Ramadan Like Never Before – Have a Solid Plan

Verse By Verse Qur'an Study Circle


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

We are going to set five major goals for Ramadan.

A goal without a plan is just a wish.

Here are some examples for you to create your own Ramadan plan

Now, for example (you live in the West), you are at work and it is prayer time, where are you going to pray? Conference room, outside or can you go to the masjid? Make arrangements right now. 

You can also plan on which Surah you are going to recite in which prayer. 

Setting Our Ramadan Goals

GOAL NUMBER ONE – Fasting at the Best Level
Levels of Fasting 

LEVEL ONE (Ordinary level/Bare minimum) – Not drinking or eating and refraining from fulfilling sexual desires

LEVEL TWO (Special level/Better than previous level) – Controlling one’s gaze, tongue, hands, feet, hearing, and other parts of the body from committing sinful…

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Role of Muslim women in the development of the Islamic sciences

“In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful”

An African proverb says, “Educate a boy and we educate one person. Educate a girl and we educate a family, a whole nation.”

Islam stresses education more than any other religion and considers it an essential right of every human without discriminating on the basis of gender. Women’s education is as important as men’s for the sustainability and progress of a society. The world is surprised to find that there are many Muslim women scholars who played an active role in the intellectual and social development of Muslim communities. Although the role of women scholars in Hadith Sciences is highlighted, studies show that women also contributed significantly to fields like theology, jurisprudence, literature, technology, calligraphy, medicine and many crafts that we recognize and admire as Islamic. Below is an overview of the contributions made by female Muslim scholars over the Islamic period.

Early Islamic Era: From the earliest days of Islam, women played a vital role in preservation and cultivation of Hadith. They attended prayers and sermons in Prophet’s ﷺ mosque and learnt from him in public gatherings. After his death, Sahabah used to approach Ummhat-ul-Momineen who never felt shy to guide them with their knowledge. In this regard, names of A’ishah , Hafsah, Umm Habibah, Maymunah, Umm Salamah, and Safiyah bint Huyay are renowned (May Allah be pleased with all of them, Ameen). A’ishah R.A has an eminent place in the Islamic history as a major narrator of ahadith. She praised Ansari women for being open to asking issues related to women that keep benefiting the Ummah. Other female companions of Prophet ﷺ also left their mark in history. Among the successors, women remained dynamic contributors to the Muslim civilization. Umm-ud-Darda Sughrah (Death: 81/700 CE) was a taba’iyyah (who was Muslim follower and contemporary of sahaba and born after Prophet’s ﷺ death) and a prominent jurist from Damascus of the 7th century who is considered to be superior to prominent hadith scholars like Ibn Sireen and Hasan al-Basari. She was fiqh teacher of caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan. Hafsah bint-Sireen [1] learned many ahadith from sahabi Anas ibn Maalik and was very proficient in Tafseer and Quran recitation. A’bida Al-Madaniyah (8th-century scholar) was a freed slave and wife of the Spanish hadith scholar Habib Duhan. She had a prominent place by memorizing traditions from great hadith scholars of Madina and related more than 10,000 ahadith on the authority of her teachers [2]. Fatima Al-Batayahiyyah [3] was a well-known scholar of the 8th century and taught Sahih Bukhari in Damascus. Leading male scholars of the time came from afar to attend her lectures. A’ishah bint Sa’d bin Abi Waqas, daughter of the famous Sahabi, was so learned that Imam Malik, Hakim ibn Utaybah, and Ayyub as Sakhtiyani were among her students.Read More »

The Lost Female Scholars of Islam

At the time Eileen Collins became the first woman to command the space shuttle, some Muslims were debating the right of women to drive a car on the road. This disparity in the level of public discourse on the rights of women and role of women confront Muslim societies. New findings by a scholar at Oxford on the historical role of women may help Muslims forge a new perspective but still remain true to the Prophetic traditions. Mehrunisha Suleman and Afaaf Rajbee report.

