Rule: If a woman who has a certain length of time, say, 5 days, for her menstrual period sees for one time only a valid bleeding whose number of days is different from her previous period, say, 7 days, her menstrual period changes to 7 days.

These changes in menstrual cycles are considered valid if bleeding lasts for 10 days maximum. If it lasts for 11 or more days, what exceeds her habit is regarded as istihada (non-menstrual bleeding; bleeding other than menstrual or postnatal bleeding). Likewise, a woman’s purity period changes if she experiences a different number of purity period for one time only. For example, if she habitually remains pure for 20 days and then experiences 25 days or a minimum of 15 days of purity period the next time, her purity period lengthens to 25 days or decreases to 15 days. Days of purity intervening the days of bleeding within the 10 days of menstruation are judged to be menstrual, but the days of bleeding after the 10th day are judged to be within (the days of) purity.

Rule: If a woman bleeds for more than 10 days the next month and 3 or more days of it do not coincide with time of her previous menstrual period, the time of the occurrence of her menstruation changes, but the number of its days does not change.

If 3 or more days of it coincide with the time of her previous menstruation, the number of days that coincide with it are considered menstrual period, and the remaining days are considered istihada. Bleeding that goes on for less than 3 days [72 hours], even if it is 5 minutes less, or, for a newly pubescent girl, bleeding after the 10th day when it goes on more than 10 days or, for one who is not new, bleeding that happens after her customary length of time for her period when it both exceeds the length of her habit and continues for more than 10 days is not menstrual. It is called istihada. If a woman, after having bleeding that went on for more than her habit but stopped before 10 days are over, experiences a valid purity period (that is, after bleeding has stopped, if she does not see any blood within 15-day period), the days on which she saw bleeding are considered menstrual. The length of her period has changed. However, if she bleeds only once within 15-day period, then what exceeded her habit is not considered menstrual, but istihada.

Rule: Fasid bleeding (bleeding that is not regarded as menstrual; istihada) and fasid purity (if there are days of istihada within the 15 or more days of purity, all these days are called [days of] fasid purity) do not change a woman’s habit.

Example: Supposing a woman’s habit for menstruation is 5 days. If she, the next time, experiences bleeding for more than 10 days, say, 13 days, what exceeds her habit (that is, 8 days) is considered istihada. Her habit does not change and is considered 5 days. When this woman, whose valid period of purity is 20 days, sees bleeding for 13 days, her valid period of purity has been interspersed by 8 days of fasid bleeding. Her 20-day purity period has turned into a period of fasid purity. Her habit for menstruation is considered 5 days and her habit for purity is considered 20 days.

If a woman sees bleeding that goes on for less or more than the number of her previous period, her habit changes, provided the bleeding has not exceeded 10 days or has not stopped before 3 days are over. For example, supposing a woman’s habit for menstruation is 6 days. If it lengthens to 7, 8, 9, or 10 days or decreases to 5, 4, or 3 days, her habit is considered to have changed.

Ruling regarding a woman who has a pattern of menstruation that lasts for less than 10 days:

Rule: 
Supposing a woman’s habit for menstruation is 5 days. If she, after experiencing a valid period of purity, bleeds for 6 days or 7 days or 8 days or 9 days or 10 days and then has a valid period of purity, the days when she saw blood are considered her new menstrual period. In other words, her habit for menstruation was 5 days. Now the number of days on which she saw bleeding is considered to be her new habit for menstruation.

Examples:

1. Supposing a woman’s habit is 5 days of bleeding and 25 days of purity. If she bleeds for 3 days, her habit changes from 5 days to 3 days.

2. Supposing a woman’s habit is 5 days of bleeding and 25 days of purity. If she remains pure for 26 days and then bleeds for 4 days, her habit changes to 4 days.

3. Supposing a woman’s habit is 5 days of bleeding and 25 days of purity. If she bleeds for 6 days or 7 days or 8 days or 9 days or 10 days and then remains pure for 15 days, her habit lengthens to 7 or 8 or 9 or 10 days. That is, the days on which she sees blood until she completes 10 days are considered menstrual. Her purity period decreases from 25 days to 15 days.

