Answered by Shaykh Sohail Hanif, SunniPath Academy Teacher
Recently I have noticed that my menstrual cycle has become longer than the normal 8 to 9 days which it lasted. Now, my regular cycle has moved from 9 days to 10 or 11 days. But according to the Hanafi rule, I must begin to pray on my 11th day. However, if I know that this is part of my cycle, can I not take a dispensation on the issue?
Menstruation is the monthly discharge of blood that lasts from three to ten days. Any blood released for less than three days or beyond ten days is not considered menstruation [Maraqi al-Falah]. The fact that you consider it menstrual blood is not legally relevant.
Its exceeding ten days means that it can not be considered as such. Rather it will be considered abnormal uterine bleeding (istihada) so after the tenth day one must perform a ritual bath and start praying. In addition, as the bleeding has exceeded ten days one must rely on one’s previous menstrual period (‘aada) to ascertain how many days of the bleeding are to be considered menstruation.
So for example if one’s last menstrual period was 9 days and then the next one was 11 days, one would perform a ghusl and start praying on the tenth day and one would make up one day of prayers as the menstruation will be seen to have ended on the 9th day and the tenth will be considered abnormal uterine bleeding (istihada). There is no difficulty or hardship in this. It is purely submission.