Fatawa >Section one: Tahara -- Chapter Two :Ghusul (Ceremonial Bathing)
Section one: Tahara -- Chapter Two :Ghusul (Ceremonial Bathing)
1. By ghusul we mean washing the whole body, from the
summit of the head to the tiptoes. The manner in which ghusul should
be conducted will follow. Ghusul could be mustahab or wajib.
The wajib is divided into two categories.Wajib for
itself, such as the ghusul of the dead. It derives its being
compulsory not for anything else, but for its beingwajib.
The second one is wajib for being a precursor to
another obligation, such as the ghusul of janabah, which becomes wajib
when prayer becomes due. There are various types of this category.
Ghusuls of janabah, haydh, istihadhah, nifas, coming into contact with
a dead body. By adding ghusul of the dead to the ones we have just
mentioned, we will have six obligatory ghusuls.
Mustahab ghusuls are numerous. They have their own
time and place. It suffices to mention two of these; the ghusul on
Fridays and that for assuming ihram for umrah or hajj.
Ghusuls, whether wajib or mustahab, are acts of
worship like wudhu. So, none shall be deemed proper unless it is
coupled with the niyyah of qurbah. Such will be acknowledged as
taharah and cleaning.2. Any ghusul, falling outside the pale of the
injunctions of shari’a, shall neither be deemed an act of worship
nor taharah. Thus, it has no worth in religion. Accordingly, should a
person opt for performing ghusul outside what Allah, the Exalted, has
ordained as wajib or mustahab, shall not be considered of any effect.
As such, ghusul is different in this regard from wudhu. As has already
been discussed, wudhu is a devotion and is called for in itself at all
times and places because it is mustahab. When a person performs wudhu
with the niyyah of qurbah, the wudhu is accepted and he is deemed
Each of these five types of ghusul has been made wajib
for a purpose, which the jurists call a major hadath. By giving it
this name they wanted to differentiate it from things which render
wudhu null and void, i.e. minor hadath. That is, wudhu is a kind of
taharah from minor hadath whereas ghusul is a kind of taharah from
major hadath.3. Any act of worship, such as prayer, that calls for
taharah from minor hadath, i.e. wudhu, should call for taharah from
major hadath, as has already been discussed in para.(71).
4. There are certain things that bar the worshipper,
experiencing a minor hadath, from resuming them until they perform
wudhu. By the same token, those who have gone through a major hadath,
are barred until they perform ghusul. So long as they remain in a
state of najasah, they are not allowed to, for example, touch the
writing of the Holy Qur’an as discussed in para (47).
However, there are other forbidden things because of
some major hadath, such as janabah and haydh. These will be discussed
under their respective headings.5. If a person experiences both the
hadaths, i.e. minor, which makes it necessary to perform wudhu, and
major that requires them to perform ghusul, performing ghusul will
suffice for both of them. That is he needs not perform wudhu. The same
goes for performing mustahab ghusul, i.e. not precipitated by major
However, ghusul makes wudhu redundant in all the
situations but one. It is the ghusul of istihadhah, the discussion on
which will follow, where in certain situations, the woman in question
has to perform wudhu in addition to ghusul.6. The reasons for ghusul
may be more than one, such as a man experiencing janabah and touching
a dead body, or a married woman just becoming tahir from haydh to
experience janabah. One ghusul should suffice.
How should one go about performing ghusul?
7. All the five types of ghusul that is obligatory for
itself and all mustahab ghusuls should be carried out in the same way.
However, ghusul of the dead is different. This will be
discussed under its respective heading.
Ghusul is a means of restoring taharah to the human
body, using water.
8. It is important that the water intended for
ghusul should satisfy certain conditions. These are the same as the
ones required for the water used for wudhu. That is, it should be
pure, tahir and free. Thus, all what has been discussed in paras.(2)
to (6) of the Chapter on Wudhu is relevant here.
9. The conditions which the worshippers should satisfy
are (a) they should ensure that the parts of body which came into
contact with najasah must be made tahir again, (b) they should be in
good health, lest ghusul should aggravate their poorly state of
health, and (c) the niyyah of qurbah should be present.
All this has been discussed in para (7) of the Chapter
on Wudhu. One of the requirements the worshippers, performing wudhu,
has to observe is that the place where they wipe their feet should be
free as a matter of voluntary ihtiyat. As there is no wiping in ghusul,
there is not such a condition. However, all that was discussed in (8)
to (12) of the conditions, including niyyah, to be fulfilled by a
worshipper performing wudhu is of relevance here.
In para (13) of Wudhu, it was stressed that the person
should perform wudhu himself. Here, in ghusul, it is incumbent on them
to perform it themselves too.
The Manner of Ghusul
According to shari’a, ghusul can be performed in two
ways:10. The step-by-step way which involves pouring water over the
head and neck and washing them thoroughly. Next should come the rest
of body. You are free to start with the right or left hand sides;
should you so choose, you may pour water on both the parts in one go.
No matter which way you opt for, you should ensure that you cover all
parts of the body, including hair, washing each of which thoroughly.
As a matter of voluntary ihtiyat, you should include
the neck, after it has been washed with the head once, with the rest
of the body. It is apparent, however, that you should not worry about
the step-by-step washing, if it was possible to wash the entirety of
the body, head and neck included, in one go under, say, a water fall.
This is because what is of consequence according to shari’a is that
the rest of the body should not be washed before the head, rather the
head should come first.
However, without, it is not sufficient to move that
part of the body that is in water, as such movement is not considered
part of the washing. Furthermore , you could wash your head first and
wash the other parts later even after a long interval , as it is not
required to do all the washing in one go. 11. The second type of
ghusul is by dipping the whole body in water, irrespective whether the
quantity of water was kurr or less; what is important though is that
water must cover fully all parts of the body. Should the body hair be
dense, you should ensure to run your hand through it to ascertain that
water would reach the scalp once you are inside the water. Any part of
the body which remains outside the water must be washed instantly. The
niyyah should be made at the start of the process of submerging the
body. However, it should also be sufficient, if it was made prior to
getting into the water so long as it is maintained.
12. In both ways of ghusul, hair should be washed, be
it dense or thin, making sure the skin it covers is washed. However,
it is not wajib to wash the inside of, say, the nostrils or the hidden
parts of the lips. In the event of doubt whether a particular part of
the body is of the upper or hyper derma, you need not worry about
washing it. That is, unless you were pretty sure that it was of the
skin, then you have the doubt that it somehow had changed to be part
of the hyper derma.
13. The step by step ghusul is more superior than
immersing the whole body in water. However, the person is free to
change their mind and perform the step by step method instead of the
Occurrences Precipitating Wudhu while Performing
14. Someone may feel the need to, say, urinate while
performing any of the five types of obligatory ghusul. What should
A. They should go ahead with ghusul which should be
deemed in order. However, such ghusul cannot substitute wudhu, i.e.
they should perform wudhu, even though repeating ghusul and wudhu is
recommended, as a matter of voluntary ihtiyat.
Should the person opt for switching from the
step-by-step ghusul to dipping the whole body in water, after they
have experienced the hadath, they are free to do so. Such ghusul shall
forgo the need for wudhu as the case maybe.
Occurrences Precipitating Ghusul While Performing
15. In the process of performing ghusul, a person did
something that required them to perform ghusul. How should they go
A. Should the ghusul be required as a result of doing
the same thing that required the first ghusul, such as janabah,
starting afresh is recommended as a matter of obligatory ihtiyat.
