For a woman who has made a miscarriage, is there a period of waiting to recover? How should be acted if it is not sure whether the organs of the child were formed?
Submitted by on Sun, 27/07/2008 - 10:07
Dear Brother / Sister,
There is a spacial situation that women face after childbirth characterized by bleeding in the genital and lasting at most for forty days. This is called recovering after childbirth and this bleeding is called after-childbirth bleeding.
This recovering period changes from woman to woman. For some women this can be as short as even one day. This period finishes with the end of bleeding. There is no minimum time for this period. But the maximum time is forty days. If the bleeding still continues forty days after the birth, this blood is no longer recovering blood, but istihada (vaginal bleeding except menstruation and after-childbirth bleeding).
The cleaning intervals in the period of bleeding after childbirth (forty days) are also counted in this period. For example, if, after the birth, blood comes for ten days and then stops for five days and again starts and comes for ten more days, these twenty five days are all counted in the forty-day waiting/recovering period.
With the miscarriage of a baby whose organs like hands and feet had developed, the recovering period occurs and generally continues for ten to fifteen days.
If the woman does not know whether the baby's organs have developed or not as she has suffered a miscarriage, she acts like this: If the miscarriage happened at the beginning of her menstruation period and blood continued from then on, she absolutely abandons her prayers and fasting as long as her menstruation days. This is because during those days she is either in her monthly period or in afterbirth recovering. And then she takes a bath and performs her prayers as long as the cleaning period. Then, she again abandons her prayers during her period because she is still either in afterbirth recovering or in monthly period. She acts in this way during these forty days performing her prayers in cleaning periods but not in menstruation periods.
If she has suffered a miscarriage after her monthly period: She performs her prayers during her cleaning days as the miscarriage occurred during these cleaning days. And then during the days in her monthly period she absolutely abandons the prayers because she is either in afterbirth recovering or in monthly period.
The women in afterbirth recovering cannot perform the prayers, cannot fast, cannot read and hold the Quran. They also cannot circumambulate the Ka'bah in Mecca, cannot enter mosques and cannot get into sexual relation with their husband. The husband of a woman in afterbirth recovering cannot benefit from his wife's this part of body: from the belly down to the lower part of the knees, unless there is a piece of cloth covering this part. If there is a covering there, provided that there is no intercourse, he can caress and make love.
The obligatory daily prayers that could not be performed during the afterbirth recovering are not compensated later on, but the fasting days that are missed are compensated afterwards.
After the afterbirth bleeding stops, the woman gets a ghusl (full ablution of the whole body) and starts to perform her worship and prayers. She can start sexual relation with her husband only after she takes a bath or after at least one prayer's time has passed since the blood stopped.
The woman in afterbirth recovering can recite the verses that are prayers with the intention of praying to God. She can remember God and praise Him. The meals she cooks, the leftovers of what she eats and drinks are clean. Her husband can sleep with her on the same bed and can benefit from her to a certain extent as is explained above. There are certain reasons and purposes why women are kept away from certain prayers and religious duties at this time. In this period, on the one hand, because of the certain liquids that women discharge, they are not in a state of complete cleanliness. On the other, they need rest because they are ill and tired. One of the reasons that sexual relation is forbidden during that time is that the woman is not ready for such a relation physically and psychologically. Furthermore, the relation at this time is also medically dangerous. This temporary prohibition in sexual life also causes love and longing between couples to increase.
Menstruation and Post-childbirth Bleeding
Menstruation is a natural type of blood that flows at regular intervals from a woman’s uterus after puberty. God has laid down certain rules in connection with this, as a concession to the woman, in consideration of her condition.
Menstruation usually lasts 3 to 10 days and nights, varying from woman to woman. Most women have a regular number of days for their monthly menstrual period. 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, she should consider herself to be menstruating. When it stops, she should consider herself clean. If more blood appears after her menstrual period has ended, but does not have the same color as menstrual blood, it should not be considered as menstruation.
