you observe the Contact Prayers, you shall: (1) wash your faces, (2) wash your arms to the elbows, (3) wipe your heads, and (4) wash your feet to the ankles. If you were unclean due to sexual activity, you shall bathe. If you are ill, or traveling, or had any digestive excretion , or had sexual contact with the women, and you cannot find water, you shall observe the dry  ablution by touching clean dry soil, then rubbing your faces and hands. GOD does not wish to make the religion difficult for you; He wishes to cleanse you and to perfect His blessing upon you, that you may be appreciative.”  (5:6)

Verse 4:43 makes it evident that a person may not pray if he’s intoxicated.

Both 4:43 and 5:6 list the conditions that would nullify abolution, which is required for Muslims before performing prayer.  The conditions that nullify abolution are sexual activity and fecal related/digestive excretion.  Given the fact that menstruation does not fall under these conditions, it is exempt.

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