If you call a man a thief long enough, he will start to think he really is a thief. Likewise, if you call a child stupid all the time, she will grow up thinking s/he really is stupid. This swindle of self-perception describes the deep seated anxiety surrounding women in Islam. The sustained media and academic portrayal of Islam has been that of a sexist, patriarchal religion that subjugates women through implicit assumptions of their inferiority. The corrective efforts to this perceived sexism have been shaped by conservatism and radicalism alike. Muslim feminists throw women forward as the bastion of a new, gender-less Islam, free from the shackles of male scholarship and propelling them forth to become imams and state leaders. At the same time, one can find countless imams from the Asian subcontinent who will readily declare women’s rights as a pernicious Western import, against which the best defence is to keep them inside the home and away from places of work and education. In this way, there may be little that separates misogynistic mullahs from progressive feminists: both are reactions to a crisis of confidence in their own faith. The social and political upheavals of the past c e n t u r y h a v e shaken the ummah to the very core – to the point that commentators cannot seem to defend the most basic social relationship between men and women. Amidst these celebrations and condemnations of Islam’s supposed misogynism, Shaykh Mohammad Akram Nadwi’s study of Al Muhaddithat: the women scholars of hadith is a timely reminder that the gender issue need not be a problem in Islam. The portrayal in the media of Islam as the cause of the subordination of women was a key inspiration for the Shaykh to embark on his decade long study. Currently a research fellow at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, he found himself confronted with disagreements amongst Muslims about their own history. There was a gaping need to seek out the real historical record on women’s place in the Islamic tradition.

There are widely cited arguments that the male gender bias in Islamic scholarship has affected the interpretations of the Qur’an and hadith. But the historical records show examples of fatwas issued by male jurists that were materially adverse to men and in favour of women. Furthermore, many of the testaments of excellent female scholarships have been recounted by their male students. Imam Dhahabi noted that amongst female narrators of hadith, there were none found to be fabricators. Women’s scholarly integrity and independence were unimpeachable. Naturally, any sexist male would have a problem admitting to these facts. Since women today participate so little in the teaching of Hadith and the issuing of fatwas, there is a wide misconception that historically they have never played this role. As Shaykh Akram describes, “when I started, I thought there may be thirty to forty women,” but as the study progressed, the accounts of female scholars kept growing and growing, until eventually there were no less than 8,000 biographical accounts to be found. Such vast numbers truly testify to the huge role that women have played in the preservation and development of Islamic learning since the time of the blessed Prophet Muhammad. The women encountered by Shaykh Akram were far from mediocre when compared to men, indeed, some excelled far beyond their male contemporaries. There were exceptional women who not only actively participated in society but also actively reformed it. Most striking was the high calibre of their intellectual achievements and the respect that they received for this.

Apart from well-known figures, including Ayesha Siddiqa, the daughter of Abu Bakr, the grandeur of forgotten scholars is rekindled in the work. Fatima Al Batayahiyyah, an 8th century scholar taught the celebrated work of Sahih al Bukhari in Damascus. She was known as one of the greatest scholars of that period, demonstrated especially during the Hajj when leading male scholars of the day flocked from afar to hear her speak in person. A beautiful picture is painted of her in an Islam that has been long forgotten – a distinguished, elderly woman teaching her students for days on end in the Prophet’s mosque itself. Whenever she tired, she would rest her head on the Prophet’s grave and continue to teach her students as the hours wore on. A n y w o m a n visiting the Prophet’s mosque now will know the frustration of not even being able to see the blessed Prophet’s grave, let alone rest their head on its side wall.

Another, Zainab bint Kamal, taught more than 400 books of Hadith in the 12th century. Her “camel loads” of texts attracted camel loads of students. She was a natural teacher, exhibiting exceptional patience which won the hearts of those she taught. With such a towering intellectual reputation, her gender was no obstacle to her teaching in some of the most prestigious academic institutes in Damascus.

Then there was Fatimah bint Muhammad al Samarqandi, a jurist who advised her more famous husband on how to issue his fatwas. And Umm al-Darda, who as a young woman, used to sit with male scholars in the mosque. “I’ve tried to worship Allah in every way,” she wrote, “but I’ve never found a better one than sitting around debating with other scholars.” She became a teacher of hadith and fiqh and lectured in the men’s section. One of her students was the caliph of Damascus. The sheer hard work and dedication to Islam by these women is unfathomable by standards today – but they also had some biological advantages against men. Female muhaddi that were often sought after by students to learn hadith because of their longer lifespan – which shortened the links in the chains of narration. Although Shaykh Akram’s study focuses on the narrators of Hadith, he found that women s c h o l a r s had also contributed significantly in teaching “theology, logic, philosophy, calligraphy and many of the crafts that we recognise and admire as Islamic.”