Post-childbirth bleeding is the blood that comes during and after childbirth. It may begin to come 2 or 3 days before delivery and be accompanied by labor pains. There is no minimum limit as to how long a woman will bleed, but generally the upper limit is within 40 days.
Women are prohibited from performing certain acts while they are in this condition, such as follows:
* She cannot pray (salat) after she begins to bleed and does not have to make up any missed prayers.
* She cannot observe any obligatory (Ramadan) or supererogatory fasts. She must make up the obligatory fasting days after regaining her ritual cleanliness. If bleeding begins during a supererogatory fasting day upon which she had intended to fast, she must make it up.
* She can do all pilgrimage rites except circumambulating the Ka‘ba (tawaf).
* She should avoid mosques or places of worship, and cannot touch the Qur’an, whether the original or in translation. She cannot recite it from memory, but can read the verses of prayer and supplication with the intention of praying. (She cannot perform salat but can supplicate and recite the prayers mentioned in the Qur’an with the intention of saying prayers or making supplications.)
* A man cannot have sexual intercourse with his wife while she has post-childbirth bleeding, for she is not allowed to make herself available to him. However, he can kiss, hug, or touch her anywhere besides the pubic region. It is better and highly advisable to avoid the area between the navel and the knees.
When a menstruating woman stops bleeding, she must perform a complete ghusl (major ablution). After this, she must resume praying and fasting, can enter the mosque, make tawaf, recite the Qur’an, and engage in allowable sexual intercourse. She must make up the fasting days that she missed during Ramadan, but not the prayers. The same rules apply to women in post-childbirth bleeding.
Istihadha (Non-menstrual Vaginal Bleeding)
In some women, bleeding never stops; in others, it continues for longer than normal. This blood is called istihadha. Likewise, any blood coming before puberty and after menopause is also considered istihadha.
A woman with this condition should calculate when her period would normally end, and then stop praying during the days of her calculated period and follow all of the other menstruation-related rules. For the rest of the days, her bleeding should be treated as istihadha. If she does not have a regular period or does not remember when it used to occur, but can distinguish between the two kinds of blood based on color, thickness, and smell (i.e., menstrual blood is dark, thick, and has a strong odor, while istihadha is bright red, thin, and less disagreeable in smell), she must act accordingly. If she does not have a regular period and cannot distinguish between the two types of blood, she must consider the blood coming for 3 to 10 days every month as menstruation and calculate it from the time she first noticed her vaginal bleeding.
There is no difference between a woman beset by istihadha and one who has a complete cessation of menstrual flow, except as follows:
* If the first woman wants to perform wudu’ (ritual ablution), she should wash the blood from her vaginal area and 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.
* She must perform wudu’ for every obligatory prayer.
Ghusl (Major Ablution)
Ghusl means major canonical ablution or a complete washing of the body. It becomes obligatory after sexual intercourse, even if only the head of the penis disappears into the vagina. Any discharge of semen, and the completion of menses and post-childbirth bleeding.
Taking ghusl every Friday before the congregational prayer is highly advisable, for the Prophet always did so. Before beginning ghusl, one should make the intention to perform it and, if one will pray after performing it, also the prayer.
Things Forbidden to a Ritually Impure Person
People who are in this state cannot pray, circumambulate the Ka'ba (tawaf), enter a mosque or place of worship unless necessary, or touch the Qur'an or any of its verses except with a clean cloth or something similar.
What Makes One's Ghusl Valid?
* Rinsing the mouth thoroughly so that all of its parts are cleaned properly.
* Rinsing the nose right up to the nasal bone.
* Washing all bodily parts thoroughly, including the hair.
The best way to perform ghusl is as follows:
* Having the intention (niyyat) to cleanse the body from (ritual) impurity while washing oneself.
* Washing the hands up to the wrists three times.
* Washing the private parts thoroughly.
* Removing all filth from all bodily parts.
* Performing ablution.
* Washing all bodily parts three times, including the hair thoroughly. No part, even the size of a pinpoint, is allowed to remain dry. Rubbing and pressing the body is not obligatory.
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