Should a Woman Continue To Pray if her Menstrual Cycle Starts Before 15 Days of Purity?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Answered by Ustadha Shaista Maqbool

Question: Assalamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

It is of my knowledge that the minimum amount of tuhr (pure) days between a woman’s menstrual cycles is 15, according to the Hanafi madhhab. If a woman sees blood on the 14th day of purity, and she continues to bleed for as long as her usual menstrual cycle, should she consider it a normal cycle and stop praying/fasting or should she continue to pray/fast for the whole period?

Answer: Wa’alaikum assalaam warahmatu Allahi wabarakatuh,

It is not possible for a woman to have two periods except that they are separated by a minimum 15 day purity. If a woman sees blood after 14 days of purity, she must return to her habit. This means that she only considers the blood that occurs during the days of her usual menstrual cycle (i.e. her habit) as her menstruation, everything outside her habit is istihadah in which she must pray and fast.

Please note that istihadah in this case may have occurred during what she thought was her last menstrual cycle, i.e. the bleeding she had before the 14 days of purity. This is because in the Hanafi school, anything less than a 15 day purity is considered legal blood, so she would have to determine when her menstrual habit occurred during the bleeding prior to the 14 day purity, or during the 14 day “purity”, or after it, when she saw blood again. These are all possible, depending upon her legal habit in blood and purity. You may not understand this, as it there are several intricate rules these issues follow, but I mention them to apprise you that the issue is more complicated than it seems; so you should try to study it in detail yourself, or keep in close contact with a specialist to guide you through them.

Shaista Maqbool

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