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Fatima is Fatima

by : Dr. Ali Shari'ati

Back You are here: Home Books Family The Ritual Ablutions for Women (Taharatu 'N-Nisa')

The Ritual Ablutions for Women (Taharatu 'N-Nisa') - 5. A Girl Entering Puberty

Article Index



The girl who reaches the age of puberty and sees her menstruation for the first time is known as mub­tadi'ah = the beginner.

If a mubtadi'ah sees blood with the three signs for more than three and less than ten days, then it is menstruation.

But if a mubtadi'ah sees blood for more than ten days, then there are a few possibilites:

1. The blood was with the three signs for some days and without them for some other days, then the former is menstruation and the latter is istihazah.

2. The blood had the three signs during the entire flow but with a difference in intensity of colour, that is, some days it had black colour and some other days it had red or dark red colour. In this case the flow with black colour will be considered menstruation and the other will be considered istihazah.

3. If the entire flow was without the three signs or the flow with the three signs was less than three days, then the entire flow will be considered istihazah.

4. If the blood had the three signs during the entire flow, then the mubtadi'ah has to follow the number­pattern of the women in her family, e.g., her mother, sister, etc. That is, if her mother's monthly period comes for six days, then she should consider the six days as menstruation and the remaining days as istihazah.

But if the women in a beginner's family differ in the number-pattern of their monthly periods, then during the first month she should observe six or seven days as menstruation and act on precaution up to the tenth day. In the subsequent months she should observe the first three days as menstruation and act on precaution up to sixth or seventh day. This alternate pattern should be continued until she forms a fixed pattern of her own.

If a girl loses her virginity and blood is discharged so much that she is uncertain whether the blood is from the loss of virginity or menstruation or both, then she should examine herself "by inserting a piece of cotton inside her vagina and leave it there for a while. Then she should take it out gently - if the blood has just stain­ed the outside of the cotton, then it is from the loss of virginity; but if the blood has penetrated into the cot­ton, then it is menstruation." 7

If she is unable to examine herself, then she should consider herself whatever she was before losing virginity - either she was pure from menstruation or not.

6. GENERAL RULES ABOUT ZATU 'L-`ADAH WOMEN

The zatu 'I-'adah women in groups (a) and (b) have to observe the rules of menstruation as soon as they see the blood. It makes no difference whether it starts on the fixed day, or one or two days before it or after it, even if it does not have all the three signs of menstrual flow. Of course, if she discovers that it was not menstruation (for example, the blood stopped on the second day), then she will have to perform her salat (which she had missed during the two days) as qaza.

The zatu 'l-adah women in group (c) have to observe the rules of menstruation if the blood has all the three signs of menstrual flow mentioned above. If the discharge does not have all the three signs, then it will not be regarded as menstruation.

When a zatu 'l-'adah woman sees blood many days before or after the fixed time then if it has the three signs altogether, it is menstruation; otherwise it will be regard­ed as istihazah.

with 3 signs = hayz.
without 3 signs = istihazah.

with 3 signs = hayz. without 3 signs = istihazah.

But as mentioned above, if a zatu 'I-'adah woman sees blood during the fixed time, it is hayz even if it does not have the three signs.

with or without 3 signs = hayz.

If a zatu 'I-'adah woman sees blood for three days and then it stops for some days and again it comes for three more days - then both flows of blood and the pause between them will be considered hayz only if (a) the total days of two flows and the pause between them is not more than ten, and (b) all these days are in the fixed time and fixed number of days of the woman's menses.

if total of 2 flows & the pause is ten or less + all these days are in the fixed time = hayz.

In the following three cases also, the two flows of blood and the pause between them will be counted as hayz:

i. If one of the flows started a day or two before the fixed time.

both flows and the pause = hayz.

ii. If both flows started outside the fixed time but both had the three signs of menstrual flow.

with 3 signs - hayz.
without 3 signs = istihazah.

iii. If one flow (which started outside the fixed time) had the three signs while the other flow started in the fixed time.

with 3 signs = hayz.
without 3 signs = istihazah.

But if one flow or both did not have the three signs of menstruation and none of them occured in the fixed time, then the flow with the three signs is menstrua­tion and without them is istihazah.

If the total days of both flows is more than ten and the pause between them is less than ten days, then the following procedure is to be followed:

i. If one of the flows was in the fixed time without the other, the one within the fixed time will be considered hayz and the other one istihazah.

ii. In the case where none of the flows occurred in the fixed time, then

(a) if one had the three signs but not the other - the one with the signs will be hayz and the other istihazah.

(b) if both flows had the three signs, then the first will be considered hayz and the other will be considered istihazah.

If the pause between the two flows of blood was ten days or more, then in the following two cases they will be considered two separate menstruations:

i. if both flows had the three signs:

with 3 signs = two separate hayz.
without 3 signs = two separate istihazah.

ii. if one was in the fixed time, while the other had the three signs.

If these blood flows occured outside the fixed time and without the three signs, then both will be counted as istihazah.

