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Ghusl, ablution and salt (namz)  >  Haid and Nifs (Menstruation and Postnatal Bleeding)

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Haid and Nifs (Menstruation and Postnatal Bleeding)

Haid means to flow. It is the blood that starts to flow from the genital organ of a healthy girl a few days or months or a number of years after she has passed eight years of age and reached her ninth year, or of a woman after a period of Full purity directly succeeding the last minute of her previous menstrual period, and which continues for at least three days, i.e. seventy-two mean hours from the moment it was first seen. This is also called Sahîh Catamenia. If no blood is seen within the fifteen or more days after a bleeding period, and if this duration (of purity) is preceded and followed by days of haid, these days of purity are called Sahîh Purity. If there are days of fâsid bleeding, (which is also called istihâda bleeding,) within the fifteen or more days of purity, all these days are called (days of) Hukmî purity or Fâsid purity. Sahîh purity and Hukmî purity are called Full Purity. Bleedings that are seen before and after a period of full purity and which continue for three mean days are two separate periods of haid. Any coloured liquid, except for a white (colourless) liquid, is called the blood of haid, and so is any turbidity. When a girl begins haid, she becomes a bâligha, (an adolescent), that is, a woman. A girl who has not yet experienced the menses and a boy whose genitalia does not yet produce spermatozoa are Islamically bâligh (in a state of puberty), once they are beyond the age of fifteen. This fact is written in the annotation to the book Durr-i Yektâ. The number of days beginning from the moment bleeding is seen until the bleeding comes to an end is called ’âdat (menstruation period). A period of haid is ten days maximum and three days minimum. According to the Shâfi’î and Hanbalî Madhhabs, it is fifteen days maximum and one day minimum. In the Mâlikî Madhhab it is fifteen days maximum, and yet the bleeding that is seen first is haid. If the bleeding of a woman who is in the Hanafî Madhhab and who is imitating the Mâlikî or Shâfi’î Madhhab goes on for more than ten days, she will have to make qadâ of the prayers of namâz she has omitted during this time of excess, after she becomes purified.

Menstrual bleeding does not have to be continuous. If the initial bleeding stops but more bleeding is seen again three days later, the days of purity in between are days of fâsid purity and are unanimously considered to be menstrual. According to a report Imâm-i Muhammad transmits from Imâm-i a’zam Abû Hanîfa, if bleeding is seen again before the tenth day, it will be concluded that the bleeding has continued throughout these ten days. There is also another report transmitted by Imâm-i Muhammad. According to Imâm-i Abû Yûsuf, and also in the Madhhabs of Shâfi’î and Mâlikî all these days of purity are considered menstrual if bleeding recurs before fifteen days have passed (since the cessation of bleeding). 

One day is (a duration of) exactly twenty-four mean hours. It is mustahab for married women, all the time, and unmarried (virginal) women, during their menstrual period only, to put a piece of cloth or pure organic cotton called kursuf on the mouth of their vagina, and to apply perfume on it. Synthetic cotton is unhealthy. It is makrûh to insert the entire kursuf into the vagina. A girl who sees bloodstains on the kursuf every day for months is considered to be menstruating during the first ten days and having istihâda for the remaining twenty days. This will go on until the (continuous) bleeding, called istimrâr, stops.

Bleeding that goes on for less than three days, or, seventy-two hours, even if it is five minutes less, or, for a newly pubescent girl, bleeding after the tenth day when it goes on more than ten days or, for one who is not new, bleeding that happens after the âdat when it both exceeds the days of âdat and continues for more than ten days, or bleeding of a pregnant or âisa (old) woman or of a girl below nine years of age, is not menstrual. It is called istihâda or fâsid bleeding. A woman becomes âisa around the age of fifty-five.

A woman undergoing the days of istihâda is categorized as a person who has an excuse (’udhr), like someone whose nose frequently bleeds or someone who is not able to control the bladder; hence, she has to perform namâz and fast, and sexual intercourse is permissible despite the bleeding. The bleeding of istihâda (menorrhagia) is a sign of a disease. If it continues for a long time it may be dangerous, so the person concerned must see a gynaecologist. A red gum powder called sang-dragon (dragon’s blood) may stop the bleeding when taken orally with water, one gram in the morning, and the same amount in the evening. Up to five grams may be taken per day.