The need for a second ghusul may arise after
committing an act that is different from that which brought about the
first ghusul, in that they might be performing ghusul of janabah and
touched a dead body. Here, they are free to finish the original ghusul
with the same niyyah; this should, however, be on the premise that
finishing the ghusul be alright. They should though repeat the ghusul,
this time round, on the premise that it is called for by virtue of
shari’a law. They could also call the first ghusul off and start a
new one. Should they opt for submerging themselves in water, they are
free to do niyyah for ghusul of janabah or touching a dead body or
both, if the option was for the step by step type of ghusul Ghusul
Ghusul of Jabirah
16. In the Chapter of Wudhu, we discussed wudhu of
jabirah which is made incumbent on the person suffering an injury or
illness that needed a bandage of some sort on the parts of the body
that should be washed in wudhu.Here we are addressing the ghusul of
jabirah.a. If the person is nursing a cut or an ulceration, they can
perform ghusul. However, it is sufficient to wash the area surrounding
the place of the injury. They can also resort to tayammum.
b. If the person is having a splint secured to, say,
the fractured limb, he can have a ghusul. It is sufficient that he
wipes over the jabirah as though he was in the same position of a
person, experiencing the same injury, but performing wudhu.
c. The person having a fracture but not wearing a
splint should take to taymum; it is not sufficient that he performs
This should be the norm, if ghusul in an appropriate
way was not feasible. However, if it was, and without difficulty or
endangering one’s health, conducting proper ghusul should be the
Issues relating to ibahat
Anybody performing ghusul while covering his private
parts with usurped clothes , the ghusul is lawful but the man is
The same rule applies to those who usurp a generator
or the like to heat the water
Who performs ghusul in a public path with the
intention of pawing with unlawful money or does not intend to pay at
all or even if he intends to pay later, the ghusul might be considered
lawful , although , it is better to repeat it
How should one go about doubt in ghusul?
17. If ghusul became necessary and the worshipper was
not sure whether he performed ghusul or not, it is wajib that he
should perform ghusul. In another situation, the person knew that he
had entered the bathroom to perform ghusul for, say, janabah; after he
had gone out, he had a lingering doubt as to whether or not he had
performed ghusul. In this case, he should perform ghusul as though he
was still in a state of janabah.18. In the process of performing
ghusul or shortly after it, the person started doubting that he did
not do ghusul properly, in that he did not pour water on the head and
neck first, rather he washed them as part of the whole body. Such
ghusul should be deemed in order, so long as he feels that he washed
their body all in one go, for what is required is that one should not
start washing the body before the head.
19. A person opted for the step-by-step ghusul. After
finishing, he realized that he did not wash one part of his body. What
should he do?
A. Should that part be the head, the neck, or part
thereof, it is obligatory that he wahes it and repeat the ghusul. If
the missed part was elsewhere in the body, such as a hand or a foot,
washing it alone should do.
20. After having ghusul, a person doubted whether he
had observed the order of parts when washing. What should he do?
A. He should consider the ghusul in order.
21. Should the doubt arise from whether the person
washed the whole of the head and neck or part thereof, he should
assume that the ghusul was in order.
The same ruling applies in the case where the person
is in the next stage of washing, i.e. washing the body, after having
finished with the head and neck. They should carry on and finish off
what he started with.
However, if the doubt centered around washing or not
washing the head and neck, or part thereof, before going to the next
stage of washing the body, it is obligatory that he washes the parts
22. Should the person, in the process of washing the
body, doubt whether he washed an arm or some other part, it is
obligatory on him to resume washing the suspected part. This is
irrespective of whether the doubt arose after taking bath or during
it. Whether the part in doubt was on the left or right sides of the
body is also immaterial.
23. Should the doubt revolve around the correctness,
or otherwise, of the washing, such as the person might have thought
that he used najis or mixed water in performing the ghusul, he should
assume that the ghusul was in order. There will be no need to repeat
it. It is immaterial if the doubt took place during or after the
ghusul; neither does it matter at what stage of washing process the
doubt crept in.
1. Ghusul of Janabah and its
How does janabah come about?
Janabah is an abstract thing. It occurs due to
ejaculation of semen or sexual intercourse. Being in a state of
janabah is true of males and females.
24. Passing semen through the penis, be it during
sleep or awake, wilfully or forcibly, during sexual union or
otherwise, requires ghusul. Whether the quantity passed is little or
large is immaterial.
25. Liquids, which may or may not be semen, could be
passed by the male organ. How should they be treated?
A. There is a number of issues which need addressing:
(a) The semen should be passed with pleasure, (b) thrown out suddenly
and with force, and (c) the body should experience relaxation after
its passing. Should the liquid passed lack any of these
characteristics, there is no way it can be semen, provided that the
person is healthy.
As for the semen passed by a sick person, it suffices
to consider it thus, even if it lacked the force when it was passed.
Should one description of the remaining two be absent, no
consequential effect of the kind normally associated with the passing
of semen should be considered.
26. Q. A person performed ghusul for janabah. Upon
finishing he could still trace some sort of liquid coming out of his
male organ. He could not tell whether or not it is semen. Does he have
to perform ghusul again?
A. If the person passed urine prior to the ghusul,
such ghusul is in order. Otherwise, the wetness should be treated as
semen, and accordingly, he has to repeat the ghusul.
The person had performed ghusul before passing urine,
then passed urine. They had slight doubt that their urine might be
laced with semen. In such a case, he need not worry.
27. Q. A person noticed a sort of wetness, he could
not tell whether it was semen or urine. What should he do?
A. If, prior to presence of the wetness, the person
was in a state of taharah, without having had wudhu or ghusul, it is
obligatory that he should perform both.
Should he be obliged to perform wudhu for something he
did, he should perform wudhu and not ghusul.
Should he find himself obliged to perform ghusul for
some act he commissioned, he has to perform ghusul and need not worry
28. We have already mentioned that janabah comes about
due to secreting semen either through sexual intercourse or any other
What we are addressing here is sexual intercourse.
Sexual union comes about as a result of inserting the penis in the
woman’s vagina, regardless of the level of penetration, i.e. be it
full or partial, and whether there has been ejaculation or not. Should
this be the case, both parties enter into a state of janabah, and must
therefore have ghusul. Whether the parties to the sexual act were sane
or insane, willing or coerced is immaterial.
29. The man is free to get engaged in wedlock sex,
even if he knew he was not going to be able to perform ghusul and
should therefore take to tayamum to say prayer. Whether he embarked on
the sexual act before or after the time of prayer had become due is
Is it necessary to have ghusul?
Ghusul of janabah is a devotion in itself.
Notwithstanding, it becomes obligatory as a precursor to other acts of
worship. Such shall not be deemed sound, unless ghusul is performed.
Accordingly, acceptance of the five daily prayers is dependant on
having a ghusul. That is, irrespective of whether the prayer in hand
was said ada’ or qadha’. This is also true of any parts of prayer
that might be said after the main prayer has been performed. Just as
ghusul is conditional to the acceptance of an obligatory prayer, so is
it conditional in voluntary prayer because no prayer shall be
considered valid without the person performing it being in a state of
taharah. The same goes for tawaf of hajj and umrah, and their
prayer.However, like wudhu, ghusul is not an essential requirement for
saying prayer for the souls of the dead. Neither is it a condition for
performing the two sujoods, usually performed after finishing prayer
for certain commisions or omissions thereof )sajdatay-as-sahu(.
Nevertheless, being in a state of taharah when perforing these two
acts of worship is recommended as a matter of ihtiyat
30. Unlike wudhu, ghusul is essential for:
a. A voluntary tawaf, i.e. it is not required for
tawaf itself, rather because a person in a state of janabah should not
enter the Ka’ba, let alone performing tawaf there. However, should
the person inadvertently enter The Holy Mosque and perform tawaf, it
shall be in order.
b. Fasting during the month of Ramadhan or fasting
qadha at other times of the year. The person in a state of janabah
should have a ghusul before dawn, as a matter of ihtiyat, for the
acceptability of their fast. More details will be discussed in the
chapter dedicated to fast. However, ghusul is not essential for
voluntary fast, in that the person can remain in a state of janabah
and wake up thus.
c. I’tiqaf, because a person in a state of janabah
cannot take to this form of worship knowingly. However, should they
unintentionally complete their i’tikaf while still in a state of
janabah, it should be in order.
More details on certain things which a person in a
state of janabah cannot embark on until he becomes tahir again will
What to do when in doubt?
