Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel
Every time I have a period, it’s always longer than ten days. My last period lasted / months; my current one is on day 19. I’m not sure how to figure out when I can pray or how to stay ritually pure when I do pray. And I cannot calculate my regular cycles because they are all over the place. Some days are light; others are medium. But also, what are the rulings on intercourse with your spouse during istihadha’?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate
You should re-jog your memory and sit down with a calendar and find out your last period cycle of days and the purity period between it.
When your next period starts, stop praying until it stops. If the bleeding continues for more than ten days, then the number of days beyond your habit is considered irregular bleeding (istihadha’). So, if your habit were six days, you will treat everything after day six as irregular bleeding if the bleeding continues past ten days. The prayers missed after day six would have to be made up.
It is permissible to engage in sexual intercourse during irregular bleeding, no matter how heavy the flow. Although it may feel strange to engage, she should speak to her husband and unite on how to go on about it and understand each other, so it does become an issue.
Irregular bleeding (istihadha’) is usually indicative of a hormonal imbalance or underlying illness and, as a result, can cause discomfort and weakness. The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) described it as a ‘kick from Satan’ as narrated from ‘Aishah (Allah be pleased with her) that Umm Habibah bint Jahsh who was married to ‘Abdur-Rahman bin ‘Awf suffered from irregular bleeding (Istihadah) and did not become pure. Her situation was mentioned to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace). He said: That is not menstruation, rather it is a kick in the womb, so let her work out the length of the menses that she used to have and stop praying (for that period of time), then after that, let her perform a bath for every for every prayer. [Nasai; N. Ackbarali, A Muslim Woman’s Guide to Menstruation Rulings; Hartford, Birgivi’s Manual Interpreted]
I advise you to consult a doctor and a local reliable female scholar who is well-versed in menstruation matters. Attend any on-the-ground and online courses on menstruation. Also, buy books related to the topic.
Check these links as well:
How To Determine Periods With Dysfunctional Bleeding. – SeekersGuidance
What Means Should a Woman With Dysfunctional Vaginal Bleeding (Istihada) Take to Stop the Bleeding Prior to Prayer? – SeekersGuidance
Birgivi’s Manual Interpreted: Complete Fiqh on Menstruation & Related Issues:
A Muslim Woman’s Guide To Menstruation Rulings – Inspired Muslim Women
Why not begin your search for knowledge by signing up for a course on Seekersguidance?
May Allah (Most High) give you ease, and may your cycle return to its normality, amin
I pray this helps with your question.
[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied within UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan and Turkey.
He started his early education in UK. He went onto complete hifz of Qur’an in India, then enrolled into an Islamic seminary in UK where he studied the secular and Alimiyyah sciences. He then travelled to Karachi, Pakistan.
He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for a number of years. He has taught hifz of the Qur’an, Tajwid, Fiqh and many other Islamic sciences to both children and adults onsite and online extensively in UK and Ireland. He was teaching at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences.
He currently resides in UK with his wife. His personal interest is love of books and gardening.