Why Is Fifteen Days the Maximum Length of a Period?

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by


Why is it that 15 days is the maximum length of a period?


Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear questioner,

Thank you for your important question.

Menstruation is a term that is used in the Quran and Hadith, but it is not explained (mujmal). Whenever a concept is mentioned in the Qur’an and Hadith is not explained by the Qur’an and Hadith, we have to go back to the Arabic language to understand what is meant. When we look at menstruation in the Arabic language, there is nothing that can help us understand how long it can last for. Given that neither Qur’an, Hadith, nor the Arabic language has defined it, we have to look at custom and norm — in this case, the medical norm. [Tuhfat al-Habib, Ibn Daqiq al-Eid]

Imam al-Shafi’i and other early Muslims observed that no women ever menstruation more than 15 days, so 15 days must be the upper limit. [al-Umm, Shafi’i]

Even if a woman had a habit of menstruating for more than 15 days, it would be treated as an anomaly and ignored. [Mughni al-Muhtaj, al-Khatib al-Shirbini]

I pray this helps.

[Ustadh] Farid Dingle

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.

This answer was collected from It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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