31. Should a person in a state of janabah perform
wudhu and say prayer without realizing he has to perform ghusul
instead, his prayer is invalid. Accordingly, he should perform ghusul
and repeat that prayer.
A person may experience the coming out of semen
unconsciously, such as in a dream. Should semen come out and the
person was not aware of it, he then performed wudhu and prayer, only
to find out that he was in a state of janabah, he has to have ghusul
and repeat his prayer.
32. A person may notice that either his clothes or
body are stained with semen. If he has absolutely sure that the semen
belongs to him and that he did not have ghusul for janabah, he should
do so. He is not required to repeat any prayer that has been said and
whose time has passed, if he thinks that he has performed it before
the janabah. However, he has to say, by way of qadha, any prayer he
has performed after he knew of the janabah.
Any prayer that was said on its appointed time and
there was still time to repeat it, he should do so, unless the person
was certain that it was before the time he experienced the janabah.
Things a person in a state of janabah should not do
until he becomes tahir again
We have already mentioned that whatever makes ghusul
incumbent on a person, he should abstain from touching the print of
the Holy Qur’an, unless he becomes tahir again. However, it is not
forbidden for him to touch the name of "Allah" and His
attributes wherever he may be outside the Qur’anic text; neither is
it forbidden for him to touch the names of the prophets and the imams
There are other things which are forbidden for a
person in a state of janabah:
33. Reciting any of the four ayahs of sajdah. These are verses 15/as-Sajdah,
37/Fussilat, 62/an-Najm, and/19al-Alaq. This should be applied as a
matter of voluntary ihtiyat.
34. Staying at, and passing through, the two holy
places, The Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in
Madinah.35. Staying at any other mosque, except for the following:
a. Where there are two gates for the mosque, where the
person in a state of janabah can enter from one and exit from the
other without staying.
b. Entering the mosque could be for taking away
certain things which belong to the person, such as a book. There
should be no staying at the mosque.
By comparison, the two prohibitions in a and b do not
extend to al-Masjidil Haraam at Makkah and the Messenger’s Mosque at
Madinah; they are confined to other mosques.36. Is it permissible for
the person in a state of janabah to enter the holy shrines where the
prophets and the imams are buried?
A. Apparently, it is permissible. However, it is, as a
matter of ihtiyat, desirable to avoid entering these shrines.
37. The prohibition imposed on the person in a state
of janabah not to enter mosques is a universal one, i.e. it covers all
mosques be they fully operational or derelict all over the globe.
38. If someone is not sure whether a certain building
or a place were part of the main building of the mosque, in that you
could not describe it as mosque, does the rules governing the mosque
extend to the suspect building?
A. Here, one should follow the practice of the people
in whose area the mosque is found. If they were treating the building
in question as a mosque, the rules concerning a mosque should apply.
Otherwise, they do not.
39. Should the person in a state of janabah be unable
to restore taharah to his body, they should not be employed in any
lawful capacity which may entail staying in the mosque. However,
should the employment contract be taken out with a person, in a state
of janabah, who does not mind staying in the mosque, such contract is
lawful. Should the hired person renege on his pledge to carry the work
out because they were in a state of janabah, they have the right to do
so. The employer though has the right to annul the contract.
40. The prohibitions imposed on a person in a state of
janabah are confined to those who know of the state they are in. As
for those who are not aware of such a state, or are doubtful, they
practically are outside the remit of the prohibitions.
How should one go about performing ghusul of janabah?
41 Generally speaking, all that has been discussed in
paragraphs 10-13 of this Chapter applies to ghusul of janabah.
It is obligatory to hold niyyah of qurbah. There is no
difference here whether the ghusul was to be performed to carry out a
recommended devotion, such as touching the print of the Holy Qur’an,
or an obligatory one, like prayer. It is advisable to refer to
paragraph (77) of the Chapter on Wudhu.
42. A duly performed ghusul of janabah can be as good
as any other ghusul, provided that the intention was confined to it.
Should a person not be in a position to determine
whether he has to perform any of two ghusuls, for example janabah or
touching the dead, yet he performed ghusul intending it to be that
which is incumbent on him to perform, the ghusul is in order.
However, should he be aware that he has to perform
both the ghusuls, yet he performed either one or both of them with the
niyyah present, the ghusul is in order. If he performed the ghusul
without the niyyah for either, the ghusul is batil.
Ghusul of Haydh
Types of Blood
43. Blood could come out from the female organ, in instances other
than child birth. It is of several types:
a. The bleeding an adult woman
experiences every month. It is called haydh blood. The woman
concerned should perform ghusul to restore her taharah
at the end of her menstrual cycle. The ghusul is described as
that of haydh.
b. Some bleeding caused by an injury or
disease in the womb, or that which normally found in the aftermath of
c. The blood resulting from rupturing
the membrane of virginity.
d. Any other bleeding is called istihadha.
There are certain rules governing the
woman experiencing haydh, among which is that she should stop
praying, refrain from doing such things as staying in the mosque and
stop having intimate sexual encounter with her husband.
As for the woman who is experiencing any of the second or third types
of bleeding, she should become tahir by washing the affected
place with water where possible, i.e. without subjecting herself to
any harm. That is, these two types of blood do not call for any ghusul
The blood of istihadha requires wudhu or ghusul
in a manner which will be discussed in detail. The woman experiencing istihadha
is obligated to uphold such a requirement and say her prayer, unlike
the woman experiencing haydh.
of Haydh Blood
For the blood to be considered that of haydh,
it should fulfill certain conditions:
44. a. The woman should have completed nine years of age and not
exceeded fifty. Nine years is, as a matter of ihtiyat, the
legal age of adulthood; fifty is the age of menopause. As for the
woman who cannot determine whether she has reached the age of
menopause, she must conclude that she has not; accordingly, she must
continue to conduct herself as though she is still having her monthly
period, whenever or not she experiences it. As for the nine-year old,
who experiences bleeding, she must treat it as haydh, if she
has completed nine years of age. If she was still undecided as to her
true age, she should not consider it as such.
44. Continuity of bleeding during the
first three days of the period is widely held as the norm. The first
two nights and three days should complete the said three days. For
example, if the woman’s period starts early on Saturday, the
continuous bleeding should take her to the sunset of Monday. However,
if it starts at the midday or evening of Saturday, it should continue
to the midday of Tuesday. Intermittent periods when the bleeding stops
would not detract from the principle of continuity.
In our opinion, however, continuity of
bleeding is not of consequence. Accordingly, prayer should be
abandoned when the woman experiences bleeding and resumed at the
intervals when the bleeding stops, and so on until the three-day
duration is complete. This is so, if the woman was, at the outset, in
a position to tell that bleeding would continue for three days.
That said, in the case of non-continuity, it is desirable, as a matter
of ihtiyat wujubi, to combine that which a woman in a
state of istihadha is required to do and what a woman in haydh
is not required to do.
45. b. The bleeding should not continue
for a period in excess of ten days. If it does, the whole period
should not be considered as haydh. Some of it might be treated
as haydh as will be discussed. This is so because from a
shari’a point of view haydh does not exceed ten days in
46. c. The woman should have had at
least ten days of a state of taharah before the start of a new
menstrual cycle. So, if she had experienced a monthly period then
became tahir only to experience another bout of bleeding in,
say, nine days time, the new blood would not count as haydh;
this is so because the period of taharah intervening any two
intervals of haydh should not be less than ten days, as a
matter of shari’a law.
What we mean by ten days is the period consisting of ten days and the
nine nights falling between the first day and the last one. By taharah
we mean that the woman is free from haydh blood, regardless
whether she was completely free from blood or experiencing istihadha
47. For the woman to fall under the
banner of a woman experiencing haydh according to the preceding
description, the blood should come out from the female organ. If the
blood remained inside, it would not fit the description of haydh
blood, no matter how long it remained trapped. If at the outset it
came out, it is sufficient to be treated as haydh blood,
although some of it may still be trapped inside.
a woman recognize haydh blood?
There might be few cases where the
woman cannot determine whether the bleeding she is experiencing is
that of haydh.
