Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah
Question: Assalamu alaykum
Can a menstruating person sit in the room where the deceased lies?
Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam, I pray you’re well.
In regards the presence of a menstruating woman, there is a difference in ruling between her being present when a person is dying and being in the presence of a deceased person.
A Dying Person
The fuqaha have stated that is disliked for a menstruating woman, as well as any person in a state of janaba (major ritual impurity) to be present while a person is dying, meaning at the point of death, when the soul is departing. This is based on the hadith, ‘The angels do not enter a house where there is an image, a dog or a person in a state of major ritual impurity [junub].’ [al Nasa’i] [Tuhfat al Muhtaj, Mughni al Muhtaj]
However, there is some discussion on what is meant by junub in the hadith, many scholars holding that it refers to a person in a state of major ritual impurity who does not out take the ritual bath, or purposely delays having a bath, out of bad habit or religious complacency. [Hashiyat al Suyuti ‘ala al Nasa’i]
Our teachers elaborated that if there is a need for the menstruating woman to be present such as a close family member whose presence will provide comfort to the dying person then there is no harm in her being present. However, if it becomes apparent that the parting of the soul is prolonged or with difficulty, a menstruating woman should leave the room, as should a person in a state of janaba. And Allah knows best.
A Deceased Person
In regards a menstruating women being in the presence of a deceased person then there seems no objection to her being present, as the soul has left the body, and as long as the general etiquette of mourning are observed.
Warmest salams,[Shaykh] Jamir Meah
Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.