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The Ruling on Sexual Intercourse with a Woman Who Attains Purity From Nifās (Postpartum Bleeding) Before Forty Days

Imām Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al-ʿUthaymīn

An analysis of the permissibility of re-engaging in sexual intercourse if Nifās clears prior to 40 days.

The Opinion of the Ḥanbalī Madh`hab

According to the Ḥanbalī madh`hab, it is disliked for a man to have sexual relations with his wife if she becomes pure from nifās before the forty-day period. They use as evidence to support this view the following:

  1. When the wife of ʿUthmān ibn Abī al-ʿĀṣ (رضي الله عنه) came to him after having purified herself from nifās before forty days, he said: “Do not come close to me.”1 He (رضي الله عنه) was from among the companions, and his statement “Do not come close to me” implies prohibition, or at the very least that such an act is disliked.
  2. The fear of the blood of nifās returning as the period in question is one of nifās.

They have extricated the ruling of sexual intercourse from its original state of complete prohibition during the secretion of blood, to adopt a ruling of disliked based on that blood no longer being secreted. However, since the reasoning for prohibition was blood, which has stopped, why not extricate the ruling of prohibition and change it to complete permittance? This is because sexual relations with a woman during her nifās period is either ḥarām or ḥalāl. As for a ruling of disliked, this requires evidence. There is no evidence to this effect.

The Opinion of Shaykh Ibn ʿUthaymīn (رحمه الله)

Therefore, the correct opinion in this matter is that it is permissible for one to have sexual relations with his wife before forty days have elapsed if she has attained a state of purity from nifās.

As for the saying of ʿUthmān ibn Abī al-ʿĀṣ (رضي الله عنه), we can answer it with the following:

  1. The narration is weak.
  2. He may have avoided that action without it being considered legislatively disliked according to him. Thus, this does not prove this action to be disliked.
  3. His action may have been precautionary and he may have been fearful that she only surmised that she had attained purity without actually having attained it. Or that the secretion of blood would resume because of intercourse, or for some other reason.

Endnotes:

[1] Weak: narrated by al-Dāraquṭnī: 842 and al-Dārimī: 944. Graded weak by Shaykh al-Albānī in Irwāʾ al-Ghalīl: 212 and by Shaykh Ibn ʿUthaymīn here.

Source: Al-Sharḥ al-Mumtiʿ 1:513-514
Translated by: Riyāḍ al-Kanadī

Published: July 26, 2023
Edited: July 26, 2023

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