48. a. The doubt may be based on the possibility of the blood being
that which is resulting from an internal injury or ulceration, i.e.
the second category. Should this be the case, she should treat it as
that of the second category. Accordingly, she should not worry about
satisfying the requirements of haydh or istihadha.
49. b. The uncertainty may arise from
the belief that the blood could be that which has resulted from
rupturing the membrane of virginity, i.e. the third category. If this
was the case, the women could check the situation by inserting a piece
of cotton in her genitals. After a short while, she should extract it.
If the blood formed some sort of a ring like shape on the piece of
cotton, the blood should be that of the virginity membrane. If the
piece of cotton was socked with blood, it should be that of haydh.
Should the woman choose not to apply
this investigation, and carry on with any act of worship, such as
prayer or fast, such a worship is batil, until she is pretty
sure that she has become tahir from haydh again.
However, if investigating by using a piece of cotton was not feasible
for any reason, the woman should act in the light of her experience of
haydh and non-haydh periods. If she is a novice, or she
could not count on her experience in this regard, she must treat the
blood as that of virginity.
50. c. Should the bleeding instance be
neither that of an injury/ulceration, nor virginity, yet the woman
cannot determine whether it is that of haydh or istihadha,
she can resort to one of the following two methods:
1. Where possible, she should resort to applying ihtiyat, in
that she should not embark on the kind of things a woman in haydh
usually refrain from, and do the things which a woman in istihadha
is required to do, such as wudhu, ghusul, and prayer
until such time comes when the bleeding stops. Wherever we mention ihtiyat
with regard to women we mean the aforesaid one.
2. She could resort to applying one of two legal ways of determining
whether the bleeding she is experiencing is that of haydh:
a. Verifying it by way of its characteristics, or
b. Confirming it on the basis of past experience of the menstrual
51. Haydh blood has certain
characteristics which set it aside. It is often either dark or red,
warm, and comes out gushing. Istihadha blood is in the main
void of such characteristics. It is yellow in colour.
Allah, the Most High, has characterized the haydh blood as such
to make it distinctly and readily known as that of haydh, so
that whenever the woman experiences it, be it during her menstrual
cycle or during other days, she should treat it as haydh blood.
However, she should keep an eye on the
bleeding for three days from the time she first saw the blood. If it
continued, provided that it has the characteristics of haydh
blood for the three-day period, she can conclude that it is that of haydh;
she should therefore abide by the "dos and donts" required
by shari’a law. This is so irrespective of whether or not the blood
retained the characteristics of haydh blood or turned into
yellow in colour.
The blood may stop or lose any of the
characteristics of haydh blood before the three-day period. If
this was the case, it goes without saying that it is not haydh
blood; rather an istihadha one. Accordingly, it is obligatory
on the woman to take to the procedure required by that of a woman in istihadha,
in that she should carry out all acts of worship, she abstained from
during that period, by way qadha.
52. Should the blood not bear the characteristics of
that of haydh, such as it was yellow, the woman should resort
to applying the yardstick of her known menstrual cycle, she should
conclude that it is that of haydh. Likewise, if such blood
appears before one or two days of the time of her monthly period.
Should it appear outside the days thus described, she should conclude
that the blood is that of istihadha.
However, the woman must not lose sight of the fact
that she should observe the blood for three days as has already been
discussed, and act accordingly.
For the woman to rely on her past experience insofar as her monthly
period is concerned to determine the nature of bleeding, she must be
in a position to tell when her period usually starts. If she has a
regular period, yet she forgot when it would start, what should she
A. If the blood has the characteristics of haydh
blood, she should consider herself having haydh in the light of
the first premise (verification by characteristics). Should the blood
not contain the characteristics of haydh blood, she should
consider herself as having istihadha so long as she was not
aware of the date of her period.
A woman experienced bleeding, not bearing the
characteristics of haydh blood, believing that it would
continue for, say, a week or more than the duration of her period. It
so happened that she was aware that the time for her period was either
in the first half or the second half of the week. If this was the
case, she should resort to applying ihtiyat throughout the
duration. Thus, she should uphold the prohibitions imposed on a woman
in haydh and do that which a woman in istihadha is
required to do. However, we will discuss in some detail the rules
governing the woman who has forgotten the time of her monthly period.
53. How does the menstrual cycle happen?
A. It materializes when the woman sees haydh blood at a certain
time of the month and sees it again at the same time of the following
month. It also comes about at regular intervals, such as a woman
experiencing haydh at intervals of half a month separating one
menstrual cycle from the other.
If the woman gets used to seeing the blood at the beginning of every
lunar calendar month for, say, five days, does it follow that
ascertaining that it is a haydh blood should be based on it
appearing at the start of the month and continuing for five days?
A. No, it suffices that it should appear within that
period, in that if a blood that is yellow in colour appears on the
second day of the said period and continues till the fifth day, it
should be considered haydh.
A woman’s period follows a certain pattern, in that she notices the
blood at the start of every month. Sometimes it continues for three
days or more. Which of the days, she experiences the yellow blood,
should be considered that of haydh?
A. The first three days of the month.
Verification of Haydh
by Characteristics and Past Experience
54. During her menstrual cycle, the woman may experience bleeding that
is yellow in colour. It may continue after the lapse of the days of
period. That which continued have the characteristics of haydh
blood. Should such blood fulfill the requirements of haydh
blood be present, all the blood be considered haydh blood,
although some of it fits the description of menstrual cycle and some
However, if red blood appears few days before the time
of menstrual cycle continues to its due time, all the blood should be
treated as haydh blood, in accordance with the preceding
To sum up, any blood which cannot be judged as that of haydh or
istihadha should be treated as that of haydh, provided
that it fulfills the conditions mentioned in any of the two principles
previously discussed, i.e. the blood may have the characteristics of haydh
blood, or its appearance may coincide with the time of the menstrual
cycle or slightly ahead of it. Otherwise, it should be deemed istihadha.
The Period May
not be Determined on the Basis of Characteristics
55. If haydh recurs two consecutive times at
the beginning of the month, it should be treated as such, i.e. haydh
blood. The woman should treat the blood that appears after that
particular time as haydh, albeit it is yellow, as has already
However, the same situation may be experienced by the woman with the
exception that she is not sure that it is haydh; nevertheless,
it has the properties of haydh blood; so she treated it as
such. At the same time of the third month, she saw yellow blood, that
did not fit the description of haydh blood. How should the
woman in question go about treating such instances?
A. She should act as though she has a regular period.
The Pregnant Woman and the Period
56. What we have discussed applies to a non-pregnant
woman. As for a pregnant woman, juristic opinion is divided as to her
experiencing both the pregnancy and having a period at the same time.
However, what we are inclined to is that the two cannot coincide. Yet,
the woman in question should not abandon ihtiyat, if she comes
to see blood during the time of her monthly period, or if the said
blood bears the characteristics of haydh blood, particularly
when it appears after the monthly period in twenty days. She should
uphold the prohibitions imposed on a woman in haydh, and the
commissioning of the acts required by a woman in istihadha.
When should the
woman in haydh perform ghusul?
57. Should there be any possibility within ten days from the start of
the period that bleeding stopped, the woman should hasten to ascertain
the extent of the stoppage. If she is sure that her period came to an
end, she should perform ghusul. Conversely, three situations
a. The woman may have a regular and definite period; the bleeding
would not exceed the duration of her period; she would be deemed in a
state of haydh so long as there is blood after checking.
b. The woman may not have a definite period, in that once her haydh
may take seven days and another eight. Such a woman should consider
herself in a state of haydh if there are traces of blood after
checking; that is, within the ten-day duration of haydh. This
is so if the traceable blood has the properties of haydh blood.
If not, it is istihadha blood.
c. The woman may have a regular definite period of,
say, a week. Upon checking she finds that there is still blood, after
one week and prior to the ten-day duration. If she was in a state of istihadha
before the start of her period, and the istihadha blood
continued to the time of haydh, she should end her haydh
by the end of her known period; she must deem whatever blood that is
left as that of istihadha.
