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Revisiting Islamic Laws of Istiḥāḍa

  • HAGGAI MAZUZ (a1)

Abstract

The Islamic laws pertaining to mustḥāḍa—women who have dysfunctional uterine bleeding (istiḥāḍa)—have been overlooked in the research literature. This article reopens the research discourse on this topic by discussing two related questions: may a mustḥāḍa perform religious obligations and may she have sexual intercourse? The questions are shown to be somewhat related. It is found that jurists conceded the right of a mustḥāḍa to pray but disagreed about why—implying, contrary to previous scholarship, that Islam accommodates different levels of ritual impurity—and that they held divergent views on her having intercourse. By probing and investigating Islamic legal sources, it is shown that research assertions about istiḥāḍa thus far require circumscription and re-examination.

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1 See Mazuz, Haggai, “Menstruation and Differentiation: How Muslims Differentiated Themselves from Jews regarding the Laws of Menstruation”, Der Islam 87/1–2 (2012), pp. 204223; idem, “Islamic and Jewish Law on the Colors of Menstrual Blood”, Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft 164 (2014), pp. 97–106; idem, “The Islamic Ban on Menstruants’ Touching the Qurʾān—Whence?”, Journal Asiatique 303/1 (2015), pp. 131–135; idem, “Islamic Laws of Lochia”, Journal Asiatique 303/2 (2015), pp. 239–246; idem, Menstruation and Its Legislation: The Evolution and Crystallization of the Law of Menses in the Islamic Juristic Tradition. With an introduction by Moshe Sharon (Rama Gan, forthcoming) [in Hebrew].

2 Wensinck, Arent Jan, “Die Entstehung der Muslimischen Reinheitsgesetzgebung”, Der Islam 5 (1914), pp. 6280, at p. 75.

3 Lazarus-Yafeh, Hava, “Between Religious Law in Judaism and Religious Law in Islam: On Some Fundamental and Secondary DifferencesTarbiz 51 (1982), pp. 207225, at p. 216 [in Hebrew].

4 Bousquet, G. H., “Ḥayḍ”, Encyclopaedia of Islam (2nd Edition), 12 vols. (Leiden, 1971), Vol. 3, p. 315.

5 See e.g., ʿAlī b. Muḥammad al-Māwardī, al-Ḥāwī al-Kabīr, 22 vols. (Beirut, 1994), Vol. 1, p. 480.

6 Abī Shayba al-Kūfī, Muḥammad b., al-Kitāb al-Muṣannaf fī ʾl-Aḥādīth waʾl-Āthār, 9 vols. (Beirut, 1989), Vol. 1, p. 150. Cf. Ismāʿīl al-Bukhārī, Muḥammad b., Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, 3 vols. (Cairo, 1950), Vol. 1, p. 82; ʿUmar al-Dāraquṭnī, ʿAlī b., Sunan al-Dāraquṭnī, 2 vols. (Beirut, 1993), Vol. 1, p. 217 (ḥadīth nos. 33–39).

7 See Sharaf Muḥyī al-Dīn al-Nawawī, Yaḥyā b., Rawḍat al-Ṭālibīn, 8 vols. (Beirut, 1992), Vol. 1, p. 247; Taymiyya, Taqī al-Dīn Aḥmad b., Sharḥ al-ʿUmda fī ʾl-Fiqh: Kitāb al-Ṭahāra, 3 vols. (Riyāḍ, 1994), Vol. 1, p. 480; Yūnus al-Buhūtī, Manṣūr b., Kashshāf al-Qināʿ ʿan Matn al-Iqnāʿ, 6 vols. (Riyāḍ, 1968), Vol. 1, p. 202.

8 al-Jazīrī, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān, Kitāb al-Fiqh ʿalā al-Madhāhib al-Arbaʿa, 5 vols. (Beirut, 1969), Vol. 1, p. 130.

