Akhsar Al-Mukhtasarat | Book of Purification

Types of Water

There are 3 categories of water:
1. Tahur – It is pure and is purifying. The water is as it was created. Sea water, rain water or water found in lakes, rivers etc. It may be sweet water or salty. It may even have a different colour or taste. This can be used to lift impurities.
Abu Hurairah said: “A man asked the Prophet ﷺ : ‘O Messenger of Allah, we travel by sea and we take a little water with us, but if we use it for Wudhu’, we will go thirsty. Can we perform Wudhu’ with seawater?’
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: هُوَ الطَّهُورُ مَاؤُهُ الْحِلُّ مَيْتَتُهُ
‘Its water is a means of purification and its dead meat is permissible.’” [Sunan An-Nasai]
This shows that the Sahaba knew that water was of different types.

This category of tahur also contains water that is pure yet makruh (disliked). Such as water that has changed due to mixing with a non-soluble substance (something that doesn’t dissolve). This water is still purifying but its disliked to be used if there is an alternative that can be found.

Another type of tahur is that which is haram. Such water is that which doesn’t lift any ritual impurity despite being purifying by nature, yet it can remove physical impurity. This includes water that is stolen, or that from the wells where the punishment of Allah descended except the well of the camel etc

2. Tahir – It is pure but does not lift a persons state of impurity. This water has been changed by mixing with a soluble, pure substance like tea bags, milk, honey etc.  We have been legislated to use only pure and purifying water to remove impurities. Water can be tahur but because of something mixed into it, it becomes tahir. A good example is water that has been used to do wudhu. Now from the water that drips after using it for wudhu cannot be used again for wudhu as it is now tahir and not tahur. This type water cannot be used for wudhu, ghusl etc.
According to the primary position of the Hanbali madhab tahir water cannot be used for removing impurities. However a strong second opinion is found in the Hanbali madhab that states that tahir water can be used to remove filth etc but not make wudhu. This was held by Allamah Abul Wafa Ibn Aqeel and Imam Taqiuddin Ibn Taymiyyah etc.

3. Najis – It is filthy and is impermissible to use in any act of worship. It is haram to use in all cases. Ex- Urine. Water that has been changed other than from its place.

Water has an impurity entering into it while it is small in quantity. If the water reaches Qullatain or more then it is not effected by the slight impurity that enters into it like urination, vomiting etc. But if it’s less than qullatain then it becomes impure. Water that is running takes the same ruling.
Qullatain = 191 Liters (162 liters approx as per some other scholars)


Containers and Animals

Every container is permissible unless its made from gold or silver which is haram to use. A small amount of silver is permitted to be used as many people use silver to fix/solder their utensils etc.
How is that we can use something more valuable than gold and silver but not that? Because the Prophet specified these two to us and gold and silver can easily be distinguished. It is for the disbelievers to enjoy in this world and for the believers in the hereafter.

The containers and clothes of non-Muslims are considered to be pure unless you are sure that there is some filth. Don’t be paranoid and don’t go over the top to search for things unnecessarily. This is the kind of exaggeration that is disliked by the Shariah. The Prophet is authentically reported to have used containers belonging to the kuffar and Jews. We presume everything to be pure unless we have a strong reason to think otherwise.

An skin of an un-slaughtered animal that becomes impure/filthy by dying is not purified by tanning. All of it (meat etc) is considered filthy except for the hair (Ex: Wool). The hair is considered to be separate from the body. They are considered Halal/pure only if they are slaughtered in the Islamic manner. This does not include aquatic animals or those animals which don’t have flowing blood.
Anything separated from a live creature is similar in ruling to an un-slaughtered creature of its type (in being pure or filthy). If a part of the animals body is separated from the body then it takes the same ruling as though the same animal is dead even though the animal is still alive. A part of a fish separated is pure because dead un-slaughtered fish is also pure, but the leg of a cow is not pure because a dead un-slaughtered cow is not pure.


Going to the Toilet

Istinja (cleaning oneself with water) is obligatory for anything that comes out of the waste passages. It requires you to wash that area regardless if that thing is natural or unnatural. Except 3 types of things:
1. Passing wind. You only need to make wudhu.
2. Anything that comes from the privates that is pure.
3. Anything that doesn’t tarnish. Dry or pure like kidney stones.

