How to Have a Clear Understanding of Menstruation?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


I just started counting yellow as my period after reading some fatawa, so I will start considering it as menses from now on, but I have several questions:

What should I do with the Ramadan days when I fasted during yellow discharge? Do I have to repeat those days?

Since we make up the prayer during which time the period starts, if we had not yet prayed it, then should I repeat the prayers that had started when the yellow came? How would I calculate that?

I sometimes get yellow discharge even when I’m not on my period, so how can I determine that the yellow is part of the period and not just regular discharge? Is the fact that it comes at a time when my period is likely to come to a sign? Or having PMS symptoms?

My period does not end clearly. I get like a white discharge but then comes pink or brown, then white, then yellow, light yellow, perhaps a brownish color again, then yellow, then white, then yellow, so it continues for around one day. The brown and pink discharge is always period in my case, but the yellow can be either way. I usually wait to do ghusl until I repeatedly wipe and see white or light yellow for several hours. I do this several times for half a day or a full day. If I no longer see brown, pink, or rich yellow, then I consider the period to be over most likely. That is when I do ghusl, and then I make up the prayers that fell on that day since the first wipe came back clear/white or light yellow without being followed by other colors. Is this correct? If not, what should I do? And sometimes, after waiting for hours, if not the entire day before I become sure, I do ghusl, yet afterward, I may still see rich yellow for one or more wipes. Can I ignore that? Even if I repeat the ghusl, there is no guarantee that I won’t see it again. I can’t determine what exactly it is the tuhr since I get a clear or white discharge or dryness, but after a couple of hours, I get pink or brown discharge which I never get outside of period. And the various shades of yellow further complicate it for me since they can be either period or normal.


It is commendable to clarify any issues you have with menstruation so that you can proceed in a way that pleases Allah Most High.

First of all, yes, yellow should be considered part of your menstruation. Non-menstruation means clear or white discharge. The colors of menstruation in the Shafi’i school are black, red, brown, yellow, and dusky.

If you are sure that you fasted in Ramadan during your yellow days, you should make tawba (repent) and ask Allah to guide you in matters of menstruation and purification. There are no fasts to be made up.

See this link:
What Should I Do After Fasting During Menstruation? (Habib Umar)

Yes, suppose you usually get yellow discharge when your period begins. In that case, you must also make up that prayer (in whatever prayer time your period started if you had not yet prayed it) because yellow was considered menstruation. You could estimate if you didn’t figure out which prayer it would be. You could also make up one full day of prayers for every month of your menstruation to cover all of them. This would mean praying 12 days of prayers to cover the year.

If you have yellow discharge after an elapse of 15 days of purity, it will be considered menstruation, whether at the beginning or end of your period. PMS symptoms are not relevant. If you are getting a yellow discharge during your 15 days of purity, you should first ensure that it is a yellow discharge. See this link: Can a White Discharge Be Yellow? If you find it yellow, you should pray as one does in istihadha (chronic vaginal bleeding). What Means Should a Woman With Dysfunctional Vaginal Bleeding (Istihada) Take to Stop the Bleeding Prior to Prayer?

Having different shades of yellow is very complicated. All of the colors that you described are colors of menstruation. One’s period is over when she sees clear, white, or nothing. You say that you only take your ghusl when heavy yellow is gone. What about the light yellow? Does that never go away? If you are still seeing any color within 15 days of the start of your period, you should consider it a period. Anything that you see after the day of the period should be clear or white. If not, and if it is beyond 15 days, it is considered istihadha.

It is not necessary for you to wipe and wait for hours to see what happens. If you are approaching the end of your period, you should wait for about 30-40 before the end of the prayer time, check the color, and then take a ghusl. You will have enough time to pray. If you see color, check again before the end of the next prayer time. See the following link about using a kursuf to check the end of the period if you are a virgin. A non-virgin may check by inserting a white piece of cloth or cotton discolored Menstrual Blood & When To Stop Praying.

If you have taken your ghusl and see heavy yellow, you must wait until it is clear. If you are still within the 15 days of your period, then retake your ghusl.

If light yellow is your normal discharge between periods, then you may follow the opinion of Imam Ramli, which is a strong, followable, alternative position in the Shafi’i school that yellow discharge is not hayd. You will then pray as one would in istihada and not worry about seeing yellow.

I recommend you stay in close touch with a female scholar to assess your menstrual problems.

Kindly check these links:
How to Know If Discharges Are Period?
How Can I Judge When My Menstrual Period Has Ended?

May Allah reward you for striving to learn.

[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.