In Surah al-Baqarah, Ayah 222

And they ask you about menstruation? Say: "It is harmful, so retire yourselves sexually from the women during the menstruation, and do not approach them until they are cleansed. When they are cleansed, then you may approach them as God has commanded you." God loves the repenters and He loves the cleansed.

While in Bukhari Hadith Number 299:

Narrated 'Abdur-Rahman bin Al-Aswad: (on the authority of his father) 'Aisha said: "Whenever Allah's Apostle wanted to fondle() anyone of us during her periods (menses), he used to order her to put on an Izar and start fondling her." 'Aisha added, "None of you could control his sexual desires as the Prophet could."

This is a Muhsin Khan translation, the word يباشر (yu bashira) in this hadith translated as fondling but Quran uses the same root as sexual relations/intercourse .

In Surah al-Baqarah, Ayah 187:

Permitted for you in the night of the fasts, is the approach to your wives. They are your garments and you are their garments. God knows what ye used to deceive yourselves; but He turned to you and forgave you; so now have sexual relations / intercourse (Arabic: bashirunna) with them, and seek what God Has ordained for you..."

I'm asking this question in the sense of, can a husband have sexual intercourse with his menstruating wife.

Doesn't this hadith contradict the Quran (2:222)?

  • Assalamu Alaikum... I hope you're aware of Mr. Muhsin Khan, his contributions and his research. So, if he has used the word fondle, he would have felt that yu bashira meant that. You know, words might mean different in different situations. So it's better if you consult a good Arabic to English translator before deciding. May Allah guide us all. Nov 16, 2014 at 20:43

2 Answers 2


No, there is no contradiction. A verb may be used in its initial meanings as well as final/extreme. The context/situation dictates the meaning in which it is used. This is a general style of Arabic language.

For example see An-Nisa 4:136

O you who believe! believe in Allah and His Apostle and the Book which He has revealed to His Apostle and the Book which He revealed before;

It is very obvious that the second believe conveys the perfect/complete sense of the verb in contrast with the first one.

In the hadith you mentioned, the verb is also used in its initial meanings (fondling) rather than the final (sexual intercourse). The following sentences indicate that sexual intercourse is not implied here:

  1. "he used to order her to put on an Izar and start fondling her" - replace fondling with intercourse and you'll see the sentence becoming harder to make sense.
  2. "None of you could control his sexual desires as the Prophet could" i.e. he (pbuh) controlled his desires despite fondling her.

Therefore, a husband cannot have sexual intercourse with his menstruating wife.


In regards to your inquiry (or in the similar situations), I ought to mention that there could be two probabilities. Initially there could a relation between the hadith(s) and the Quran that may be a little hidden or hard to understand it.

On the other hand, (as a strong reason) in the similar situations, definitely the credibility of the Quran would be the right one, since perhaps occasionally some hadiths… hence at the doubtful situation we should refer to the Quran in compare to hadiths.


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