There are three types of blood that a woman experiences:
In Arabic, the word Haid literally means the flowing and course of something.
In Islamic Law, it refers to the blood that flows from the uterus of a female at a particular time (in the month) and without any cause, when she is healthy.
The Description of Menstrual Blood
Its color is black, as though it is burnt, it is accompanied by abdominal pains, and has an objectionable odor. The woman also might feel particularly hot during her cycle.
Age of Menstruation
There is no particular age when menstruation starts. It differs according to the environment, weather and nature of each female. Whenever a female sees this blood, then she is a menstruating woman.
Period of Menstruation
There is no particular limit for menstruation. There are some women who menstruate for three days, and some four days, but the most it can be is for six or seven days. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said to Hamnah bint Jahsh who used to menstruate for many days: “Observe your menses for six or seven days, Allah alone knows which it should be. After that you must take a bath.” (Abu Dawud)
Issues for Discussion
A fundamental principle in Islamic Law is that a pregnant woman does not menstruate. But when a pregnant woman sees blood when the time for delivery approaches, and this is accompanied with pains (contractions), then this blood is deemed as post–natal bleeding. But if it is not accompanied with pain or if it occurred far from the time of delivery, then it is menstrual blood.
Among the rulings of Menstruation
- The Rulings on Al-Kudrah and As-Sufrah
As-Sufrah is the pale yellow blood that flows from a female.
Al-Kudrah is black or very, very dark blood.
The Ruling of Al-Kudrah and As-Sufrah
When a woman sees pale yellow blood or black blood, or sees usual wetness, then her situation is either of the following:
A- She sees it during the period of menstruation or right before the time of purity (from menstruation).
In this condition, the ruling regarding one who menstruates applies for her. This is in accordance with the hadeeth narrated by `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her).
She stated that the women used to use pieces of cloth similar to pads during their menstrual cycles. When they saw the cotton stained with pale yellow blood, she would say to them: “Do not be in haste. Wait until you see the whitish discharge.” She meant that it (the whitish discharge) is the sign of purity from menstruation.”
B- Or she sees it after purification (from menstruation).
In this situation, it will not be regarded or given any consideration. Neither wudu’ (ablution) nor ghusl is therefore imperative on her. This is according to the hadith narrated by Um `Atiyah when she said: “We used to not regard Al-Kudrah and As-Sufrah as (being) important after purification.” ( Abu Dawud)
2- The Ruling of Intermittent Menstruation
If a woman sees menstrual blood on a day and purity on another her situation is either of the following:
A- The blood flows continuously from her without stopping.
This is a condition known as Al-Istihadhah (Irregular bleeding).
B- The flow of the blood is discontinuous or intermittent.
If the flow of blood ceases sometimes and runs at other times, then its ruling is as follows:
- If the blood flow stops for less than a day, that day is counted as part of a menstrual period.
- If she sees what indicates purity (e.g. a whitish discharge) at this time, this is considered the end of menstruation. She then is regarded as being pure, regardless of whether the blood has stopped recently or a long time ago, or it stopped more or less than a day ago.
It is the continuous flow of blood from the vagina of a woman. It doesn’t stop at all or it stops for only a short while.
Differences Between Menstrual and Istihadah Blood
|Menstrual Blood||Istihadah Blood|
|Thick and Blackish||Light Red In Color|
|Has An Objectionable, Foul Odor||No Odor|
|Does not||Form Clots|
|Flows from the Upper Part of the Uterus.||Flows from a Vein in the Lower Part of the Uterus.|
|Natural and a Sign of Good Health.||Flows as a Result of an Irregularity or Sickness/Disease.|
|Flows at a known time-period.||Has no Known Period
Various Situations of One Experiencing Istihadah
1- That she had a set period for her menses before the occurrence of istihadah.
In this case, she first apportions this number of days for her menses, and then counts the remaining days as istihadah. `A’ishah reported that Fatimah bint Abi Hubaish said : “O messenger of Allah, my menses do not stop, do I leave Salah?” He replied: “No, that is what flows from a blood vessel. You should not observe Salah for the number of days you usually have menstruation, then take a bath afterwards and observe Salat.” (Al-Bukhari)
2- She did not have a set period for her menses, but she is capable of distinguishing between menstrual and istihadah blood.
If this is her case, she distinguishes between the two types of blood. It is confirmed from Fatimah bint Abi Hubaish that she used to suffer from istihadah and the Prophet (peace be upon him) said to her: “If it is menstrual blood, which is a known dark blood, then do not observe prayer. But if it is the other (Istihadah blood), just perform wudu’, then observe prayer, because that is a flow from a blood vessel.” (Abu Dawud)
3- She did not have a set time for her cycle and she is not capable of distinguishing between the two-menstrual blood and istihadah blood.
In this case, she apportions the most common number of days that most women menstruate, for her menses. This is usually six to seven days in every month. She starts counting the days of her menstrual cycle from the time she first sees blood, and she takes the remaining days in the month to be Al-Istihadah. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said to Hamnah bint Jahsh: “Observe your menses for six or seven days, Allah alone knows which it should be; then wash. And when you see that you are purified and quite clean, pray for the next 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.” (Abu Dawud)
If you want to know more, do not miss watching the video to realize the signs of post-natal bleeding and the forbidden acts as a result of menstrual and post-natal bleeding.