If the blood stops before ten days and the woman is uncertain whether or not it has stopped completely, then she should examine herself by inserting a piece of cotton inside her vagina and leave it there for a while. Then she should take it out gently - if the cotton comes out dry, she should consider herself pure and perform ghuslu 'I-hayz (unless the pause during menstrual flow is normal in her case).

While examining oneself, it is better "to stand upright leaning on a wall, etc, and lift up one leg and then insert the cotton into the vagina." 8

If such a woman (who is uncertain whether or not her period has stopped completely) does not examine herself and performs ghuslu 'I-hayz, then her ghusl is valid only if the menstrual flow does not start again.

And if she is unable to examine herself, then she should consider herself ha'iz until she is sure of her purity.

But if the cotton comes out stained with blood, the rules differ slightly for the different categories of ha'iz:

If a mubtadi'ah, a muztaribah and a zatu 'l-adah who has her periods for 10 days examine themselves and find that the cotton is stained, then they should consider themselves as ha’iz up to ten days or until the blood stops.

If a woman who has her periods regularly for less than ten days examines herself during her fixed numbers of days and finds the cotton stained, then she should consider herself ha'iz. If the same woman examines herself outside her fixed numbers of days and finds the cotton stained, she should consider herself as ha'iz for up to ten days or until she finds herself pure.

If a zatu 'l-'adah woman of group (c) sees blood for more than ten days, then she should consider her fix­ed number of days as menstruation (even if it is without the three signs); and the remaining days should be con­sidered as istihazah(even if it is with the three signs).

But if both flows can be counted as one hayz, then she should do so. For example, she saw her first flow according to her pattern for three days, then blood stop­ped for four days and started again (with the three signs) for three days (making a total of ten days) and then con­tinued (without the three signs) afterwards - then she would count the first flow + intervening pause + se­cond flow of three days (with the signs) as hayz and the remaining period as istihazah.

first flow + pause + second flow with 3 signs = 1 hayz. later part of 2nd flow without 3 signs = istihazah.

7. THE FORGETFUL ZATU 'L-'ADAH WOMEN

1. If a woman who has her periods on fixed number of days but not on fixed time (group c) forgets the dura­tion of her menses, then she has to act as follows:

She has the menstrual flow for three or more days, then all those days will be considered as hayz if they are not more than ten.

But if they are more than ten, then the number of days which she considers as the probable duration of her menses should be counted as hayz and the remain­ing days will be counted as istihazah. And if the "pro­bable duration of her menses" is more than seven days, then she should act on precaution from the last probable day up to the tenth day.

2. A woman who has a fixed time for the occurance of her periods (group b) forgets that fixed time:

If she has the menstrual flow for three or more days, then all those days will be considered as hayz if they are not more than ten.

In the case the days are more than ten, and if she knows on the whole that the bleeding has coincided with her fixed time - then she should act on precaution for the whole period of the flow even if the blood does not have the three signs of menses.

But if she does not know even generally that the bleeding has coincided with her fixed time, then there are two possibilities:

i. The blood flow had the three signs for some days and did not have the three signs for some other days - then the days with the three signs will be considered as hayz if they are not more than ten, and the other days will be considered as istihazah.

ii. The blood had the three signs during the entire flow or for more than ten days, then six or seven days should be considered as hayz and the remaining as istihazah. In this case it is precautionarily better for her to act on precau­tion up to the tenth day.

3. A woman who has a fixed time for the occurance of her periods and a fixed number of days for its dura­tion (group a) forgets her fixed time or fixed number of days or both, then there are a few possibilities:

(a) She forgot the fixed time but remembers the fix­ed number of days: If she has the menstrual flow for three or more days, then all those days will be con­sidered hayz if they are not more than ten.

In case the bleeding continues for more than ten, and she knows on the whole that the bleeding has coincided with the fixed time - then she should act on precaution for the whole period of the flow even if the blood does not have the three signs of menses.

But if she does not know even generally that the bleeding has coincided with the fixed time, then she should consider the fixed number of days (which she remembers) as menstruation and the remaining days as istihazah.

(b) She forgot her fixed number of days but remembers the fixed time of occurance: The blood she sees at the fixed time -with or without the three signs­will be considered menstruation if it is not for more than ten days. If it comes for more than ten days, then she should consider the probable number of days from the fixed time as menstruation and the remaining days as istihazah. And in this case if the probable number of days is more than seven, then she should act on precaution up to the tenth day.

(c) She forgot both the fixed time and the fixed number of days of her monthly periods:

i. if the blood has three signs and it came for not less than three and not more than ten days, then all of it will be regarded as hayz. If it ex­ceeds ten days, then the days she considers as the probable days of her monthly period will be considered as hayz and the remaining days as istihazah. Again in this case if the probable period is more than seven, then it is better for her to act on precaution up to the tenth day.

ii. if the blood is with the three signs for some days but without them for some other days -the former will be menstruation and the latter istihazah. Of course, if both these flows are not more than ten days, then it is better for her to act on precaution on the days when the blood is without the three signs.

iii. If the blood comes for ten days or more than ten days and the woman knows on the whole that the bleeding has coincided with her fixed time and number of days, then she should act on precaution for the entire period - even if the blood did not have the three signs.