9 For a discussion of this matter in great detail, see Mazuz “Islamic Laws of Lochia”, pp. 241–244.

10 See al-Humām, Muḥammad b., b. ʿAbd al-Wāḥid, Sharḥ Fatḥ al-Qadīr liʾl-ʿĀjiz al-Faqīr, 8 vols. (Egypt, 1897), Vol. 1, p. 124; Masʿūd al-Kāsānī, Abū Bakr b., Badāʾiʿ al-Ṣanāʾiʿ fī Tartīb al-Sharāʾiʿ, 6 vols. (Beirut, 1998), Vol. 1, p. 158. Cf. Rajab, Zayn al-Dīn Abū ʾl-Faraj ʿAbd al-Raḥmān b. Aḥmad b., Fatḥ al-Bārī: Sharḥ Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, 10 vols. (Medina, 1996), Vol. 2, p. 53.

11 For legal discussions of the Muslim sages and an analysis of these two topics, see Mazuz, Menstruation and Its Legislation, Chapter 5.

12 Qudāma al-Maqdisī, Abū Muḥammad ʿAbd Allāh b. Aḥmad b. Muḥammad b., al-Mughnī, 9 vols. (Beirut, 1980), 1, p. 409; al-Māwardī, al-Ḥāwī, Vol. 1, p. 532.

13 See Abī Bakr al-Marghīnānī, ʿAlī b., al-Hidāya: Sharḥ Bidāyat al-Mubtadī, 4 vols. (n.p., 2000), Vol. 1, p. 245; al-Kāsānī, Badāʾiʿ al-Ṣanāʾiʿ, Vol. 1, p. 154; Nujaym, ʿUmar b. Ibrāhīm b., al-Nahr al-Fāʾiq: Sharḥ Kanz al-Daqāʾiq, 3 vols. (Beirut, 2002), Vol. 1, pp. 129130; Aḥmad al-Sarakhsī, Muḥammad b., Kitāb al-Mabsūṭ, 30 vols. (Beirut, 1980), Vol. 2, p. 16.

14 On lochia, see Mazuz, “Islamic Laws of Lochia”, pp. 239–246.

15 Rushd, Muḥammad b., Bidāyat al-Mujtahid wa-Nihāyat al-Muqtaṣid (Cairo, 1950), p. 49. On rukhṣa, see M. Kister, J., “On Concessions and Conduct. A Study in Early Ḥadīth”, in Juynboll, G. H. A. (ed.), Studies on the First Century of Islamic Society (Carbondale, 1982), pp. 89107; Peters, Ruud, “Rukhṣa”, Encyclopaedia of Islam (2nd Edition), 12 vols. (Leiden, 1995), Vol. 8, pp. 595596; Mazuz, “Menstruation and Differentiation”, pp. 211–213.

16 ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Dārimī, ʿAbd Allāh b., Sunan al-Dārimī (Medina, 1966), p. 170 (ḥadīth nos. 823, 827, 829).

17 al-Ṣanʿānī, ʿAbd al-Razzāq, al-Muṣannaf, 12 vols. (Beirut, 2000), Vol. 1, p. 239 (ḥadīth no. 1186).

18 Translation taken from The Koran Interpreted. Edited by A. J. Arberry (London, 1964).

19 Aḥmad al-Anṣārī al-Qurṭubī, Muḥammad b., al-Jāmiʿ li-Aḥkām al-Qurʾān, 10 vols. (Beirut, 1965), Vol. 3, p. 86. Cf. al-Dārimī, Sunan, p. 170 (ḥadīth no. 836).

20 al-Ṣanʿānī, al-Muṣannaf, Vol. 1, p. 240 (ḥadīth no. 1195); al-Dārimī, Sunan, p. 170 (ḥadīth no. 834).

21 al-Ḥusayn al-Bayhaqī, Abū Bakr Aḥmad b., Kitāb al-Sunan al-Kubrā, 10 vols. (Haydarabad, 1925), Vol. 1, p. 329.

22 al-Qurṭubī, al-Jāmiʿ li-Aḥkām al-Qurʾān, Vol. 3, p. 86. Cf. al-Marghīnānī, al-Hidāya, Vol. 1, p. 246.

