In the name of Allah,
Postpartum Bleeding from a Medical Perspective
A woman usually has postpartum bleeding (called “lochia”) for about six weeks after giving birth. This time is needed for uterine involution.
EXPLANATION IN THE SHARIA
Nifass is bleeding that results from pregnant women giving birth. It may occur before, during, or after birth. The utmost recognizable length of nifas according to Islam is forty days, but it may be less for some women. Bleeding after 40 days is Istihadah.
Umm Salamah (.) reported:
The wives of the Prophet (ﷺ) would refrain (from prayer) for forty nights (i.e. days) during the course of bleeding after childbirth. The Prophet (ﷺ) would not command them to complete the prayers abandoned during the period of bleeding[i].
Narrated Umm Salamah, Ummul Mu’minin:
The woman having bleeding after delivery (puerperal haemorrhage) would refrain (from prayer) for forty days or forty nights, and we would anoint our faces with an aromatic herb called wars to remove dark spots[ii].
A pregnant woman sees blood a few days before she gives birth
If blood comes two to three days before birth with signs like discomfort or cramping, it is nifaas blood. If not, it is irregular bleeding, which does not require her to stop fasting or praying.
Kashshaaf al-Qinaa’ (1/219) states: If she sees blood three days or less before the baby is born, along with pain, this is nifaas, like the blood that flows out during birth. Quote ends.
Shaykh Al-Islam Ibn Taymeeyah said: “The blood seen when the woman starts her contractions is Nifass and it is not limited to two or three days.” Contractions must be followed by birth for Nifass blood[iii].
The Permanent Committee was asked to rule on blood discharge five days before birth.
If she saw blood five days before giving birth and had no pains, it was neither menstruation nor postnatal bleeding. It’s just abnormal blood. So, she must fast and pray. If there are other signs that labor is close, like cramps, this is called postnatal bleeding, and she stops praying and fasting because of it. She must make up the fasting days but not the prayers if she becomes pure after giving birth.[iv]
The Hanafi view any blood before birth as istihadah, regardless of labor pain.
According to them the earliest time that nifaas can commence is when at least half of the baby has been born. She must keep praying until then. Bleeding during pregnancy is istihaadhah.
The classical Hanafi book Al Hidaya says:
‘The blood that a pregnant woman sees initially or during childbirth prior to the child’s birth is considered istihadah, even if it is prolonged. Al-Shafi (Allah bless him) said it’s menstrual blood like nifas because both come from the uterus. Our claim is that pregnancy seals the uterus’s mouth, and nifas emerge after the child’s birth[v].
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) was asked: Three days before giving birth, some water came out of her with some pain. Is it nifaas?
He said, “Nifaas is blood, not water.” If it were nifaas, labor pains would start two or three days prior to delivery. The blood that flows out at birth or two or three days before it is called nifaas. It is not nifaas if this happens a long time before birth. However, water is not nifaas[vi]. [paraphrased]
Click here to know: If A Pregnant Lady Fasts And Bleeds
May Allah’s peace and blessings be on the last and final prophet
[i] Grade: Hasan (Al-Albani) Reference: Sunan Abi Dawud 312
[ii] Grade: Hasan Sahih (Al-Albani), Sunan Abi Dawud 311
[iv] Islamic Rulings on Menstruation and Postpartum Condition
Compiled By: Darussalam Edited By: Abdul Rahman Abdullah Publisher & Copyright: Darussalam Publishers page 35]
[v] Al-Hidayah THE GUIDANCE, Burhan Al Din Al Farghani Al Marghinani, Book of Fasting, page 67