Menstruation, Al-Istihadhah (irregular bleeding)
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Menstruation (Al-Haidh)
The Literal Meaning of Haidh in Arabic
The flowing and course of something.
The Meaning Menstruation in the Context of Islamic Law
It is blood that flows from the uterus of a female when she is healthy at a particular time (in the month) and without a cause.

Age of Menstruation
There is no particular age when menstruation starts. It differs according to environment, weather and nature of each female. Whenever a female sees this blood, then she is a menstruating woman.
Period of Menstruation
There is no particular limit for menstruation. There are some women who menstruate for three days, and some four days, but the most it can be is for six or seven days. The Prophet ﷺ said to Hamnah bint Jahsh who used to menstruate for many days: “Your menstruation should continue for six days or seven, as Allah knows best. After that you must take a (purificatory) bath.”
Issues for Discussion
1. A fundemental princple in Islamic Law is a pregnant woman doesn't menstruate. But when a pregnant woman sees blood when the time for delivery approaches and this is accompanied with pains (contractions), then this blood is deemed as post–natal bleeding.
2. If it is not accompanied with pain or it occurred far from the time of delivery, then it is menstrual blood.
The Definition of Al-Kudrah and As-Sufrah.
As-Sufrah is pale yellow blood from a female. Al-Kudrah is black or very very dark blood.

The Ruling of Al-Kudrah and AsSufrah.
When a woman sees pale yellow blood or black blood, or sees usual wetness, then her situation is either of the following:
a. She sees it during the period of menstruation or right before the time of purity (from menstruation).
In this condition, the ruling regarding one who menstruates applies. This is in accordance with the hadeeth narrated by A’ishah. She states that the women used to use pieces of cloth similar to pads during their menstrual cycles. When they saw the cotton stained with pale yellow blood, she would say to them: “Do not be in haste. Wait until you see the whitish discharge”. She meant that it is the sign of purity from menstruation”.
b. Or she sees it after purification.
In this situation, it will not be regarded or given any consideration. Neither Wudu’ nor Al-Ghusl is therefore imperative on her. This is according to the hadeeth narrated by Umm’Atiyyah where she said: “We used to not regard Al-Kudrah and As-Sufrah as important after purification.”

2. The Ruling of Intermittent Menstruation
If a woman sees menstrual blood on a day and purity on another her situation is either of the following:
a. The the blood flows continuously from her without stopping.
This is a condition known as Al-Istihadhah.
b. The the flow of the blood is discontinuous or intermittent.
If the flow of blood ceases sometimes and runs at other times, then its ruling is as follows:
i. If the blood flow is discontinuous for less than a day, that day is counted as part of menstrual period.
ii. If she sees what points to purity (e.g. a whitish discharge) at its time (i.e. non-menstrual period) this is considered the end of menstruation. She then is regarded as pure, regardless of whether this is for a short or long period, or it is more or less than a day.
It is the continuous flow of blood from the vagina of a woman. It doesn’t stop at all or it stops for a short while.

Various Situations of One Experiencing Istihadhah

1st Situation: That she has a known period for menses before the occurrance of istihadah.
In this case, she calculates a number of days for her menses and counts the remaining days as istihadah. Ai’shah reported that Fatimah bint Abi Hubaish  said: “O messenger of Allah, my menses do not stop, do I leave Salāh?” He replied: “No, that is what flows from from a blood vessel. You should not observe As-Salāh for the number of days you usually to have menstruation, then take a bath afterwards and observe As-Salāt” .
2nd Situation: She doesn’t have a known period for menses, but she is capable of distinguishing between menstrual and istihadhah blood.
If this is her case, she distinguishes between the two types of blood. This is confirmed from Fatimah bint Abi Hubaish  that she used to suffer from istihadhah and the Prophet ﷺ said to her: “ If it is menstrual blood, which is a known dark blood, then do not observe As-salāt. But if it is the other (Istihadah blood), just perform Wudu’, then observe As-Salāh, because that is flow from a blood vessel.”
3rd Situation: She does not have a known time for her cycle and she is not capable of distinguishing between the two - menstrual blood and istihadhah blood .
In this case, she sticks to counting from the most common number of days that most women menstruate. This is usually six to seven days in every month. She starts counting the days of her menstrual cycle from the time she first sees blood and she takes the remaining days in the month to be Al-Istihadah. The Prophet ﷺ said to Hamnah bint Jahsh: “You menstruate for six or seven days as Allah knows best. Therafter take a (purificatory) bath until you think you are clean. Then continue to pray for the next twenty-three or twenty-four nights and days and fast; that will suffice for you. And you should keep to this manner for every month, as other women menstruate then cease to menstruate at their own respective periods.”
4th Situation: She has a known period and she is also able to distinguish between the two: menstrual blood and istihadhah blood.
This woman counts according to her customary number of days; and does not look to attempting to distinguish between the different types of blood. This is because the length of days is more accurate for her. However if she forgets what her customary number of days is, then she attempts to distinguish the different types of blood from one another.

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