4. Supposing a woman’s habit is 5 days of bleeding and 55 days of purity. If she bleeds for 5 days and remains pure for 64 days and then bleeds for 7 days, her menstruation is considered 7 days.

5. Supposing a woman’s habit is 6 days of bleeding and 24 days of purity. If she remains pure for 27 days and bleeds for 9 days and then remains pure for 15 days, all of the 9 days are considered menstrual.

Ruling regarding a woman whose menstruation lasts for more than 10 days:

Rule: A woman whose menstruation lasts for more than 10 days is considered to be experiencing istihada (non-menstrual bleeding) because the maximum duration of menstruation is 10 days. To be able to determine how many days of the bleeding should be counted as menstruation, she has to know the number of days of menstruation and days of purity she experienced in the previous month.

Examples:

Supposing a woman’s habit is 24 days of purity and 6 days of menstruation.

1. If she remains free from menstruation for 29 days and then sees bleeding for 12 days, her menstruation is considered 6 days. The last 6 days of bleeding are considered istihada.

2. If she remains free from menstruation for 30 days and then bleeds for 11 days, her menstruation is considered 6 days. The last 5 days of bleeding are considered istihada. Her purity period is 30 days.

3. If she remains free from menstruation for 21 days and then bleeds for 13 days, her menstruation is considered 6 days. The first 3 days and the last 4 days of bleeding are considered istihada.

4. If she remains free from menstruation for 28 days and then bleeds for 12 days, 2 days of bleeding coincide with her previous menstrual period. As it is less than 3 days, the first 6 days are considered menstrual, and the remaining 6 days are considered istihada. Her purity period has lengthened to 28 days.

5. If she remains free from menstruation for 29 days and then bleeds for 11 days, the duration of her period does not change. It is considered 6 days. The last 5 days are regarded as istihada.

6. If she remains free from menstruation for 30 days and then bleeds for 13 days, her menstruation is considered 6 days. The last 7 days are considered istihada.

7. If she remains free from menstruation for 31 days and then bleeds for 2 days and does not see blood for 3 days and bleeds for 7 days, because her habit for menstruation is 6 days, the duration of her period for this month is considered 6 days (2 days of bleeding and 3 days of purity in between and the 1st day of 7 days of bleeding are considered menstrual). That is, the first 6 of 12 days are considered menstrual, and the remaining 6 days are considered istihada.

8. If she remains free from menstruation for 33 days and then bleeds for 6 days and does not see blood for 2 days and bleeds for 3 days, her menstruation is considered 6 days. The last 3 days of bleeding are regarded as istihada.

9. If she remains free from menstruation for 34 days and then bleeds for 7 days and does not see blood for 1 day and bleeds for 4 days, her menstruation is considered the first 6 days. The remaining days are considered istihada.

10. If she remains free from menstruation for 35 days and then bleeds for 2 days and does not see blood for 3 days and bleeds for 7 days, her menstruation is considered 6 days (2 days of bleeding and 3 days of purity and the 1st day of 7 days of bleeding are considered menstrual). The last 6 days are regarded as istihada.

11. If she remains free from menstruation for 36 days and then bleeds for 7 days and does not see blood for 2 days and bleeds for 3 days, her menstruation is considered the first 6 days. The remaining days are istihada.

12. If she remains free from menstruation for 37 days and then bleeds for 8 days and does not see blood for 2 days and bleeds for 4 days, her menstruation is considered the first 6 days. The remaining days are considered istihada.

Various examples concerning bleeding that exceeds 10 days:

Supposing a woman’s habit is 5 days of bleeding and 25 days of purity.

1. After 5 days of menstruation and 25 days of purity, if blood starts flowing and lasts for more than 10 days, 5 days, the duration of her habit for menstruation, are considered menstruation, and the rest are considered istihada because bleeding has coincided with the time of her previous menstruation. If blood continues to flow without stopping, 25 days are considered purity period and 5 days are considered menstruation.

