A woman teaches Islamic studies

Women’s Corner

Mufti Muhammad Qasim Attari

Q: What do the honourable scholars of Islam say about the following matter: a woman teaches Islamic studies to girls in a school. During her lectures, she must recite and listen to verses of the Quran and ask the students questions. At times, the students are in a state of major ritual impurity due to menstruation. The teacher is not always aware of the students’ state. If the teacher is aware that some girls are ritually impure, will it be permissible for her to teach them and ask them questions about the lesson?

بِسْمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِیْمِ

اَلْجَوَابُ بِعَوْنِ الْمَلِکِ الْوَھَّابِ اَللّٰھُمَّ ھِدَایَۃَ الْحَقِّ وَالصَّوَابِ

A: Generally speaking, a person is unaware of which girls in the classroom are menstruating, as this is a private affair. Therefore, if the teacher is unaware, it will be permissible for her to teach them. Even if by chance the teacher comes to know that a student is menstruating, at most, only a handful of girls will be in the same state. Even if the teacher is aware of several girls who are in this state, it is still permissible for her to teach them, because menstruation only prevents women from touching and reciting the Quran, not looking and listening to it. Therefore, if the teacher delivers a lecture and the girls only listen to it, there is no issue.

The teacher can also ask the girls questions about the lesson, however, as long as she does not ask them to recite verses of the Quran or their translation when they are menstruating, as this would be akin to instructing them to sin. Nevertheless, one can still ask these girls to explain the lesson without citing a Quranic verse or its translation. For example, they can summarise the verses to demonstrate their understanding without citing the verse(s) verbatim.

As part of her duty of care, the teacher should teach the students that according to the reliable four schools of jurisprudence, it is not permissible for anyone, male or female, to touch the Quran while in a state of minor or major impurity, and it is not permissible to recite the Quran while in a state of major ritual impurity, even for educational purposes. In any case, if a girl does happen to recite the Quran in this state, it is she who will be responsible for her actions, not the teacher. The teacher should continue to consider this to be wrong in her heart, for if a person does not have the ability to prevent evil with the tongue and hand, then the lowest degree of faith is to consider it bad in one’s heart.

وَاللہُ اَعْلَمُ عَزَّوَجَلَّ وَ رَسُوْلُہٗ اَعْلَم  صلَّی اللہ علیہ واٰلہٖ وسلَّم




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