Written by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih Aal ‘Uthaymeen
This is an extract of the rulings related to Ramadaan for women from Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih Aal ‘Uthaymeen’s rulings on female bleeding entitled Ithnaani wa Khamsoona Su’aalan ‘an Ahkaam il-Hayd (translated by Dr. Bilal Philips).
1) Should a woman whose menses ends immediately after the Athaan of Fajr refrain from eating and fast the remainder of that day? And would that day be counted or would she have to make it up?
The most correct opinion is that she should not fast on that day, because a condition for fasting to be acceptable is that woman must not be menstruating from the beginning of Fajr until sunset. Consequently, there is no benefit in her fasting on a day in which fasting is not acceptable. Furthermore, since it was Haraam (prohibited) for her to fast at the beginning of the day while she was menstruating, the day of fasting would be incomplete and could not possibly be counted.
2) Must a woman fast and pray after giving birth if her post-natal bleeding stops before the forty-day period has elapsed?
Yes, she must fast and pray. For women to perform formal prayer and fast they must be free from discharges of blood. Once the condition of purity is fulfilled, sexual intercourse with her husband becomes permissible and formal prayer and fasting become obligatory.
3) Is a woman’s fast legitimate if she experiences continuous spotting during Ramadan?
Yes her fast is legitimate because these drops of blood are not menstrual blood/ ‘Alee ibn Abee Taalib was reported to have said, “These drops [of blood] are similar to a nosebleed and are not [considered] menses.”
4) If a woman’s menses ceased before dawn, but she did not make her ghusl until after dawn, is her fast legitimate or not?
Her fast is correct and so is the fast of a woman bleeding after childbirth whose bleeding ceases before dawn, because in both cases, fasting became obligatory on them at the time that the bleeding ceased. Their cases are similar to a person in a state of janaabah who does not make the ghusl before the break of dawn.
Such a person’s fast is correct based on Allaah’s statement:
“You may now have sexual relations with your wives and seek what offspring Allaah has ordained for you. Eat and drink until the white thread of early dawn becomes distinct to you from the black thread of night.” (Soorah al Baqarah 2:187) In this verse, Allaah has made sexual relations allowable until dawn rises. This permission, if acted upon, would necessitate ghusl after dawn. Evidence may also be found in the hadeeth reported by ‘Aa’ishah in which she stated that “the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) used to arise at dawn in Ramadan in a state of janaabah from intercourse with his wives.” This statement indicates that he did not make ghusl until after the rise of dawn.
“the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam) used to arise at dawn in Ramadan in a state of janaabah from intercourse with his wives.” This statement indicates that he did not make ghusl until after the rise of dawn.
5) Is her fast valid, if a woman senses that her menses has started or she experiences menstrual cramps, but does not see any blood before sunset, or is she required to make up that day later?
As long as blood is not discharged until after sunset, her fast is valid if it was a compulsory fast, and its reward is not affected in any way if was a voluntary fast.
6) Can a woman fast on a day in which she sees blood, but she is not sure if it her menses or not?
Her fast is valid, because blood is not legally regarded as menstrual, until she is sure it is menstrual.
7) What is the law regarding the fast of a woman who sees occasional drops of blood during the days when her menses are expected, but menstrual blood does not begin to flow?
If the spotting is during the expected days and she is sure that it is menstrual blood, it then means that her period has started and her fast would be invalid if the spotting occurred before sunset.
8) Can a menstruating woman or one experiencing post-natal bleeding eat and drink during the daytime in the month of Ramadan?
Yes, but it should be done secretly if there are young children in the home in order not to confuse them.
9) What is the Islamic ruling regarding the fast of a woman who has a miscarriage followed by bleeding?
If the miscarriage occurs before the embryo is developed, the bleeding which comes with it is not considered nifaas (post-natal bleeding) so her fast is valid and she should continue to pray and fast. But if the miscarriage occurs after the embryo has developed, the bleeding is considered the same as post-natal bleeding and her fast is invalidated. She must discontinue formal prayers and fasting until the bleeding ceases.
10) If a pregnant woman bleeds during the fasting hours of Ramadan does this break her fast?
Our view is that pregnant women do not have menses as stated by Imam Ahmad, for it is by the cessation of menses that women determine pregnancy. However, some women may continue to bleed at regular times, as they did before pregnancy. According to the most correct opinion, this type of continual bleeding at the time of menses is considered to be true menses and is governed by all the laws concerning menstrual blood. However, if the bleeding of the pregnant woman stops and starts again and it odes not resemble menstrual blood, it will not affect her fast in any way because it is not menses. Such bleeding may be the result of an accident, or the strain of lifting something heavy, or falling down, etc. Therefore, if a pregnant woman bleeds menstrual blood, it breaks her fast according to the Prophet’s statement, “Is it not the case that when you have menses, you do not pray formal prayers or fast?” If it is not menstrual blood, it does not invalidate her fast.