Sahih Bukhari Volume 002, Book 026, Hadith Number 789. Narated By 'Aisha : We performed Hajj with the Prophet and performed Tawaf-al-ifada on the Day of Nahr (slaughtering). Safiya got her menses and the Prophets desired from her what a husband desires from his wife. I said to him, "O Allah's Apostle! She is having her menses." He said, "Is she going to detain us?" We informed him that she had performed Tawaf-al-Ifada on the Day of Nahr. He said, "(Then you can) depart."

If we read this hadith it says we can have sexual relation while woman is menstruating. But Quran says you cant and stay away.

Clearly Why Aisha and her companions mention about menses if not they are worried about sexual relationships while on menses.

  • 1
    Where does the hadith say that one can have sexual relation while a woman is menstruating? Why do you think that Bukhari would have been so ignorant to have collected this hadith in his Sahih if it had contradicted the Quran?
    – UmH
    May 2, 2018 at 7:52
  • Your question about specifically "why Aisha and her companions mentioned menses if they were not worried about sexual relationships" prompts opinion-based answers. Furthermore, if we read the hadith, it implies we can not have a sexual relationship while a woman is menstruating since the hadith does not say the Prophet ﷺ had any form of sexual relationship with her at the time.
    – III-AK-III
    May 2, 2018 at 15:40
  • @III-AK-III read the below answer. It's clear, i had a doubt its clear now. If you want to add anything new just post an answer. Salaam
    – ayub
    May 2, 2018 at 15:44

2 Answers 2


A hadith in Sahih Bukhari is not going to flatly contradict the Qur'an (in this case Qur'an 2:222 ...keep away from wives during menstruation...): the narrators of these ahadith and the author Muhammad al-Bukhari were devout Muslims who were aware of the contents of the Qur'an. (Instead the Book of Menstrual Periods gives several ahadith which describe activities appropriate during menses.)

This version of this hadith is Sahih al-Bukhari 1733 and my impression is that it does not imply "we can have sexual relation while woman is menstruating". On the contrary, I would interpret it as meaning the opposite: that the Prophet refrained from sex with her because she had her menses.

Other versions of the hadith in Sahih Bukhari do not imply sex during menses is permissible:

... he saw Safiya standing at the entrance of her tent, depressed and sad because she got her menses. The Prophet said, "Aqra Halqa! --An expression used in the Quraish dialect--"You will detain us." The Prophet then asked (her), "Did you perform the Tawaf Al-Ifada on the Day of Sacrifice (10th of Dhul-Hijja)?" She said, "Yes." The Prophet said, "Then you can leave (with us).
Sahih al-Bukhari 6157

Safiya bint Huyai had got her menses. He said, "She will probably delay us. Did she perform Tawaf (Al-Ifada) with you?" We replied, "Yes." On that the Prophet told her to depart.
Sahih al-Bukhari 328

Safiya bint Huyay, the wife of the Prophet got her menses, and Allah's Messenger was informed of that. He said, "Would she delay us?" The people said, "She has already performed Tawaf-al-Ifada." He said, "Therefore she will not (delay us)."
Sahih al-Bukhari 1757

(Also Sahih al-Bukhari 1771, 1772.)


In addition to Rebecca's good answer I'd like to say that the hadith shows a couple of things: The Prophet () was not knowing that Safiya had her menses, nor when it started.

The point of this hadith (and this gets clearer when we consider reading it with the other narrations quoted and linked by Rebecca in her answer) is that the Prophet () and all people in his company have had fulfilled their hajj rituals and completed them and have changed to normal clothes after performing tawaf al-Ifadah. This means at this point they could go back to their regular life: wearing "normal" clothes and having sexual relationships etc..

By coincidence this happened on the day of Safiya (), so it was clear for his other wives that he might want to be with her, as they were in his company and that's why they could inform him.

An other possible issue of this "coincidence" is that if Safiya had not performed twaf al-Ifadah yet the prophet () and his whole company would need to wait for her to take ghusl after her menses to be able to depart to where ever they were about to leave. Ibn Hajar in his fath al-Barry holds the opinion that the Prophet () at this point didn't know that Safiya had already performed her tawaf -before the menses started-, and as his other wives had just asked him earlier for the permission to perform the tawaf so he didn't expect her to have accomplished her hajj rituals after being informed that she has gotten her menses. And of course after seeing them returning from tawaf, but without knowing that she got her menses he was clearly expecting to fulfil his spousal duties.

So basically the Prophet () simply didn't know that his wife had her menses right after accomplishing tawaf al-Ifadah and therefor he needed to be informed, about details, as he would never leave his wife alone if she got her menses and needed to accomplish her rituals.

On the other hand the sunnah clearly shows that our Prophet () followed the order of the quran you may read in sahih Muslim how the Prophet () became angry when some of his companions asked him to allow them having intercourse with their wives during their menses:

Among the Jews, when a woman menstruated, they did not dine with her, nor did they live with them in their houses; so the Companions of the Apostle (ﷺ) asked The Apostle (ﷺ), and Allah, the Exalted revealed:" And they ask you about menstruation; say it is a pollution, so keep away from woman during menstruation" to the end (Qur'an, ii. 222). The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: Do everything except intercourse. The Jews heard of that and said: This man does not want to leave anything we do without opposing us in it. Usaid b. Hudair and Abbad b. Bishr came and said: Messenger of Allah, the Jews say such and such thing. We should not have, therefore, any contact with them (as the Jews do).
The face of the Messenger of Allah (way peace be upon him) underwent such a change that we thought he was angry with them, but when they went out, they happened to receive a gift of milk which was sent to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). He (the Holy Prophet) called for them and gave them drink, whereby they knew that he was not angry with them.

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