2. If she bleeds on the 26th day and does not see blood on the 27th day and bleeding returns on the 28th day and goes on beyond 10 days, 5 days, the duration of her habit, are considered menstrual and the rest are considered istihada because blood flowed on the 26th and 30th days, which coincide with the 1st and 5th days of her previous period. If blood continues to flow without stopping, 25 days are considered purity period and 5 days are considered menstruation.

3. If she bleeds on the 26th, 27th, and 28th days and does not bleed on the 29th and 30th days and bleeding returns on the 31st day and goes on beyond 10 days, the first 3 days are considered menstruation because only 3 days of bleeding coincide with the time of her previous period. If blood continues to flow, 25 days are considered purity period and 3 days are considered menstruation until bleeding stops.

4. 
If she bleeds on the 26th day and does not see blood on the 27th and 28th days and bleeds on the 29th and 30th days and does not bleed on the 31st and 32nd days and then blood continues flowing without stopping, her menstruation is considered 5 days because blood flowed on the 1st and 5th days [26th and 30th days], which coincide with the 1st and 5th days of her previous period. If blood continues to flow, 25 days are considered purity period and 5 days are considered menstruation.

5. If she bleeds on the 26th and 27th days and does not see blood on the 28th and 29th days and bleeds for 1 day and does not see blood for 5 days and then blood continues flowing, the duration of her menses does not change. It is still 5 days because blood flowed on the 26th and 30th days, which coincide with the 1st and 5th days of her previous period.

6. 
If she remains pure on the 26th and 27th days and bleeds on the 28th, 29th, and 30th days and does not see blood for 5 days and then bleeding restarts and flows without stopping, her menstruation is considered 3 days. If it continues to flow constantly, 27 days are considered purity period and 3 days are considered menstruation.

7. If she bleeds on the 26th day and does not see blood on the 27th day and bleeds on the 28th day and does not see blood on the 29th day and bleeds on the 30th day and thereafter blood continues to flow without stopping, the duration of her menstruation does not change. The first 5 days are considered menstruation, and the remaining days are considered istihada.

Supposing a woman’s habit is 5 days of menstruation and 55 days of purity.

1. If she sees blood for 5 days and remains pure for 15 days and bleeds for 11 days, the days [11 days] when she saw bleeding do not coincide with the time of her previous period. So the number of days on which she bleeds does not change. The first 5 of 11 days of bleeding are considered menstruation, and the remaining 6 days are considered istihada. Her purity period has decreased to 15 days.

2. If she remains pure for 46 days and then sees blood for 11 days, only the time of the occurrence of her menstruation changes. Though the last 2 days of 11 days of bleeding coincide with the time of her previous menstruation, they are ignored as they are less than 3 days. The first 5 days are considered menstruation, and the remaining 6 days are considered istihada.

3. If she remains pure for 47 days and then bleeds for 12 days, 8 of 12 days of bleeding belong to the purity period of her habit, and the remaining 4 days belong to her menstrual period. The duration of her period is 4 days. The first 8 days are regarded as istihada.

4. 
If she remains free from menstruation for 48 days and then bleeds for 12 days, 7 of 12 days of bleeding belong to the purity period of her habit, and the remaining 5 days belong to her menstrual period. The duration of her period is considered 5 days. The first 7 days of bleeding are regarded as istihada.

5. 
If she remains pure for 49 days and then bleeds for 11 days, 6 of 11 days of bleeding belong to the purity period of her habit and the remaining 5 days belong to her menstrual period. The duration of her period is 5 days. The first 6 days of bleeding are regarded as istihada.

6. If she remains pure for 50 days and then bleeds for 11 days, the first 5 days and the last 1 day are considered istihada. And the 5 days in between, which coincide with the time of her previous period, are considered menstrual.

7. If she remains pure for 51 days and then bleeds for 12 days, the first 4 and the last 3 of 12 days of bleeding belong to her purity period, and 5 days in between belong to her menstruation period. The duration of her menses is regarded as 5 days.

