Istihada, what is it?
According to Islamic laws, any blood that a lady sees, that doesn’t match the criteria of Haydh or Nifas, is considered Istihadha. This blood is usually yellowish in color, cold, not thick, and comes out without irritation or burning.
For how long might it continue?
As long as Istihadha is being discharged, the lady is in that status. There is no time limit and it might continue for months. Also, there is no specific time gap between two Istihadhas.
At what age might it appear?
It might appear before the age of puberty until the end of life. So if a lady, after the age of 60 sees any blood, she has to consider it as Istihadha.
Types of Istihadha
Istihadha is divided into three types: little, medium and excessive. Each has its own rules. To recognize the type, at the time of prayer, a lady should insert into her private part a cotton ball and wait for a while. Then, based on the amount of the discharge on the cotton, she will fit in one of these three types:
Little Istihadha (Qalila)
This is when the blood remains on the surface of the cotton ball and does not penetrate into it. The duty of a lady is this state is:
Medium Istihadha (Mutawassita)
If blood seeps in the cotton ball and does not stain the underwear. The duty of a lady is:
Excessive Blood (Kathira)
This is when the blood penetrates through the cotton, soaks it and reaches the underwear. The duty of a lady here is:
Some general notes in Istihadha
The daily prayer should be performed right after the Ghusl or Wudhu and not to be delayed. The lady must prevent the discharge after the Ghusl, until finishing her prayers, by inserting a cotton ball.
What if the type of Istihadha changes?
If the intensity of the blood flow increases, immediately her duties also change to the duties of the new type.
And if the blood flow changes from more to less, for the first prayer the lady should follow the rules as per the previous type that she was in. Prayers after that will be according to the type, she is currently in. For example, if she was in excessive type for the morning prayer, and by noon she became in little type, she will do Ghusl for Dhuhr prayer. Then, for Asr prayer and onward she only makes Wudhu.
A question: if the Istihadha ends, does she need to do another Ghusl?
A lady in little or medium types does not need to do so. But for excessive type, as obligatory precaution, she has to perform Ghusl.
An important note, in case of Hysterectomy which is the surgical removal of the uterus, every vaginal discharge is considered Istihadha. The lady with Hysterectomy can’t have Haydh.
And finally, a lady in Istihadha doesn’t have the restrictions of a lady in Haydh. So, for example she can fast, she can have sexual intercourse, she can enter mosques, And, God forbid, the divorce can take place during her Istihadha.
Note that according to some jurists she can enter mosques or can have sexual intimacy only if she has done her daily duties of Ghusls and Wudhu.
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