Do I Continue to Pray during the 2–3 Days of Brownish Discharge That Precede My Normal Menstrual Flow?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch


Every time before my periods begin I get a brownish discharge for 2-3 days immediately followed by normal red discharge, there’s no gap between these two… so should I continue my prayers during those 2-3 days of brownish discharge or it’s included in the period?

Do I continue to pray during the 2-3 days of brownish discharge that precede my normal menstrual flow?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

Any colored discharge that a woman experience is considered bleeding in the Sacred law. [Birgivi, Dhukhr al-Mutaa’hilin]

Suppose the brownish discharge occurs at a time that could potentially be valid menstruation. In that case, it is calculated among the days of menstruation, and the rules of menstruation apply to the days of the brownish discharge as well. [Ibid.]

Take the following principles as a starting point to gaining a deeper understanding of the rulings of menstruation:

  • Any colored discharge (excluding white or clear discharge) is considered blood
  • The minimum menstruation is 72 hrs (3 days) of accumulative bleeding
  • The maximum menstruation is 240 hrs (10 days) of accumulative bleeding
  • The minimum purity period separating two instances of bleeding is 15 complete days in which no colored discharge/blood are present. [Ibid.]

The Process of Calculating Total Bleeding

Again, every instance of bleeding, including colored discharge, including the interim time between each instance, is added to find the sum of accumulative days of bleeding. [Ibid.]

For example, Zainab sees two days of brown discharge, two more days of nothing, and two days of red blood.

The entire time between the first onset of discharge and the last day of red blood is added together. The total days of menstruation are six days. [Ibid.]

Separating Period of Purity

The only time when two instances of bleeding (or colored discharge) are not added together to form an accumulative amount of bleeding is when the two instances are separated by a full 360 hrs (15 days). [Ibid.]

For example, Zainab sees two days of yellow discharge, 1 day of brown discharge, 15 days of nothing, and three days of red blood. [Ibid.]

The first three days of discharge are calculated as 3 total days of bleeding. These three days meet the 3-day minimum and are considered menstruation. The following three days of red blood are considered separate menstruation, again meeting the 3-day minimum. [Ibid.]

Both instances are seen as separate menstrual periods, as they are separated by a full 15 days of purity. [Ibid.]

Relevant Rulings

Whether you are experiencing normal bleeding or colored discharge, you will continue to apply the aforementioned rules of menstruation.

If after adding the instances of bleeding, the cumulative bleeding meets the minimum and maximum requirement of menstruation-you will stop praying and fasting during those days.

Deep Understanding

The rulings of menstruation are included in the knowledge that every Muslim woman must seek out. The SeekersGuidance site has courses on fundamental Islamic law, including menstruation rulings.

Additionally, some books are very helpful in this regard.

Coming of Age by Hedaya Hartford is highly recommended.

Hope this helps
Allah knows best

[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Shaykh Yusuf Weltch is a teacher of Arabic, Islamic law, and spirituality. After accepting Islam in 2008, he then completed four years at the Darul Uloom seminary in New York where he studied Arabic and the traditional sciences. He then traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he stayed for three years studying in Dar Al-Mustafa under some of the greatest scholars of our time, including Habib Umar Bin Hafiz, Habib Kadhim al-Saqqaf, and Shaykh Umar al-Khatib. In Tarim, Shaykh Yusuf completed the memorization of the Qur’an and studied beliefs, legal methodology, hadith methodology, Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic history, and a number of texts on spirituality. He joined the SeekersGuidance faculty in the summer of 2019.