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:
It is clear that you are experiencing a menopausal stage, and in this case you can simply refrain from Prayer and fasting only when you experience menstruation. After the menstrual blood stops, you should resume Prayer and fasting after making ghusl.
Responding to the question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:
The general principle in fiqh is to go by the regular pattern you had in your early days unless it is the same in color and texture as menses, in which case, you are to observe a maximum of fifteen days as days of menses.
But it seems in your case that you are in a menopausal stage and the pattern is all disrupted, you simply refrain from Prayer and fasting only when you experience menstruation; as soon as it stops, you should resume Prayer and fasting after proper ghusl.
If, on the other hand, your bleeding has nothing to do with menses, then it is considered istihadah (which is abnormal bleeding).
The rules of istihadah are different from that of hayd (menstruation). In the case of istihadah, you must stay away from Prayer and fasting only during the days of menses (your pattern of six or seven days as you had experienced prior to the start of this abnormal bleeding will be taken as the standard) and then bathe yourself and start Prayer and fasting, but you must wash yourself for each Prayer and perform ablutions (wudu) for each one. You must resume your fast, as well, soon afterwards.
In deciding whether the blood is menstrual or not, you must also refer to your family physician.
Finally, you need not be overly distressed on this fact, for as you have done the best based on sound judgment, following proper procedures, you are excused if you happen to slip up. Allah is forgiving and He does not take us to task for what is beyond our strength to bear.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.