How to Distinguish between Menstruation and Istihadha’ after Seeing Blood Spots during Pregnancy?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


A girl got pregnant, missed her period, and did not see any blood until two weeks later. That blood is mostly spotting and goes on for about 20 days. She considered the spotting as menstrual and did not pray for the maximum time of a period. Was that correct? Is any bleeding after that istihadha’?

She now wants to end the pregnancy and takes medication that causes two weeks of bleeding. The spotting she saw at the beginning of her pregnancy, she considered as menstrual, and now there is new bleeding. The time between the spotting in her pregnancy and the new bleeding after the medication was less than 15 days of purity. How doe she judge this new bleeding?

What do they do if one does not reach a pure period of 15 days between different types of bleeding?


I pray you are feeling better and recovering well from this procedure.

In the Shafi’i school, the spotting that you saw during the pregnancy will be considered menstruation, and after the 15 days of spotting, you would start to pray again and consider it istihadha’.

If there were no discernible features of the fetus, such as a hand, foot, finger, hair, or nail, then the new bleeding will be considered menstruation, and if it goes beyond 15 days, the rest will be considered istihadha’. If there are discernible features, the bleeding will be considered post-natal bleeding (nifas), lasting up to 60 days.

Generally, if one does not see 15 days of purity between bleeding periods, one would consider the spotting in between as istihadha’. If one does not have spots, but just a short tuhr, then one can assess the end of one’s last period and the beginning of the new one. If the end of one’s last period had a weaker color, such as yellow or dusky, one would consider the weak color istihadha’ in hindsight (to give oneself 15 days of purity), and if one’s new period was heavy such as red, then the new period would be considered menstruation from the start.

Please consult a local scholar about this abortion since you have not enclosed details. Hopefully, you looked into its permissibility; you may also have to repent. You will need some emotional and spiritual support, as well.

When Can I Start Praying After a Miscarriage

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.