Ahkam in Brief - Istihadha

Ahkam in Brief. Ahkam of Istihadha.

According to the Islamic laws, the female body can experience three status: Haydh, or the monthly period, Istihadha and Nifas. In this episode, we will explain Istihadha and its rules.

Istihadha, what is it? According to Islamic laws, any blood that a lady sees that doesn't match the criteria of haydh or nifas, is considered Istihadha. This blood is usually yellowish in color, cold, not thick, and comes out without irritation or burning. For how long might it continue? As long as Istihadha is being discharged, the lady is in that status. There is no time limit and might continue for months. Also, there is no specific time gap between two Istihadhas.

At what age might it appear? It might appear before the age of puberty until the end of life. So if a lady after the age of 60 sees any blood, she has to consider it as Istihadha. Istihadha is divided into three types: little, medium and excessive; each has its own rules. To recognize the type, at the time of prayer, a lady should insert into her private part a cotton ball and wait for a while, then, based on the amount of the discharge on the cotton, she will fit in one of these three types.

Little Istihadha or qalilah: this is when the blood remains on the surface of the cotton ball and does not penetrate into it. The duty of a lady in the state is to perform wudhu for each one of the five daily prayers. For example, one wudhu for Dhuhr, and one wudhu for 'Asr prayer. It is also recommended to purify the surface of the vagina and to change the pad if it is impure.

Medium Istihadha or Mutawassitah: if the blood seeps into the cotton ball and does not stain the underwear, the duty of the lady is to perform wudhu for each one of the five daily prayers. For example, one wudhu for Dhuhr, and one wudhu for 'Asr prayer. Also to perform ghusl once in the day for all the prayers of that day. Note: if Istihadha started after or during any prayer for that prayer and the following prayers in that day, one ghusl is needed. It is also recommended to purify the surface of the vagina and to change the pad if it is impure.

Excessive blood or kathirah: this is when the blood penetrates through the cotton, soaks it and reaches the underwear, the duty of a lady here is to perform ghusl three times a day. One for morning prayer, one for Dhuhr and 'Asr prayers and one for Maghrib and Isha' prayers. If she prefers to pray at five separate times, she has to perform ghusl for each individual prayer also to purify the surface of the vagina before each prayers and to change the pad before each prayer.

Some general notes on Istihadha.

- The daily prayers should be performed right after the ghusl or wudhu and not to be delayed.

- The lady must prevent the discharge after the loss until finishing her prayers by inserting a cotton ball.

What if the type of Istihadha changes?

If the intensity of the blood flow increases immediately her duties also change to the duties of the new type and if the blood flow changes from more to less, for the first prayer, the lady should follow the rules as per the previous type that she was in prayers after. That will be according to the type she is currently in. For example, if she was an excessive type for the morning prayer and by noon she became in little type, she will do ghusl for Dhuhr prayer, then for 'Ars prayer and onward, she only makes wudhu.

A question: if the Istihadha ends, does she need to do another ghusl?

A lady in little or medium types does not need to do so, but for excessive time, as obligatory precaution, she has to perform ghusl.

An important note: in case of hysterectomy, which is the surgical removal of the uterus, every vaginal discharge is considered Istihadha. The lady with hysterectomy can't have haydh.

And finally, a lady in Istihadha doesn't have the restrictions of a lady in haydh. So, for example, she can fast, she can have sexual intercourse, she can enter mosques and God forbid the divorce can take place during her Istihadha.

Note that, according to some jurists, she can enter mosques or have sexual intimacy, only if she has done her daily duties of ghusl and wudhu.

DISCLAIMER: The content of this clip is based on the fatawa of the Grand Ayatullah Al-Sistani and is presented in a simplified form. Therefore, for the exact definition and explanation, please refer to the original sources or ask someone authorised to answer.