Recommended actions in the toilet are:
1. Enter and exit with dhikr of Allah.
2. Cover the head as one enters and also have some footwear to protect from impurities.
3. Enter with the left foot
4. Lean slightly on the left leg. It is said to be more helpful for waste to come out.
5. Leave toilet with the right foot, opposite to that of the Masjid, wearing shoes etc.
6. Be distant when you are in an open space.
7. Seek a soft ground for urination so that the urine doesn’t deflect back.
8. Wipe the penis with the left hand 3 times with the left hand from the base to the head to ensure that everything has come out.

Prohibited/Disliked actions in the toilet are:
1. It is disliked for a person to enter the toilet with anything that has the name of Allah be it a book of knowledge, or dua etc. Entering with a mushaf is haram. Taking in books of Hadith by this would also be haram.

“Bila Haja” (If there is no difficulty).
If there is a need for you to do something that is disliked, then it is no longer disliked. Ex: Taking cash into the toilet that may have the name of Allah inside. You can’t leave your money outside the toilet.

2. It is disliked for a person to speak in the toilet without a valid need. This is very bad adab.
3. It is disliked for a person to raise the garment before the person has lowered themselves to use the bathroom. Why? Because you are exposing your awrah. It is not liked to walk around in just underwear etc in the house even though you are alone. It is bad adab and Allah is more worth of being shy in front of. The only exception of uncovering the awrah is when a person is with their spouse.
4. It is disliked for a person to urinate in holes or cervices in the ground as it may harm animals etc there.
5. It is disliked for a person to touch the penis with the right hand without any need.
6. It is impermissible to face the qiblah when relieving yourself out in the open.
7. It is prohibited for a person for a person to remain in the toilet without any need. They are texting, reading etc and this is not permitted as this is not the place for it.
8. It is prohibited to urinate in a path that people generally use.
9. It is prohibited to urinate under a fruit bearing tree irrespective if its fruit is edible or not.

Recommended actions for cleaning oneself:
It is recommended to clean oneself via Istijmar (with stones and their likes and then water). Tissues takes the same ruling as stones. It’s best to use tissues to clean yourselves thrice and then wash with water. It is permissible to stick to just one of them i.e, just tissues or only water. It is a misconception that we are allowed to use tissues etc only when there is no water available.
There are 3 stages now when it comes to Istinja:
1. The best is to make Istijmar and then Istinja.
2. Use water only.
3. Use stones or tissue.

It is not permissible or complete to clean using Istijmar with something that is not pure, dry and capable of cleaning the area. Using just wet tissues is not enough, it’ll further require Istinja. It is prohibited to use dung, bones, food, or anything that is sanctified or any part of the animal that is attached to the animal.

A condition for cleaning through Istijmar is that the impurity does not move beyond its typical location and that there be at least 3 clean wipes (could be the same tissue if it’s large enough). Istijmar is valid if you believe you have cleaned as much as possible and another wipe won’t remove further impurities. You can use tissues, stones etc only if the impurity is in its standard location (passage of the privates). If it’s in some other location like the butt cheeks then this requires Istinja and doing Istijmar is not enough. It is for the passage only.


The Miswak and Other Sunnahs of the Body

Using the miswak is recommended at all times except after the sun has reached its zenith for someone who is fasting. The position of the madhab is that one who is fasting shouldn’t use miswak after Dhuhr time. Some other Hanabila like Imam Taqiuddin Ibn Taymiyyah say that there is no harm and it is recommended at all times.

Sheikh Badran in his Hashiyyah of Akhsar alMukhtasarat says that using a toothbrush is similar to using the miswak. Using a toothbrush with paste is permissible. There are times where it becomes even more recommended such as: during prayer times, during wudhu, reciting the Quran, entering the Masjid or ones house, when the mouth’s smell changes by sleeping, staying quite for a long time etc, yellowing of the teeth and an empty stomach.

Other recommended Sunnah actions include:
1. When using miswak, begin with the right side of the mouth.
2. When using miswak, better to use the left hand since you are removing something bad from the mouth. If you are unable to due to imbalance etc then its fine to use the right hand.
3. It is recommended to apply oil every other day all over the body (NOT every day).
4. It is recommended to apply kohl to each eye 3 times, at night.
5. It is recommended to look into the mirror so that your remove or fix anything that needs tending to.
6. It is recommended to apply perfume.
7. It is recommended to remove pubic hair. The Hanabila say that this also includes removing the hair that is near/around the anus.
8. It is recommended to trim the moustache very short but don’t shave it completely as that is disliked. The moustache should be visible but short. It is mustahab to remove this every Friday
9. It is recommended to remove the hair that is under the arm pits and cut the nails. Leaving this and other body hair for beyond 40 days is makruh.