Should she be tahir before the onset of her
period, it is left to her discretion. If she is pretty sure that
bleeding would continue and exceed the ten-day duration, she must end
her haydh by the end of her known period and consider the
remaining days as istihadha.
If she is hoping that bleeding would stop before the end of the
ten-day duration, she must add one day at least to the duration of her
known period, thus considering herself in haydh, and carry out
her obligations as though she is in a state of istihadha. She
is allowed to add two days or all the days that complete the ten-day
duration to the days of her period and continue discharging her
obligations as though she is in a state of haydh for the entire
If upon checking within the ten-day duration, the
woman found out that there was no more blood, yet she was not
absolutely certain that it was not the end of bleeding, in that it
might reappear within the ten-day duration, what should she do?
A. If she was sure that bleeding would resume, she must not pay
attention to the interval. Accordingly, she must act as though
bleeding did not stop. If she was not sure of the reappearance of
blood, she must perform ghusul and pray. Should bleeding not
resume within the ten-day duration, her actions are in order; if not,
she must act as though she was still in haydh during the entire
For example, a woman experienced bleeding for four
days. She became tahir, thus performing ghusul and
resuming her acts of worship for two days. She then experienced
bleeding for three days. She must treat the entire period of nine days
as though she was in haydh. As a result, whatever religious
duties she discharged during the fifth and sixth days are not in
This is what jurists meant when they have ruled that the interval of taharah
falling between two periods of bleeding is considered an integral part
of haydh, if the whole period does not exceed ten days.
Checking for the stoppage of bleeding or not by using
a piece of cotton or by any other way, is obligatory on every woman
who thinks that her period may have stopped. Should a woman take to ghusul,
without making sure that the bleeding had stopped, in the belief that
it did, such a ghusul is not in order, unless it was proven
that she really was free from blood when she had ghusul.
However, if she was absolutely certain of her being free from blood,
without checking, it is not obligatory on her to resort to checking;
thus, she may have ghusul and take to prayer.
What if blood
exceeds the ten-day duration?
As has already been discussed that if the flow of
blood stops before the lapse of three days, it should be deemed istihadha
blood. This is so because the minimum duration of a menstrual cycle is
However, should the flow of blood continue for more than ten days,
which is the maximum duration of a menstrual cycle, it follows that
some of that blood is not that of haydh. In other words, the
blood in question could have started as haydh blood, yet it
turned into that of istihadha. The question is: How would the
woman pin point when the change took place, i.e. is it from the point
the blood flow going beyond the ten-day duration or earlier than that?
Assuming that the change took place after the lapse of
the said duration, the woman ceased all acts of worship during this
period. And on the second assumption that the change happened prior to
the expiry of the ten-day period, she must resume, by way of qadha,
all acts of worship for the duration she missed. How could she
reconcile the situation?
A. The situation varies according to the type of
monthly period of the woman. Thus, there are five different
58. a. A woman with a monthly period that is specific
in terms of the date it starts and the number of days it lasts.
Upon experiencing the flow of blood, such a woman should conclude that
the blood is that of haydh. Should it exceed ten days, she
should treat the days of her period as haydh, even if the
characteristics of the blood were not of haydh blood; the
excess is istihadha, even if it fits the definition of haydh
blood. She must apply the same measure, if the flow of blood starts
prematurely or after the date of her period, provided that its
duration is more than ten days.
Accordingly, she must treat the blood appearing during
her known days as haydh and the remainder istihadha. She
should then take to any acts of worship, by way of qadha, that she
abandoned during that period.
Should the period start at a different date and continue for more than
ten days, the woman must treat as haydh a number of days
equivalent to her normal menstrual cycle. The remainder should be
treated as istihadha.
What if the
woman does not complete her menstrual cycle in time?
59. Suppose that a woman’s haydh starts at the beginning of
the month and continues for a week. She experienced the flow of blood
on the fourth day and continued for two weeks. How should she go about
calculating the duration of haydh? Would she treat the blood
that she experienced during her usual time of haydh, i.e. four
days which are the fourth, the fifth, the sixth, and the seventh of
the month, or should she resort to considering the period from the
fourth until the tenth so that it does coincide with the number of
days during which she usually have her period?
A. The woman in question should perform, by way of
qadha, all acts of worship she abandoned during the days which fell
outside the days of her usual period.
Take the same woman in the previous example. Suppose this time her haydh
started a week earlier than usual. The flow of blood continued until
the fifth of the month. Would she consider the duration of her haydh
that which falls within her usual period, i.e. five days from the
first to the fifth, or should she add two more days from the previous
days to the five days to remedy the shortfall to complete a week?
A. Here, the woman is not required to perform any acts
of worship she abandoned during some of the days, i.e. those which she
added to the five days to make up for the shortfall. However, it is
more likely that she should compensate any acts of worship during the
days, that fall outside her usual period days, she missed. She is not
allowed to complete the week by adding any days falling outside her
known days of haydh.
60. b. Some women may have their period during a fixed
term but not necessarily at the same time every month.
Any woman in this category, should treat the flow of blood as haydh,
if it has the properties of that of haydh. If the flow of blood
continues beyond ten days, she must consider only those days that are
equivalent to the number of days during which she usually have her
period, starting with the onset of the flow of blood; the remainder
should be deemed istihadha.
61. c. Some women may have their period during a fixed
time but not necessarily for the same number of days every month.
Any woman in this category may treat as haydh blood any blood
that fits the properties of that of haydh; she may consider
that the flow of blood started at the usual menstrual cycle. If she
experienced any flow of blood that continued more than ten days, she
has the choice to treat as haydh six or seven days of the whole
duration; the remainder should be treated as istihadha.
What if the
woman forgets the time of her period?
The ruling in the case of such a woman varies in line
with the category of her period as has already been discussed in the
a. The woman who has a fixed term period could forget how many days
her period usually lasts. Such a woman should be guided by the type of
blood that is appearing during her menstrual cycle. That which fits
the definition of haydh blood should be treated as such, and
that which is not, should be deemed as istihadha, provided that
the whole duration of blood flow does not exceed ten days. If it does,
she should resort to guess work; should she be inclined to consider
the duration of her period five days, for example, she should stick to
Should she think that the duration is more than seven
days, it is obligatory on her to observe the prohibitions imposed on a
woman in haydh, and the obligations required to be discharged
by a woman in instihadha insofar as the number of days in
excess of seven days is concerned. This is so up to and including a
duration of ten days. The rest should be deemed istihadha.
For example, haydh may set in on the first of the month and
continue for more than ten days to cease on the thirteenth. If she
believes that her period is nine days, it is obligatory on her to
treat seven of those days as haydh, apply ihtiyat for
the two days ending with the ninth, and consider herself experiencing istihadha
for the period of the tenth to the thirteenth.
b. The woman who has her period on a particular date
every month, but with irregular number of days each time, may forget
the date of her period. If she experiences any flow of blood for at
least three days and not more than ten days, she should treat the
blood that carries the properties of haydh as such, and that
which does not as istihadha.
If the duration of the menstrual cycle exceeds ten
days, there may arise two scenarios:
b. 1. Assume that the woman is aware that her monthly
period has fallen within these thirteen days without being able to
determine when. In such a case, it is obligatory on her to do what a
woman in istihadha is required to do and refrain from that
which a woman in haydh is prohibited to do during those
thirteen days, regardless of whether the type of blood was that of haydh
b.2. Assume that the woman does not know that her
monthly period falls within these thirteen days. In this case, she
must consider the blood that fits the description of haydh
blood as haydh, provided that it is not more than ten days and
not less than three. The blood which falls under the banner of istihadha
must be treated as such.
