Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuhu. Dear scholars, I got that the duration between two menses is 15 days, as mentioned on Islamweb, so if a woman gets her menses on the 12th day after having become pure from her last menses, it will be considered Istihaadhah. Now my question is: if the menses continue for six or seven days, then it will cross the period of 15 days of purity between two menses because it started on the 12th day and on the 15th day it would be the fourth day of the menses, then what is this woman to do? Should she consider this entire period of menses as Istihaadhah, or should she deduct the days of menses which have passed before finishing the 15 days? And what should she do if her menses again come during their regular monthly time? This woman is so confused about this; if possible, she requires an answer urgently because she is suffering. May Allaah reward you well.
All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.
The new bleeding that occurred on the twelfth day after having become pure (from menses) and which continued for six or seven days is all considered Istihaadhah (bleeding outside menses), and not menses, because the total number of days of this bleeding along with the days of the last menses and the period of purity in-between exceeds fifteen days, and the period of purity between the two bleedings is also less than fifteen days. Therefore, the second bleeding is not menses; rather, it is Istihaadhah.
Given the importance of this question and the many questions about the new bleeding after the regular menses end, we shall give a detailed answer:
When a woman experiences new bleeding after the end of her known monthly period, this bleeding is either menses or Istihaadhah. It is considered menses in two cases:
The first: if the total number of days starting from the first day of her last menses until the last day of the new bleeding and the days of purity between them is not more than fifteen days. This is considered menses. However, the Hanbali scholars stipulated that this pattern must recur three times in order to be considered regular; because nothing is regular unless it recurs. The Shaafi‘i scholars, on the other hand, held that one occurrence is enough to be considered regular in this context. Hence, this new bleeding is considered menses, according to them, from the first occurrence. They disagreed, however, as to whether the days of menses are only the days of bleeding, so the previous and the new days of bleeding are added and considered as one menses – which is the Hanbali view – or that all the days of bleeding are menses, including the days of purity between the two bleedings – which is the Shafi‘i view. There is no harm in following either of these two views.
For example, if the regular monthly period of a woman is six days, and then her bleeding stopped for seven days, and then a second bleeding occurred for one day, the total number of days starting from the first day of the first bleeding until the last day of the second bleeding is fourteen days, so the second bleeding is considered one period of menses along with the first bleeding because the period of purity between them is less than the minimum period of purity between two menses (fifteen days) and the total number of days from beginning to end does not amount to the maximum period of menses (fifteen days).
The second: the second bleeding is considered a separate menses when the period of purity between the two bleedings is fifteen days or more provided that each of the two bleedings (the previous menses and the new bleeding) can be considered a separate menses by lasting for one day and night or more.
For example, if a woman experiences her menstrual period for seven days, and then attains purity for fifteen days, and then experiences a second bleeding for a day and night, the second bleeding is considered a separate menses because it occurred after the passage of the minimum period of purity (fifteen days, according to the majority of scholars), and this new bleeding could be considered menses because it lasted for a day and a night, which is the minimum period of menses.
As for when the second bleeding is considered Istihaadhah, it is when the period from the first day of the first bleeding to the last day of the second bleeding exceeds fifteen days (the maximum period of menses) and the period of purity between the two bleedings is less than fifteen days (the minimum period of purity).
For example, if she experiences menses for seven days – and this was her regular monthly period – followed by a period of purity of three days and then the bleeding resumes for another seven days, the second bleeding is considered Istihaadhah (even if this pattern recurred thrice) and cannot be considered menses because the period between the first day of the first menses and the last day of the second bleeding is seventeen days (more than fifteen days, which is the maximum period of menses). Moreover, the period of purity between the two bleedings is less than fifteen days (which is the minimum period of purity between two menstrual bleedings).
Ash-Sharh Al-Kabeer reads:
“...If she sees blood after her regular period and it could not be menstruration because it exceeds the maximum period of menses and the period of purity is less than the minimum period of purity between two menses, then it is Istihaadhah regardless of whether it recurred or not. This is because this second bleeding cannot all be considered menses, so it is all considered Istihaadhah, since considering it all as one whole is preferable to considering part of it as belonging to another bleeding (the first menses).”
Allah knows best.
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