Taharah (طهارة) or Purification
Taharah is one of the prominent features of Islam. It means thorough purity and cleanliness of body, clothes, place and all aspects of Muslim's life.
In the foregoing pages we discussed matters of purity of faith and heart. Here we will discuss matters of purity of body and other relevant aspects of material purity and cleanliness. Islam in fact takes care of the purity of material purity of both the heart and the soul as well as the body and material aspects of life.
Muslims are called upon to be pure and clean in many of the Qur'an injunctions such as the following verse: -
"Allah loves those who turn unto Him in repentance and loves those who purify themselves." 2-222
Types of Tahara
A. "Purity" of Water:
It should be pointed out that pure water is used essentially in matters of purification and cleanliness of the body totally or partially. Hence the necessity of investigation about the purity of water.
First: Ordinary water is Tahur, that is, it is pure in itself and purifies other things. Among its division are:
1. Rainfall, snow and hail; Allah said: "..And We sent down pure water from the sky." (V.25:48)
2. Water of springs and rivers
3. Sea water, as the Prophet (s.a.) said: "Its water is purifying and its creatures are Halal (without need to slaughter)".
4. Zam-zam water. It is established that the Prophet (s.a.) called for a bucket of Zam-zam water, then drank from it and performed wudu (Ahmad).
5. Water which has changed due to stagnation for a long time, or by tree leaves settling in it or moss growing in it, because it is still valid to call it "water" without qualifying the word therefore it is valid to use for purification.
Second: Used water, that is, water which flows off the limbs when performing Wudu or Ghusl pereserves its purifying quality, just like ordinary water, based on the fact that it started out as purifying and there is no Dalil (evidence) from the Shariah (Islamic Laws) indicating a change in its status.
Third: Water mixed with any clean substance, for instance soap or saffron, or flour, etc. remains purifying (Tahur) as long as the quality of the adulterant is not enough to cause us to stop calling the mixture "water". If it exceeds that limit when we can no longer call it simply water, then it is Tahir: pure in itself, but incapable of purifying anything else.
Fourth: Water mixed with Najasah (filthy substance), this can occur in one of the two stages:
1. The taste or colour or smell of the water changes due to the Najasah, in which case, the water is not permissible to be used for purification by the consensus of the scholars.
2. None of the three qualities of the water changes: in this case it remains purifying whether it's a little or a log. As the Prophet (s.a.) said:
"Water purifying, nothing makes it filthy." (Ahmad and others).
And in this case the water has retained the name "Water" without the need to qualify the word.
Ethics of Going to the Bathroom:
1. Don't take anything containing the Name of Allah into the bathroom, unless there is fear of losing it by leaving it outside, or if it is wrapped up.
2. To be away from people and screened, especially when defecating.
3. To say the following supplication before entering the bathroom, or if one is outdoors, before removing clothes, as the Prophet (s.a.) said:
"In the Name of Allah, O Allah I seek refuge with You from the evils." And after leaving the toilet too said: "Your forgiveness (O Lord)." Tirmidhi)
4. To refrain from speaking altogether, whether it be Dhikr (Remembrance of Allah) or anything else. One should not return Salam (greetings) nor repeat after the Muadhdhin or anything else except what is unavoidable like guiding a blind man who would otherwise fall. If one sneezes one should say Al Hamdulillah in one's mind without moving the tongue.
5. To respect the Qiblah by not facing it nor turning one's back directly towards it.
6. When outdoors, one should try to choose a place where the earth is soft and low-lying so that the likelihood of getting Najasah on oneself is reduced.
7. When outdoors, avoid going in an animal's hole or burrow, as it could make life as uncomfortable for you as you did for it.
8. Avoid places where people take rest in the shade, or their paths, or places they sit to talk.
9. Do not urinate where you bathe or shower, or in still or running water.
10. Don't urinate in a standing position, as it is undignified, and goes against good customs, and there is the probability of urine splashing up from the ground onto your clothes. However, if one is reasonably sure there will be no splashing then it is permitted.
11. One must remove all Najasah from the private parts, front or back, at the very least with stones or anything that serves the purpose as long as the substance is solid, Tahir, and has blotting or wiping effect; the use of toilet paper is all right, but one should not use paper with writing on it, as it is deserving the more respect than that or one can use water only, or a combination of toilet paper followed by water.
