Assalamu Alaikum. I’d like to ask a question relating to menstruation as I’ve had difficulty figuring out when to pray/when not to pray due to irregular bleeding. I have had irregular bleeding since hitting puberty. Either my periods would stop for a few years or I’d bleed excessively, every day, for months. I’ve had no periods for the past 2 years but during last Ramadhan, they re-started, Alhamdulillah. There was just discolouration/spotting at first. Then I kept noticing signs of very light blood every few days. Over the last few months, I’ve been bleeding every day with 2-3 days gaps of nothing happening in between. It is extremely heavy at the moment. How do I know when I should pray & when I shouldn’t? Please advise me as I’m extremely confused
In the name of Allah, the Inspirer of truth
May Allah create ease for you and reward you for the difficulties you have been facing due to your irregular bleeding. There is however a set of rules for you to follow which will inshā’Allah remove your confusion:
You are in continuous bleeding and have been so since the first day of spotting in Ramadan. Even though there have been intervening gaps of few days of purity, these were not “complete” purities and will therefore not negate the continuous bleeding. A “complete” period of purity is at least 15 days.
In periods of continuous bleeding, a woman should resort to her menstrual habit – meaning the number of days of her last valid menstruation and purity respectively. By resorting to her menstrual habit, she distinguishes menstruation from dysfunctional uterine bleeding (istiḥāḍa).
Note that a valid menstruation is at least 3 and up to a maximum of 10 days. Further, it is preceded and succeeded by complete purities (i.e at least 15 days of real or legal purity).
A valid purity is a complete purity (i.e. at least 15 days) which is preceded and succeeded by valid menstruations. A purity can be complete but not valid. For example, a complete 15 day purity which is followed by “invalid” blood (such as only two days of blood) will be complete (hence negate there being continuous bleeding) but will not be a valid purity (hence cannot establish a purity habit).
If you have never had valid menstruations and purities and thus never been able to formulate a menstrual habit due to your irregular bleeding from puberty, you should assume your habit to be 10 days of menstruation and 20 days purity.
This habit should be applied throughout the continuous bleeding, meaning that the first 10 days (or whatever your menstruation habit is) was considered menstruation, the thereby 20 following days (or whatever your purity habit is) was considered istiḥāḍa, followed by another 10 days of menstruation and so on. You should not pray during the days of menstruation but should pray during the days of istiḥāḍa, performing wuḍū’ for each prayer time as done by an excused person (ma‘dhūr).
And Allah knows best
Checked and approved by:
Mufti Abdur-Rahman Mangera
Mufti Zubair Patel
Question ID: Q-1441-48