The presence of female teachers alone does not do justice to the importance of women in Islamic history. The Qur’an, as originally recorded on parchments and animal bones, was entrusted to Hafsah, daughter of Umar. It was with the help of these preserved records that Caliph Uthman disseminated six standardised versions of the Qur’an to the major political and cultural centres in the Islamic realm. He ordered all non-standardised editions to be burned, an act that indicates the immense trust in Hafsah’s competence and character. The validity of women’s teachings was never doubted by the Companions on account of their gender, or by any respected scholar since.

Considering Islam’s teachings on the fundamental equality of men and women, Shaykh Akram’s work should really be no surprise. The Prophet taught that there is no difference in worth between believers on account of their gender. Both have the same rights and duties to learn and teach – from memorising and transmitting the words of the Qur’an and Hadith to the interpretation of these sources and giving counsel to fellow Muslims through fatwas (legal opinions). Women have the same duty as men to encourage the good and restrain the evil. It follows quite logically from this that if they cannot become scholars and be capable of understanding, interpreting and teaching, they cannot fulfil their duty as Muslims. If the subjugation of women is not the result of Islamic teachings, then why are there such gross violations of women’s rights in the Muslim world today? Relegating the Muslim woman only to the role of a mother and housewife is a relatively modern phenomenon (didn’t Ayesha lead an army and didn’t Umm Salama avert a crisis at Hudaybiyyah?). The definitive cause to this complex and multi-faceted problem is heavily debated, but a few contributing factors are worth tracing here. The hegemony of Western civilisation in the modern world brings with it an inevitability that the Muslim world will fall victim to its own weaknesses. Women have always had a problematic position in the Judeo-Christian tradition, the most obvious example being the Biblical account of Adam and Eve’s fall from the Garden. The source of mankind’s original sin is placed squarely on Eve, who represents the weaker sex in the parable (the pains of childbirth have traditionally been regarded as atonement for this original sin in the Christian faith).

Theological precedents aside, the equality of men and women has come late in the day to Western Europe, with the status of women as “human” being debated in the 16th century and equal legal rights to men only being established by the 19th and 20th centuries. Misogynism was internationalised, as Aisha Bewley, writer and translator of the Qur’an describes, by western colonial authorities who excluded women from teaching in mosques and assuming political roles in the Muslim societies they colonised. “The lens through which the West viewed Muslim women was already a distorted one – and o n c e imposed or implanted among the Muslims, this viewpoint gradually became an established norm.” As the technologically and scientifically superior western culture impressed Muslim intellectuals, they grew more open to the values that these cultures brought with them.

Finger-pointing at “the West” is a comfortable answer for everyone, but it is all the more important to realise that the fate of the Muslim woman cannot be divorced from the fate of the Muslim community as a whole. The retraction of women from the public sphere is also the result of fear. “Islam’s current cultural insecurity has been bad for both its scholarship and its women,” says Shaykh Akram. “Our traditions have grown weak, and w h e n people are weak, they grow cautious. When they are cautious, they don’t give their women freedoms.” Man’s desire to protect women has gone into overdrive, to the point that it has actually undermined the quality of Muslim communities. When the few women that do break free begin to propagate extreme brands of feminism, the result is a vicious circle of suspicion, fear and oppression.
The revelation of the 8,000 strong history of Muslim women scholars will prompt a variety of reactions from various parties. Misogynists are likely to deny it and attempt to undermine its authenticity. Feminists will be pleased that someone has done the hard work for them. Yet the best lesson is most likely to be found in the motivation behind its writing. Shaykh Akram seeks to bring people back to traditional Islam with the purpose of demonstrating that Islam is not misogynistic and nor were early male scholars biased against women. Accusations that his study encourages free-mixing and the relaxing of modesty are unfounded. It is clear in the introduction to the 40 volumes that the hijab is also the sunnah of the Prophet and “enables women to be present and visible in the public space in a way that is safe and dignified.” Here Shaykh Akram’s status as a learned alim from a prestigious institution (Nadwat al Ulama in Lucknow, India) who has studied Islam in the traditional way stands him in good stead; scholars including Shaykh Yusuf al Qaradawi have been more than willing to acknowledge his research and findings.