12. One should not use the right hand to clean one's private parts, as it is used for eating and other clean functions.
13. After cleaning the private parts rub clean earth on the hand or wash with soap, etc.
14. One should sprinkle water on one's penis and trousers after urinating. This is to stop the whispering of Shaitan.
15. When entering the bathroom put your left foot first, and when leaving it, take out your right foot first.
B. Wudu (Ablution)
This type of Tahara is very essential for a worshiper, no prayer is valid without ablution (whether wudu (partial ablution), ghusl [Bath or total ablution] or tayamum (dry ablution) as it is explained below.
How to Perform Wudu (Ablution)
"O you who believe! When you intend to offer As-Salat (prayer), wash your faces and your hands (forearms) up to the elbows, rub (by passing wet hands over) your heads, and (wash) your feet up to the ankles ...." (V. 5:6)
1. Before starting it one should intend to enter the state of original purity by the actions of the ablution and say Bismillah (in the name of Allah).
2. Wash your hands up to wrists, rinse water in your mouth and draw water from your cupped hand into your nose up to the start of the nose bone - three times for each of these actions.
3. Wash your face three times.
4. Starting with the right hand, wash your forearms up to and including the elbows three times.
5. Wipe your wet hands over your hair or scalp (all of it backward and forward) and wipe the inside and back of the ears with the forefingers and thumbs.
6. Wash the feet up to and including the ankles three times each, starting with the right foot.
7. After completing the aforementioned, say: "I bear witness none has the right to be worshiped but Allah Alone and without partners, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and His Messenger."
Factors Which Nullify Wudu
There are some factors, which nullify the ablution and destroy the object of purification like Salat etc. These are the following:
1. All things coming out of the private parts, front or back, including urine, excrement, and gas; whether it escapes silently or audibly. The Prophet (s.a.) said:
"Allah will not accept Salat (prayer) from anyone if he passes out anything from his private parts until he performs Wudu (ablution)." (Muslim).
2. The seeping out of Madhi or Wadi; Madhi is prostatic fluid which seeps out during sexual arousal, before ejaculation; and Wadi is a fluid which seeps out after urination without any accompanying sexual arousal. The Prophet (s.a.) when asked what one should do if Madhi is excreted, said:
"He should wash his penis and perform Wudu." (Agreed upon).
3. Deep sleep, the kind where no trace of wakeful consciousness remains; such that if one started out sitting up, he would end up slumping over onto the ground.
4. A loss of rational consciousness; whether by way of insanity or fainting or drunkenness or sedation.
5. To touch one's private parts without an intervening barrier (of cloth etc.) The Prophet (s.a.) said: "Whoever touches his penis, he should not pray until he performs Wudu (ablution)." (Tirmidhi classed it as authentic, Bukhari said it is the most authentic Hadith related to the issue).
Things which do not Nullify Wudu
1. Touching a woman with skin to skin contact. Aisha (B.B.H) said:
"I used to sleep in front of the Prophet (s.a.) and my feet would be between him and the Qiblah (the direction of Ka'bah), so when he performed Sajdah (prostration), he would touch my feet." (Agreed upon).
2. The flow of blood from anywhere other than vagina, whether because of wound or cupping or nosebleed. Hasan (B.B.H) said:
"The Muslims used to keep on praying while wounded." (Bukhari).
3. Vomit, whether enough to fill the mouth or less.
4. Being doubtful regarding excretion (of stool, urine, gas, etc., from private parts) after performing Wudu. This uncertainly does not require consideration whether one is in Salat or outside it, since certain knowledge cannot be superseded by uncertainly. In contrast, if he is sure of excretion, and he doubts whether he performed Wudu or not after it, his Wudu would not be treated as established.
5. Laughing aloud while in Salat does not invalidate Wudu.
6. To give a bath to a dead person does not require one to perform Wudu afterwards.
Wiping Over Leather Or Cloth Socks
1. Evidence for the permissibility of wiping (Mas'h) over leather socks while performing Wudu (ablution), rather than removing them: The Sunnah is well established, that there is no need to remove one's leather socks, whether in travel or at home. Among the strongest Hadith on the issue is what Bukhari reported from Jarir bin Abdullah (s.a.), he said:
"I saw that the Messenger of Allah urinated, then performed Wudu and wiped over his leather socks".