8. If she remains pure for 52 days and then bleeds for 11 days, the first 3 and the last 3 of 11 days of bleeding belong to her purity period, and 5 days in between belong to her menstruation period. The duration of her menses is regarded as 5 days.

9. If she remains pure for 53 days and then bleeds for 12 days, the first 2 and the last 5 of 12 days of bleeding belong to her purity period, and 5 days in between belong to her menstruation period. The duration of her menses is regarded as 5 days.

10. If she remains pure for 57 days and then bleeds for 3 days and does not see blood for 14 days and bleeds for 1 day, her menstruation is considered 3 days because 3 days of bleeding coincide with the time of her previous menstrual period. The 14 days of purity following it are treated as if there were a constant blood flow, so the last 15 days are considered istihada. The time of the occurrence of her menstruation and its number of days have changed.

11. If she remains pure for 55 days and then bleeds for 11 days, the first 5 of 11 days of bleeding are considered menstruation because the duration of her previous menstruation was 5 days. Only the time of the occurrence of her menstruation changes, but its number of days does not change. Her purity period is considered 55 days.

12. If she remains pure for 54 days and then bleeds for 12 days, her period starts, in accordance with her previous habit, after 55 days of purity are over. The 1st day and the last 6 of 12 days of bleeding are considered istihada. The 5 days in between are considered menstruation. Her purity period is counted as 55 days.

13. If she remains pure for 56 days and then bleeds for 11 days, the first 4 days are considered menstruation as they coincide with the time of her previous period. The last 7 days are considered istihada.

14. 
If she remains pure for 48 days and then bleeds for 11 days, the duration of her menstrual period is considered 4 days because these days coincide with her previous menstrual period. The first 7 days are considered istihada.

15. If she remains pure for 59 days and then bleeds for 11 days, the first 5 days are considered menstruation because her previous period lasted for 5 days. The last 6 days of 11 days are considered istihada.

16. If she remains pure for 65 days and then bleeds for 13 days, the first 5 days are considered menstruation because her previous period lasted for 5 days. The remaining 8 days are considered istihada.

17. If she remains pure for 62 days and then bleeds for 12 days, the first 5 days are considered menstruation because her previous period lasted for 5 days. The remaining 7 days are considered istihada.

18. If she remains pure for 63 days and then bleeds for 14 days, the first 5 days are considered menstruation because her previous period lasted for 5 days. The remaining 9 days are considered istihada.

19. If she remains pure for 20 days and then bleeds for 13 days, the first 5 days are considered menstruation because her previous period lasted for 5 days. The remaining 8 days are considered istihada. Her purity period has decreased to 20 days. Only the time of occurrence of her menstruation changes, but its number of days does not. The duration of purity changes, too.

20. If she remains pure for 64 days and then bleeds for 11 days, the first 5 days are considered menstruation because her previous period lasted for 5 days. The remaining 6 days are considered istihada. Only the time of occurrence of her menses changes, but its number of days does not. Her purity period has lengthened from 55 days to 64 days.

Bleeding that coincides with a woman’s previous period

Rule: If a woman experiences bleeding for more than 10 days and if 3 or more days of it coincide with the time of her previous period, only these days that coincide with it are considered menstruation, and the remaining days are considered istihada.

Example: 
Supposing a woman’s habit is 25 days of purity and 5 days of menstruation. If she, the next time, remains pure for 26 days and then bleeds for 11 days, the first 4 days are considered menstruation, and the last 7 days are considered istihada.

Rule: 
If a woman bleeds for more than 10 days and thus experiences istihada and if 3 or more days of it coincide with the time of her previous period and the remaining days of the bleeding of her previous period coincide with her new valid period of purity, the days that coincide with her previous period are considered her new menstrual period.

