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  • Acts That Correspond to Human Nature

    God has chosen certain acts for all of His Prophets and their followers to perform. These acts, are known as sunan al-fitra (acts required by human nature), are as follows:


    This prevents dirt from getting on one's penis and also makes it easy to keep clean. The Shafi'i scholars maintain that it should be done on the seventh day, although it is permissible to do it later.

    Impure Hair

    Shaving pubic hairs and pulling out underarm hairs. Doing so is sunna. However, it is enough to trim or pull it out.

    Personal Grooming

    Clipping fingernails, trimming and shaving the moustache , and keeping the beard tidy. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of God, upon whom be God's blessings and peace, said, "Five things are part of one's fitra: Shaving the pubic hair, circumcision, trimming the moustache, removing any underarm hair, and trimming the nails." (Muslim, "Tahara," 49) A moustache should not be so long that food particles, drink, and dirt accumulate in it. If one grows a beard, it should not be untidy.

    Honoring and combing one's hair.Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said: "Whoever has hair should honor it" (Abu Dawud, "Tarajjul," 3:4163). Cutting one's hair off is permissible, and so is letting it grow if one honors it.

    Leaving gray hairs

    Leaving gray hairs in place.This applies to both men and women. 'Amr ibn Shu'ayb related, on the authority of his father from his grandfather, that the Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, said: "Do not pluck the gray hairs, as they are a Muslim's light. A Muslim never grows gray in Islam except that God writes for him, due to that, a good deed, raises him a degree, and erases for him, due to that, one of his sins" (Ibn Hanbal, 2:179; Tirmidhi, "Adab," 56).

    Dyeing one's gray hair.According to the accepted opini on, dyeing one's gray hair by using henna, red dye, yellow dye, and so on is permissible, provided that the dyes are religiously allowable.

    Using perfume

    Using musk and other perfumes that are free of alcohol and similar forbidden things is highly advisable, for they are pleasing to the soul and beautify the atmosphere.

  • Istihadha (Non-menstrual Vaginal Bleeding)

    In some women, bleeding never stops; in others, it continues for longer than normal. This blood is called istihadha. Likewise, any blood coming before puberty and after menopause is also considered istihadha.

    A woman with this condition should calculate when her period would normally end, and then stop praying during the days of her calculated period and follow all of the other menstruation-related rules. For the rest of the days, her bleeding should be treated as istihadha. If she does not have a regular period or does not remember when it used to occur, but can distinguish between the two kinds of blood based on color, thickness, and smell (i.e., menstrual blood is dark, thick, and has a strong odor, while istihadha is bright red, thin, and less disagreeable in smell), she must act accordingly. If she does not have a regular period and cannot distinguish between the two types of blood, she must consider the blood coming for 3 to 10 days every month as menstruation and calculate it from the time she first noticed her vaginal bleeding.

    There is no difference between a woman beset by istihadha and one who has a complete cessation of menstrual flow, except as follows:

    • If the first woman wants to perform wudu' (ritual ablution), she should wash the blood from her vaginal area and then apply a menstrual pad or wrap the area with a clean rag on top of a wad of cotton to catch the blood. Any blood coming out after that is of no account.
    • She must perform wudu' for every obligatory prayer.
  • Menstruation and Post-childbirth Bleeding

    Menstruation is a natural type of blood that flows at regular intervals from a woman's uterus after puberty. God has laid down certain rules in connection with this, as a concession to the woman, in consideration of her condition.

    Menstruation usually lasts 3 to 10 days and nights, varying from woman to woman. Most women have a regular number of days for their monthly menstrual period. The number of days may fluctuate and the period might come a little early or a little late. So when a woman sees menstrual blood, she should consider herself to be menstruating. When it stops, she should consider herself clean. If more blood appears after her menstrual period has ended, but does not have the same color as menstrual blood, it should not be considered as menstruation

    Post-childbirth bleeding is the blood that comes during and after childbirth. It may begin to come 2 or 3 days before delivery and be accompanied by labor pains. There is no minimum limit as to how long a woman will bleed, but generally the upper limit is within 40 days.

    Women are prohibited from performing certain acts while they are in this condition, such as follows:

    • She cannot pray (salat) after she begins to bleed and does not have to make up any missed prayers.
    • She cannot observe any obligatory (Ramadan) or supererogatory fasts. She must make up the obligatory fasting days after regaining her ritual cleanliness. If bleeding begins during a supererogatory fasting day upon which she had intended to fast, she must make it up.
    • She can do all pilgrimage rites except circumambulating the Ka'ba (tawaf).
    • She should avoid mosques or places of worship, and cannot touch the Qur'an, whether the original or in translation. She cannot recite it from memory, but can read the verses of prayer and supplication with the intention of praying. (She cannot perform salat but can supplicate and recite the prayers mentioned in the Qur'an with the intention of saying prayers or making supplications.)
    • A man cannot have sexual intercourse with his wife while she has post-childbirth bleeding, for she is not allowed to make herself available to him. However , he can kiss, hug, or touch her anywhere besides the pubic region. It is better and highly advisable to avoid the area between the navel and the knees.
    • When a menstruating woma n stops bleeding, she must perform a complete ghusl (major ablution). After this, she must resume praying and fasting, can enter the mosque, make tawaf, recite the Qur'an, and engage in allowable sexual intercourse. She must make up the fasting days that she missed during Ramadan, but not the prayers. The same rules apply to women in post-childbirth bleeding.
  • Types of Impurities