The irony of our forgotten women scholars is that they spent their lives in the pursuit of historical facts, whereas Muslims have long forgotten the fact of their contribution. Historical criticism is a fundamental principle in Islam. The Qur’an requires “O believers! If any iniquitous person comes to you with a slanderous tale, verify it, lest you hurt people unwittingly…” (49:6) Questioning the media frenzy on Islam is not just a good idea, but a religious obligation for Muslims to seek out the truth.

Once we have acknowledged the true historical record, that women are not subjugated by Islam and have played a part since the very beginning, we must also move on. Islam was not revealed as a bundle of doctrines delineating women’s rights, human rights or animal rights. Islam confers all of these rights and duties on us when we sincerely accept Allah’s rights. Faith, and not bare-knuckled rationality, permits us to create a society where everyone can have their rights upheld t h r o u g h submission to His Word and His messengers. Centuries of accusations of misogynism have been internalised and turned into reality, making Muslims themselves believe that Islam is fl awed. In a world where some women are kept locked in their homes while others are vying to become presidents, Shaykh Akram’s research should present us with some confidence in the justice of Islam. Not because it proves that Islam has had many women scholars – but that there were many great scholars that happened to be women.


Originally posted on emel.comMehrunisha Suleman and Afaaf Rajbee report.

Polygamy in Islam – The Marriages of Prophet Muhammad — Verse By Verse Qur’an Study Circle

Our beloved Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is often criticized for having more than one wife. A man having excellent virtues as himself was not sent to the world for any other purpose than spreading Islam, purifying the people and teaching the Qur’an. He, by his word and deed, made the teachings of Islam radiate all over […]

via Polygamy in Islam – The Marriages of Prophet Muhammad — Verse By Verse Qur’an Study Circle

Looking Through My Window

Looking Through My Window

Many a long hour I sit in my chair
The window open to let in God’s good
It’s a picturesque view for all to see
Especially the lovely,

Tall ash tree
In the spring it was late starting to sprout
But at last the buds just opened out
Now it is standing majestic and tall
Covered in green leaves,

From which the birds call
I watch it each day in the breeze blowing
Without human aid it simply keeps growing
Telling us God’s help is always there
For everyone who really cares
So look out of your window,

All day long
Then you will feel like singing a song
Of thanks and praise for the one above
Giving us everything,

Especially His love

Source: Looking Through My Window

Am I Materialistic?

Materialism is a common word used frequently when ever we see attachment of a person with possessions or running after the career or to become a millionaire etc.

Do you think a big house, expensive car, branded clothes; a lavish lifestyle can be a source of happiness? This is true if needs are met at a certain point, a person becomes satisfied but life satisfaction is different from the happiness.At a specific level, having more things becomes a liability or a burden. It’s a sad fact of consumer society, that commercialism influences our minds.

At a specific level, having more things becomes a liability or a burden. It’s a sad fact of consumer society, that commercialism influences our minds.
Living a less- materialistic life doesn’t mean to abstain from all pleasures of life. It is actually an attitude to shift the focus away from the possessions so they become less important. A person needs to be less careful about owning more and more focused towards building intangible habits. For instance, adopting good habits, challenging yourself with better goals, making your inner-world healthy etc.

Materialism fills the Void:

Our body does not only require food, and clothes only but it does have much deeper requirement beyond the physical needs. If you are feeling yourself empty or always crave for new stuff and your inner self always thriving for new and exciting things, this is your inner soul alerting you that you are missing some spiritual needs. Filling it with tangible things would be like sand that will sieve out of holes and will again leave you empty.
How do you fill that internal emptiness?
To become acceptable in the society we crave for many things some are:

– Relationships
– Passionate work challenges
– Praiseworthy achievements
– Goals to become rich
– Knowledge

Here are some ideas that to overcome our false attachments:

1) Finding Inner Peace:
*You are a soul and you have a body, as C.S. Lewis said. We are created by a perfect Master who designed a very specific hole inside of our soul which will burn and grow and ache until we seek out the only source that can fill it, i.e. relation with our Master (the Almighty, Allah).
We were created for worship. And whether we know it or not, whether we are aware of what we are doing– and even if we think we have no belief in any god or pure belief in only One God– each of us is worshiping something or someone every single day of our life. It may be our own soul, as the Qur’an talks about the fool who has made his desires his master; it may be money, fame, or power; it may be a desire to be accepted or loved by our friends, community, or family; it may be an overwhelming need to be loved by another human on a romantic level. *

To find our inner peace, every human being is required to understand his purpose of creation, and Quran has explained it very well. (Quran 51:56; 67:2)