From the disliked actions are:
1. Qaza’ – To shave part of the head and leave another part of the head. This is the definition given by the Hanabila. This is considered makruh and not haram. But if it is fades, or different grades along the head then this doesn’t fall under qaza’.
2. It is disliked to pluck the white hair.
3. It is disliked to pierce a young boys ears.
4. It is obligatory to circumcise the male and the female. The circumcision of the male is by removing the fore-skin and for the female is by removing the skin above the vagina that resembles the cock’s crest (the clitoral hood). It is the official position of the madhab that it is obligatory for both men and women. There is a second strong opinion and one followed by majority of the scholars that it is obligatory for the males and recommended for the females. This is what we generally see being practiced today. This was the position held by the Sheikh of the madhab, Ibn Quddamah. This is on the condition that there is no harm to the child/adult. It is disliked that a child be circumcised on or before the 7th day as it is still very weak. Safety needs to be ensured at all times.

It is recommended to get circumcised before the person reaches the age of puberty, but becomes obligatory once they reach they age of puberty. This is an important principle. Nothing is obligatory on a person till they reach the age of puberty.  

As per the madhab, the person is between 3 phases:
1. Aged 0-7 years as per the Hijri calendar. Not held to account for anything. No reward or sin as they are not considered to have a valid intention.
2. Aged above 7 up till the age of puberty. Gets reward for the good as they now are considered to have a valid intention. However they are still not sinful.
3. Age of puberty and above. held to account for everything and all the laws of Shariah apply to them.
It is important we teach our children that they are men and women when they hit the age of puberty and not when aged 18 etc. This mindset will also help them mature faster and save us from the over-grown babies we see today.


Obligatory and Recommended Acts of Wudhu

The Pillars of Wudhu are 6:
1. Washing the face including rinsing the mouth and nose. It is recommended to rinse the mouth and nose first before washing the face but if this order is exchanged then it’s still fine as they are considered as part of the face.
2. Washing the arms including the elbows. Wash the hands also. The washing of the hands that was done at the beginning was recommended. Washing them here is obligatory.
3. Wiping all of the head including the ears. The entire head needs to be wiped from the front to the back (Wipe the head, irrespective of the length of the hair). You can wipe your ears first and then the head also as its considered same as the head but it’s recommended to follow with the head and then the ears.
4. Washing the feet up to and including the ankles.
5. Following the specified order (tarteeb) when moving from one limb to the next.
6. They should be consecutive one after the other without having a long break in between. How do we know if the pause is too long? It is considered to be long and to have broken the consecutive nature if when you come to wash the next limb, the previous limb has dried. Drying the limbs due to it being cold before moving to the next one doesn’t mean the consecutive nature is broken. It is the time period that matters.

The intention is a condition for every legal action except for removing filth. Washing without having an intention of wudhu/ghusl/tayammum renders it invalid. The intention of a disbeliever is invalid. An exception to the rule is like if a man is married to Ahlul Kitab, then she needs to make ghusl first after menstruation before having sexual intercourse. The rights of the husband for sexual intercourse is greater than the rights of the wife, though both have rights to satisfy each other.

We need to remember that in the Shariah rights are given and defined by Allah, not by our whims, desires and understandings. Nowadays it’s as though men and women are two different communities and not one. One cannot survive without the other. Advise is not a punishment to either of the sexes, rather if its sound advise based on the Shariah then we should be happy to receive such. Certain movements have inculcated this mindset that there is some kind of war going on between the genders.

To be Muslim means to submit to Allah. If Allah has allowed something for women and impermissible for men like gold and silk and vise versa then so be it. There was no need for the Prophet to reason, to explain at length the reason, justify it or go into the scientific reasoning behind the rulings. The Sahaba in turn also never questioned such, for they had internalized that Islam is complete submission to Allah and His Messenger.
Something is a right of a person only because Allah made it their right. People are not in of itself deserving of it.
The one who thinks that rights are the same across the board for everyone will suffer greatly. Instead of questioning Allah we should be questioning the level of our own Iman.


Conditions of Wudhu are 8:

1. Conclusion of the act that obligates it.
2. The intention.
3. Being Muslim.
4. Sanity
5. Discernment
6.  Pure and lawful water.
7. Removing whatever prevents it from reaching the body.
8. Having cleansed oneself of impurities.

