Ghusl Haydh

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Ghusl Haydh (Arabic: غسل الحيض) is an ablution that is performed by a woman after her completion of menstruation. Haydh is menstrual discharge that is normally discharged every month for a minimum of 3 days and a maximum of 10 days. Once a woman is free from menstruation, it is obligatory for her to perform the ablution.


Reference in the Qur'an

وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْمَحِيضِ ۖ قُلْ هُوَ أَذًى فَاعْتَزِلُوا النِّسَاءَ فِي الْمَحِيضِ ۖ وَلَا تَقْرَبُوهُنَّ حَتَّىٰ يَطْهُرْنَ ۖ فَإِذَا تَطَهَّرْنَ فَأْتُوهُنَّ مِنْ حَيْثُ أَمَرَكُمُ اللَّهُ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ التَّوَّابِينَ وَيُحِبُّ الْمُتَطَهِّرِينَ

[2:222] And they ask you about menstruation. Say: It is a discomfort; therefore keep aloof from the women during the menstrual discharge and do not go near them until they have become clean; then when they have cleansed themselves, go in to them as Allah has commanded you; surely Allah loves those who turn much (to Him), and He loves those who purify themselves.

References in the Hadith

The duration of haydh is defined by Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as) in a hadith whereby he states that the minimum duration of menstruation is three days, and the maximum is ten days.[1] The signs that indicate that the blood a woman sees is indeed menstruation blood are defined by the blood's warmth, its dark red or black colour and the feeling of pressure and slight burning in the discharge. These signs are taken from a hadith of Im­am al-Sadiq when a woman came to him and asked, "What should a woman do who sees blood on herself but does not know whether it is menstruation or some other type (of blood)?" The Im­am said, "The blood of menstruation is warm, black (or dark‑coloured), and it has pressure and burning sensation," The woman said, "By Allah! If he had been a woman, he could not have added anything further in this (description)![2]

In another tradition, Im­am Muhammad al-Baqir (as) narrates that the Prophet (pbuh) said to one of his wives, "Serve me a drink." She said, "I am in my monthly period." The Prophet said, "Is your menstrua­tion in your hand?"[3] Though the blood that flows during menstruation is najis and prevents women from carrying out certain religious activities, this impurity of menstruation in no way prevents a woman from liv­ing a normal life otherwise.

Types of Women in Haydh

Given that all three signs of menstruation are apparent, a women in haydh can be categorized as follow:

Generally, the zatu l‑'adah women are further defined by three types. Women whose periods occur at a fixed time and for a fixed number of days; women whose periods occur at a fixed time but not for a fixed number of days; and women whose periods occur for a fixed number of days but not at a fixed time.[4]

Forbidden & Recommended Acts


While in a state of menstruation, there are certain acts that become forbidden for a woman, such as prayers and other acts of worship for which wudhu, tayammum or ghusl is necessary. Moreoever sexual intercourse, touching the writing of the Qur'an, staying in a masjid, and fasting also become prohibited, as well as all those acts that are forbidden to a junub.[5] Reciting verses of the Qur'an in which sa­jdah (prostration) is necessary is also forbidden and it is better not to recite even a single verse from those particular chapters.

Since a woman is not allowed to enter any mosque when she is menstruating, naturally she cannot do tawaf of the Ka'bah, nor can she observe I'tikaaf.


While a woman during her menstruation is unable to carry out specific religious activities, it is recommended for her at the time of every prayer, to do wudhu, face the qibla and supplicate. A narration from Imam al-Baqir (as) describes the recommendation as follow:

إذا كانت المرأة طامثا فلا تحل لها الصلاة ، وعليها أن تتوضأ وضوء الصلاة عند وقت كل صلاة ، ثم تقعد في موضع طاهر فتذكر الله عز وجل ، وتسبحه ، وتهلله ، وتحمده ، كمقدار صلاتها ، ثم تفرغ لحاجتها

When the woman is menstruous then salat is not halal for her. And upon her is that she does wudhu of the wudhu of salat at the time of every salat. Then she sits in a pure place and does dhikr of Allah (swt), and does tasbih of Him, and does tahlil of Him, and does tahmid of Him, like the amount of her salat. Then she departs for her need.[6]


  1. Kitabu 't-Tahara, Wasael us-Shia by Shaykh Hurr al-Amili, ed. Abdu 'r‑Ralum ash‑Shirda; vol. 2, Tehran 1401 AH, p. 551
  2. Ibid, p. 537
  3. Ibid, p. 595
  4. The Ritual Ablutions for Women, by Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi
  5. Rules for the Haeez, Islamic Laws by Ayatullah Ali al-Sistani
  6. تفصيل وسائل الشيعة إلى تحصيل مسائل الشّريعة , by Shaykh Hurr al-Amili; volume 2, chapter 40, pg. 345, #2323
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