"Haidh" means "menstruation" generally known as monthly course' or 'period'. Every adult and healthy woman has her periods regularly. Shari’ah has laid down some rules for this period, a summary of which is given here:
1. Any blood seen before completion of 9 years or after 50 years of age is not "haidh", It is called 'istihadha', rules of which will be explained later on.
2. Duration of "haidh" is not less than 3 and not more than 10 days. Blood which comes for less than 3 days, or which comes after 10 days, is called 'istihadha'.
3. There are detailed rules concerning woman which are based on whether in condition of haidh she has regular date and/or number of days or not; and whether she is having her period for the first time, or whether she has forgotten her date and number of days.
But it is not possible to give all the details in this small booklet.
The bleeding after child birth is called nifas. If blood appears before the delivery is not nifas; it is istihadha.
The bleeding after 10 days from delivery is not nifas; it is istihadha. But there is no minimum time for nifas. Even if it stops 5 minutes or less after delivery, it is nifas.
1. All the things which are haram in the condition of janabat, are haram in the condition of haidh and nifas, before doing the ghusl. Likewise, all the things which are makruh in janabat are makruh in haidh and nifas also.
2. In addition, it is haraam to give divorce to a woman in the period of haidh or nifas. Some other things are also haraam in these periods, but it is not the place to go into details.
4. The woman during haidh or nifas is exempted from prayers, and every such 'ibadat' which requires ghusl, wudhu or tayammum. But she may recite du’a etc, (without touching the writings of the Qur’an or the names of Allah, the Prophets or the Imams, which is haram for her as mentioned earlier). She is not required to pray qadha of the prayers left during the period of haidh and nifas.
5. A woman in haidh or nifas cannot fast; but she must fast its qadha after that period.