    1. Najasa refers to impure substances that Muslims must avoid and wash off after coming into contact with them. God says: Purify your raiment (74:4) and: God loves those who repent and who purify themselves (2:222).
    2. Animals that died naturally (e.g., not killed in the Islamic manner) are impure, as is anything cut off a live animal. However, dead sea animals and those that have no flowing blood (e.g., bees and ants) are not impure. The bones, horns, claws, fur, feathers, and skin of dead animals, except for pigs, are pure.
    3. Any blood that flows from a person's or an animal's body (e.g., blood from a killed animal or menstrual blood) is impure. However, blood that remains in the veins is permissible. Also, any blood that remains in edible meat, livers, hearts, and spleens is not impure, provided that the animal was sacrificed in the Islamic way.
    4. A person's vomit, urine , excrement, wadi (a thick white secretion discharged after urination), mazi (a white sticky fluid that flows from the sexual organs when thinking about sexual intercourse, foreplay, and so on), prostatic fluid, and sperm is impure. However, according to some, sperm is not impure but should be washed off if it is still wet, and scratched off if it is dry. Any part of human flesh is impure.
    5. The urine, saliva, and blood of all animals whose meat is prohibited, and the excrement of all animals except birds whose meat is allowable, are impure.
    6. The excrement of poultry (i.e., geese, hens, ducks) is impure.
    7. Pig and alcohol are impure.
    8. Dogs are considered impure. Any container that a dog has licked must be completely washed and sterilized. If a dog licks a pot that has dry food in it, what it touched and what surrounds it must be thrown away. The remainder may be kept, as it is still pure. A dog's hair is considered pure.
    9. The impurities mentioned are considered "gross impurity" (najasat al-ghaliza). Any amount of them contaminates whatever it touches. However, if it is on person's body or clothes when he or she is praying, or on the ground or mat where he or she is praying, its amount is taken into consideration. Any solid filth weighing more than 3 grams, and any liquid more than the amount that spreads over a person's palm, invalidates the prayer.
    10. The urine of horses and domestic or wild animals whose meat is allowed to eat is weak impurity (najasat al-khafifa). When more than one-fourth of a limb or one-fourth of one's clothes are smeared with it, the prayer is in-validated.
  • Useful Points about Purification

    1. If an unknown liquid falls on a person, there is no need to ask about it or to wash one's clothes.
    2. If a person finds something moist on his or her body or clothes at night and does not know what it is, he or she does not need to smell it in order to identify it.
    3. Clothes that have street mud on them do not have to be washed.
    4. If a person finishes praying and sees some previously unseen impurity on his or her clothes or body, or was aware of but forgot about them, his or her prayer does not have to be repeated.
    5. If a person cannot determine what part of his or her clothes contains the impurity, the whole garment should be washed, for "if an obligation can be fulfilled only by performing another related act, that act also becomes obligatory."
    6. If a person mixes pure clothes with impure clothes (and cannot tell them apart), he or she should investigate the matter and pray once in one of the clothes.
    7. It is not proper to carry something that has God's Name upon it while going to the bathroom, unless he or she is afraid of losing it or having it stolen.
    8. One should not talk in the bathroom, respond to a greeting, or repeat what the muezzin is saying. One may speak if there is some necessity. In the event of sneezing, one should praise God silently by moving his or her lips.
    9. One should neither face nor turn his or her back on the qibla while answering a call of nature, especially if in an open area.
    10. One should seek a soft and low piece of ground to protect against any impurity. The Prophet said: "When one of you urinates, he should choose the proper place to do so."
    11. One should avoid shaded places and places where people walk and gather.
    12. One should not answer a call of nature in bathing places or in still or running water.
    13. One should not urinate while standing, though some allow it.
    14. One must remove any impurities from one's clothes and body after relieving oneself.
    15. One should not clean himself or herself with the right hand.
    16. One should remove any bad smell from one's hands after answering a call of nature.
    17. One should enter the bathroom with the left foot, saying: "I seek refuge in God from noxious male and female beings (devils)," and exit with one's right foot, saying: "O God, I seek your forgiveness."
    18. After a man has relieved himself, he should wait until the urine stops completely and make sure that none of it has fall en onto his clothes. This is called istibra (seeking full purification). Ibn 'Abbas related that the Messenger of God, upon him be God's blessings and peace, passed by two graves and said: "They are being punished, but not for a great matter (on their part). One of them did not clean himself from urine, and the other used to spread slander." (Tirmidhi, "Tahara," 53) To erase all doubt, the person should sprinkle his penis and underwear with water.




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