Sheikh `Abd al-Rahmân b. Ibrâhîm al-`Uthmân, professor at al-Imâm University
When a woman’s menstrual period begins before the time of prayer has come in, then she does not make up that prayer. This is because the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Is it not the case that when a woman is menstruating, she neither prays nor fasts?” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (304)]
Also, `A’ishah said: “When this came upon us, we were commanded to make up our fasts but not our prayers.” [Sahîh Muslim (335)]
A woman also does not make up her missed prayer if her menstrual period begins after the time for the prayer has arrived. During the time of the Companions, women would have surely experienced the onset of their menstrual cycles after the time for their prayers had come in. If it had been obligatory for women to make up those prayers, then the Prophet (peace be upon him) would have commanded the women among his Companions to do so. If he had given such a command, it would have been related to us.
The only exception to this is where the woman has already delayed her prayer until right before the end of its timeframe, so close that there is not enough time left for her to complete that prayer. If her menstrual cycle begins at that moment, she will be required to make up that prayer when her period ends. In this case, the real reason she did not offer her prayer on time is her neglect, since even had her menstrual period not started, she would not have been able to complete that prayer on time.
With respect to the end of her menstrual cycle, a woman should refrain from praying until she sees her normal indication of purity, like the white emission if it is normal for her to see it. She should not be hasty. If she has no visible sign, then she should wait until the blood has completely stopped.
`A’ishah’s ward asked relates that women used to send to her the cloths containing yellow menstrual blood for her decision about the end of their periods, so she said: “Do not be hasty. Wait until you see the white emission.” [al-Muwatta’ (117)]
When she is certain that her menstrual period is over, she should offer whatever prayer whose time it is. If that prayer can be combined with the one that preceded it – as is the case for the time of `Asr and the time of `Ishâ’ – then she should offer both. Otherwise, she must simply offer the current prayer.
Therefore, if her period ends during the time of Fajr, Zuhr, or Maghrib, she only has to offer the current prayer.
However, if her period ends at `Asr time, she should pray Zuhr along with `Asr. If her period ends at `Ishâ’ time, she should offer Maghrib along with `Ishâ’. This practice has been related to us by `Abd al-Rahman b. `Awf and Ibn `Abbâs. The logic for it is that the time for these two prayers is one for people who have an excuse to combine them, like travelers or those who are ill. A menstruating woman is likewise a person with an excuse.
And Allah knows best.
Source: Islam Today