23 See Sābiq, al-Sayyid, Fiqh al-Sunna, 3 vols. (Beirut, 1995), Vol. 1, p. 496. Cf. al-Ṣanʿānī, al-Muṣannaf, Vol. 1, p. 239 (ḥadīth no. 1190).

24 al-Dāraquṭnī, Sunan, Vol. 1, p. 220 (ḥadīth no. 58); Anas, Mālik b., al-Muwaṭṭaʾ (Beirut, 1999), p. 75 (67); Ibn Abī Shayba, al-Muṣannaf, Vol. 1, pp. 150–151; al-Ashʿath al-Sijistānī, Abū Dāʾūd Sulaymān b., Sunan Abī Dāʾūd, 2 vols. (Cairo, 1952), Vol. 1, p. 72.

25 As far as I can ascertain, there is no source that lists all the actions; the following description relies on the multiple sources that are mentioned in this article.

26 Wensinck, “Die Entstehung der Muslimischen Reinheitsgesetzgebung”, p. 75.

27 al-Dāraquṭnī, Sunan, Vol. 1, p. 219 (ḥadīth no. 65).

28 al-Dārimī, Sunan, p. 170 (ḥadīth no. 835); al-Bayhaqī, al-Sunan al-Kubrā, Vol. 1, p. 329.

29 al-Qurṭubī, al-Jāmiʿ li-Aḥkām al-Qurʾān, Vol. 3, p. 86.

30 al-Ṣanʿānī, al-Muṣannaf, Vol. 1, p. 240 (ḥadīth no. 1190); al-Dārimī, Sunan, p. 170 (ḥadīth no. 822).

31 Abū Dāʾūd, Sunan, Vol. 1, p. 74; al-Bayhaqī, al-Sunan al-Kubrā, Vol. 1, p. 329.

32 al-Dārimī, Sunan, p. 170 (ḥadīth nos. 823–825, 830–831).

33 al-Ṣanʿānī, al-Muṣannaf, Vol. 1, p. 239 (ḥadīth nos. 1186–1887).

34 al-Ṣanʿānī, al-Muṣannaf, Vol. 1, p. 239 (ḥadīth no. 1188); al-Dārimī, Sunan, p. 170 (ḥadīth no. 823).

35 al-Dārimī, Sunan, p. 170 (ḥadīth no. 826).

36 al-Qurṭubī, al-Jāmiʿ li-Aḥkām al-Qurʾān, Vol. 3, p. 86.

37 Aḥmad al-ʿAynī, Abū Muḥammad Maḥmūd b., al-Bināya fī Sharḥ al-Hidāya, 10 vols. (Beirut, 1990), Vol. 1, p. 662. Cf. al-Qurṭubī, al-Jāmiʿ li-Aḥkām al-Qurʾān, Vol. 3, p. 86.

38 On Istiḥsān, see Hallaq, Wael, The Origins and Evolution of Islamic Law (Cambridge, 2005), pp. 144145. According to some opinions, the permission to have intercourse with a mustḥāḍa stems from rukhṣa. See Maghen, Ze'ev, “Close Encounters: Some Preliminary Observations on the Transmission of Impurity in Early Sunni Jurisprudence”, Islamic Law and Society, 6/3 (1999), pp. 348392, at p. 384, n.96. Notably, there are some commonalities between istiḥsān and rukhṣa.

39 Ibn Rushd, Bidāyat al-Mujtahid, p. 49.

40 al-Qurṭubī, al-Jāmiʿ li-Aḥkām al-Qurʾān, Vol. 3, p. 86.

41 Ibn Rushd, Bidāyat al-Mujtahid, p. 49.

42 al-ʿAynī, al-Bināya, Vol. 1, p. 662.

43 Elsewhere I challenge this view in greater details. See Mazuz, “Islamic Laws of Lochia”, pp. 245.

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Revisiting Islamic Laws of Istiḥāḍa

  • HAGGAI MAZUZ (a1)

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