Menstruation and Lochia: Lesson 1

Bismillah.

A few things – I learned from SunniPath’s website that I cannot put up transcripts of the lessons, therefore I shall not 🙂 But inshaaAllah I will put up bits and pieces that I thought would help a lot of sisters practically. And if your questions are not answered by those pieces, then inshaaAllah it will encourage you to take the class yourself 😀

Another thing is that this is the Hanafi madhab. Please keep that in mind.

Introduction

The first thing to know is that this knowledge is obligatory for women, husbands and guardians of girls to learn because these rulings affect many aspects of our life. The scholars have agreed that it is obligatory to know ilm al haal – which is the personally obligatory knowledge in regards to the state one is in.

Islam means submission. Being a Muslim was all about submitting to Allah and His rules. It was all about doing things Allah’s Way and following the Law because of the Law Maker. Every law has a law maker and Allah is the Law Maker of the sacred law.

 

You could ask intellectually: “What is the difference between fasting from sunrise to isha and fasting from fajr to maghrib? It’s the same amount of time.” The difference is that the fast from sunrise to isha is invalid and it’s not considered worship. Rather, it is disobedience. Allah says to fast from fajr to maghrib.

It’s all about doing things the way Allah wants. That’s Islam.

 

The Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, in a long hadith in Bukhaari, that when he found his wife ‘Aa`isha crying, he understood that she must havegotten her period. And when he asked her, she replied in the affirmative. Then he said, menstruation is something that Allah has decreed for the daughters of Adam.So, in this hadith, the Prophet explained things which were prohibited and permitted during menstruation.

From this, we understand that menstruation is not a punishment, and it doesn’t stop us from worshipping Allah. Rather, if we don’t do the things Allah forbids us to do, then that is worship.  You are actually worshipping Allah in the way in which Allah has asked you to worship Him.

Islam is submission. Submission to doing things the way Allah has decreed.  You are not missing out in anything. Rather, you are doing things exactly the way Allah wants. When you intend not to pray and not to fast is worship it is also worship, because you are following Allah’s Way. Alhamdulillah.

As Muslim sisters, I think we tend to feel that we are “missing out” and being deprived of worship during those days. We need to realize that not praying and fasting during those days IS worship! Alhamdulillah.

Basic Prohibitions

It is not difficult to understand the rulings of the shari’ah regarding menstruation and lochia. They are very clear. The difficult part is differentiating between the different types of blood: is this menstrual blood or not? Is this blood lochia or not?

But to begin with some basics: the prohibited acts during menstruation and lochia are:

·         Prayer

·         Fasting

·         Reading the Qur’aan

·         Touching the Qur’aan

·         Entering the masjid

·         Making tawaaf around the Ka’bah

·         Divorce

·         Sexual intercourse

·         Touching the skin between the navel and the knees

Prayer

Ritual Prayer

Ritual prayer is prohibited. The question might be asked: If bleeding starts while I am praying, what should I do? The answer is, stop praying immediately. Your prayer is vitiated by the menstruation or lochia.

The next question might be: Do I have to make up that prayer – the prayer that I was praying when I got my period?Well, there are two answers to that question. The first answer is No, if the prayer you were praying was an obligatory prayer. The second answer is Yes, if the prayer you were praying was a sunnah prayer or a nafl prayer.

Another question might be: Why would I make up a non obligatory prayer but not an obligatory prayer? The reason for this is that when you perform an obligatory prayer, you are fulfilling a duty of that time. If your prayer is vitiated by menstruation or lochia, this is not caused by you, so you are not responsible for it. However, in praying a prayer that is notobligatory, then you have taken it upon yourself to do a good deed. Allah subhaana wa ta’aala says if you start a good deed, you should take it upon yourself to complete it. Thus, even though it wasn’t your fault that you couldn’t complete the prayer because of menstruation or lochia, you should make up the prayer.

Answering the Call to Prayer

It is waajib to repeat the call to prayer for those who can pray. A menstruating woman, or a woman in her lochia, is not required to pray, therefore, does not have to respond to the adhaan. She may make any dhikr or du’aa` at this blessed time.The time between the adhaan and ‘iqamah is one of the times that prayers are answered.