Saying ‘Bismillahir Rahmani r Rahim’ is an obligation (wajib) in 5 places:
1. During Wudhu
2. Ghusl
3. Tayammum
4. Washing hands when waking up from sleep that invalidates the wudhu.
5. After washing the deceased.
The obligation ceases due to forgetfulness and ignorance.


Recommended Actions of Wudhu are:
1. Facing the Qiblah.
2. Using the miswak.
3. Starting by washing the hands 3 times.
4. Rinsing the mouth before the nostrils and to do so vigorously.
5. Combing ones fingers through their hair, and between ones fingers and toes
6. Performing a second and third round of washing. More than this is exaggeration and is disliked.
7. After finishing wudhu to raise one’s gaze to the sky and recite the dua.


Wiping Over Foot-gear

It is permissible to wipe over leather socks and their likes (layers of leather socks, socks and other barriers) provided the conditions are met. It is also permissible to wipe over bandages tat do not exceed the required amount until they are removed.

From the mufradat (specific opinion) of the Hanabila is:
1. Allowing men to wipe over the turban, one that wraps under the chin or the type of turban that has a tail. Kufi and topi etc don’t fall under this.
2. Allowing women to wipe over their scarves so long as it’s wrapped under the chin.

Time period that this wiping over is allowed:
Resident: 1Day/24 Hours
Traveller: 3 Days/72 hours

Provided that the sock (on what this analogy is based), turban, or scarf is worn after a person has already done wudhu.

Your time for wiping over starts not when you made wudhu but when you invalidated the wudhu.

The Shaikhain have agreed that wiping over the plaster doesn’t require purification prior to that.

7 Conditions for Wiping over the Socks:
1. To have complete purification with water.
2. Wiped barrier covers the area that is obligatory to wash. Covers the ankles too and not those that are below it or socks or those that have holes in them which clearly show the skin.
3. Attached to the foot on it’s own and not with the aid of something.
4. They can be walked on in a manner that is customarily known as walking.
5. They are pure.
6. They are permissible to use meaning that they are not stolen etc.
7. Don’t describe the skin due to the material being see through or very thin.

Water being able to pass through the sock material is explicitly stated to not be a problem. Your wudhu or state of purity is connected to the Socks. If you’ve lost your wudhu and wiped over them then when you remove the socks you lose your purity also. It is obligatory to wipe the majority of the turbans loops, the scarf, the majority of the top of the foot and the entirety of the bandage.


Nullifiers of Wudhu

The Nullifiers of wudhu are 8:
1. Whatever exits from the 2 waste passages. The author uses the word Mutlaqan categorically covers everything. Anything that comes out through those invalidates the wudhu. The point is not if these discharges are pure or not, it’s just what invalidates the wudhu. As per the madhab the discharge of a woman is technically pure.
2. Urine or feces from anywhere on the body due to any condition or any LARGE quantity of impurity like blood, vomit or pus etc coming out of the body. How do we know if it’s large in quantity? From the position of Ibn Abbas is that a person is the best judge for this.
3. Loss of consciousness of any type. The exception to this is light sleep (dozing off) for someone who is standing or seated. Seeing a dream etc is an indication of deep sleep. Lying down even for a short period of time where you doze off invalidates the wudhu.
4. Washing the deceased invalidates the wudhu. Ibn Umar, Ibn Abbas, Abu Hurairah. From the mufradat of the madhab. Others say ghusl. The one this actually does the washing and Not the helpers is supposed to make wudhu.
5. Eating camel meat.
6. Becoming an apostate. He who commits shirk their actions become invalidated. Anything that requires a ghusl requires wudhu also.
7. Touching the private part of a human being that is attached. Yours or anyone else’s. Touching the private organ without a barrier in between invalidates the wudhu but if done by the hand alone, not thighs etc. Imam Bukhari says that the most authentic hadith on the matter is where the Prophet told to do wudhu if the penis was touched. Touching the testicles doesn’t invalidate the wudhu. Same for the women, touching the outer part (outer labia) of the vagina doesn’t invalidate the wudhu. What invalidates is the inner part of the vagina.
8. Touching the opposite gender directly without a barrier with a shahwa aka sexual desire. Feeling of love or closeness is not necessarily sexual in nature. Touching over a barrier isn’t the same. If the part touching is hair, tooth or nail it doesn’t invalidate the wudhu. They are considered to be hukmi munfasil aka they don’t take the same ruling as the skin. Touching someone below the age of 7 doesn’t invalidate the wudhu as they cannot be an object of desire. Even touching the same gender doesn’t invalidate the wudhu even if sexual intention is involved. Touching invalidates the wudhu but being touched doesn’t, regardless of arousal or age.

Whoever has doubt about the ritual purity before or after entering or exiting into a state must remove any confusion. Doubt cannot be taken seriously. What matters is a case of certainty or bringing the doubt to a state of certainty.

It is unlawful for someone in a state of minor ritual impurity to touch a mushaf without a barrier, making tawaf etc in a state of minor ritual purity is prohibited. This is the position of the 4 madhaib.
If you are in a major state of impurity or menstruating then you cannot recite the Quran, you cannot recite a full ayah. Majority of the scholars don’t allow the tilawah except for Imam Malik who allows it. You can flip through the ayat or read them with your eyes but you cannot recite them. A menstruating person can listen to or correct someone else’s recitation. A person in a major state of impurity cannot stay inside a masjid without wudhu, you can pass through but cannot stay. For the menstruating women as long as the cycle has not ended she cannot enter the Masjid.


Occasions Obligation Ghusl

Things that make ghusl obligatory are 7:
1. The exiting of semen (manee) from it’s passage with a sexual pleasure. Here it refers to the pleasure of the orgasm. Regardless if this comes out due to masturbation, foreplay or actual intercourse.
2. Of the mufradat of the Hanabila- To move the semen from the source even if it doesnt come out. A person reached the same orgasm but the semen doesn’t actually come out. Could be due to body position or multiple sexual intercourses or the person held the penis to stop the semen from coming out. A couple have intercourse and they make ghusl. Now if the semen of the husband is to exit the wife’s body, she is not obliged to make ghusl but rather she is to make wudhu.
3. The insertion of the penis (gland = circumcised part = head) into the vagina, anus, animal or dead being without a barrier with or without ejaculation. This is a matter of cleanliness. This doesn’t mean that doing this is allowed. All except the vagina are Haram. Penetrating while wearing something like an underwear doesn’t necessitate ghusl unless there’s ejaculation.
4. A non Muslim entering into the fold of Islam.
5. Death
6. Menstruation
7. Lochia – Post partum bleeding. The blood that comes out before or after delivery.


16 Ocassions when Ghusl is recommended:
1. Jumuah Prayer
2. Eid Prayer
3. Solar Eclipse Prayer
4. Lunar Eclipse Prayer
5. Drought Prayer
6. Insanity
7. loss of consciousness without ejaculation.
8. Irregular vaginal bleeding that continues. For every prayer as long as there is no hardship.
9. Entering into Ihram.
10. Entering Makkah.
11. Entering the Haram of Makkah and its sanctuary.
12. Standing in Arafat.
13. The Visitation Tawaf (Initial)
14. The Farewell Tawaf.
15. Staying the night of Muzdalifah
16. Throwing stones at the 3 pillars (Jamrat).

Most are from the Sunnah explicitly but some are deduced from the Sunnah by the qiyas of the Ulema. What’s common? It’s a gathering of many people to worship Allah.

A woman needs to undo her braids if she’s making ghusl after menstruation or after child birth. She doesn’t need to undo them if it’s a ghusl for sexual intercourse/orgasm.

Recommended to use 1 Mudd for wudhu and 1 Sa’a for Ghusl.
1 Mudd = 0.608 litres (or 0.51l)
1 Sa’a = 2.43 litres (or 2.04l)
1 Mudd = 2 handfulls
1 Sa’a = 4 Mudd

Ghusl makes up for both a major and minor state of impurity if that is what you intended by it. Basically you just make the intention of lifting all types of impurity without making it specific and this will also suffice.

For one who’s in a state of major impurity then it’s recommended for them to wash their private organ. If they want to eat, drink or have intercourse again then it’s better to do wudhu.

Imam Majduddin Abul Barakat Ibn Taymiyyah (Grandfather of Imam Ibn Taymiyyah and one of the leading authorities in the Hanbali madhab) writes:
For ghusl to be valid it is enough for a person to intend to make ghusl and to wash the whole body including the mouth and the nose.
The recommended method is:
1. To make the intention
2. Say Bismillah
3. Wash the hand 3 times
4. Remove any impurities if any
5. Make wudhu
6. Wash the hair till the roots properly 3 times
7. Wash the body 3 times
8. Perform dalk (rubbing the body and washing 3 times).
9. Wash the feet after that and it’s better to move to another place for it if the need arises.
Better to always start with the right side.
It is disliked for someone in a state of janabah to sleep without making wudhu.



Tayammum is to use a natural substance for purification. Though these are Tahur (pure and purifying in nature) the point isn’t to wash our body with it.
It is valid to make tayammum with soil that is tahur, permissible and that has dust on it. Even if it’s not soil but just dust that is acceptable. You cannot make tayammum with just anything, it has to be with Earth that has dust.
Tayammum is done for everything that you’d do for except for an impurity which is on other than the body. You make tayammum only when the time of the prayer enters and you have to make tayammum every single time because as per the Hanabila it doesn’t complete lift the impurity but rather doing it just permits you to do the worship for that moment.
If he finds water but if it’s not sufficient then do wudhu for whatever is available and do tayammum for the rest. Ibn Taymiyyah says just do tayammum instead.
The obligatory actions of tayammum include
Wiping the face and wiping the hands up till the wrists. It is better to tap the soil and wipe your face and then tap again and then wipe your hands up till the elbow. This is not wajib but rather recommended to act on the other narration also. It’s important to maintain the order and the consecutiveness for wudhu as this tayammum follows the ruling for wudhu but if it’s for ghusl then it doesn’t as ghusl doesn’t have any such order as wudhu. You have to make the intention for purification.

The Invalidators of Tayammum are 5:
1. When the time ends for one period of Salah.
2. If one of the invalidators of wudhu occurs then it also invalidates the tayammum as they take the same ruling.
3. If you find water for wudhu, the concession for tayammum no longer exists.
The Hanabila say that if you cannot find water for wudhu or dust for tayammum then pray just like that but pray only the fardh. During this do only the obligatory actions.
If the person is in a state of major impurity then the Hanabila say that this person can pray but can recite only Surah Fatiha and nothing else in the obligatory prayers.
4. Removing what is wiped over.
5. Conclusion for whatever made it permissible in the first place.



Cleaning and Removing Filth

If there is some impurity on the floor then overwhelming it with water once is sufficient on the condition that the impurity is removed. Hadith of the Bedouin who urinated in the Masjid.
The urine and vomit of a male child who hasn’t had solid food out of desire is purified by overwhelming it with water, not necessary to wash or scrub. The colour, smell or both remaining does not harm purification if they cannot be removed. But, taste remaining harms purification since taste indicates that the substance remains.

Other impurities require to be washed 7 times and this is from the mufradat. The Hanabila reason that if a dog over which the scholars differed over whether it is pure or not, on licking something has to be washed 7 times then for impurities that are confirmed deserve 7 washes too.
Soap can replace soil in this purification as it provides another degree of purification.

Arguing about pigs and dogs just based on that their dirty by nature isn’t the right way of going about things. Even if you were to wash it 1000 times with soap with 1000 litres of water till it’s sparkling clean, it is still deemed impure. Why? Because Allah and His Messenger said so. This is a religion of submission not debate.

Any wine that becomes vinegar on it’s own is pure and so is it’s container. However if the action of a human cause this then it is not deemed to be pure. Some scholars say that it is pure irrespective since it’s no longer wine.

Small amounts of blood of a pure animal in food or drink cannot be accepted but for prayer etc small amounts of blood on the clothes are allowed. As for the blood from the waste passage then they remain impure throughout with the exception of vaginal blood, postpartum and menstrual blood. Whatever lacks flowing blood like lice, fleas, mosquitoes alive or dead are pure.




The chapter on menstruation is generally the largest when it comes to taharah. It gets difficult because there are so many scenarios and each scenario has it’s specific ruling.
There is no menstruation during pregnancy. Any blood seen during this time is not from the blood of menstruation. There is no menstruation after the age of 50 (strong diff of opinion, some like Ibn Qudammah say women menstruate till the age of 60) and before the age of 9. If any blood is seen after or before these ages then this is not menstrual blood.
The minimum time for menstruation is a day and a night aka 24 hours. If she sees blood just for an hour or so then that is not considered menstrual blood and her ibadat are valid. According to the Hanafis 72 hours is the minimum. The maximum duration is 15 days.
If we say that a woman menstruates for 15 days then that’s as though she has menstruated for half her life. It hasn’t reached us that any normal woman has menstruated for more than 15 days.
A menstrual cycle on an average last 6-7 days.
The minimum duration of purity between 2 menstrual cycles is 13 days. So if a woman menstruates for 6 days and is pure for 6 days but again she sees blood then this cannot be menstrual blood. This is as per the statement of Ali Ibn Abi Talib. There is no maximum number of days that a woman can be pure. She is pure as long as there is no blood. It’s not just about the validity of the act here, a woman while menstruating is not allowed by the Shariah to fast or pray. She is not obliged to make up for the prayers that she has missed but she needs to make up for the fasts that she has missed.