A woman’s haid, as well as her time of purity, is usually a period of the same number of days every month. In this sense, one ‘month’ (also a ‘menstrual cycle’) is the period from the beginning of a menstruation period to the beginning of the next period.

If the duration of bleeding for the new haid does not exceed ten days and if it is followed by sahîh purity, all the days of bleeding make up a new haid. If it is not followed by sahîh purity, the number of the days of her former âdat does not change. In this case it is mustahab for her to wait until it gets quite close to the end of the time for namâz within which the bleeding stopped and which follows her âdat and precedes the tenth day (after the onset of bleeding). Then, after making a ghusl, she performs the time’s namâz. Also waty (intercourse) becomes permissible for her. However, if she misses the ghusl and the namâz as she waits, intercourse before making a ghusl becomes permissible when the time of the prayer is over.

If the first bleeding of a girl, (menarche,) or a bleeding that begins fifteen days after the previous haid of a woman stops before three days are over, she waits until the end of the time of the namâz is quite close. Then, making wudû (ablution) only without a ghusl she performs the namâz of that time and those which she did not perform (during the bleeding). If bleeding reoccurs after she has performed that namâz, she discontinues namâz. If it stops again, towards the end of the time of the namâz she makes a wudû only and performs the time’s namâz and those which she did not perform, if there are any. She acts likewise until the end of the third day. But waty (intercourse) is not permitted even if she has made a ghusl.

If bleeding continues for more than three days and stops before the end of her âdat, waty is not permitted before the end of her âdat, even if she has made a ghusl. However, if no bloodstains are seen until it is quite close to the end of the time of the namâz she makes a ghusl and performs the namâz. She does not perform those prayers of namâz which she omitted (in the meantime). She performs her fast. If bleeding does not reoccur for fifteen days after the day it stops, the day it stops becomes the end of her new âdat. But if bleeding reoccurs she discontinues namâz. If it is the month of Ramadân, after Ramadân, she makes qadâ of the fast which she performed. If bleeding stops she makes a ghusl again towards the end of the namâz-time and performs her namâz and fast. She follows the same procedure for ten days. After the tenth day she performs namâz without making a ghusl even if she sees bloodstains, and waty before a ghusl is permissible. But it is mustahab to make a ghusl before waty. If bleeding stops before the breaking of dawn and if she has only time enough to make a ghusl and dress up but not enough also to say “Allâhu ekber” before dawn, she fasts that day, but she does not have to make qadâ of the namâz of the previous night which she missed. But if the time were long enough also to say “Allâhu ekber,” she would have to make the qadâ, (that is, she would have to perform the previous night’s namâz.) If haid begins before iftâr (time for breaking a fast), her fasting becomes invalid, and she performs its qadâ after Ramadân. If haid begins while performing namâz, her namâz becomes invalid. When she becomes clean she does not perform qadâ for that namâz if it is fard, but she performs it if it is supererogatory. If a woman sees bloodstains on her kursuf when she wakes up after dawn, she becomes menstruous at that moment. If a woman sees that the kursuf (sanitary napkin) that she inserted before going to bed is clean when she wakes up, her haid stopped while she was asleep. It is fard for both to perform the (previous) night’s namâz. For, a namâz’s being fard for a woman depends on her being clean at its last minute. A woman whose haid begins before she has performed the time’s namâz does not make qadâ of that namâz.

There must be full purity between two periods of haid. It is declared unanimously (by Islamic scholars) that if this full purity is sahîh purity, the bleedings before and after it are two separate periods of haid. Days of purity intervening the days of bleeding within the ten days of haid are judged to be menstrual, and the days of istihâda after the tenth day are judged to be within (the days of) purity.

If istimrâr (see above) occurs, (i.e. if bleeding continues,) without any intervening days of purity for fifteen days, the calculation is based on her âdat. That is, beginning with the end of her âdat, the duration of purity is considered to be the same as that of the previous month’s and the period of haid is the same as her âdat (that she experienced the previous month).