Examples:

1. Supposing a woman’s habit is 5 days of bleeding and 25 days of purity. If she, the next time, remains pure for 18 days and then sees blood for 11 days, her menstruation is considered 4 days [8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th days] because more than 3 of 11 days of bleeding, that is, 4 days, coincide with the time of her previous period. The first 7 days are regarded as istihada.

2. Supposing a woman’s habit is 6 days of bleeding and 24 days of purity. If she, the next time, remains pure for 18 days and then bleeds for 11 days, the last 5 days are considered her new menstrual period because the last 5 days coincide with time of her previous 6-day period of menstruation. The first 6 days are considered istihada. If she bleeds for 12 days, the last 6 days, which coincide with the time of her previous period, are considered her new menstrual period. The first 6 days are counted as istihada because she has bled for more than 10 days.

3. 
Supposing a woman’s habit is 5 days of menstruation and 25 days of purity. If she, the next time, remains pure for 27 days and then bleeds for 12 days, her menstrual period has decreased to 3 days because only 3 days of bleeding [1st, 2nd, and 3rd days] coincide with the time of her habit. The remaining 9 days are considered istihada.

4. 
Supposing a woman’s habit is 6 days of bleeding and 25 days of purity. If she, the next time, remains pure for 27 days and then bleeds for 12 days, her menstrual period has decreased to 4 days because only 4 days of bleeding [1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th days] coincide with her habit. The remaining 8 days are considered istihada.

Bleeding that does not coincide with a woman’s previous menstrual period

Rule: If the days of bleeding that are different from the previous ones in number go beyond 10 days and 3 or more days of it do not coincide with the time of her previous menstrual period, the time of the occurrence of her menstruation changes, but its number of days does not change. It starts with the day when the bleeding is first seen.

Examples:

1. Supposing a woman’s habit is 24 days of purity and 5 days of menstruation. If she remains free from menstruation for 27 days and then bleeds for 11 days, her menstrual period is considered 5 days because only 2 days of bleeding coincide with the time of her previous period. Her purity period has lengthened to 27 days. The first 5 of 11 days of bleeding are regarded as menstruation, and the remaining 6 days are regarded as istihada.

2. Supposing a woman’s habit is 5 days of bleeding and 20 days of purity. If she, the next time, remains pure for 23 days and then bleeds for 12 days, only 2 days of it coincide with her previous habit. Because it is less than 3 days, the first 5 of 12 days of bleeding are considered menstruation, and the remaining 7 days are considered istihada. Her purity period has lengthened to 23 days.

3. Supposing a woman’s habit is 25 days of purity and 5 days of menstruation. If she, the next time, remains pure for 28 days and then bleeds for 12 days, her menstrual period is the first 5 days. Her purity period has changed.

4. 
Supposing a woman’s habit is 35 days of purity and 5 days of menstruation. If she, the next time, remains pure for 38 days and then bleeds for 12 days, her menstrual period is the first 5 days. Her purity period has lengthened to 38 days.

The first occurrence of menstruation in a girl
1. 
If a girl sees 3 days of bleeding and then remains pure for 15 days and bleeds for 1 day and does not see blood for 1 day and sees blood for 3 days, the first 3 days and the last 3 days of bleeding are two separate periods of menstruation. Because her habit is considered 3 days, the second menstruation cannot begin with the 1 day of bleeding in between. This 1 day is considered istihada.

2. If a girl bleeds for 3 days and does not see blood for 1 day and bleeds for 1 day and does not see blood for 2 days and bleeds for 1 day and does not see blood for 1 day and bleeds for 1 day, all of the 10 days are considered menstruation. If she bleeds after day 10, let us say, on the 12th day, then her menstrual period will be the first 3 days. The remaining days are regarded as istihada. If she had bled for 5 days when she bled for the first time, her menstrual period would have been considered 5 days.

3. If a girl, for the first time in her life, bleeds for 1 day and does not see blood for 8 days and bleeds for 1 day, all of the 10 days are considered menstruation. However, if she bleeds for 1 day and does not see blood for 9 days and bleeds for 1 day, none of them are considered menstruation. The 2 days on which she saw blood are considered istihada. Days of purity preceding the bleeding seen after day 10 are not considered to be the days of menstruation.