2) Hoarding is harmful:

It’s a common behavior to hoard valuables because generally it is believed that an item will be useful for later use, or one has a sentimental attachment. Commonly stored items may be newspapers, magazines, paper, boxes, photographs, household supplies, food, and clothing.
Hoarding can be related to compulsive buying (obsession with shopping), the compulsive acquisition of free items, or the compulsive search for perfect or unique. Islam has forbidden hoarding because it causes harm to people.
To overcome your attachment to things you first need to ask a question to yourself what emotional needs am I trying to satisfy it?
For example, if it is the source of your past memories then fill your present with memories that satisfy your particular need. It ‘ll help you to get rid of your old possessions and on another side, it ‘ll be useful for those who are needier.

3) Relationships and its true value:
Balancing the relationships would be hardest thing for many people. Don’t try to look towards them as possessions. The Quran awakens the spirit of parenting by making us realize that children are not only the pomp and glitter of our lives, but also a trust from Allah in our hands. To maintain any social relationship both parties must have some clear-cut Rights as well as obligations. The relationships are reciprocal. Duties of one side are the Rights of the other side. The key point here is to understand the intrinsic value of this blessing by experiencing them but their love should not overcome your love and devotion for your Creator – Allah the Almighty.

4) Socializing/Fun time:
Your body and soul does have right on you. If you remain busy in a certain routine, you may possibly loose connection with family. So schedule times that you enjoy with people, you love.

5) Sacrifice and Serve:
Sacrifice, generally means something that is given up for the better cause. In reality, it’s a two-way contract, when you do a good deed with right intention your reward is confirmed. If you somehow can’t experience it in this life, surely you ‘ll enjoy its fruits in Hereafter. So, invest your energies in serving others. When you shift your focus from “Me and my” to others”, it effectively helps in reducing materialism.

6) Self- Control:
Everyday we are faced with choices and challenges. By keeping ourselves free, we can be victim of our temptations. Like if a society become obsessed with the top brands, luxurious life, fake standards, they start to celebrate being over the top and posh. Delusion of fashion, race to the next material thing leads to unhealthy circumstances.
Setting some limits can control it and we can see that Islam provides us guidance over this issue. However, we can enjoy our free will but in the more responsible way.

7) Develop good habits:
Building intangible assets can replace your physical ones. For example, good habits, time-management, discipline, and learning can improve your life-style. Judge yourself with ethics and attaining self-respect.

8) Don’t be the slave to your money:
When your income increase doesn’t adopt high standards of living. It might be fun to drive a flashy car and live in a big house, or having an extravagant wedding. Your ego will enjoy the quick boost resulting from spending your money on your desires. But it could chain you especially when your spending leads you into the debt.
The smarter idea is to value your freedom and spend wisely. Less glamorous require fewer mental pressures as well less maintenance. A simple lifestyle gives you the ability to focus on your productivity with better goals.

9) What will go with you?
To prioritize the things, it is better to always think what will matter in the end of life. What will go with us, and what we will leave behind in this world.

Reducing Materialism:

Ending materialism means to develop a balance between physical and spiritual needs by seeing possessions as neutral. Moreover, it is important to understand the purpose of our life is to set our priorities, which will stop our endless chasing after the wind.


References:

To Pray or Not to Pray, That is the Question? (Part 2)

What is that Spotting I get in between my Periods?

This is ISTHIHAAZA.

Like I mentioned earlier in the previous part of this article, a normal menstrual cycle occurs every 28 days, where menstrual bleeding usually lasts for about 4-7 days (+/-). Some women experience menstrual cycles for longer times, some women experience less. Spotting is the vaginal bleeding after your menstrual period has ended and before your next period starts.

You may not notice this spotting (mild bleeding) because it can be light or heavy. It can be a pink or brown spot on your underwear or toilet paper while wiping. Spotting can also be noticed as a blood spot or two, or more, and can even potentially resemble a menstrual period. Spotting can occur for many reasons, ranging from normal to abnormal.

