Bleeding directly affects a woman’s obligation to pray – it is necessary for her to understand the rulings related to which prayers will be due upon her. During menstruation (hayd) and post-natal bleeding (nifas), the obligation of ritual prayer (salat) is lifted from a woman.
When Bleeding Begins
Obligatory (Fard) and Mandatory (Wajib) Salat
When hayd or nifas begins, all prayers are excused and do not need to be made up, even if a woman had ample time to pray beforehand. In fact, it is her condition at the end of the prayer time that determines her obligation to pray. For example, if Zuhr time ends at 3:10 p.m. and a woman’s menstruation begins at 3:09 p.m., zuhr salat is not due upon her. If bleeding begins while praying a fard or wajib salat, she is not required to make it up. (Al-Bahr al-Ra’iq 203-4/1).
Sunnah and Optional (Nafl) Salat
If bleeding begins while praying a sunnah or nafl salat, a woman is obligated to make up that prayer when bleeding ends. Likewise, if a woman makes an oath to perform a nafl prayer at a certain time but cannot do so due to menstruation, she is obligated to make up that prayer when bleeding ends. (Manhal al-Waridin p.272)
Resuming Salat When Bleeding Ends
Before 3-Day Minimum
Bleeding that lasts less than 3 days is considered istihada (Manhal al-Waridin p.275). For example, a woman sees blood and stops praying. The next day, the bleeding stops. She will perform ablution (wudu), resume praying, and make up any missed prayers. As a rule, if a woman has intermittent bleeding in the first 72 hours, she should check her condition toward the end of each prayer time, to ascertain whether she is obligated to complete the prayer.
Before the 10-day Maximum
Salat becomes obligatory when menstruation stops. If there is enough time to perform the fard acts of ghusl and say the “Allah” of “Allahu Akbar” in the respective salat time, the salat is obligatory (Manhal al-Waridin p.200). For example, if bleeding ends at 2:55 p.m. and Zuhr time ends at 3:10 p.m., this gives a 15-minute window – the prayer must be completed. On the other hand, if a woman stops bleeding at 3:09 p.m., and Zuhr time ends at 3:10 p.m., Zuhr is not due on her.
At or After the 10-day Maximum
Salat becomes obligatory at the completion of the 10-day mark (240 hours). If a woman has enough time to say the “Allah” of “Allahu Akbar” in the respective salat time, the salat is obligatory. The time for ghusl is not a condition in this scenario as she has reached the maximum duration of hayd (Manhal al-Waridin pp.197-8). For example, if a woman reaches the 10-day mark at 3:09 p.m., and Zuhr ends at 3:10 p.m., this prayer will be due on her. She must perform ghusl and pray.
If she bleeds beyond 10 days, retrospectively a woman must calculate which days are irregular bleeding (istihada) and hayd and make up the prayers that coincided with her istihada days.