Sunday, December 25, 2011

(F.R.I.) Lesson 1 - Introduction & Types of Discharge

‘Whoever travels a path upon which he seeks knowledge, Allah takes him along a path to Jannah.’ (Bukhari)

‘Deeds depend on intentions; each person receives according to what he intends.’ (Muttafuqqun ‘alaih)

Before we begin, one should stop and rectify one’s intention on reading whatever’s posted under this topic (now and in the future, insya Allah).  One’s intention should be to seek Allah’s pleasure and nothing else.  Then one will not only attain the full reward of seeking beneficial knowledge for Allah’s sake but also insya Allah be able to reform one’s worship. 

Beneficial knowledge is that knowledge which increases one in fear and love of Allah, has an effect on one’s soul and action according to Imam Ghazali (rahmatullahi ‘alaih).  Also, Nabi (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) used to make doa for protection against non-beneficial knowledge. 

It is only by means of knowledge will one be able to distinguish between what’s right and wrong.  Once this is achieved, then one can then worship Allah as how He is supposed to be worshipped. 

Knowledge is divided into two:
  • Personal obligatory knowledge – obligatory upon every sane, adult Muslim and if one doesn’ obtain it, one is sinful
  • Communal obligatory knowledge – a certain number of people need to obtain the knowledge such that they lift the obligation whether it be secular or Islamic knowledge

Another thing to bear in mind is that experiencing menstruation or lochia neither renders a woman impure and nor does it indicate a man is more superior to a woman.  This is a huge misconception.  A woman merely enters into a state of impurity but the woman in herself is not impure. 

With regards to superiority, it is judged based on one’s taqwa and nothing else.  Therefore, a menstruating woman who is obedient to Allah is definitely more superior in the eyes of Allah to a man who is disobedient to Allah.

One should also know that rulings are divided into five which are:

1)     Wajib – one is rewarded for doing and punished for leaving (eg. praying)
2)     Mustahab – one is rewarded for doing but not sinful for doing (eg. sunnahs)
3)     Mandub – by leaving it one is neither rewarded nor punished (eg. eating, sleeping, drinking).  However, by having an intention for Allah, one changes it into an act of worship for Allah therefore one will gain reward for it
4)     Makruh – one is not punished for doing but rewarded for leaving it (eg. praying at the end of prayer time)
5)     Haram – one is rewarded for leaving it and sinful for doing it (eg. praying at sunrise)

Last but not least, may Allah accept from this insignificant writer and from all of us.  May Allah guide and keep us on the straight path. Amin.


In this lesson, we’ll give a brief introduction about menstruation and its sisters insya Allah.  We’ll start with the absolute basics and fundamentals of menstruation and its sisters.  At the end of the lesson, some Q&As which were asked during the course will be provided.  Also, a ‘Test Your Understanding’ section will be included to help reinforce what has been discussed.  This is true throughout the entire course, insya Allah.

First things first.  It is absolutely essential for a woman who experiences menstruation, lochia or abnormal uterine bleeding to keep a record.  For those of us who have not been doing this, it’s about time we start.  This will help us understand further about the cycles we experience and also make things easier for the scholar one seeks assistance from when needing assistance in clarifying an issue.

This record is no ordinary record like one’s organizer, rather, this record acts as one’s guide to worship Allah properly.  So, it is necessary for one to keep this record in one’s reach.  It can be any type of record (ie. hardcover book, electronic organizer, a table in Microsoft Words or even an application downloaded into one’s phone).  However, the trick is that, it has to be easily accessible and always at hand.

Okay, what goes into this record?  Well, since this record is unique, proper details must be recorded into it.  We need to keep track of when our menses, lochia or abnormal uterine bleeding starts and ends.  Then, we also need to jot down the times for the starting and ending of these occurrences (ie. the exact time and day).  

Nobody likes dull and boring records, right?  So let’s do ourselves a favour and include the colour and strength (ie. dark or light) of the bleeding.  Can’t see any relevance to what we’re studying yet?  Don’t worry, things will become clearer as we go further into the subject, insya Allah.

Another thing that we might want to keep with us wherever we are is an extra pad!  Accidents do happen and ‘Miss Scarlet’ loves surprises sometimes so it’s better to get our umbrellas ready before it rains!

Example Record:

Day: Friday
Date: 10th January
Time: 6:00am
Colour: Dark red

Day: Monday
Date: 13th January
Time: 9:00pm


Q. What is the ruling of studying the jurisprudence of menstruation?
A.  It is ‘ilmul haal (ie. personal obligatory knowledge) for girls nearing puberty, husbands (not men) and guardians of girls (eg. father).  This means that one should know the rulings of a particular action when required or intending to do something at a specific time or in a specific state.


