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Menstruation

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See also
FiqhRulings of Shari'aManual of Islamic lawPubertyWajibHaramMustahabMubahMakruh

Menstruation (Arabic:الحیض) refers to the hemorrhage of the womb of women since the age of puberty until menopause and usually lasts between five to seven days each time. During this period, a woman is called "ha'id" and certain rulings apply to her, including prohibition of doing actions which require tahara (cleanness). The Qur'an orders the prohibition of sexual intercourse for a woman in this state. After the end of the menstruation, performing ghusl al-hayd after menstruation is required for doing some actions.

Menses

Main article: Menses

Different types of blood may flow over a woman's womb which have different rulings: the blood from a wound, the blood that flows after childbirth (lochia), undue menses (istihada) and menses. Menses are usually dark and thick.

Since the rulings about different types of the blood discharged from the womb are different, some criteria and conditions are mentioned to distinguish menses in jurisprudence.

Rulings of Ha'id

In the Qur'an 2:222, this issue is mentioned and sexual intercourse in this state is considered forbidden.[1] In the two books of Wasa'il al-Shi'a and Mustadrak al-Wasa'il, 375 hadiths are collected about the rulings of menstruation and thus jurists have explained certain rulings of ha'id which are as follows:

  • Having sexual intercourse in this period is forbidden for both the woman and her spouse and most jurists believe that committing that entails payment of expiation as well.
  • After the end of menstruation, the ghusl after menstruation is required for performing some acts of worship such as prayer and fasting

Disliked Actions

During the menstruation, doing some actions is makruh (reprehensible) such as:

  • Reciting the Qur'an (reciting suras containing verses which require prostration, is forbidden)
  • Touching the margin of the verses in the Qur'an.

Recommended Actions

It is recommended that a ha'id woman purifies herself from blood at the times of prayer, performs wudu' and engages in reciting dhikr, supplication and salawat in the place she usually performs prayer.

Ghusl after Menstruation

Main article: Ghusl al-Hayd

After the end of the menstruation, performing ghusl becomes obligatory for performing actions which require Tahara or the actions such as staying in the mosque which require purity from menstruation, lochia, istihada or janaba. This ghusl is the same as the ghusl al-janaba and differs from it only in intention. According to the fatwa of most religious authorities, in addition to this ghusl, performing wudu' is also required for performing prayer.

Postponing of the Menstruation for Ziyarah

All the things which are forbidden for a person in the state of janaba, are also forbidden for a woman during her menstruation. A group of jurists do not give permission to a ha'id woman or a person in the state of janaba to stay in the shrines of Imams (a).

Some people who go for ziyarah to Karbala, Najaf, Mecca or Medina, in order to easily perform their acts of worship during their visits, take medical pills to postpone their menstruation. This is not problematic if it does not have any considerable harm for their health.

Pure Women

In a hadith from the Prophet (s), "Batul" (بتول) is used to refer to a woman who does not have a discharge of blood. In this hadith, Lady Mary (a) and Lady Fatima (a) are called "Batul".

Imam al-Baqir (a) mentioned "Tahira" (طاهرة) one of the titles of Lady Fatima (a), meaning a person who is pure from any impurity, who never had any discharge of menses or lochia.

Rulings of Ha'id in Other Religions

In Zoroastrianism

According to chapter three of the Zoroastrian book of Shayest ne shayest, ha'id women are called Dashtan in Zoroastrianism and have certain rulings. If during this period they step on a carpet or pillow, it will become impure, and if a cooked food comes closer to them than three steps, it will become impure as well. During this period, their bodies should not come in contact with water or be washed with it; if they wash their hands with water, it is considered a sin and they have to pay expiation (Kaffara) for it. If they look at the sun, any other light, a pack of animal or a plant or speak with a pious man (Ashu), they will commit a sin and transfer impurity to them. If someones clothes come in contact with the body of a ha'id woman, his clothes will become impure and need to be washed with the urine of a cow, etc.

In Judaism

According to the Torah, Jews consider a ha'id woman najis (impure):

"When a woman has a discharge of blood that is her regular discharge from her body, she shall be in her impurity for seven days, and whoever touches her shall be unclean until the evening. Everything upon which she lies during her impurity shall be unclean; everything also upon which she sits shall be unclean. Whoever touches her bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe in water, and be unclean until the evening. Whoever touches anything upon which she sits shall wash his clothes, and bathe in water, and be unclean until the evening; whether it is the bed or anything upon which she sits, when he touches it he shall be unclean until the evening. If any man lies with her, and her impurity falls on him, he shall be unclean seven days; and every bed on which he lies shall be unclean."[2]

Notes

  1. They ask you concerning [intercourse during] menses. Say, ‘It is hurtful.’ So keep away from wives during the menses, and do not approach them till they are clean.
  2. Leviticus 15:19-24

References

  • The material for this article is mainly taken from عادت ماهیانه in Farsi WikiShia.
  • THE BIBLE.New Revised Standard Version


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