Situations that involve prolonged period of bleeding (istimrar):

Istimrar in a girl, that is, continuous flow of blood without it coming to a stop, may be classified in one of the four cases:

1. Rule: If the blood which is seen for the first time continues to flow, that is, if blood is released every day, be it a single drop, without it coming to an end, the first 10 days are considered menstrual, and the next 20 days are considered days of purity.

2. Rule: If blood flows without ceasing after a girl has experienced a valid bleeding and valid purity, this girl has become a woman with an established length of menstruation.

Examples:
a. 
Supposing a girl’s habit is 5 days of bleeding and 40 days of purity. Afterwards, if blood flows without stopping, 5 days of it are considered menstruation and 40 days of it are considered istihada. She should go by this pattern until bleeding stops. That is, she should consider 5 days to be menstruation and 40 days to be purity period.

b. Supposing a girl’s habit is 7 days of bleeding and 20 days of menstruation. If bleeding, after she experienced 7 days of bleeding and 20 days of menstruation, starts and continues to flow without stopping, 7 days of it are considered menstruation and 20 days of it are considered istihada.

c. Supposing a girl’s habit is 3 days of bleeding and 27 days of purity. If blood continues to flow without stopping when she experiences bleeding the next time, she takes a ghusl (purificatory bath) and resumes salat on day 11. She should consider 3 days of bleeding to be menstruation and 27 days to be istihada until bleeding stops.

3. Rule: If a girl undergoes fasid bleeding (bleeding that is not regarded as menstruation) and fasid purity (if there are days of istihada within the 15 or more days of purity, all these days are called [days of] fasid purity), neither of them is considered to be her established length of menstruation or purity.

This rule may be classified into two cases:

a. If it is fasid (flawed, vitiated) because purity period has lasted for less than 15 days, the bleeding which was seen first is considered to have flowed without stopping.

Example:
If a girl sees bleeding that lasts for 11 days and thereafter remains pure for 14 days and then the bleeding resumes and continues to flow without stopping (that is, it has made istimrar), the bleeding she saw first is fasid as it has exceeded 10 days. Day 11 and the first 5 days of constant bleeding are considered to be days of purity. After the 5th day, 10 days are considered menstruation and 20 days are considered purity period.
Explanation:
A month normally refers to 30-day period, so 10 days are considered menstruation, and 20 days are considered purity period, that is, istihada. She should go by this pattern until the bleeding stops.

b. If the purity is full purity and is fasid because there are days of bleeding within it and if the sum of the days of such fasid purity and the days of bleeding does not exceed 30, it is considered that the first bleeding has resumed. For example, if bleeding restarts and continues to flow without stopping after 11 days of bleeding and 15 days of purity, 15 days of purity and day 11 are considered to be fasid purity because there is bleeding on the first day of 16 days [the total of day 11 and 15 days of purity]. If blood continues to flow without stopping, 10 days are considered menstruation, and 20 days are considered istihada.

4. Rule: If the sum of days of bleeding and days of purity exceeds 30, the first 10 days are considered menstrual, and all the following days until the istimrar are considered days of purity. And after the istimrar, 10 days of menstruation alternate with 20 days of purity.

Example: If a girl sees bleeding for 12 days and remains pure for 20 days and thereafter bleeding restarts and continues to flow without stopping, 10 days are counted as menstruation and 20 days are counted as istihada.

5. Rule: If she undergoes valid bleeding and fasid purity, the days of valid bleeding are considered her menstrual period. The following days are considered days of purity until after the 30th day.

Example: If a girl bleeds for 5 days and then remains pure for 14 days and thereafter bleeding starts and continues to flow without stopping (that is, it has made istimrar), the first 5 days are considered menstrual and the following 25 days are considered days of purity. The first 11 days of istimrar are considered days of purity in order to reach 25. Thereafter, she should count 5 days as menstrual bleeding and 25 days as days of purity.

Şamil Aykut

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