Prostration of Recital

This is a section included under prayer, and therefore a menstruating or woman in her lochia is not qualified to prostrate, as it is part of prayer. So, if she hears an ayah of prostration, she doesn’t prostrate, nor does she do it after her menstruation or lochia has ended.

Fasting

It is prohibited to fast during menstruation and lochia. One of the stipulations for fasting is that you are free from menstruation and lochia between the time of fajr, until the time of maghrib. Even if you don’t eat, you wouldn’t be fasting. At the same time, you would be sinning.

One might ask: If you are fasting, and your menstruation or lochia starts, are you obliged to make up that fast?The answer is yes. It does not matter what type of fast it is. It could be a fardh fast, a waajib fast, a sunnah fast or a nafl fast. Any fast that is vitiated by menstruation or lochia has to be made up.

Most questions about menstruation or lochia come up during the month of Ramadan or the time of Hajj.

One might ask: What do I do if my menstruation or lochia starts during the day in Ramadan? As soon as your menstruation or lochia starts, you are no longer fasting, whether or not you eat. However, you are not permitted to imitate the fasting person. That is, you should eat, but privately or discreetly.

The next question usually is: What do I do if my menstruation or lochia stops during the day during Ramadan? The answer is that you are required to take your ritual bath or ghusl and you may not eat after you have taken your ghusl during the day in Ramadan. This is because now, you have become qualified to pray and fast. You can eat and drink before your menstruation or lochia ends and you have taken your ghusl. You cannot eat or drink after you have taken your ghusl, because of the sacredness of the month of Ramadan.

All eating and drinking during Ramadan should be done privately and discreetly, because of the sacredness of the month. You should also be aware that it is not permissible for menstruating women, or women in lochia, to gather and meet to make a brunch/lunch or any kind of party where there is eating during the day of Ramadan. This is because of the sacredness of the month.

However, if two women who happen to menstruating or in lochia meet, or visit each other, and find that their guest/hostess is not fasting because of menstruation or lochia, it is permissible for them to eat and drink together.

Reading the Qur’aan

It is not permissible to read the Qur’aan during menstruation or lochia, but any time of dhikr or du’aa`s are permissible.

Qur’aanic ayahs that are used for protection or du’aa` may be read with the intention of protection or du’aa`. If the intention is to read Qur’aan, they may not be read.For example, if a women in menstruation or lochia reads ayat al-kursi for protection, or if she reads the three Quls for protection, or Fatiha, and the intention is for protection or du’aa`, it is permissible for her to say them. If the intention is to read Qur’aan, then it is not permissible.

If you are just saying it in your heart, or looking at it with your eyes, this is permissible. This isn’t considered reading according to the shari’ah, and it is not haraam to do.

Touching the Qur’aan

It is notpermissible to touch the Qur’aan during menstruation or lochia. An exception to this would be if harm or something bad were to happen to the Qur’aan – it’s going to fall on the ground or someone’s going to step on it. Then, a woman who is menstruating or in lochia should pick it up and protect it.

But in normal circumstances, a woman in menstruation or lochia should not touch any part of the Qur’aan– not the margins, nor the actual ayaat, or the while space in between, or the space around the edge, etc. However, if the Qur’aan has a cover that is completely removable, she may touch the cover, but not the actual Qur’aan. If the cover is sewn or glued to the Qur’aan, then it is considered part of the Qur’aan, and she may not touch it.

A woman in her menstruation or lochia can pick up the Qur’aan with a barrier. A barrier that is separate from the Qur’aan and separate from her – that is, it is not from her immediate clothing, or something that she is wearing at the moment. Any barrier, such as a piece of cloth, a tissue, a towel – anything clean.

If a book has a Qur’aanic ayah on a page, a menstruating woman, or a woman in her lochia, may touch the page, but she may not touch the actual ayah.And a woman, during menstruation or lochia, may touch and read books of du’aa` and books of dhikr.

Going to the Masjid

It is not permissible for a woman in menstruation to enter a masjid.

A good question would be: What if she in a masjid and her menstruation starts? The answer is that she should make tayammum and leave the masjid immediately.

You might ask: What if she is making ‘itikaaf and her menses starts? The answer is that her ‘itikaaf is vicciated and she must leave the masjid immediately.