Should all the blood be of the same type, such as that
of haydh, she must observe six or seven days of it as haydh
and the rest istihadha. If the blood is that which fits the
definition of istihadha blood, all of it should be treated as istihadha.
c. The woman who has a fixed term/date period may be
prone to forgetting how many days her period usually lasts or this
occurrence or that. For such a case there could be three different
c. 1. She may forget the duration of her period but
not the time. The ruling in this case is identical to that of a woman
with a fixed date period. However, once such a woman experiences the
blood flow, which must be of haydh type, for more than ten
days, and since she is not sure whether her period days fall within
this flow, she must treat the number of days of her period as haydh
and the rest istihadha.
c. 2. She may forget the time of her period but not
the duration. Such should assume the state of haydh as soon as
she experiences the blood flow, even if it is not bearing the
characteristics of haydh blood. She must do this for three
days. Treatment of the period in access of three days must be
determined by the type of blood, i.e. whether it is that of haydh
or istihadha. If it is haydh blood, she must treat it as
such for up to ten days. If not, she must consider it as istihadha.
Should the blood flow exceed ten days, the ruling in this case is that
of a woman with a fixed term period which has already been discussed.
c.3. Some women may forget both the time and duration
of their period. A woman in such a situation must resolve it by
reference to the previous two cases. That is, she should do what a
woman in istihadha is required to do and not embark on that
which a woman in haydh is prohibited from, even if she can have
a guess as to the number of days of her period; this is so because
giving more weight to the time factor is more important than that of
the duration and so on.
62. d. The woman may have an irregular period, both in
duration and time. She must resolve her situation by treating the
onset of blood as haydh so long as it exhibits the
characteristics of haydh blood. Should her period continue for
more than ten days, there may be two possible situations:
d. 1. The blood type and colour could be that of haydh
throughout the period. If this is so, she could treat the duration at
the onset of the blood flow as haydh up to six or seven days,
as she deems fit. The remaining duration should be considered istihadha.
d. 2. Both the blood type and colour could be
changing. If this has been the case, the woman should treat the blood
which is more akin to the characteristics as haydh; the
exceptions being that:
d/2/a. The duration of the blood in question be less than three days.
The ruling on such a case is the same as in (d/1).
d/2/b. The duration of the blood under discussion be
more than ten days. The ruling on such a case is that discussed para.
d/2/c. There may be two separate durations of the
blood in question. These are separated by a duration where the blood
takes a different hue. The total of the two durations may not exceed
ten days. However, if the intervening duration is added to the total,
it is bound to increase to more than ten days. Suppose that the total
duration was fifteen days divided into three equal segments; In such a
case, the woman should treat the first five days as haydh, the
second five-day duration as istihadha, and so does the third,
for it has followed on from the ten-day period.
63. e. The Beginner, i.e. the woman who witnesses the
blood flow for the first time. She may treat the blood bearing the
characteristics of haydh as haydh blood as has already
been discussed. However, should the period exceed ten days, there may
be two possible situations, like those of a woman with an irregular
e. 1. Should the blood be that of the type of haydh,
she may mimic the menstrual cycle of her women folk, i.e. go for the
same number of days of their period and treat the rest as istihadha.
If the monthly period of her relatives was not universal or if she did
not have relatives, she should treat six or seven days of her first
experience of a period as haydh; she must observe ihtiyat
for the remaining three or four days that complete the ten-day
duration; that is, she must abstain from any acts of worship which a
woman in haydh is not supposed to embark on, and uphold those
acts a woman in istihadha is required to do.
Second time round, she must treat the first three days
of the blood flow as haydh, and observe ihtiyat for the
remaining six or seven days.
e. 2. Both the blood type and colour could be
changing. If this has been the case, the woman should treat the blood
which is more akin to the characteristics of haydh blood as haydh;
that said, she should note the exceptions in the case of a woman with
an irregular period already discussed.
continue for more than ten days,it could be one of two types
64. The blood in excess of ten days, which is governed by the
aforesaid rules, should have the following properties:
a. The blood flow must continue for ten days until the
b. The blood flow could be intermittent, in that it appears for a
while then stops, but before the lull duration continues for ten days,
it resumes again.
If the stoppage duration be ten days, both the durations ]the one
preceding the intervening duration and that which follows it[ should
be treated as haydh as has already been discussed. That is, the
rules governing the flow of blood for more than ten days do not apply.
The following ten cases may help the woman in identifying the
appropriate ruling applicable to her own case:
a. Any woman may experience haydh blood for three to ten days.
It may then stop for ten days only to resume for another three to ten
days. The two durations of blood flow are deemed haydh; the
intervening duration is one of taharah.
b. A woman experiencing an intermittent flow of haydh
blood, within a ten-day period, i.e. that which appears for three
days, then stops for a short spell only to resume again, should treat
all the blood during this time, including the short breaks, as haydh.
c. A woman experiencing a flow of haydh blood
for a period of less than three days, only to resume after a day, two,
or more, should treat all as haydh blood.
d. A woman experiencing a flow of haydh blood
for a period of three days or more, which changes in colour to yellow
for several days only to return in the form of haydh blood, may
treat such blood as haydh, provided the entire duration does
not exceed ten days.
e. A woman, but not one with an irregular period,
experiencing a flow of blood, that is yellow in colour, should treat
such blood as istihadha and not haydh. The same goes for
a woman with a fixed term monthly period, even though the flow of
blood may continue throughout the days of her period.
A woman with a specific date of period, should treat
the yellow blood appearing outside the days of her period as istihadha.
That which appears during her days of period should be treated as haydh.
f. A woman may experience the appearance of yellow blood which later
turns into haydh blood and continues for at least three days.
Such a woman should consider herself having istihadha on the
days of undue menses and having haydh in those days when the
blood flow is that of haydh.
g. A woman with a fixed term/date menstrual period may
experience a flow of blood during the time of her period; yet it may
stop before the completion of the duration of the period. Suppose this
woman’s period starts at the beginning of the month and continues
for a week. If she has her period for, say, five days only to stop
another five days and resume for seven days, can she deem the latter
duration, of seven days, her monthly period because it tallied with
the number of days of her actual period?
A. No, she must consider the blood of the first
duration of five days that of haydh, although it is yellow in
colour and the blood flow during the seven days istihadha,
although it exhibits the characteristics of haydh blood.
h. A woman with a fixed date menstrual period may
experience the flow of blood prematurely. Suppose it starts three days
or more earlier and continues during the days of period and beyond.
Should the total duration be not more than ten days, there is no doubt
that it should be considered haydh as early as two days prior
to the date of period, regardless of whether it was red or yellow in
colour. Prior to this, the blood that has the properties of haydh
blood should be treated thus, and that which fits the definition of istihadha
blood should be deemed as such.
i. A woman with a fixed term/date menstrual period may
experience a flow of blood before the time of her period; yet it may
continue even after the completion of the duration of the menstrual
cycle bringing the total to more than of ten days. She must regard the
blood that coincided with the days of her period as haydh and
the rest, i.e. prior to the time of her period and after it as istihadha.
She must make up for the acts of worship during the moratorium
periods, i.e. before and after the time of her period, by way of
f. A .oman with a fixed term monthly period may
experience the flow of haydh blood for three days or more; it
may stop only to reappear bringing the total duration from the onset
of blood to more than ten days. Here there may arise a number of
f. 1. Should the duration of blood, from first sight,
be equal to the duration of her period, she must consider it haydh.
f. 2. If it is less than the duration of her period,
she must deem haydh the duration of blood during the earlier
experience, and the remainder istihadha.
f. 3. If the duration of blood and that of the
stoppage are equal to the duration of her period, the ruling
applicable to such a case is the same as that in (f.1).
f. 4. Should the duration of her monthly period be
more the woman in the preceding case by, say, one day or more, she
must regard those days falling within her period days as haydh,
provided that they are not less than three days; the periods of lull
should be deemed those of taharah and the rest istihadha;
thus, she is not required to remedy the shortfall of her period from
the second duration.
The same applies to a woman with a fixed term/date monthly period, if
she experiences a premature flow of blood as described in the
The Need for Ghusul
66. Neither prayer nor fasting can be performed with haydh
blood. No act of worship, be it obligatory or voluntary, can be
performed by a woman, in haydh, unless she restores taharah
to herself by way of ghusul after her period has stopped. This
is because haydh blood causes a hadath as viewed by shari’a
law; such a hadath persists, even after haydh ceases, until the
woman have a ghusul.