Our main concern here is, can we or can we not pray when this happens? Let’s first recall the definition of HAIZ: HAIZ (menses) literally means something that issues forth or is in running state. It refers to that flow of blood which women experience every month for a given period. Simply put, HAIZ is your period. This is the time that a woman cannot pray, fast, have sexual relations with her husband. Why? Because the blood that is being expelled is your menstrual blood. Meaning it is the blood that your uterus wall is shedding, due to the fact that no fertilization of the egg occurred. It is the discarding of the endometrium. This blood contains cell debris, dead cells, and waste products as your uterus sloughs off the wall/womb it had prepared in case your egg gets fertilized. And since it didn’t (meaning you are not going to be pregnant) your body sheds off that uterus lining. This is your menstrual blood. Since there are cell debris and waste products in it, this blood is considered unclean and impure. And therefore we cannot pray (or fast, etc) during this time.

ISTHIHAAZA is the name given to describe the flow of blood which is not in continuation of menses discharge. It is any blood that is discharged that is not part of menstruation. It is sometimes for a few days and sometimes it covers the rest remaining days of the month. It is a disease/illness and one suffering from it is called a “Mustahazza.” So basically this refers to the bleeding outside of the monthly menstruation.

Another term for this is Abnormal Uterine bleeding (AUB). This can be due to many reasons. The main cause for it these days is a bad diet. Unlike HAIZ (menses), the state of ISTHIHAAZA is a state of purity. Why? Because in AUB or ISTHIHAAZA, the wall of the uterus is not being sloughed off. Here the main problem is due to the fragility of the blood vessels (veins) of the uterus. It can be due to a number of reasons.

It is basically blood leaving from blood vessels (the veins in particular.) It is NOT due to the shedding of the uterus wall. In ISTHIHAAZA, the uterus wall is very much intact, and therefore this blood/spotting is NOT unclean or impure.

Ayesha (RA) narrates:

Fatima bint Abi Hubaish (RA) came to the Prophet (saw) and submitted: Oh Messenger of Allah, I am unable to attain purity from menses, should I give up prayers? Prophet (saw) informed her that it was only blood from the vein and not menses discharge. Therefore when the menses starts, give up prayers and after the usual menses have passed, wash off that blood and resume prayers.

( Bukhari)

OK, so what does that mean for me, a Muslim woman?

We all know (or should know) the duration and details of our menses. If the blood/ spotting continues beyond menses, it comes under ISTHIHAAZA. After the usual days of menstrual bleeding have passed a Mustahaaza (one experiencing spotting/AUB) can take her bath (Ghusl) and carry on with the routine acts of Ibadah. This includes praying, fasting, and even having sexual relations with the husband. It is important to note here, that a woman suffering from ISTHIHAAZA should still perform wudu before each prayer. If she wants to wear a pad, she can put a clean one on before each prayer, wudu, and pray. The discharge/spotting/ISTHIHAAZA that occurs while praying is fine and not considered impure.

Fatima bint-e-Abu Hubaish (RA) relates that she had a prolonged flow of blood (after menses) and the Messenger of Allah stated to her:

During menses the color of blood is dark which can be recognized and when that is the case, then avoid prayer. Otherwise, (when the color of the blood ceases to be dark) then perform ablution and observe prayer for that is the blood from the vein.

( Abu Dawood)

A woman suffering from ISTHIHAAZA can perform all worships in the usual manner after the bath (Ghusl)

Ayesha (RA) relates: Among the consorts of purity, some performed I’tikaaf during the state of Isthihaaza

(Bukhari)

It is also lawful to have sexual intercourse with the wife who is suffering from Isthihaaza after her bath.

Ikrima states: Umme Habiba (RA) was suffering from Isthihaaza. Her husband Abdur Rahman bin Auf (RA) sued to have sexual intercourse with her ( after her bath).

(Abu Dawood)

 

How can I tell the difference between HAIZ (menstrual) blood and ISTHIHAAZA (nonmenstrual or AUB) blood?

HAIZ (menstrual) blood will have the following features:

  •  Darker in color ‧ may contain clots
  •  thicker (due to dead cells, cellular debris etc)
  • may contain an odor
  • may be warmer in temperature
  • some say there will be slight pressure.

ISTHIHAAZA (non-menstrual) blood will have the following features:

  • Bright red in color ‧ thinner (because its blood from a blood vessel) ‧ usually will no odor
  • it is cooler in temperature

What if I still can’t tell the difference?

Sometimes there are situations where we cannot tell whether the blood being discharged is part of our menstrual flow or part of ISTHIHAAZA. Meaning sometimes our menstrual cycles (and menstrual flows) are so habitually irregular each month, that we cannot differentiate when our menstrual flow ended and when ISTHIHAAZA has started. And so in this situation, you’ve already observed the blood for the key features (color, thickness, and odor) but still cannot tell.

