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What Is the Difference Between Menstruation and Istihada?

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Question: I noticed some blood in my white discharge a few days ago for two days. Later, I wiped, but there was no trace of blood. Yesterday, I wiped and found some brown discharge, but today it was clean. The area is very dry and clean now with no blood at all. Do note that this is happening almost 2 or 3 weeks after I last had my period. Should I pray? This is unusual for me as my periods are regular.

Answer:

Menstruation or Istihada?

If you have noticed this blood beyond 15 days after your last period ended, this will be considered menstruation in the Shafi`i school. If it has been less than 15 days since your last menstruation, this will be considered istihada.

Insert To Ascertain

It may be that your period is just about to start getting heavy, and you have noticed the very beginning of blood which you may have ever noticed before. If you want to be sure whether there is blood or not, the best way is to insert a piece of white cotton or tissue that will not disintegrate and check the color.

Keep a Record

It is obligatory in some schools of thought to keep a record of when your period starts and stops. It would also be useful to note the days of heavy bleeding and light bleeding, including yellow. Start doing this in a google sheet or little notebook, and you will hopefully find a pattern to the bleeding
and resolve any future issues.

Please consider taking a course on basic fiqh and see these links about menstruation, may Allah reward you for asking and for striving to do the right thing.

Please see:

https://seekersguidance.org/answers/hanafi-fiqh/discolored-menstrual-blood-when-to-stop-praying/

https://seekersguidance.org/courses/absolute-essentials-of-islam-hanafi-getting-started-with-your-belief-and-practice/

https://seekersguidance.org/courses/absolute-essentials-of-islam-shafii-habshis-encompassing-epistle-explained-getting-started-with-your-belief-and-practice/

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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