Ghusul shall neither be in order nor qualify to lift the hadath, unless it is performed after haydh blood has ceased.
67. Both the ghusuls, i.e. those of janabah
and haydh, are one in their consequential effects on the acts
of worship. In other words, any act of worship by the mukallaf shall
not be in order unless they performed ghusul. So, whatever is
required of a person in a state of janabah, as discussed in
paragraph (39) of the Rules of Ghusul, should be required of a
woman in a state of haydh or nifas. For example, the
woman, whose period has come to an end, should perform ghusul
or tayamum before dawn breaks, if she were to fast. Should she take ghusul/tayamum
lightly, she must make up for the missed acts of worship by way of
Things for Women in Haydh
68. Just as the things, discussed in paragraphs
(45/48) of Rules of Ghusul, are forbidden to a person in a
state ofjanabah, so are they to a woman in a state of haydh.
Neither such a woman nor her husband are allowed to have sexual
intercourse.Sexual union is feasible only after the woman has become
clean of haydh blood and had ghusul, or at least cleaned
her genitals. Should the husband let loose his desire for sex and
eventually has intercourse, he would be deemed sinful; however, both
shall not incur kaffarah. That said, the man can enjoy sexual intimacy
with his wife short of a sexual intercourse. Yet, it is makrouh that
he should resort to caressing those parts of his wife’s body between
the belly button and knees.
69. If the man has sex with his wife either before or
during haydh, she becomes liable for both the effects, i.e.
those of haydh and janabah. Should she choose to have ghusul
of janabah, while still in haydh, this shall be deemed
in order. The effect of haydh remains.
Regulating Women in Haydh
70. A woman in a state of haydh should, after
becoming tahir, compensate for the missed days of obligatory
fasting, be they for Ramadhan or those for a vow. However, she is not
required to say, by way of qadha’, the five daily prayers, the
prayer for a vow and the prayer for ayaat (natural phenomena).
The divorce of a woman in haydh shall be batil,
unless she is pregnant, her marriage has not been consummated, or her
husband is absent. This will be discussed in detail later. Should she
be divorced in the belief that she was tahir which later proved
to be inconclusive, the divorce is batil.
If, however, she was divorced with the belief that she was in haydh,
yet she was actually tahir, what would become of the divorce?
A. If the husband was certain that she was in a state
of haydh and that initiating such a divorce would never
materialize, the divorce is null and void )batil(, although it
was carried out during a state of taharah, because in truth the
husband was not intent on divorce.
However, he may or may not be aware of the haydh; yet he is not
aware that taharah from haydh is a condition to the
validity o divorce. Such a divorce is conclusive.
71. Voluntary ghusuls and wudhu of a
woman in haydh shall be in order. It is mustahab for her
to perform wudhu and sit where and when she usually performs
her daily prayer, facing the qiblah to chant the praise of Allah.
of Haydh and How it Should be Performed
72. In itsel, ghusul of haydh is a devotion, yet it is
compulsory for performing obligatory prayer. Thus, the prayer shall
not be in order unless the woman has had ghusul in conclusion
of her period.
For the way to go about this ghusul, please refer paragraphs(10)
and (11). However, niyyah of qurbah, as discussed in paragraph
(53) of Ghusul of Janabah, is paramount. Furthermore,
all the rules governing the situations discussed in paragraph (54) of
the same Chapter are applicable in the case of the woman having ghusul
after her period has ended.
Concerning Women in Istihadha
The Blood of Istihadha
73. Istihadha blood is different in properties
from that of haydh. In the main, it is yellow, cold, thin, and
flows slowly. However, sometimes it may have the features of haydh
blood. None of the four conditions of haydh blood discussed in
paragraph (56) applies to istihadha blood, in that a girl below
nine years of age and a woman over fifty may experience it. It may
occur just before a fully blown haydh or after it, or even in
between, provided the latter happens within a period of less than ten
days. Insofar as volume is concerned, there is no limit to istihadha,
in that the blood may appear for a day or part thereof; it may
continue [on and off] for months or years.
74. Istihadha is deemed a hadath which in turn
calls for the restoration of taharah. So, if a woman has
performed wudhu, only to experience the flow of istihadha
blood, her wudhu shall be rendered batil; thus, she
should restore taharah to herself in the manner discussed in
paragraph(89). That said, no consequences shall be attributed to istihadha
blood if it remains trapped inside the uterus.
Types of Istihadha
and the Effect on Performing Prayer
75. Istihadha is divided into three categories in the light of
the volume of blood flow, i.e. being either scant or abundant. So, the
types may be labeled minor, medium, or major. This classification may
be reached at after the woman has checked, by placing a piece of
cotton (or a tampon) inside the female organ, or by any other device.
If the piece of cotton is not saturated with blood,
the woman should conclude that she has a minor istihadha. She
is therefore required, as a matter of ihtiyat wujubi, to
change the tampon, clean her genitals, and perform wudhu for
each and every prayer, be it wajib or mustahab. However,
she is not required to renew her wudhu for precautionary
ruku’, the forgotten parts of prayer, and the sajdatay-as-sahu;
please refer to paragraph 46 on The General Guidelines on Prayer.
It is not recommended that she performs two prayers in one wudhu.
Should the blood soak the tampon without dripping from it, the istihad
ha is a medium one. She is therefore required,
as a matter of ihtiyat wujubi, to change the
tampon,clean the towel or change it, ]if it is of the disposable
type[, have one ghusul everyday before subh (fajr) prayer
coupled with a wudhu for this prayer. There is no harm in
delaying the wudhu until ghusul has been performed. In
addition to that, she must have wudhu for each and every
prayer; it is advisable that she does not perform two prayers in one wudhu.
Should the blood drip from the tampon and/or flow
outside the female organ, the istihadha is a major one. The
woman is required, as a matter of ihtiyat wujubi, to
change the tampon and towel, clean her genitals, perform three ghusuls
in a day, one for subh prayer, a second for dhuhr and asr prayers, and
a third for maghrib and isha’ prayers. Such ghusuls would
relieve her from performing wudhu.
76. In all the above cases, the woman, having
performed whatever is required of her of ghusul and wudhu,
should hasten to perform prayer. That said, she is free to perform any
mustahab acts of worship prior to the prayer, such as adhan and
iqamah, and during prayer, such as qunoot.
If she is lethargic in taking to prayer, she should perform the
process of restoring taharah to herself again and say prayer.
77. If the woman in a state of istihadha, even
of the major type, discharges whatever obligations required of her in
order to perform her prayer, she is allowed to say any other prayer,
provided that she performs wudhu for each and every prayer;
thus, she is not required to renew ghusul.
on Istihadha Type of Blood
78. After the woman had become clean of istihadha,
she did hasten to restore taharah to herself. Is she justified
in so doing?
A. She should have hastened to restore taharah which is
incumbent on her and say prayer. If the flow of blood ceases during
the process of restoring taharah or prayer, she should, as a
matter of ihtiyat wujubi, renew both the taharah
and the prayer. If the flow of blood ceases after prayer, she is not
required to repeat it. However, if she is experiencing a medium or
major istihadha, it is obligatory on her to have ghusul
for the next prayer.
79 Should there be a chance of the blood stopping to
allow for both the ghusul and the prayer, the woman should
seize it even with the delay. If she performs prayer ahead of such an
opportunity, her prayer is batil, although it is performed with
ghusul and wudhu. Should such an opportunity be
squandered so much so that prayer is deliberately delayed, she be
deemed sinful. However, there is no harm in such an omission due to
forgetfulness; she is therefore required to restore taharah to
herself and perform prayer.
The woman may not be aware of this opportunity; she
may then say prayer according to what her situation warrant. However,
there may be a short respite from the flow of blood, to the extent
that there may be room for both the taharah and the prayer. In
such a situation, she should renew the process of restoring taharah
to herself and say prayer.