2. Evidence for the permissibility of wiping over the cloth and nylon socks: It was a practice of many Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet (s.a.), Abu Dawud said:
"Ali bin Abi Talib, 'Abdullah bin Masud, Bara' bin 'Azib, and Anas bin Malik used to wipe over cloth socks, and it is reported also regarding Umar bin Al-Khattab and Ibn Abbas.
Conditions for wiping over leather and cloth socks:
1. In order to be able to complete Wudu by wiping over socks, one must put on both of them while in a state of Wudu.
2. Where to wipe: Over the top of each sock, based on the following Hadith from Ali (s.a.).
"If the religion was according to opinion, it would be more fitting to wipe the bottom of the sock, rather than the top. Surely, I saw Allah's Messenger (s.a.) wiping over the tops of his socks." (Abu Dawud and Ad-Daraqutni).
3. How long can you keep wiping over the socks without taking them off to wash the feet? The Prophet (s.a.) said:
"One day and one night, i.e. 24 hours for a resident, from the last Wudu, and three days and three nights for a traveller." (Muslim).
4. How to wipe: After performing a proper Wudu put on the leather or cloth socks, then anytime one wants to perform Wudu, instead of washing the feet, wipe over the socks. But if you need to perform a Ghusl (bath) you must remove the socks.
5. The following things nullify the permission to wipe over the socks:
a. The elapse of the permitted period.
b. The necessity of Ghuls-e-Janabat. (After a sexual intercourse or a wet dream).
c. Taking off one or both socks.
C. Ghusl (Obligatory bath ) And The Things Which Make It Mandatory
Obligatory bath (Ghusl) means to apply water to every part of the body. Allah Said: "...If you are in state of Janaba (i.e. after a sexual discharge), purify yourself (bathe your whole body)..." V.5:6).
There are five things, which require one to perform a Ghusl
1. Body Washing upon Embracing Islam.
When a person embraces Islam, he is required to wash his body as a sign of purity and starting a new clean life. His mind and soul is purified from impure convictions and beliefs, and now he is required to clean his body as well for the purpose of an integrated purity of soul and body.
Those who embrace Islam are called upon to be clean in every respect e.g., to wash themselves, to perform ablution before prayers, to trim their nails, to remove their hair from underneath the armpit, and from around the genitals, to perform circumcision, to trim their moustaches, etc. This ordinance of cleanliness includes both men and women.
2. Ejaculation or orgasm with an accompanying fluid discharge, whether sleeping or awake, for males and females. This is the opinion of the majority of scholars, based on the Hadith:
"The water (of the Ghusl) is due to the water (of sexual emission)." (Muslim)
However, if seminal fluid flows due to sickness or medication without the accompaniment of sexual arousal, a Ghusl is not required. Similarly if one experiences a wet dream but does not find trace of emission, no Ghusl is necessary.
3. Entrance of the head of penis inside the vagina, whether there is ejaculation or not; based on Allah's Statement:
"If you are in a state of Janaba (i.e. after a sexual discharge), purify yourselves (bathe your whole body)." (V.5:6).
And based on the statement of the Prophet (s.a.):
"If he sat between her four parts and exerted her, the Ghusl became mandatory, whether he ejaculated or not." (Muslim and others).
4. The termination of menses or post-partum bleeding; based on the statement of Allah: "...therefore keep away from women during menses and go not unto them till they are purified (from mens and have taken a bath). And when they have purified themselves, then go in unto them as Allah has ordained for you (go in unto them in any manner as long as it is in their vagina)..." (V.2:222)
And based on the Prophet's statement to Fatimah bint Abi Hubaish:
"Leave Salat for the number of days you used to menstruate, then perform a Ghusl and offer Salat." (Agreed upon)
By this statement, even though it was made about menstruation only, post-partum bleeding gets the same ruling according to the consensus of the Sahabah.
5. Death; if a Muslim dies, he must be given a Ghusl (before burial), by the consensus of the scholars.
6. There is a sixth cause (which is not mandatory according to most scholars) one must perform Ghusl before attending Jumah Prayers. The Prophet (s.a.) said:
"The Ghusl on Friday is mandatory on all who have attained puberty."
