People say that a menstruating woman is not allowed to take a bath. Is this correct?
We do not know of any prohibition of a menstruating woman taking a bath. Rather, Imam Ibn Majah (رحمه الله) writes in his ‘Sunan’:
“Chapter: How A Menstruating Woman Should Bathe:
It is narrated from Aishah (رضي الله عنها) that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said to her, when she was menstruating: “Undo your braids and bathe.”[i]
The great hanbali jurist, Ibn Qudamah (رحمه الله) says, “This was not the ghusl after menses. Rather she was commanded to take a ghusl during menses…”[iv]
The great hanafi muhaddith, Allamah Sindhi (رحمه الله) says, “Meaning, while she was still in her menses. From this, it is apparent that this is not a ghusl after menses.”[v]
Shawkani (رحمه الله) said, “Ghusl in this condition is for cleanliness.”[vi]
This hadith clearly shows that a woman may bathe while she is in her menses.
And Allah knows best.
[i] [Sunan Ibn Majah, Chapter: 124 Hadith #641]
[ii] [Misbahuz Zujaajah Pg.439]
[iii] [Al-Muntaqaa with Nail Vol.1 Pg.292]
[iv] [Al-Mughni Vol.1 Pg.226]
[v] Hashiyah ala Ibn Majah Pg.302
[vi] [Nailul Awtaar Vol.1 Pg.292]