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- If the aborted fetus is formed at the time of the abortion (spontaneous or otherwise), then the woman takes the same rulings as that of bleeding after childbirth.
2- However, if the fetus is not formed, the woman can resume Prayer straight away after the abortion and wear a sanitary pad unless there is menstrual blood, in which case she applies the rules concerning menstruation.
Answering your question, Dr. Sa`d ibn `Abdul-`Aziz Ash-Shuwairikh, professor at the University of Imam Muhammad ibn Sa`ud, states:
Here, it is important to note that the minimum period of post-partum bleeding is one moment and the maximum duration is 40 days.
If the bleeding stops after one moment and the woman is sure of her ritual purity, she can resume Prayer.
In the case when the fetus is not formed, a woman is not considered to be experiencing post-partum bleeding, so she can resume Prayer right away and wear a sanitary pad, unless the blood is menstrual (and she can ascertain this from its color or smell). In this case, the rules concerning menstruation are to be applied.
Allah Almighty knows best.
Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.