Things Forbidden To A Junub ( a person in a state of major ritual impurity and in need of a Ghusl)
1. Salat; based on Allah's Statement:
"If you are in a state of Junaba (i.e. after a sexual discharge), purify yourselves (bathe your whole body)." (V.5:6)
2. Tawaf (circumambulating the Kaba in Makkah); based on the statement of the Prophet (s.a.).
"Tawaf around the House is Salat, except that Allah has permitted in it (ordinary) speech, so whosoever speaks should speak nothing but good." (Tirmidhi).
3. To touch the Qur'an or carry it; its prohibition is agreed upon by all the Imams.
4. To stay in the Masjid.
The Fundamental Contstituents (Arakan) Of Ghusl
The prescribed Ghusl, in accordance with the Shariah, is not complete without components:
1. The intention, which distinguishes this prescribed Ghusl from an ordinary bath (that is, to intend by this bath to leave the state of major ritual impurity and to gain eligibility for acts or worship (i.e Salat)). The intention is related to the heart and does not require statement by the tongue which many people do these days. This is a heresy in the religion and should be avoided.
2. Washing every part of the body; based on Allah's Statement:
"If you are in state of Janabat (i.e. after a sexual discharge purify yourselves (bathe your whole body)." (V.5:6)
The Sunnah Way Of The Ghusl:
It is best to observe the Sunnah of the Prophet (s.a.) in taking a ritual bath:
1. Declare the intention by your heart.
2. Start by washing hands three times.
3. Wash the private parts of the body.
4. Perform a complete Wudu, just like the Wudu of Salat. Then pour water over the whole body, first the right side, then the left, passing the hands over what one can easily reach of the body, paying particular attention that water reaches all out of the way places like the inside of the ears, the belly button, between the toes, etc. The basis of this is what Aisha (s.a.) narrated:
"When the Prophet (s.a.) used to take a bath while Junub, he would start by washing both hands, then with his right hand he would pour water into his (cupped) left hand and wash his private parts, then he would perform Wudu, like the Wudu of Salat, then he would take water and run his fingers through the roots of his hair until the water had reached the scalp, he would scoop water up with both hands and pour it over his head three times, then he would pour water over the rest of his body." (Agreed upon).
Ghusl Which Is Mustahab (Desireable)
Mustahab: The person who does it is praiseworthy and will be rewarded for it, whereas one who doesn't do it is not blameworthy nor will he be punished for leaving it.
1. The Ghusl of Jumuah (Friday). Since Friday is the day of congregational prayer in a large assembly, the Prophet (s.a.) ordered us to perform the Ghusl, so that the Muslims should be in the best condition of the cleanliness and purity.
"The Ghusl of Friday is obligatory on those who attained puberty, and (also the cleaning of their teeth with) the Siwak (tooth brush taken from the twigs of the Arak or other tree) and use of perfume, if available." (Bukhari)
The apparent meaning of the Hadith is that the Ghusl of Friday is mandatory, not just Mustahab. And most Hadith scholars understood the Hadith according to the apparent meanings as opposed to the interpretation of the Fuqaha (scholars in the interpretation of the religious matters in general religious jurists).
2. Ghusl for the two Eid (festival) prayers, as was recommended by the scholars.
3. Ghusl for one who has bathed a dead person, the Prophet (s.a.) said:
"Whoever gives bath to a dead person should perform a Ghusl and whoever carries him should perform Wudu." (Tirmidhi).
4. The majority of scholars consider it praiseworthy to perform a Ghusl when entering in the state of Ihram (and putting ceremonial garment consisting of two unstitched pieces of clot) for Hajj or Umrah.
5. To take a bath upon entering Makkah is also recommended based upon the action of the Prophet (s.a.).
Some Issues Concerning Ghusl
1. One Ghusl covers two causes: For instance, if a woman had wet dream just before finishing menstruation or if one took a bath for Eid Salat which happened to fall on Friday, or if one was Junub on a Friday. But one should make the intention that the one bath is to take care of two reasons. As the Prophet (s.a.) said: " Every person will be judged according to his intention." (Agreed upon).
2. If a person performed a Ghusl because he was Junub but did not perform the Wudu, the Ghusl is sufficient.
3. There is no problem in attending public baths if one can do so without being exposed to the sight of others. Ahmed Said: If you know that everyone in the public bath wears a Izar (a cloth wrapped around the waist), go ahead in; but if not, then do not.
