Can You Please Tell Me How to Overcome My Doubts about Istihada?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


I have hardship and baseless misgivings about my prayers.  I know the ruling that one with istihada has to clean herself, perform wudu, and pray.  My discharge isn’t continuous, so for example, if I cleaned myself, performed wudu, and prayed ‘Asr, and then when the time of Maghrib came in, I checked and saw nothing so I prayed maghrib but afterward, I checked again and found a tiny amount of discharge.

Now, I wonder whether it was there the whole time. I get doubts, so I always check, and when I do this, I may or may not find discharge. I feel my faith is at its lowest. 1)How to manage it? 2)How to overcome such whispers? 3) Are my prayers valid?


Thank you for your question. I empathize with your frustration, but I believe that once you review the rules of discharge and menstruation, you will find that it is much easier than you think.


If you are certain that you are in istihada, it means that you are getting colored discharge outside of your valid days of menstruation. In the Shafi‘i school, you might be having istihada if your period is going longer than 15 days or if your time of purity between periods is less than 15 days long.

If this is the case, you should check how long your istihada normally lasts by keeping a note of what you see every month. In your case, you should continue to wash, replace your pad, make wudu with the right intention, and pray, and do this for each prayer until you are confident that your istihada is over. When it is over, no ritual bath is needed, as you would have bathed when your official menstruation was over.

Feel free to write back with the discharge colors that you have seen for the past couple of months.

Please review the rulings here:

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin and completed her Master’s 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.