If a woman bleeds after her normal menstrual cycle ends, and this occurrence has not happened before, she is required to perform Ghusl and then quickly pray before she notices bleeding again? However this causes a lot of hardship, as repeating Ghusl requires her to wash her hair, and she would need to do this 5 times a day every day whilst she is bleeding. What is the best way forward to pray Salah and to ease the situation?



Islamic Text

If the bleeding is intermittent then she does not need to perform Ghusl and pray, until it actually stops.

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، قَالَتْ: قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: إِذَا أَقْبَلَتِ الحَيْضَةُ، فَدَعِي الصَّلاَةَ، وَإِذَا أَدْبَرَتْ، فَاغْسِلِي عَنْكِ الدَّمَ وَصَلِّ

Sayidah Aishah said that the Prophet ﷺ said, ‘When menstruation begins then stop praying, and when it has finished, then wash away the blood and start praying.’ (Sahih al-Bukhari 331)

She does not need to repeatedly make Ghusl and pray if the bleeding continues. If bleeding continues even after her Habit but within ten days, then she does not pray until it stops.

Bleeding does not mean there is a continuous flow of blood, rather it can be intermittent. Therefore, she does not need to rush to pray whilst the bleeding is intermittent, rather she waits until it has stopped.

صَاحِبَةَ هَذِهِ الْبَلْوَى لَا تَكَادُ تَرَى الدَّمَ عَلَى الْوَلَاءِ وَلَكِنَّهُ يَسِيلُ تَارَةً وَيَنْقَطِعُ أُخْرَى فَبِمُجَرَّدِ الِانْقِطَاعِ لَا تَخْرُجُ مِنْ الْحَيْضِ لِجَوَازِ أَنْ يُعَاوِدَهَا. (المبسوط)

The person afflicted by this difficulty does not see a continuous flow of blood, rather it flows at times and stops at others. Therefore a mere pause in the bleeding does not take her out of the state of menses, because it may return. (Imam al-Sarakhsi, al-Mabsoot).

The Nass (text) above confirms that the Sharia does not expect a continuous flow of blood. So if the bleeding has currently ceased but will start up again shortly then there is no need to make Ghusl.

Sometimes the bleeding stops and the woman is unsure with regards to its return. Meaning it may have ceased or it may continue, she is unsure, in such a case she will have to make Ghusl and pray.

وَلَو أَن امْرَأَة كَانَ حَيْضهَا خَمْسَة أَيَّام فِي أول كل شهر فَحَاضَت خَمْسَة أَيَّام ثمَّ انْقَطع دَمهَا فَإِنَّهَا تُؤخر غسلهَا مَخَافَة أَن يعاودها الدَّم حَتَّى تخَاف فَوت الصَّلَاة. (الكتاب الأصل)

If a woman had a habit of menstruating for five days at the beginning of the month, and she menstruated for five days, and then the bleeding stopped. She should delay her Ghusl due to the fear of the blood returning. (She should delay until) she fears the prayer may be missed (then she prays before the time ends). (Kitab al-Asl, Imam Muhammad bin al-Hasan al-Shaybani).

In the Nass above we see that even when it does stop, she is to wait a little, such that she is near the end time of the Salah, and then pray within its time. If that is the case when the bleeding has actually stopped, it will certainly be required to wait when she is unsure regarding it having stopped or not. Therefore, she will certainly wait a little before rushing to Ghusl.

The Fiqh of menses is a very complicated subject; sisters are required to study it in detail. In the English language the only book (to my knowledge) that covers this subject in sufficient detail is ‘Birgivi’s Manual Interpreted,’ it is necessary for sisters to complete a study of it. Trying to learn this subject through Q and A alone will not suffice and likely lead to greater confusion. Q and A will benefit those who have studied the subject in general and require some clarification.

And Allah (Most High) Knows Best.

– Answered by Shaykh Noorud-deen Rashid (01.08.2021)

See also:

Is it sufficient to learn the Deen through questions and answers (Q&A) only?

Is it permitted for women in menses to enter a Masjid?

How strong is the hadith about a menstruating women not entering the masjid

Can women in menses visit graves?

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