Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
1- Menstruating women stop performing prayer as soon as they see the menstrual blood and continue for the normal days of their menstrual cycle.
2- Menstruating women resume prayer after the appearance of the white fluid discharged after the bleeding.
3- If bleeding exceeds the normal period, this is called istihadah. In this case, Menstruating women should stop fasting and prayer only for the same number of days you they are accustomed to having their menses.
Answering your question, Dr. Su`aad Salih, Professor of Jurisprudence at Al-Azhar University, states:
Different Phases of Menstrual Cycle
Menstruating women may be classified into the following categories as to different phases of their menstrual cycle:
1- Regular menses: This is the case when a woman has a normal period. In this case, there is no irregularity as for the time she gets her menses and its duration, which lasts normally for 5 or 6 days.
2- Extended period: This is the case when a woman’s period exceeds the normal time. In this case, she has moved to the stage of istihadah (chronic blood discharge).
3- Confusing menstruation with chronic blood discharge.
4- Perplexity over the duration of menstrual period: This is the case when a woman is unaware of the time and the lasting of her menstrual period. She is called ‘the perplexed’ or ‘the confused’.
Menstruation begins at the onset of any of its signs that may appear in any color so long as it is the due time for it. It ends by the moment purification is attained.
Signs of the End of Menstrual Cycle
There are many signs for the end of the menstrual period. Among these signs is the appearance of the white fluid discharged after the bleeding.
Another sign is dryness which involves that the towel or the piece of cotton that is applied on woman’s vagina becomes dry and no more blood oozes for a day and night.
Any discharge of blood that comes after that is considered to be istihadah, for which a woman is just to make ablution before every prayer and apply a sanitary towel.
Almighty Allah knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.