A Hadith states: "A man should not look at another man's private parts nor a woman look at another woman's private parts." (Muslim).
4. A man may use the water left in basin from which a woman has taken bath, and vice versa. Also it is permitted for a man and his wife to take bath together, drawing water from one container; based on the statement of the Prophet (s.a.): "Verily water does not become Junub (impure)." (Tirmidhi).
5. It is not permissible to take a bath naked in front of people, since exposing one's private parts (to other than one's spouse) is forbidden. However, if one covers himself with a knee-length shirt or sarong etc., there is no problem, as there is not prohibition bathing naked where people can't se you.
6. The Ghusl of a woman is just like the Ghusl of a man, but she doesn't have to undo her braids if the water can reach the roots of her hair. As was mentioned in the Hadith related by Umm Salamah (s.a.)
A woman said, "O Messenger of Allah, I am a woman who keeps her braid tight. Do I have to undo it when performing a Ghusl for Janaba? He said, "It is enough for your to pour three scoops of water over it, then pour water over your whole body, after that your purification is complete." (Muslim).
However, there is a Hadith mentioned in the Mughni of Ibn Qudama which indicates that a woman should undo her braid for the Ghusl after menses.
Mas'h (Wiping) Over A Bandage Or Cast
1. It is permitted to wipe over a bandage or other material used to protect the limbs of an injured or sick person.
2. If one cannot wash a limb or the limbs for Wudu, then wiping over the bandage becomes mandatory.
3. When is the wiping normally mandatory? When a person has wound or broken bone or an injury, and he wants to perform a Wudu or a Ghusl, he would normally have to wash the affected limb as well, even if it requires heating the water to make it tolerable. However, if he fears harm from washing the afflicted limb, such that the water will increase the affliction, or make him sick, or increase the pain, or delay his recovery then what is required of him is wiping the limb with water. If he fears harm from wiping, he must wrap the limb with a bandage or have a cast put on, to the extent required to cover it and as such extra area as is necessary to secure the bandage. But unnecessary areas should remain uncover. Then he must wipe over the whole bandage once in the course of his Wudu (ablution) or Ghusl (bath).
There is also no requirement in the case of the bandage or cast that the person be in a state of purity when it is first applied, and there is no time limit on how long one can keep wiping over it. He can keep wiping over it in his Wudu and Ghusl as long as the reason for doing so remains.
4. The permission to wipe on the bandage ends when it is removed or it falls off, or the injury heals so that there is not further need for the bandage.
D. Tayammum (Purification With Dust Or Clay) And The Circumstances Which Make it Impermissible
Allah said: "...And if you are ill, or on a journey, or one of you comes after answering the call of nature, or you have been in contact with women (by sexual relations) and you find no water, perform Tayammum with clean earth and rub therewith your faces and hands (Tayammum). Truly, Allah is ever Oft-Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving." (V.4:43).
Tayammum is permissible as a substitute for Wudu' or Ghusl, whether on a journey or at home, if one of the following circumstances applies:
1. If water is unavailable, as the Prophet (s.a.) said: "Dust is purifier for a believer if he doesn't find water, even if it were for ten years." (Tirmidhi)
2. If one is wounded or sick and fears that water will increase the illness or delay the recovery, whether that is based on personal experience or the advice of a reliable doctor.
3. If the water is very cold, and it seems likely to him that its use will harm him, on the condition that he is unable to warm it, even if he has to pay for that, and that it is hard on him to go to bathroom.
4. If water is nearby, but he fears for his life or honour or property or separation from his companions, or if an enemy is between him and the water whether human or non-human, or if he is imprisoned, or if he is unable to get it out of a well because he lacks the necessary means, such as a bucket and rope - in all these cases the presence of the water is not different from its absence, like wise; if the fears being accused of something he is innocent of, due to performing a Ghusl, then Tayammum becomes permissible.
5. If he has some water, but he needs it for drinking, now or later, or to give a drink to an animal, even to a non-biting dog, or he needs it to make dough, or in cooking, or to wash away Najasah (impurity), purification of which is essential from his body or clothes or place of prayer, in all these circumstances he can perform Tayammum, and save available water for those other uses.
