Book of Menstruation, Postpartum Bleeding and Vaginal Bleeding

Taken from the Book: Fiqh According to the Quran and Sunnah by Shaykh Muhammed Subhi bin Hasan Hallaq

Book of Menstruation, Postpartum Bleeding and Vaginal Bleeding 

Definition of the menstruation (Haidh):

The literal meaning of the Arabic word Haidh is flowing and what is meant by it here is the blood which comes out from the private parts of the woman when she is in good health and it is not due to childbirth or the deflowering of a virgin.

The Colour of Menstrual Blood

1-Black: This is based on the Hadith of Fatimah bint Abi Hubaish who reported that she had vaginal bleeding and the Prophet (ﷺ) said to her: “When the blood of menses comes it is black blood which can be recognized; so when that comes, refrain from prayer; but when a different type of blood comes, perform ablution and pray, for it is (due only to) a vein.”[1]

2-Red: This is because it is the original color of blood.

3-Yellow: This is a liquid which is seen by a woman and it is like pus, but more yellow in colour.

4-A murky color: This is somewhere between white and black, like dirty water.

It is based upon the Hadith of Alqamah ibn Abi Alqamah, who reported on the authority of his mother, Murjanah the free slave of Aishah who said: “Women used to send little boxes to Aishah with a piece of cotton cloth in each on which was yellowness from menstrual blood, asking her about the prayer. She said to them: ‘Do not be hasty until you see a white discharge.’”[2]

In another version reported from her, it was stated that she said: “If she sees blood, she should refrain from praying until she sees that she has become purified, (having a discharge that is) white like silver, then she should perform Ghusl and Pray.”[3]

Murkiness and yellowness are only due to menstruation during the days of menses, while at other times, they are not considered to be menstrual discharge:

Umm Atiyyah said: “We did not consider yellowness or murkiness after being purified from menses to be anything.”[4]

The Time Period of Menses

Nothing authentic has been reported concerning the minimum or maximum time period for menses, nor has anything authentic been reported for becoming pure. This is because the narrations are either Mawqoof (a narration which is attributed to a sahabi) and cannot be used as evidence, or they are Marfoo (a narration lifted to the Prophet) but they are not authentic.

For one whose periods are regular, she may act upon them:

This is based upon the Hadith of Aishah who said: “Fatimah Bint Abi Hubaish said to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ): ‘O Messenger of Allah! I do not become clean (from bleeding). Shall I give up my prayers?’ The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) replied: ‘No, because it is from a blood vessel and not the menses. So when the real menses begins, give up your prayers and when it (the period) has finished, wash the blood off your body (take a bath) and offer your prayers.’”[5]

Ruling If she does not have a regular period:

She should refer to the indications given by the color of the blood, based upon the Hadith of Fatimah bint Abi Hubaish who reported that she had vaginal bleeding and the Prophet (ﷺ) said to her: “When the blood of menses comes it is black blood which can be recognized; so when that comes, refrain from prayer; but when a different type of blood comes, perform ablution and pray, for it is (due only to) a vein.”[6]

This hadith proves that menstrual blood is distinct from other blood, and it is known to women.

It is permissible to be intimate with a menstruating woman, so long as the intimacy does not involve the vagina:

This is based upon the Hadith of Anas who reported that when a woman from among the Jews was menstruating, they would not eat with her. The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Do everything except sexual intercourse.”[7]

The atonement for one who has sexual intercourse with his wife during her menstrual period

This is based upon the Hadith of Ibn Abbas who reported on the authority of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) who said concerning one who had intercourse with his wife when she was menstruating: “Let him give a dinar[8] or half a dinar in charity.”[9]

The choice given in the Hadith refers to whether it happened at the start of the menstrual period, or at the end of it, according to the Mawqoof (a narration attributed to a Sahabi) narration of Ibn Abbas who said: “If he has intercourse with her at the start of her menstrual period, he should give a dinar in charity and it it is at the end of her menstrual period, he should pay half a dinar.”[10]

Section 2: An-Nifaas (Postpartum Bleeding)

Definition of An-Nifaas:

An-Nifaas is the period following the deliverance of a baby, during which the uterus and the organs of reproduction return to their normal pre-pregnancy condition.

In the juristic terms, it is the blood which comes out after the birth.

The Maximum period for postpartum bleeding is forty days:

This is based upon the Hadith of Umm Salamah who said: “During the time of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), the women who had postpartum bleeding would refrain (from prayer) for forty days or forty nights; and we would anoint our faces with Wars[11] to remove dark spots.” (The narrator added:) “By this she meant Al-Kalaf[12].”[13]

There is no minimum period for postpartum bleeding, because there is no evidence for that: If the bleeding ceases before forty days have passed, she no longer falls under the ruling of An-Nifaas, and if it exceeds forty days, she must treat herself as one with vaginal bleeding (i.e. follow the rulings of Istihadah – clean off excess blood and make wudu before every Salah).

What is forbidden due to menstruation and postpartum bleeding:

Forbidden due to menstruation and postpartum bleeding are the things forbidden to one who is in a state of post-coital impurity (Janaabah):

  • It is forbidden for the person who is in the state of Janaabah (i.e. menstruating) to remain in the Mosque.
  • It is forbidden for the person who is in a state of Janaabah to pray.
  • It is forbidden for the person who is in a state of Janaabah to circumambulate the Ka’bah (Tawaf).
  • Fasting; and she must make up for it once she has become purified. This is based upon the Hadith of Mu’azah, who said: “I asked Aishah: ‘Why does the menstruating woman have to make up the fasts she has missed, but she does not have to make up for the prayers she has missed?’ She said: ‘This used to happen to us during the time of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and we were ordered to make up the fasts we had missed, but we were not ordered to make up for the prayers.’”[14]
  • Sexual intercourse:

Section 3: Vaginal Bleeding 

Its definition:

It is blood which comes out at times other than that of the menstrual period or postpartum bleeding, or it continues on from then.

