Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
How would one go about practically maintaining ritual purity for longer periods of time when having vaginal discharge or istihada? As a virgin, it is painful to utilize the likes of dry tampons or cotton balls.
Thank you for your question. Please don’t insert anything if you are a virgin; this is not asked of you.
A woman’s ritual purity (wudu) in the Shafi’i school is nullified by the exiting of discharge, but she doesn’t need to purify her clothes from it in most cases. See the details here:
If you are experiencing that you have a lot of discharge such that you can’t find enough time to make wudu and pray before it comes out again, you might take the ruling of the chronic vaginal discharge (istihada). In this case, you will be able to wash, apply a pad, make wudu with the proper intention, and pray. After that, you can carry a mushaf and pray as many sunnahs as you like. You would have to repeat this purification for every obligatory prayer.
The reality is that you are in one of three categories:
-Either you have little discharge and can keep your ritual purity for long periods,
-Or you have a moderate amount of discharge and must renew your wudu every so often
-Or you have so much discharge that you must pray as one in istihada
Determine which category you belong to, and this might even change, and act accordingly.
Purification and prayer during Istihada
If a woman is in a state of istihada, she should repeat her purification for every obligatory prayer in the Shafi`i school. This is the sequence: After the prayer time has come in, wash the private parts, apply a dressing (pad), and/or block the exiting of the discharge with cotton (or organic cotton tampon) or the like if she is not a virgin, make wudu with the intention of seeking permission to pray, and pray right away without delay. She may delay if she is waiting for a group to gather to pray, and she may pray her sunnahs while she waits.
She should pray her pre-fard sunnahs and then her fard and then her post-fard sunnahs on that purification, whether alone or with a group. She can continue to pray non-obligatory prayers or carry a mushaf and read Qur’an until she prays the next obligatory prayer, in which case she must repeat the purification after its time has come in. [Summarized from the Reliance of the Traveller]
May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.