The Dust To Be Used For Tayamumm
It is permissible to perform Tayammum with clean dust or anything else which is originally earth such as sand, rocks, pebbles; based on the statement of Allah: "Perform Tayammum with clean earth." (V.4:430).
How To Perform Tayammum
1. First, make the intention that by this action you want to purify yourself from a state of either minor or major impurity.
2. Say Bismillah.
3. Slap the dust with your palms, blow the excess dust off them, then wipe the face and both hands up to and including the wrist.
The Prophet (s.a.) said: "It would have sufficed you to do like this" then he slapped both palms on the earth, blew into them and wiped his face and both hands with them. (Agreed upon).
Things permissible to one who performs Tayammum
Tayammum is a substitute for Wudu' and Ghusl when water is unavailable, so whatever one can do after Wudu' or Ghusl, can do after Tayammum, such as offering Salat or touching the Qur'an etc. The entry of the time for Salat is not a condition for its validity. And after one Tayammum, one can pray such as many Salat as he wants, whether obligatory or optional. It is in that exactly like Wudu', based on the statement of the Prophet (s.a.): "The clean earth is purifier for a Muslim, even if he didn't find water for ten years. But when he finds water he should use it (for Wudu') for that is better." (Ahmad and Tirmithi)
Factors which Nullify Tayammum
1. Everything which nullifies Wudu' also nullifies Tayammum, as it is its substitute. Also, the presence of water nullifies it, for those who made Tayammum due to its absence; and for those who were unable to use it for other excuses, when the excuse is no more and one is able to use water, the Tayammum becomes null and void.
2. However, if one performed Salat with Tayammum, then found water or regained the ability to use it, it is not required to repeat the Salat, even if there is time left for it.
E. Haid And Nifas (Menstruation And Post-Partum Bleeding)
Haid: Menstruation. This is a natural type of blood, which flows from the uterus of women after puberty at regular intervals.
Allah has laid down certain rules in connection with menstruation, as a concession to the woman, in consideration of her condition:
1. Menstruation usually lasts 6 to 7 days and nights; with some variation, from woman to woman. Most women have a regular number of days they menstruate each month. Although the number of days may fluctuate and the period might come a little early or a little late. So when a woman sees menstrual blood then she should consider herself menstruating. And when it stops she should consider herself as clean. This is the most correct view on this issue, as elucidated by Shaikh Muhammad Salih Al-Uthaimin in his book: "Natural bleeding of women," and that is the Madhhab of Shaf'i, and the choice Shaikh-ul-Islam Ibn Taimiyah and was supported by Ibn Qudamah in "Al-Mughni".
2. However, if it appears after complete cessation of the normal colored menstrual blood, then it should not be considered as menstruation.
Nifas: Post-Partum bleeding (after the birth of a baby or during delivery, or two or three days before delivery accompanied by labor pains). These are the rules for Nifas:
1. There is no minimum limit to the length of the bleeding; the upper limit is generally within 40 days.
2. Most of the rules of Nifas are just like the rules of menstruation (Haid).
Things Forbidden To Menstruating Woman Or One In Post-Partum Bleeding
1. Salat; the Prophet (s.a.) said: "When menstruation starts, leave off Salat". (Agreed upon).
2. Tawaf of the Ka'bah; the Prophet (s.a.) said: "Do everything the Hajj (Pilgrim) does, but don't perform Tawaf of the House (Ka'bah) until you become purified." (Agreed upon).
3. Fasting; as 'Aisha (s.a.) narrated: "When we menstruated (during the lifetime of the Prophet (s.a.) we were ordered to make up for the left fasting (of the month of Ramdan) and we were not ordered to make up for Salat." (Agreed upon).
4. Sitting in the Masjid, or even at the place where 'Eid Prayer is performed, based on the Hadith: "The unmarried virgins, and the mature girls and the menstruating women should come out; but the menstruating women should keep away from Musallah - Praying palace." (Agreed)
5. Intercourse; it is forbidden upon the husband to have intercourse with the menstruating wife, as it is forbidden for her to let him, based on the Statement of Allah:
"They ask you concerning menstruation. Say: that is an Adha (a harmful thing for a husband to have a sexual intercourse with his wife while she is having her menses), therefore keep away from women during menses and go not unto them till they are purified (from menses and have taken a bath). And when they have purified themselves, then go in unto them as Allah has ordained for you (go in unto them in any manner as long as it is in their vagina)." (V.2:222)
The word "Al-Mahid" of the Verse, is equally valid for the time during which menstrual blood flows (menstruation period) and for the place from which it flows (the vagina). The Prophet (s.a.) said: "You do everything with them (your menstruating wives) except intercourse." (Muslim).
