Nifās is the blood which exits from the womb following child-birth.
1. There is no limit for the minimum duration of postnatal bleeding, it can last for a day or even less, but its maximum duration is 40 days. Whatever exceeds 40 days is considered dysfunctional uterine bleeding.
2. It is obligatory for a woman to bathe when her postnatal bleeding stops. She does not have to wait for 40 days to elapse.
3. If bleeding exceeds 40 days for a woman who has given birth before and thus has a bleeding norm, for example, 23 days, she will consider her previous habit of 23 days as postnatal bleeding and the remaining days will be regarded as dysfunctional uterine bleeding. Therefore, she will have to make up the prayers and fasts for the last 17 of the 40 days. If she did not have a previous norm, then the 40 days will be regarded as postnatal bleeding.
4. If after the birth of the child no blood comes out at all, even then it will be necessary to have a bath after the delivery.
5. A woman gave birth to twins; her postnatal bleeding will begin after delivery of the first child.
6. The bleeding of a pregnant woman is considered dysfunctional uterine bleeding.
7. The bleeding of a woman during child-birth before the emergence of half the child is still considered dysfunctional uterine bleeding. However, once more than half of the child comes out, any bleeding thereafter will be regarded as postnatal bleeding. This will be up to 40 days as mentioned above.
8. During labor, if a woman is conscious, she is still required to offer her prayer. If she cannot offer it with the normal postures, she will perform it with gestures (ishāra). However, if, by engaging in prayer, she fears for the life of the child, she can delay her prayer.
9. Bleeding that follows a miscarriage of a fetus that has some limbs formed (usually after four months into the pregnancy, but could occur earlier) will be regarded as postnatal bleeding.
10. If no limbs have formed on the miscarried fetus then the bleeding that occurs after the miscarriage will only be considered menstruation if 15 days have lapsed since her last cycle. The bleeding should also continue for at least three days. If these conditions are not present, it will be considered dysfunctional uterine bleeding.
(The Laws of Menstruation, Postnatal Bleeding, & Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding)
(By Mufti Abdur Rahman Mangera)