As for the prayer of ‘Eid – the ‘Eid prayers were meant to be out in the open, where everyone can attend. If it is in such a place, then women on their menses or lochia, should attend the ‘Eid prayer. However, many of the ‘Eid prayers today are offered in the masjid. That could be because there is no open area  available or the weather is not suitable. Of course, if this is the case, she cannot go in the masjid to attend ‘Eid prayer.

Visiting the Graveyard During Menstruation or Lochia

There are a lot of superstitions about this. According to the law, women in their menstruation or lochia are permitted to the visit the graveyards.

Making Tawaaf Around the Ka’bah

It is prohibited to make tawaf during menstruation or lochia.

What does tawaaf mean? Tawaaf literally means to go around the Ka’bah. So if you go around the Ka’bah, then you have made tawaaf. If you do so while you are in the state of menstruation or lochia, then you must slaughter a camel, if it was a fardh tawaaf. It was any other tawaaf done during menstruation or lochia, a waajib, sunnah or nafl tawaaf, then you must slaughter a sheep.

If you forget to make wudhu/ablution before a fardh tawaaf, you must slaughter a sheep. If the tawaaf is other than a fardh tawaaf, then you must give sadaqah or charity.

All of the slaughtering and charity must be done in Makkah.

If you repeat the tawaaf after your menstruation or lochia ends, and you take your ritual bath before you leave Makkah, then you don’t have to slaughter.

Divorce

It is prohibited to divorce your wife during menstruation or lochia. If you divorce your wife during this time, then you need to know that you have done something haraam, you have sinned, and that the divorce counts.

You may wonder: how can the divroce be haraam and valid at the same time? It’s like making tawaaf during menstruation or lochia. Tawaaf means to go around the Ka’bah – and you’ve done that; but it is haraam because you did it during the state of menstruation or lochia. Similarly, menstruation or lochia doesn’t change the fact that the husband divorced the wife. It is haraam because of the timing; it was done during a time in which it was prohibited.

On the other hand, if a woman asks for a divorce, or is able to divorce herself, and she does so during menstruation or lochia, that is not haraam for her to do.

Sexual Intercourse

Sexual Intercourse is prohibited during menstruation or lochia.If it occurs, the husband and wife must realize that they have done something haraam, and they must make tawbah for it [repent for it/ask Allah’s forgiveness]. They must repent and ask Allah’s forgiveness.

According to the hadith, if intercourse happens during menstruation or lochia, it is recommended to give 4.25 grams of gold in charity, or its monetary value, if the blood was red. If the blood was yellow, then 2.125 grams of gold, or its monetary value, should be given in charity.

Touching Between the Navel and the Knees

It is haraam for a husband to do so. And it is haraam for the wife to allow her husband to touch her between her navel and her knees. The area that we are talking about starts just below the navel and ends just below the knees.

There are hadith that explain that the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would ask his wife to cover this area with a wrap, then he would enjoy his wife in all else that was permissible.

~~~

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5 Responses to Menstruation and Lochia: Lesson 1

  1. Celeritas says:

    Thankyou sister for providing this information, it is so useful. If you address it, I would really appreciate knowing what is the maximum and minimum time for lochia and what should a woman do if she has a dry birth?

    • ummibraheem says:

      We cover lochia in the class as well. Sorry for the delay in the updates, but I was planning on putting it all up after the class finishes. I figured my notes would be less messy 🙂

      I can ask the teacher this specifically, though. What is a dry birth? Does that just mean you don’t have a lochia after delivering your baby?

  2. ummibraheem says:

    Oh, and I forgot to answer your other questions —-

    There is no minimum for lochia. The maximum is 40 days.

    wAllahu ‘Alam

  3. sidra says:

    aoawrwb

    Jazakallah Khairun for enlightening us with this information. May Allah swt reward you in abundance my sister!

    I was just wondering, do you know, according to the hanafi madhab if women are allowed to visit graves?

  4. ummibraheem says:

    wa ‘alaykum as salaam sidra

    the thing is, i’ve read a few books about menstruation/lochia and searched a lot for answers, and oh. my. God. There are so many different opinions! Which is why i stopped posting about it…

    As for visiting the graves, wAllahu ‘Alam I don’t know. sorry 😦

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