Answered by Waseem Hussain
Question: I find it rather difficultto determine the start and end of my menstrual cycle. Sometimes i see a very light colored discharge around the time my period is due. Sometimes the discharge continues for 2-3 days before a brownish discharge, followed by the regular red bleeding starts. At other times, i see some lightly colored particles in my discharge at one time, and then it stops, and the discharge becomes clear. But i would see it again after a couple of hours or a day, before the actual bleeding starts. The same happens in reverse towards the end of my cycle. Sometimes the whole cycle becomes even more than 10 days. Could you please explain in detail when should i stop praying, fasting etc. and when should i resume it?
Answer: Walaikum Salam Warahmatullah,
Each woman has her own menstrual cycle, some have it as 5 days others as 8 and so forth. and it changes from time to time.
You are supposed to stop praying and fasting whenever you see discolored discharge, if it happens in days where it would be possible for you to have menstruation.
You are supposed to resume prayer and fasting when the discharge becomes clear again or if your cycle goes beyond 10 days.
Any cycle that exceeds past 10 days is returned to the habit, which is the last known valid menstruation. The days in between the habit and 10 days are then post-fact not treated as menstruation.
A menstrual cycle cannot be more than 10 days. If your cycle goes beyond 10 days then you are no longer in menstruation, and you will have to resume prayer and fasting.
The default is that anything but the clear discharge is considered blood.
It is important to remember that the entire discharge does not need to be colored in order to be deemed blood. Meaning that if there is a mix of color in it, strands or spots of any color then that will be considered blood. So a spot of pink in it, or few strands of brown or anything like that will all be considered blood.
If a woman gets this kind of discoloring all the time or it in other ways becomes normal for her then there may be scope for not considering it blood.
However, you only experience the stated problem close to the start of the red blood or at the end of the red blood. Therefore, the issue you are describing seems to relate to the usage of sanitary pads or panty liners. These type of pads are fine to use, but one has to be careful about using them at the beginning and end of the menstrual cycle. Because they are considered to be placed far from the exit-point itself resulting in the discharge easily coming into contact with air. When the discharge comes into contact with air then it oxidizes resulting in the color changing. Therefore, you may see strands of color where there would in fact not have been any color at all. And that is probably what you are experiencing, both at the start and end of your cycle.
What you should use instead, or on top of the pad, is a ‘kursuf’, which is a piece of cotton or other material that is placed right at the vaginal opening secured between the labial lips. It is placed such that the lips kind of clamp around it. Placing it in this manner minimizes the risk of oxidation and thereby one will be more accurately able to determine when the menstruation starts and ends.
Using something that is 100% cotton is recommended, because the kursuf is placed at a sensitive area, and synthetic materials may iritate the skin. The kursuf should be about 2,5cm X 9 cm. If something too large is used then it may often loosen, which is why the kursuf is supposed to have such a small size.
You should try using a kursuf for a few menstrual cycles and see if it helps. If it does not then please submit a new question.
And Allah knows best,
Waseem Hussain[Birgivi, Dukhr al-Muta’ahhileen; Ibn `Abidin, Manh al-Warideen; Ibn Nujaym, Bahr al-Raiq]
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani