Ablution and Prayer with Light Irregular Bleeding During Menses

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Answered by Shaykhah Bint Dawood


Assalaamu Alaikum, I have been having light irregular bleeding which was two weeks earlier than my cycle of menses. It’s been almost three days now, the blood is very light and thin and it is only spotting meaning it is not a regular flow. I am wondering if I should perform salah and if so what is the proper way of performing wudu (ablution) or ghusal (ritual bath) since the spotting will be continuing?


بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

Jazakillah / Thank you sister, for contacting the Mathabah Foundation for your concerns.

If fifteen days have passed and the bleeding begins to flow (despite it’s nature of heavy or light) it will be considered as the period (menses).

If you have a regular cycle, you will consider this to be your period for now. Once the bleeding stops, you will perform your ghusl (ritual Islamic bath) and perform your prayers. You will now wait for the next cycle to come. If the bleeding this time round is similar (in terms of number of days) to the last previous cycle, then your regular habit has now changed. If it is back on track as it used to be, then the last cycle would be considered istihadha (dysfunctional uterine bleeding – meaning bleeding due to illness or wounds etc.)

However if your third cycle is like the first one which raised the question initially, then you will consider your period to be an irregular cycle, hence your period can come after fifteen days and nights and last anywhere between three to ten days (and nights).

The Prophet (pbuh) stated, “The minimum number of days for menstruation of a woman whether virgin or deflowered, is three days and nights, and the maximum number of days of menstruation is ten days”. (Dar Qutnee)

“Aisha (r) would consider anything other than pure white as menstruation”. (Muatta)

(قال عليه السلام اقل الحيض للجارية البكر و الثيب ثلاثة ايام و لياليها و أكثره عشرة ايام (دار قطني

(و روي عن عائشة جعلت ما سوي البياض الخالص حيضا (رواه موطاء

If the bleeding is less than three days and three nights, more than fifteen days and fifteen nights or lasts longer than ten days and ten nights, this will be considered istihaadha (dysfunctional uterine bleeding – meaning bleeding due to illness or wounds etc.). Therefore, when a sister experiencing istihaadha plans to perform a fardh salah, she will change her sanitary towel (pad and or any piece of clothing which the blood has reached), she will do istinja (clean herself) properly and perform wudhu. It is to be noted tha within this salah time, she may perform how ever many salah she wishes or any rituals (eg. Quraan recitation, tawaf etc,), despite how much blood may be flowing out. Her current wudhu will nullify with the salah time expiring or if she has experienced other normal causes of wudhu breaking.

I reproduce for you some basic rules regarding menstruation:

  • Maximum days of menses: 10 days and 10 nights
  • Minimum days of menses: 3 days and 3 nights
  • Maximum days of purity between two periods: unlimited
  • Minimum days of purity between two periods: 15 days
  • Slight spotting of blood within the 10 days of the regular cycle will be considered menses.

I anticipate this is of help to you.

You should note that in many cases, such irregularities or changes occur due to teenage development, post child birth and or menopause due to hormone changes etc. hence these type of irregular cycles should be expected in such situations.

If you wish to do some reading on menses and the Islamic rulings of purity, click here.

And Allah Knows Best

This answer was collected from It’s an Islamic educational institute based in Canada. The questions are generally answered by Sheikh Yusuf Badat and Sheikh Omar Subedar.

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