Discharge is divided into two:
1.      Blood – impure
2.      Normal vaginal discharge – pure; clear, white or creamy (shade of white)

Blood is further divided into three:
1.      Menstruation – natural healthy bleeding that exits the uterus through the vagina and out of a girl at least 9 lunar years in age, that is not caused by illness
2.      Lochia – blood that exits the uterus through the vagina after the fetus leaves the womb (baby has to totally leave the womb)
3.      Abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB) – everything besides menstruation and lochia


For one to experience a valid menstruation, the following conditions must be met:

1)     Minimum period of bleeding:  At least 24 hours
2)     Maximum period of bleeding:  15 days
3)     Minimum period of purity:  At least 15 days
4)     Maximum period of purity:  None


When one speaks about blood, only one colour comes to mind – red. But, interestingly, the scholars of jurisprudence have given specific colours in relation to the topic of menstruation and red is not the only one.  Subhanallah!  And here we’re thinking that fiqh is not interesting!  The colours of blood are:


Strength decreases:  Black strongest, dusky weakest.

Therefore when one sees discharge from any of the colours mentioned above, it would be considered as blood.

Normal vaginal discharge and AUB cause minor ritual impurity when they exit from the vagina.  Menstruation and lochia on the other hand cause major ritual impurity by mere presence in the vagina even if they don’t exit.


One should not take into consideration of what one sees on one’s pad to give a valid ruling (ie. whether the discharge is blood or normal vaginal discharge) as this is incorrect.  This is because the discharge would have oxidized when it exits from the vagina and thus, whatever remains on the pad is not necessarily its actual colour. 

Consider this diagram:

For that reason, only fresh discharge may be used to determine the ruling and this is achieved by applying the method prescribed below.  The method on checking one’s discharge differs for a virgin and non-virgin.

For a virgin, she should observe the following:

1.      Firmly place a piece of white cloth (kursuf), can be toilet roll, between the labial lips
2.      Wait long enough for discharge to be appear by the cloth
3.      Remove the cloth and immediately check the color of the fresh discharge

Reminder:  A virgin should never endanger her virginity by inserting anything in herself invasively.

 For a non-virgin:

1.      Insert a cotton ball into her vagina
2.      Remove the cotton ball and immediately check the color of the fresh discharge


1.      It is said that normal vaginal discharge is pure.  Can we then pray with some staining of the discharge on our undergarment or does it need to be changed even if there was a little discharge found on it? 
Yes, no need to change even if a lot because it is pure.

2.      Has Ustadha ever come across the term ‘dammul wilaadah’ which necessitates ghusl?  If yes, could Ustadha please explain what it is?  Is it the same as lochia?   
      The term dammul wilaadah, also called dammul talq, is usually used to describe the blood that sometimes exists during labor and in the process of child birth, but before the baby has fully exited the womb. Therefore it is not considered lochia (ie. AUB, don’t need ghusl).

3.      Ustadha, if we checked our underwear/pad immediately after discharge exits without either using the kursuf/cotton ball, will the ruling be valid?  Or do we still need to undergo the procedure of either using a kursuf/cotton ball? 
In theory it will be valid if you're certain that it's fresh and the underwear/pad is white enough to show the true color.  I believe it's hard to achieve this in practice, because by the time the discharge exits and one goes to the bathroom to check, the discharge would have oxidized.

4.      Ustadha mentioned that anything that exits the vagina breaks the wudhu’.  Does this include wind too? 
Yes, wind that exits the vagina breaks the wudu.

5.      In class today you said blood is always impure and always causes major ritual impurity. On Q.4 of week 1 quiz it states that abnormal bleeding does not cause major ritual impurity. Please could you clarify. 
Thank you for your question. We didn't say that blood always causes major impurity, we said that only if this blood is menses or lochia it would cause major ritual impurity (please check lesson 1 handout). This is one point. Blood being always impure is a separate point.

So we say:
- Menstrual and lochial blood causes major ritual impurity.
- AB blood when it exits the vagina causes minor ritual impurity.
- Whether this blood is menes, lochia or AB, it is always impure

6.      How far does the white cotton need to be inserted to check ourselves?
When a woman squats, the outside of her private part will show and this is where she should be checking internally.  What shows by squatting differs for a virgin and a non-virgin.

Next Lesson:  Unlawful Matters In Menstruation and Lochia (Insya Allah)


  1. Assalamualaikum,

    1. It is said that normal vaginal discharge is pure. Can we then pray with some staining of the discharge on our undergarment or does it need to be changed even if there was a little discharge found on it?

    Yes, no need to change even if a lot because it is pure.

    - My question : Does this mean, discharge breaks wudhu'( because whatever comes out of the vagina breaks wudhu. But there is no need to change the undergarment because the discharge itself is pure? ( Conclusion - Just renew the wudhu and she can still wear the stained undergarment?)

  2. Wa'alaikumussalam warahmatullah,


    Have a go at the 5th question of T.Y.U. for this lesson (ie. Lesson 1).

    If after the answer is revealed and you are still unclear, please let me know and I will try my best to clarify things for you, insya Allah.