Assalaamu ‘alaikum (peace be upon you) Imam Suhaib,
May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala (exalted is He) reward you for your efforts with this blog, and give you the strength to continue to be of benefit to young people like myself who spend way too much time online. I have a question related to your recent post regarding Ramadan rulings for women. What are the rulings related to a woman who is bleeding while on the pill (combined oral contraceptive pill)? Does the bleeding take the status of hayd (menstruation) or istihaadah (non-menstrual bleeding)?
Technically speaking, the pill interferes with and interrupts the menstrual cycle such that the woman no longer goes through the natural menstrual cycle. As such, even though there is a regular pattern of bleeding for seven days, it is not a menstrual period per say but what is referred to as a “withdrawal bleed.”That is, there is no shedding of the uterine lining as would normally occur. Most of the online fatwa (legal verdict) I could find regarding this assume that the bleeding is a menstrual period – I am not sure if this assumption has a shar’i justification or if it simply stems from a common misconception about the effect of the pill. Please let me know the majority opinion on this matter. A short post on this issue would also be of great assistance, not only to myself but also to others the since use of the pill is fairly common these days and this issue relates to important matters of worship and intimacy as well.
May Allah (swt) reward you and grant you forgiveness in this blessed month.
Imam al-Dardir says in Sharh al-Saghir regarding the conditions of menstruation that it should “flow on its own (natural process).” In addition he says that “it is yellow or brownish.” Thus, if the person is certain that this is not menstrual blood, then this blood is considered istihaada (prolonged non-menstrual bleeding). The presence of menstrual blood is what prohibits certain acts of worship and its absence makes them permissible. Thus, since the certainty is based on the absence of menstrual blood, the sister is allowed to worship with no restrictions.
*In addition: This answer should not be taken as a general one. The questioner clearly stated that the blood flow was not that of menses. Thus, if that is clearly established, then the ruling takes that of istihaadah. However, if one takes the pill and continues to have a menstrual cycle then the above does not apply.
Allah (swt) knows best.