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Ibn Mas’ud’s (radiyallahu ‘anhu) statement regarding the origin of menstruation

Question

Is the following narration authentic and is the contents about the origin of menstruation correct?

It is narrated from Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (radiyallahu ‘anhu) that he said: “The men and women of the Banu Israil used to pray together. If a woman had a [male friend in the congregation], she would wear wooden shoes [that were elevated like stilts] in order to raise herself for her friend. Then, Allah ‘Azza Wa Jalla inflicted them with menstruation.” Ibn Mas’ud (radiyallahu ‘anhu) used to say: “Expel them [from the masjids] just as Allah has expelled them.”

 

Answer

Imams ‘Abdur Razzaq, Tabarani (rahimahumallah) and others have recorded this statement of Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (radiyallahu ‘anhu).

(Musannaf ‘Abdur Razzaq: 5115, Al Mu’jamul Kabir: 9484-9485. Also see: Sahih Ibn Khuzaymah: 1700)

 

‘Allamah Haythami (rahimahullah) has declared the narrators of Tabarani reliable (rijalus sahih) and Hafiz Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) has declared the chain of Musannaf ‘Abdur Razzaq authentic (sahih).

(Majma’uz Zawaid, vol. 2 pg. 35, Fathul Bari, before Hadith: 294, vol. 1 pg. 400)

 

A similar narration has also been reported as the statement of Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radiyallahu ‘anha).

(Musannaf ‘Abdur Razzaq: 5114)

 

Notes:

1) The last part of the Hadith should be translated as “Keep them back just as Allah has kept them back” instead of “Expel them just as Allah has expelled them.” See here for clarity regarding this.

The correct translation will therefore be as follows:

Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (radiyallahu ‘anhu) that he said: “The men and women of the Banu Israil used to pray together. If a woman had a [male friend in the congregation], she would wear wooden shoes [that were elevated like stilts] in order to raise herself for her friend. Then, Allah ‘Azza Wa Jalla inflicted them with menstruation.” Ibn Mas’ud (radiyallahu ‘anhu) used to say: “Keep them back just as Allah has kept them back.”

 

2) Other general narrations suggest that menstruation was for all women and from the time of Sayyidah Hawwa. (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 294, Mustadrak Hakim, vol. 2 pg. 381)

In light of this, Hafiz Ibn Hajar (rahimahullah) has stated that it could be that due to the actions of the women of Banu Israil, the period of menstruation was increased. The narrations of Sayyiduna Ibn Mas’ud (in question) and Sayyidah ‘Aaishah (radiyallahu ‘anha) should be understood in this light.

Hence the words: ‘Then, Allah ‘Azza Wa Jalla inflicted them with menstruation’ would mean: Allah Ta’ala inflicted the women with extended periods of menstruation.

 

 

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.

 

Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala

 

Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar