My father sat on his usual seat in the dialogue room and a broad smile on his face which led me to assume that unusual matter in his mind. He said:
I will talk to you today about menstruation.
I did not know before today what menstruation means. I remember that I heard this word before but what grabbed my attention is that I heard women whisper the word with embarrassment as if there is something shameful about it. Once I realized that the topic of today's dialogue is menstruation, I felt ashamed and started to hide it but I asked myself: What shameful about the subject? And if it was shameful, why would my father is going to discuss it with me?
Then I remembered, are not our dialogue subjects about Islamic matters? Then menstruation is one of the subjects being covered by Islamic jurisprudence and if it was so, then why we are embarrassed about a subject mentioned in the Holy Quran and the prophet and the imams (peace be upon them) talk about it to their companions. After all, why would we feel embarrassed about a subject we should learn and implement?
I wake up from my self-examination on my father's voice saying:
The reason for menstruation is the discharge of the menstrual blood. It is a known usual blood that women discharge in almost regular monthly intervals. It is red tends to back, warm, discharged with pressure and irritation.
- Is this blood a sort of disease for the women or a natural occurrence?
It is a natural state for women. So every blood that she discharges and is described with the following conditions is menstruation:
- What are these conditions?
The conditions of menstruation are:
1. It does not last for more than ten days.
2. The clean period between the end of one blood discharge period and the commencement of another period is not less than ten days.
3. The blood discharge period is not less than three days.
- Should these three days be continuous?
No, they are not conditioned by that. Yes, the three days of blood discharge period should be within ten days. For example, if she saw the blood for a whole day and then interrupted for two days then it commenced back for another day and then interrupted again for two days and then it commenced back again for a third full day then the blood in these three days is menstruation.
- When you say a full day, do you mean twenty four hours?
Yes, it is not enough to see the blood during the day and not see it during the night and vice versa.
- What if the blood continues for more than ten days?
Some of it is not menstruation and I will explain the ruling of such blood later,
- What if the clean period between the end of the blood discharge period and the commencement of another period is more than ten days.
Then the second blood is not menstruation.
- When does a woman consider herself as having menstrual blood?
1. When she notices the blood for the first time and if it lasts for more than three days and less than ten days, then it is menstruation.
2. When she sees the blood once again after a clean period of more than ten days then she considers herself as menstruated. If the blood continued for more than three days then it is menstruation and if it did not continue for three days – even if they were interrupted – then the blood is Istihadha whether it is seen during the time of habit or not.
- How does a woman have a habit?
A woman has a habit if she sees blood at a same time every month. If the second blood matches the first one in time and duration then she is considered as having a habit of time and duration. If the second blood matches the first one in time but not duration, then she has a habit of time only. For example, if she sees the first blood at the first day of the month for seven days and she then sees the second blood at the first day of the month and for seven days also, then she has a time and duration habit. If the duration differs, then she has a time habit where she should consider the blood as menstruation if she sees it in the first day of the month and it lasts for three days even if they were interrupted as long as they are within ten days.
- If the second blood matches the first one in duration but not in time?
Then the woman has a duration habit.
- Is there a special ruling for her?
Yes, if she discharges blood after a clean period of ten or more days and the blood lasts for more than ten days then she considers her habitual duration as menstruation and the extra days as Istihadha. She can add a day, two or three to complete the ten days and considers the rest as Istihadha.
- And the woman that has irregular period?
If the blood starts again after ten days or more from the time it stopped and it lasts for three days even if they were interrupted, then she consider herself as having a period.
- I leaned about the rulings of the woman that sees the bleeding and recognize it. What if the woman had her period and the blood apparently stopped but she expects its existence inside?
She should check?
By inserting a piece of cotton inside her and leave it for sometime if no traces of blood could be seen then she is clean, she should perform her Ghusul and resume her acts of worship like prayers and fasting. And if it is contaminated with blood, then she is still during menstruation.
- Is the state of menstruation applies to the woman during all her lifetime?
No menstruation before the age of nine years and if the woman is above the age of fifty and she is not from the clan or Quraish then there is no menstruation for her as well and this is her climacteric.
- What if she is of the clan of Quraish?
Then she has menstruation when she discharges blood according to the mentioned conditions till she reaches the age of sixty when she reach her climacteric.
- When a woman realizes that she has her period, what does she do?
She must observe the following:
1. Her prayers is not valid be it mandatory or recommended.
2. She is not required to make the prayers that she missed during her period.
3. Her fasting is not valid.
4. She is required to fast the days that she missed during her period.
5. Her Tawaf in pilgrimage is not valid while she has her period be it mandatory [or recommended].
6. Divorcing her is void when she is menstruated except in certain situations.
7. It is prohibited to have sexual intercourse with a woman during her period.
8. It is prohibited for her to do [All] the prohibitions of the person in the state of Janabah as discussed in the dialogue of Janabah.
9. She must perform Ghusul when her period ends in order for her to perform prayers. I will explain to you how to perform Ghusul in a coming dialogue.