When to make Ghusl if menses are irregular
Fatwa No: 355546

Question

I have a question about Ghusl (ritual shower) after menses. I have read numerous information available on the subject on different websites, and none of them made it clear for me, so I am asking you to guide me in the light of the Quran and the Sunnah. My problem is that I used to have periods for 10 days, but then after my kid's birth, they reduced to 5 to 7 days. Recently, I went through some health issues, and now my periods are around 3 to 6 days; sometimes there is continuous bleeding, and sometimes it is just spotting, but for the last few months, I have clots of dried blood after urination and my liner is usually clean for hours, but when I urinate again, dried clots come and its on and off again for until up to 10 days, and then after that I do not have any spotting or clots. My question is: when can I perform Ghusl and start praying; after 3 to 6 days, or should I wait for 10 days and then perform Ghusl? This matter is getting very confusing for me since there is no continuous bleeding and it is on and off again but lasts 10 days. Please provide me with a clear answer; I will appreciate it. Thank you.

Answer

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, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

Firstly, you should know that the minimum duration of menses (the period) is one day and night according to the view of the majority of the scholars. So if the total time of seeing blood amounted to one day and one night, it is considered menses; otherwise, it is considered non-menstrual bleeding according to the view of the majority of scholars, which is the view adopted at Islamweb. The Maalikis, on the other hand, held that the minimum duration of menses is one single discharge of blood. This is the opinion chosen by Shaykhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah and Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them.

In any case, it is incumbent on you, when you see blood at a time when it could be your menses, to stop praying, fasting, and everything else that the menstruating woman is enjoined to stop doing. Whenever you see either of the two signs of purity; namely, the white discharge or dryness, consider yourself ritually pure and hasten to perform Ghusl and pray.

If the bleeding starts again, stop praying, then when you see the sign of purity, perform Ghusl and pray, and so on until the bleeding stops completely.

The sign of purity is dryness, such that if you insert a piece of cotton or the like, it would come out clean, with no trace of blood or yellowish or brownish discharge. The other sign of purity is the white discharge, which is a white fluid that comes out at the end of menses indicating the cessation of blood. Whenever you see either of these two signs, perform Ghusl and pray, whether this happens after one day, three days, six days, or ten days. If you see a yellowish or brownish discharge after the cessation of bleeding, it is not considered your period.

This applies as long as the number of days during which you experience the bleeding does not exceed fifteen days, which is the maximum duration of menses, and it is understood from your question that this is indeed the case. You are considered ritually pure during the time of purity between the two bleedings, and the rulings that apply to women in a state of ritual purity apply to you during this time, such as the permissibility of praying and so on.

Allah knows best.

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