Nawawi in Al-Majmu relates Imam Shafi`i's statement: "Whoever says that intercourse with a menstruating woman is legal should be ruled a disbeliever." It is permissible for the husband to kiss his wife or hug her or touch her anywhere besides the pubic region, but it's better to avoid the area between the navel and the knees; based on 'Aisha'a statement: "The Prophet (s.a.) used to order me to wrap a skirt around my waist and he used to fondle me while I was menstruating." (Agreed upon).
6. Recitation of Qur'an; Muhammad Salih Al-Uthaimin says in his book "Natural bleeding of women": After acknowledging the difference of opinion among scholars on this issue: "it is better for a menstruating woman not to recite Qur'an orally, except if there is a need for that. For instance, if she is teaching Qur'an, she has to coach her pupils; or if a pupil has to take a test for her recitation or memorization of Qur'an etc."
As for Dhikr, or saying Allahu Akbar or Subhan Allah, or Al-Hamdulillah or Bismillah before eating or any other action, or reading Hadith or Fiqh, or making Du'a or saying Amin to someone else's Du'a or listening to recitation of Qur'an, none of that is prohibited:
The Prophet (s.a.) used to rest on 'Aisha's lap while she was menstruating, and he would recite Qur'an. (Agreed upon).
Some instructions for menstruating women and those in Nifas
1. It is obligatory for a menstruating woman, when her bleeding stops, to perform a complete Ghusl; based on the Prophet's (s.a.) statement to Fatimah bint Abi Hubaish (s.a.): "When the menstruation starts, leave off Salat, and when it is finished, then perform a Ghusl and offer Salat." (Bukhari).
After the Ghusl, Salat and fasting become obligatory on the woman, and it is permitted for her to enter the Masjid, and make Tawaf, and recite Qur'an, and have legal intercourse. And if she had missed some days of fasting in Ramdan, she must make them up, but not the Salat. The same rules apply to the women in Nifas.
2. If the bleeding of menstruation or Nifas stops during a night of Ramadan, fasting becomes obligatory upon her the following day, even if she doesn't perform Ghusl before the break of dawn, since the circumstance which prevented her from fasting has ended.
Istihadah (Non-menstrual vaginal bleeding) and the rules associated with it
Istihadah is vaginal bleeding for reasons other than menstruation or childbirth. In some women bleeding never stops, in others it continues for longer than a normal period, but it does stop for a short period.
The woman affected by it is in one of the three conditions:
1. She had a known regular menses before the onset of the Istihadah. She should calculate when her period would normally come, and stop offering Salat during the days of her calculated period. And all the others rules of menstruation would apply to her during that calculated period. For the rest of the days, her bleeding should be treated as Istihadha.
2. She did not have a regular period, or does not remember when it sued to occur, but she can distinguish between the two kinds of blood based on color, thickness and smell. (Menstrual bloods is dark, thick, and with a strong odor, (Istihadha is bright red, thin and less disagreeable in smell).
3. She didn't have a regular period, and even cannot distinguish between the two types of blood, either because it's always the same, or because it's always changing, she should go by the average period of most women; so for 6 to 7 days, every month, she should consider herself menstruating, and that should be calculated from the time she first noticed vaginal bleeding, the rest of the days should be treated as Istihadah.
There is no difference between a woman beset by Istihadha and a woman who has a complete cessation of menstrual flow, except as follows:
1. If the woman beset by Istihadha wants to perform Wudu', she should wash the blood from her vaginal area then apply a menstrual pad or wrap the area with a clean rag on top of a wad of cotton to catch the blood; any blood coming out after that is of no account.
2. She must perform Wudu' for every Fard (obligatory) Salat, as the Prophet (s.a.) ordered a woman in this condition: "Perform Wudu' for every Salat" (Bukhari).