If A Woman Makes A Mistake About When She Becomes Pure Following Menstruation, Is She Sinning?
The Awqaf -
If a woman does not get a white discharge, and
instead she waits for the bleeding to stop, the number
of days (of the period) may vary from one month to the
next. Is she sinning if she makes a mistake about when
she becomes pure, such as if she thinks that she
became pure, then after doing ghusl and praying she
finds traces of it or, conversely, if she waits and
misses some prayers because she thinks that she has
not yet become pure, because it is difficult for her
to know when she becomes pure without that white
discharge? May Allaah reward you with good.
Praise be to Allaah.
Menstruation differs from one woman to another, and
the signs that one woman's period has ended may vary
from time to time.
For most women the sign that the period has ended is
the emission of the white discharge. For some women
the sign is that the bleeding stops.
No matter what the sign is for a woman, it is not
permissible for her to hasten until the sign appears,
because it is not permissible for her to pray or fast
when she is menstruating, until she becomes pure.
The women used to send containers to ‘Aa'ishah in
which were the cotton pads with traces of yellow on
them. She would say: "Do not hasten until you see the
This was narrated by al-Bukhaari in a mu'allaq report
in Kitaab al-Hayd, Baab iqbaal al-maheed wa idbaarihi
(Book of Menses, Chapter on the start and end of the
menstrual flow); and by Maalik, 130
If a woman makes a mistake about the time of the end
of her period, based on her own reasoning, then she is
not sinning, because Allaah says (interpretation of
"And there is no sin on you concerning that in which
you made a mistake, except in regard to what your
hearts deliberately intend"
And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
him) said: "Allaah has forgiven my ummah for mistakes,
what they forget and what they are forced to do. "
Narrated by Ibn Maajah, 2053; classed as saheeh by
al-Albaani in Saheeh Ibn Maajah.
But if she thinks that she has become pure and she
prays and fasts, then she realizes that she is still
menstruating, then she has to stop praying and fasting
until she becomes pure, and she should make up the
obligatory fasts that she observed during that time,
because it is now apparent that they were not valid,
because the fast of a menstruating women is not valid.
If she stops praying because she thinks that she has
not yet become pure, then she finds out that she was
pure, then she has to make up those prayers.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him)
was asked (11/280) about a woman who saw a brownish
discharge before her usual period, so she stopped
praying, then the blood came at the usual time. What
is the ruling on that?
He replied: Umm ‘Atiyyah (may Allaah be pleased with
her) said: "We used to not regard the yellowish and
brownish discharge after the tuhr (white discharge
indicating that the period is over) as being of any
significance." Based on this, this brownish discharge
that comes before the period does not seem to me to be
part of the period, especially since it came before
the usual time of menstruation and there were no other
signs of menstruation such as cramps, backache, etc.
So it is better for her to make up the prayers that
she missed during this time.
He was also asked (11/275) about a woman who bled for
nine days, so she did not pray, thinking that this was
her period. Then a few days later her real period came
– what should she do: should she make up the prayers
of the days she missed or what?
He replied: it is better for her to make up the
prayers that she missed during the first days, but if
she does not do that there is no sin on her, because
the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon
him) did not command the woman who was suffering from
severe istihaadah (non-menstrual vaginal bleeding) and
had stopped praying because of that, to do so. The
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
told her to regard six or seven days as her period and
to pray during the rest of the month; he did not tell
her to repeat the prayers she had missed, even though
making up the prayers she had missed would have been
good, because she may have been negligent in not
asking before, but even though she did not repeat them
there was no sin on her.
And Allaah knows best.