What to do here? In this situation, you must recall the date of your last normal period. It might have been several months ago, but try to recall the date of that last normal period/menstrual cycle/menstrual flow. Using that earliest date, try to calculate forward from then, when your period would occur in the subsequent months until today. And depending on that, you can determine what state you are in currently. (HAIZ or ISTHIHAAZA)

(I hope that made sense)

What if my menses have never been normal?

Ok so what if you cannot even recall a time when your menstrual cycle has been normal. Meaning from the day that you first got your period, you have experienced irregular cycles. Always. In this situation, you will not be able to calculate anything, because you have never had a normal cycle. In this situation, one will look to her sisters or mother (closest female blood relative) and follow their cycles. Because if anything your cycles will resemble theirs.

What if I see brown discharge?

So now let’s say, a few days after attaining purity from the menses (after ghusl, after you’ve started to pray) you see some brownish discharge. What does that mean? This is not to be assumed that your period is starting over. This brown discharge usually represents left over menstrual blood that is just being discharged a little late. Brown or even blackish discharge appears towards the end of your period. It just means that the blood is flowing out of the body at a slower rate. Older blood turns brown- or even black and is typically not a sign that anything is wrong. This is basically the tail of your menstrual flow. If you see brownish discharge after you have taken a bath (Ghusl) you can continue to keep praying and fasting.

Umm Atiyya (ra) relates: We did not attach any importance to brown or yellow colored water if it appeared after attaining purity from menses.

(Abu Dawood)

It’s therefore, also important to note, not to hurry into prayers and fasting. As much as we would like to get back to our daily acts of Ibadah, we should give our menses the days they deserve. Our menstrual flow usually starts out as Red/Dark Red, eventually becoming Brown/black, then light brown, deep yellow and then eventually white or colorless. It’s important to wait until you see the white/clear discharge before you resume praying and fasting.

The ladies used to send to Ayesha (RA) a small box containing cotton wool which was slightly tainted yellow.

Ayesha (RA) stated: Until you see clear and clean water do no hurry (in acquiring purity). From this statement Ayesha(RA) meant attaining purity from menses.

(Bukhari) 

What if the bleeding just never stops?

Hamna bint Jahash (RA) relates: I was undergoing constant flow of Isthihaaza blood and I decided to raise this subject before the Prophet ﷺ. According for this I waited on him when he happened to be in the house of my sister Zaineb int Jahash. I said, O Messenger of Allah! I suffer from Isthihaaza and on that account there is incessant and profuse bleeding which is keeping me from prayers and even fasting. What is your verdict? He ﷺ said: I advise you to use a cotton wool for it will absorb the blood. I said: it will not do. He said: Place a tight apparel over it. I said: That too will not help. He said: Use cloth instead of coot wool. I said: even that has failed as the bleeding is so copious.

Then, the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: I tell you two things, you may act on both or either of the two, as you wish, and that will serve you. Isthihaaza is a blood from the devil. Haiz condition lasts for six or seven days, that is destined by Allah. Therefore, leaving this much number of days, have a bath, cleanse yourself free to offer prayers and to observe fast. You may follow this routine in the same manner as other women do in the ordinary circumstance.

(Tirmidhi)

From this, we learn that some women experience some type of bleeding at all times of the month or even continuous profuse bleeding. It goes without saying that in these circumstances, it is important to consult your physician.

But when it comes to your Ibadah, and according to the above hadith, you can do either of two things:

  •  6-7 days can be set as your period. Then you must bath and cleanse yourself (Ghusl), and then the rest of the 23-24 days of the month you may pray and fast.
  • Or you can follow the cycles of your closest female blood relatives (mother or sister) So there you have it. I hope, insh’Allah that this kinda clarified some of your common questions and concerns when it comes to our menstrual cycle, spotting and praying. Again, it is incumbent upon every woman that she track her cycle, know her period/ menstrual flow, and consult a physician for any irregularities.

 …………………………….TO BE CONTINUED………………………….

PART 1 


Written by FeatherB – (She is a Medical Graduate)

Sources:

buoycurrent

Islam QA

The Book of Cleanliness: Compiled by Iqbal Kailani. Translated by Khaja Abdul Muqtader.