There is ijma that it is haram to have intercourse with a woman while she is menstruating. Anything other than penetration is allowed. Menstruation doesn’t mean that she is untouchable or something like that as is thought of in many societies. If anyone does penetrate a woman during this period then he must pay an expiation of a Dina or half of a Dinar of gold. 1 Dinar of Gold = 4.25 Grams of Gold (approx 130 British Pounds). The prices of gold fluctuates so that needs to be checked before paying the expiation. This is from the mufradat of the Hanabila. The other 3 madhabs say that there is no expiation but your action is sinful.
Most if not the majority of the scholars say that if a person has strong desires and feels that he cannot control them then it is impermissible for him to fondle his wife during this period. The wife is to cover herself from the navel to the knee while menstruating and they can enjoy each other from other than that. The Hanabila are a bit more lenient and say that a couple can go for more than that as long as there is no penetration.

When a woman experiences menstruation for the first time, the Hanabila say that she must wait for a day and a night. She refrains from doing any other acts and after
24 hours (min time period of menstruation) perform ghusl and pray, fast all the obligatory actions. Her menstrual cycle is not clear yet and something that is obligatory cannot be removed by something that is still not clear yet. If this bleeding stops before 15 days (which is the maximum) then she takes ghusl when it stops. If this same happens in 3 consecutive menstrual cycles (or months) then this is considered as this woman’s norm (as each woman has her own norm of menstruation).
An Example:
Month1: She menstruates for 5 Days.
Month 2: She menstruates for 6 Days.
Month 3: She menstruates for 5 Days.
So it is said that her norm is 5 days, give or take a day. Unless it’s repeated 3 times we cannot consider it to be a regular cycle. Otherwise it is considered as irregular bleeding and this is rare generally speaking.
If her first menstruation happens in Ramadan then she has to repeat those fasts which she made when she didn’t know her cycle for sure.
If the bleeding exceeds the maximum of 15 days then this is also considered as irregular bleeding. She can consider herself menstruating where she can distinguish menstrual blood from anything else. If she cannot distinguish then she sits for the minimum wich is for 24 hours and makes ghusl and prays, fasts etc as normal. If this irregularity continue for 3 months in a row, then it is said that this is not the norm. She takes from her family members what is an average of maybe 5 or 6 days and sticks to that. Any blood after that is considered to be Istihada. (excessive addition blood – irregular bleeding)
If your cycle has been established to be a particular number of days then if due to some reason she bleeds for more than that then she should stick to what her cycle normally is and disregard the rest. She washes the privates and use something to stop this blood (pad) and makes wudhu for every salah even if this bleeding continues. She can pray, read the Quran etc till the time of the next salah enters where she has to renew her wudhu.
The maximum duration for post partum bleeding (lochia) is 40 days. Any additional bleeding after this is considered to be Istihada. If it stops before this then she doesn’t need to wait the whole 40 days and is considered pure when the bleeding stops. The Hanabila say that intercourse in this period is disliked as the bleeding could return. Lochia takes the same rulings as menstruation except for iddah and reaching puberty.


–  الجامعة الإسلامية العالمية بماليزيا

International Islamic Univeristy, Malaysia
24 Jumada Al-Awwal 1439

Mohammad Zahid


Born Najdi, Bred Hijazi, Brought Up Nawabi. Founder - Currently pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Islamic Studies as well as a Masters Degree in Information Technology at International Islamic University Malaysia. Studying Islamic Sciences under the guidance of Sheikh Ibrahim Nuhu. An ardent interest in Islamic History especially the Seerah of our Beloved Prophet. Aims to rekindle the spark to read amongst the Muslim Youth through various projects and activities. An ever expanding appetite for books - Bibliophile. Life is just a transit and we pass away as strangers, a legacy left behind is all that matters.

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