The Importance of Mastering the Masā’il of Menstruation

Through the infinite grace and assistance from Allāh Taʿālā alone, He  has granted us the tawfīq to begin this task of sharing important information and masā’il regarding menses (Ḥayḍ), dysfunctional uterine bleeding (Istiḥāḍah) and lochia (Nifās) mainly sourced from “Manhal al Wāridīn”, ʿAllāmah Ibn ʿĀbidīn al-Shāmī’s رحمه الله commentary on Imām Birgivī’s رحمه الله “Dhukhrul Muta’h-hilīn”.

The Importance of Studying The Fiqh of Ḥayḍ In Depth

Imām Birgivī رحمه الله mentions in “Dhukhrul Muta’h-hilīn”:

The fuqahā’ agree that seeking knowledge of ʿilm ḥāl [the knowledge of what is necessary and binding upon one at the present moment] is farḍ upon everyone who believes in Allāh and the last day; both women and men. The knowledge of the [rulings] of blood specific to women, is obligatory upon her and her husband and guardians but this [knowledge of the bloods specific to women] has become “dust, dispersing” (Sūrah Al-Wāqiʿah: 6); it has become abandoned in our time. Rather, it has become something that is not even mentioned. The people of our time [i.e., the author, Brigivī’s era and he passed away in 981 A.H] do not differentiate between menstruation, post-natal bleeding, and dysfunctional uterine bleeding [in many masā’il], nor do they differentiate between valid and invalid bloods and purities. You will see [i.e, know that] the best of them [i.e, most knowledgeable according to himself] suffices on the famous (fiqh) texts [like Qudūrī, Kanz al-Daqā’iq, al-Wiqāyah, and al-Mukhtār which are all concise], and many masā’il of [these three bloods] are not mentioned in them.”

(Note: Parts of ʿAllāmah Shāmī’s commentary are mentioned between the square brackets.)

This statement of Imām Birgivī رحمه الله, highlights the importance of studying the fiqh of ḥayḍ due to the following three reasons:

  1. It is knowledge which is obligatory to seek just like it is obligatory for a person who accepted Islām in the morning to learn and understand the meaning of the Kalimah Shahādah and then if he lives until Ẓuhr, it is obligatory for him to learn the rulings of purity and ṣalāh. [Fatāwā Tātarkhāniyyah]
  2. Although it is obligatory to seek this branch of fiqh, its study has been abandoned.
  3. Even if it is studied, it is not studied in depth.

Other reasons of its importance are as follows:

  • “The validity of many other rulings is based on this such as: ṣalāh, fasting, reading and touching the Qur’āniʿtikāf, entering the Masjidṭawāf of Ḥajj, puberty, divorce, ʿiddah, permissibility of intercourse, lineage.” [ʿAllāmah Shuranbalālī رحمه الله]
  • “It is one of the most important aspects of fiqh because the significance of knowledge is understood by the harm which is caused due to ignorance of that branch of knowledge. Ignorance with regards to the rulings of ḥayḍ causes greater harm than ignorance in any other ruling.” [Manhal al Wāridīn pg. 108] This is so as ignorance and incorrect understanding of these rulings will lead one to leave something that is obligatory or commit something that is forbidden.
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  • It is considered as one of the most detailed, difficult, precise and intricate topics in the study of fiqh.
  • Imām Birgivī رحمه الله mentions in “Dhukhrul Muta’h-hilīn”: “There are three aspects found in the masā’il of ḥayḍ:
  1. Abundance.
  2. Difficulty.
  3. Ikhtilāfāt (differences of opinion).
  • Due to this, the dedication and effort required to grasp these concepts and master this subject are usually lacking.
  • However, as it has become apparent by the points mentioned above, the study of this aspect of fiqh in details is very important, specifically for the scholars as they are responsible for answering the queries of the public.
  • As Mawlānā Ashraf ʿAlī Thanvi رحمه الله states: “Her problem is a very intricate one and difficult to understand. Therefore, ask a big Ālim regarding it and never ask a regular Molvi about it.” [Bahishti Zewar (Urdu) 2/274]
  • This shows that although knowing the basics is essential for the ordinary person, knowing the details is essential for the Ālim. Thus, it is necessary for the Ālim to dedicate himself to studying it in depth and grasp its concepts so that he/she develops the ability to apply their rulings to solve the intricate cases.

Our Objective

Due to the importance of this topic and the lack of knowledge regarding its details, we intend to share detailed, explanatory notes in English based on “Manhal al Wāridīn”, ʿAllāmah Ibn ʿĀbidīn al-Shāmī’s رحمه الله detailed commentary on Imām Birgivī’s رحمه الله comprehensive “Dhukhrul Muta’h-hilīn” in a simplified, reader-friendly manner with charts for every masʿalah.

We hope that this facilitates easier understanding and serves as a beneficial resource for both scholars and students of Islāmic knowledge. We hope that this small effort on our part is accepted by Allāh Taʿālā and it becomes, as Imām Birgivī رحمه الله said, a treasure for us in the Ākhirah.” وبالله التوفيق واليه المستعان.

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