If it is the former, then it obvious. If it is the latter, then if the woman has regular periods, whatever exceeds her normal number of days is vaginal bleeding.  This is based upon the Hadith of Aishah who said: “Umm Habeebah asked the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) about bleeding.” Aishah added: “I saw that her washtub was filled with blood. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said to her: “Remain away (from prayer for a period of time) equal (to the length of time) that your menses prevented you. After this, perform Ghusl and offer prayer.”[15]

If she wishes to distinguish between the two types of blood (she should know that) menstrual blood is an easily recognizable black color, and anything else is vaginal bleeding. This is based on the Hadith of Fatimah bint Abi Hubaish in which it was stated that she was suffering from vaginal bleeding and the Prophet (ﷺ) said to her: “When the blood of menses comes it is black blood which can be recognized; so when that comes, refrain from prayer; but when a different type of blood comes, perform ablution and pray, for it is (due only to) a vein.”[16]

She was already suffering from vaginal bleeding when she reached puberty, and is unable to distinguish between the two types of blood, she should refer to what is usual with the women around her, according to the Hadith of Hamnah Bint Jahsh to whom the Prophet (ﷺ) said regarding: “This is a stroke of the devil, so observe your menses for six or seven days; Allah Alone knows which it should be. Then perform Ghusl and when you see that you are purified and quite clean, pray during twenty-three or twenty-four days and nights and fast, for that will be enough for you, and do so every month, just as women menstruate and are purified at the time of their menstruation and their purification.”[17]

Its ruling:

None of the things which are forbidden to the menstruating woman are forbidden to the woman suffering from vaginal bleeding; except that she is obliged to perform Wudu for each prayer, according to the above mentioned authentic Hadith of Fatimah bint Abi Hubaish. It is also a Sunnah for her to perform Ghusl for every prayer, based upon the Hadith of Asma Bin Umais.

End of the Chapter

References:

[1] Sahih: Recorded in Sunan Abu Dawud (no. 286), Sunan Nasa’i (1/185, Al-Baihaqi (1/325), Ad-Daraqutni (1/206-207) and Ibn Hibban (no. 1348). Graded Sahih by shaykh albani in Irwa al-Ghaleel (no. 204)

[2] Sahih: Recorded in the Muwatta of Imam Malik (1/59, no. 57) and Bukhari in an abridged Ta’leeq form (1/420 – Fath al-Bari). Graded Sahih by shaykh albani in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel (no. 198)

[3] Hasan: Recorded in Sunan Ad-Darimi (1/24) with a Hasan chain of narrators.

[4] Sahih: Recorded in Sunan Abu Dawud (no. 307). Graded Sahih b shaykh albani in Irwa’ al-Ghaleel (no. 199)

[5] Sahih: Recorded in Sahih Bukhari (no. 306)

[6] Sahih: Recorded in Sunan Abu Dawud (no. 286), Sunan Nasa’i (1/185, Al-Baihaqi (1/325), Ad-Daraqutni (1/206-207) and Ibn Hibban (no. 1348). Graded Sahih by shaykh albani in Irwa al-Ghaleel (no. 204)

[7] Sahih: Recorded in Sahih Muslim (no. 16/302), Musnad Ahmad (3/132), Sunan Abu Dawud (no. 258), Sunan Tirmidhi (no. 2977), Sunan Nasa’i (1/187) and Sunan Ibn Majah (no. 644).

[8] Dinar: A dinar was the common gold coin in currency at that time.

[9] Sahih: Recorded in Musnad Ahmed (1/229), Sunan Abu Dawud (no. 264), Sunan Nasa’i (1/153), Sunan Tirmidhi (no. 137), Sunan ibn Majah (no. 640) and others. Graded Sahih by shaykh albani in Sahih Ibn Majah (no. 523)

[10] Sahih Mawqoof: Recorded in Sunan Abu Dawud (no. 265) and shaykh albani said: it is Sahih and Mawqoof in Sahih Sunan Abi Dawud.

[11] Wars: An aromatic yellow flower, used for dyeing, whose reddish produce is used to colour the face.

[12] Kalaf: Freckles or blemishes on the face.

[13] Hasan Sahih: Recorded in Sunan Abu Dawud (no. 311), Sunan Tirmidhi (no. 139) and others. Graded Hasan Sahih by shaykh albani in Sahih al-Jami’ (no. 530)

[14] Sahih: Recorded in Sahih Bukhari (no. 321)

[15] Sahih: Recorded in Sahih Muslim (no.65/334), Musnad Ahmad (6/204,222 and 2620 and Sunan Abu Dawud (no. 279)

[16] Sahih: Recorded in Sunan Abu Dawud (no. 286), Sunan Nasa’i (1/185, Al-Baihaqi (1/325), Ad-Daraqutni (1/206-207) and Ibn Hibban (no. 1348). Graded Sahih by shaykh albani in Irwa al-Ghaleel (204)

[17] Hasan Sahih: Recorded in Musnad Ahmad (6/381-382 and 439-440), Sunan Abu Dawud (no. 287), Sunan Tirmidhi (no. 182 – who graded it Hasan Sahih), Sunan Ibn Majah (no. 627), Ad-Daraqutni (1/214, no. 48), , Al-Baihaqi (1/338), Al-Hakim (1/172) and on his authority.

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