80. The woman in a state of istihadha may
inadvertently forget to check the extent of her istihadha by
way of the tampon already discussed. She may as well choose to ignore
the checking process. In both the cases, she is not allowed to be
contented with what she has performed, unless she ascertains that what
she has done is acceptable.
81. If the end of istihadha materializes and
the woman restores taharah to herself, she may hasten to
prayer; she may as well postpone prayer to a later stage within its
time scale. Accordingly, she should revert to the state prior to the istihadha
insofar as taharah and prayer are concerned.
82. Should the stage of istihadha shift from a
lesser one to the next stage, she is required to discharge her
obligations pursuant to the new stage. For example, a woman with a
medium istihadha, having had ghusul before subh prayer,
discovered at around maghrib time, that she was having a major istihadha.
She is required to have ghusul for maghrib and isha’ prayers.
82. Should the reverse happen, i.e. from an advanced
stage of istihadha to a lower one, she should for one time
perform the process of restoring taharah to herself according
to her previous situation. After that, she should discharge her
obligations in the light of the new situation.
83. The woman in a state of istihadha, of all types, can enter
any mosque and stay there, irrespective of whether she has performed taharah
for her daily prayers.
Divorcing a woman in a state of istihadha, even
a major one, is allowed, i.e. contrary to divorcing a woman in haydh.
However, a woman in istihadha should not attempt to touch the
print of the Holy Qur’an, unless she becomes tahir again as
dictated by her situation. In other words, she can only touch the
print of the Holy Qur’an if she was in a state of taharah
permitting her to say prayer.
Medium and Major Istihadhas
84. A woman experiencing a medium istihadha
before or after dawn could not have ghusul for subh prayer
because she was asleep, for example. She should have ghusul for
dhuhr and asr prayers and so on.
Should the medium istihadha start after subh prayer, she should
have ghusul to be able to say dhuhr and asr prayers; she is not
required to renew ghusul for mahgrib and isha’ prayers.
Should the istihadha start after dhuhr and asr prayers, she
should have ghusul for maghrib and isha’ prayers.
If the medium istihadha continues for a second day, the ghusul
becomes obligatory from that day, irrespective of the time of the
previous ghusul, i.e. before dawn, at midday or sunset.
85. A woman in a state of istihadha should do
her best, during prayer, to trap the blood inside her uterus, by
sanitary towels and the like, where possible and without due harm.
However, should the blood flow outside the female organ, she must
repeat the prayer, taking the necessary precautions. That said, she is
not required to renew ghusul.
86. A woman with a major istihadha had ghusul
for dhuhr prayer and asr prayer. She chose to say dhuhr prayer and
delay asr. She must have a new ghusul for asr prayer. The same
goes for maghrib and isha’ prayers, should the woman choose to say
87. Should the woman experiencing a major or a medium istihadha
carry out what is required of her of ghusul, her husband can
approach her for sex. That said, it is permissible for him to do so,
even if she has not performed ghusul, as a matter of voluntary
88. A woman in a state of minor or medium istihadha
can fast, regardless of whether or not she became tahir by way
of ghusul or wudhu. Evidently, the fast of a woman in a
state of major istihadha is also in order. Its validity does
not hinge upon carrying out the daily ghusuls, let alone the
Women experiencing medium and major istihadha, who want to
perform ghusul, can be guided by the General Guidelines of Ghusul
4. Rules on Nifas
89. Nifas means a woman in labour Nifas blood is that
which flows as a result of child birth There are certain rules which
regulate the nifas occurrence These are similar to the rules
governing a woman in haydh A woman in nifas should
abstain from all acts of worship She must have a ghusul after
she is done with nifas
90. Nifas may come about even with a premature
child birth, let alone a fully blown one.
91. There is not a minimum amount to nifas
blood. It may be deemed as such even with one drop of blood. Should
ten days from the date of the child birth elapse with no blood in
sight, there can be no nifas, even though blood may pour out
profusely after that period.
The upper ceiling for nifas is ten days from the sighting of
blood not child birth. So, if it is sighted on the seventh day of the
child birth, the end of such period shall be the seventeenth day.
92. Should the blood be sighted immediately after the
woman’s giving birth to her child, then stops for a day or so, then
resumes before the end of the ten-day period, the entire period should
be treated as nifas.
93. A woman giving birth to a twin, sighted blood
after giving birth to the first baby. It then stopped. It resumed
after giving birth to the second baby. Does the intervening period
count as a period of taharah or nifas?
A. This time, even though it may be for one minute, counts as a period
of taharah. Such a woman should cater for two periods of nifas.
94. The blood appearing during the time of labour just
before child birth does not count as nifas, irrespective of
whether it linked up with the blood of child birth or was separate. It
should also not be considered haydh, unless one is sure of
that; alternatively, it is istihadha.
As for the blood which a pregnant woman may sight before going into
labour, it should be treated according to the rules concerning the
blood of a pregnant woman which has already been discussed in
paragraph (56) of the Rules on Haydh in this Chapter.
95. The rule of the minimum ten-day gap between one
period of haydh and the other does not apply to the gap
separating haydh blood, before child birth, from that of nifas.
96. Once nifas blood ceases and the woman
becomes clean again, the state of nifas ends. This being even
if the blood stops after one day or part thereof of child birth.
Please refer to paragraph)91( of this Chapter.
97. A woman in a state of nifas may have a
fixed term haydh of less than ten days. The nifas blood
may continue to exceed the duration of her period. If she is certain
that nifas would continue beyond ten days from the time of
sighting the blood, she should end it, have ghusul, and render
herself in a state of istihadha. If she has hoped that the
blood would cease before the lapse of the ten-day period, she has the
choice to extend her nifas period by two days or more, provided
the total duration does not exceed ten days. She should then deem
herself in a state of istihadha.
98. A woman in a state of nifas may not have a
fixed term haydh. The nifas blood may continue. She must
observe nifas and refrain from embarking on acts of worship so
long as the duration does not exceed ten days. Should the blood stop
before the ten-day period, she must consider it nifas. The same
rule applies to the woman with a fixed term haydh of ten days.
99. Nifas blood may continue beyond ten days.
If a woman does have a fixed term haydh, she should deem nifas
a number of days equal to that of her haydh and the remainder istihadha.
It then follows that she must perform, by way of qadha’, the acts of
worship she missed for the period beyond days of her haydh. If
a woman does not have a fixed term haydh, she must regard as nifas
ten days and the excess istihadha.
100. Should a woman in a state of nifas with a
fixed term haydh forget the duration of her monthly period, the
rules applicable to her are those concerning the woman with a fixed
term haydh discussed in paragraph(75) of this Chapter.
101. A woman in a state of nifas is treated in
the same way as that in a state of haydh, in that she must
resort to checking the state of blood flow or otherwise whenever she
thinks that there is a possibility of the blood stopping, as has
already been discussed under the Rules of Haydh.
102. Nifas blood may continue beyond ten days.
For example, it may last a month. The woman in question should
consider herself in a state of nifas for a duration equal to
the number of days of her haydh, if she has a fixed term haydh.
She may as well observe ten days if indeed her haydh duration
is ten days or there was not a fixed number of days. It then follows
that she must regard herself as though she is in a state of istihadha
for ten days, which is the minimum period of taharah necessary
to separate nifas from the forthcoming haydh.
After that, she must wait for her haydh to
come. She should then treat the blood as that of haydh, even
though it does not have the properties of haydh blood. If a
woman does not have a fixed term haydh, she should be guided by
the nature of the blood to determine whether it is that of haydh
103. The rules applicable to a woman in a state of nifas
are the same as those for her peers in a state of haydh, in
that she is not allowed to touch the print of the Holy Qur’an, stay
in the mosque, have sex, or have a divorce. The same goes for
refraining from any acts of worship, such as prayer and fast, so long
as she remained in nifas. However, she should perform, by way
of qadha, the days of fast she may have missed. She is allowed the
things a woman in a state of haydh is allowed.
The manner of ghusul for a woman in nifas is identical
to that of haydh, istihadha, and janabah as has
already been described.