Nifâs means lochia. Puerperal bleeding that occurs after a foetal miscarriage is also nifâs, so long as the hands, feet and head of the foetus have been formed. There is not a minimum duration for nifâs. On the day the bleeding stops, she performs a ghusl and resumes namâz. But she cannot have sexual intercourse before the period equalling her previous nifâs is over. The maximum is forty days. After forty days she performs a ghusl and begins namâz even if her bleeding continues. Bleeding after the fortieth day is istihâda. The nifâs of a woman whose bleeding lasted twenty-five days after her first pregnancy is twenty-five days. Therefore, if blood flows for forty-five days after her second pregnancy, the first twenty-five makes up the nifâs and the remaining twenty days are istihâda. She has to perform qadâ of those prayers of namâz that she did not perform during these twenty days. This rule entails that a woman make a mental note of her puerperal period as well. If her bleeding stops before the fortieth day, e.g. in thirty-five days, during the second childbirth, all the thirty-five days are nifâs; therefore, her nifâs changes from twenty-five to thirty-five days. In Ramadân, if haid or nifâs stops after dawn (fajr), she fasts during that day, yet after Ramadân she will still have to make up for that day by fasting for an extra day. If haid or nifâs begins after dawn, she resumes eating and drinking even if it begins during late afternoon.

Namâz, fast, entering a mosque, reading or holding the Qur’ân al-kerîm, visiting the Ka’ba, and sexual intercourse are all harâm (forbidden) in all four Madhhabs during process of a haid or nifâs. Later she performs the qadâ’ of those fasts, but not the prayers of namâz that she did not perform. She will be forgiven for not performing namâz. If at each prayer time she performs an ablution and sits on a sajjâda (prayer-rug) and dhikrs and performs tasbîh for as long as it would take her to perform namâz, she will be given as many blessings as she would receive if she actually performed namâz in the best manner.

[When a girl is over eight years old, it becomes fard for her mother or, if she does not have a mother, her grandmothers, elder sisters, paternal and maternal aunts, respectively, to teach her about haid and nifâs. Negligence of this duty despite the presence of at least one of these next of kin, (cited above in order of priority,) will incur grave sinfulness on the negligent as well as on their husbands.]

It is written in the book Jawhara: “A woman must let her husband know when her haid begins. In fact, she will be gravely sinful if she does not tell him when he asks. It is an equally grave sin if she says that her haid has begun while she is pure. Our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam’ stated: ‘A woman who conceals the beginning and the termination of her haid from her husband is accursed.’ It is harâm, a grave sin, to have anal intercourse with one’s wife, during haid or otherwise.” He who does so is accursed. Pederasty is even more sinful. The Sûrat-ulAnbiyâ’ states that pederasty is an “extremely vile deed.” A hadîth quoted in Qâdîzâda’s commentary to Birgiwî states, “If you catch in the act those who commit pederasty as did the tribe of Lût, kill them both!” Some Islamic scholars have said that they both must be burned alive. It has been discovered in America that the horrid disease called AIDS, which has been spreading with great speed among those who practise pederasty, is more fatal with those who eat pork. No medicine has so far been developed to cure this disease, whose virus was diagnosed in 1985.

In the Mâlikî Madhhab, red, yellowish or turbid blood that issues from the front of a girl that has reached the age of nine is called blood of haid (menorrhoea). It is haid as soon as the bleeding starts. As the bleeding continues, it is menstrual until immediately before the fifteenth day, and its continuation thereafter, (as it may be the case,) is judged to be istihâda (menorrhagia). If her âdat changes the next month, her new âdat is the longest period of âdat she has so far had plus three days. Bleeding that continues thereafter, as well as bleeding that continues after the fifteenth day in any case, becomes istihâda. When the kursuf (pad, tampon, sanitary towel) is found to be dry, or colourless although it may be wet, this case must be taken as the end of the menstrual period. Bleeding that a woman past the age of seventy undergoes is not haid; it is istihâda. In case a woman’s bleeding continues intermittently, the days spent without bleeding are to be taken as days of purity. The number of running days of purity is fifteen minimum. Bleeding that recurs before these fifteen days is istihâda. Such days of purity are infinite, (i.e. there is not a maximum limit.) If a bleeding stops and recurs fifteen days later, it is haid. Bleeding undergone before a childbirth is haid. If the baby is lifted out of the woman’s womb through an opening cut in her abdomen, the bleeding that occurs in the immediate aftermath is not nifâs (puerperal discharge). Puerperal period is sixty days maximum. If the puerperal bleeding stops and does not recur within the following fifteen days, (the puerperal period has ended and) the woman undergoing nifâs has become tâhir (clean, purified). Bleeding that occurs thereafter is haid.

Question: Is the blood following an abortion regarded as nifas (postnatal bleeding) or istihada (bleeding other than menstruation)?
It is regarded as istihada.


Date of Update
26 Eyll 2022 Pazartesi
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