Assalamualaikum ustaz. I prayed the Zuhur prayer. Later, I found that I stopped menstruating during Asar. Is it necessary for me to perform qadha’ Zuhur and Asar?
Waalaikumussalam wrt. wbt.,
Alhamdulillah, praise and gratitude to Allah SWT for His countless blessings for us all. Praise and salutations to our beloved Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his family, companions, and all those who follow his footsteps until the Final day.
Among the favours granted to women is their menstruation. It is a normal cycle for every woman when she reaches the age of puberty. The Prophet PBUH said:
إِنَّ هَذَا شَىْءٌ كَتَبَهُ اللَّهُ عَلَى بَنَاتِ آدَمَ
“That (the menses) is something that Allah, the Mightily and Sublime, has decreed for the daughters of Adam.” 
Menstruation according to the syarak terminology is the natural blood from the female cervix excreted by a healthy woman’s body in a certain period of time. Usually, the blood will be darkish red, yellowish or cloudy similar to the color of soil or dirty and smelly water.  The most sahih opinion amongst jurists of madhhab Syafie is it is a yellowish cloudy liquid excreted during menstruation included in menstruation blood. 
The author of the book al-Fiqh al-Manhaji stated: “The meaning of haidh lexically is flowing. While, according to syarak, haidh (menstruation) means normal and natural blood excreted from the female cervix of a woman who has reached puberty who is healthy in a certain period of time.” 
The original ruling for a menstruating woman is that it is not obligatory for her to pray. The reason is menstruation is mani’ (barrier) for the obligation of prayer. The evidence for this is a hadith from Fatimah bin Abu Hubaisyah R.Anha, where Rasullullah PBUH said:
فَإِذَا أَقْبَلَتْ حَيْضَةُ فاترُكي الصَّلاَةَ، فإِذَا ذَهَبَ قدرها فَاغْسِلِى عَنْكِ الدَّمَ وَصَلِّى
“When the menstruation begins, you should abandon prayer; when the period equal to its length of time passes, you should wash away the blood and pray.” 
Imam al-Nawawi when commenting on this hadith said: “Scholars have agreed that on the woman is not taklif (obligated) to pray nor is she obligated to replace it.” 
The prayers that she missed during her menstruation isn’t necessary to be replaced when she is pure again. The reason is menstruation is a natural creation of Allah SWT for women. This is based on a hadith applied by Aisyah R.Anha:
كَانَ يُصِيبُنَا ذَلِكَ، فَنُؤْمَرُ بِقَضَاءِ الصَّوْمِ، وَلَا نُؤْمَرُ بِقَضَاءِ الصَّلَاةِ
“That happened to us, and we were ordered to make up for the fast, but were not ordered to make up for the prayer.” 
Imam al-Nawawi further said: “Indeed, prayer is a lot and repeated, which will be hard for women to replace them, different from fast, which is obligated only once a year and maybe a woman will experience menstruation for a day or two. Our ashab (Syafieyyah scholars) stated that every prayer that expires during menstruation isn’t qadha’ (replaced) except the two rakaat (sunnah prayer) of tawaf.” 
Coming back to the above question, actually, it is obligatory for a woman whose menstruation ends during Asar or Isyak to perform that obligatory prayer as well as qadha’ its preceding obligatory prayer which is the Zuhur or Maghrib prayers, if they have the time during the second prayer time, even if just the takbiratul ihram, and this is not for those who has just begun their menstruation.
Imam al-Nawawi said: “The sahih amongst us (madhhab al-Suafie) is that it is obligated for a menstruating woman to perform the Zuhur prayer if she has the time to perform what is obligated of it in Asar time (when her menstruation ends). This is the opinion of Abdurrahman bin Auf, Ibn Abbas, the seven Medina jurists, Ahmad, and others. Whilst al-Hasan, Qatadah, Hammad, al-Thauri, Abu Hanifah and Malik said, it is not obligated on the person),” 
The reason is the Asar time is the injury time for Zuhur prayer and Isyak is the emergency time for Maghrib prayer. The injury-time here means “emergency time” which is the time that is permissible to postpone or delay an obligatory prayer to another obligatory prayer’s time due to debility and burden such as travel. In the context of menstruation as in the above question, it is obligatory to qadha the first prayer, not meaning that it is prioritized (afdhal), rather it is obligatory for the second prayer’s time is the injury time for the first prayer.
This can also be seen in the statement of Imam al-Syirazi in the book al-Muhazzab: “The evidence is that the time of Asar is together with Zuhur and the time of Isyak together with Maghrib time is the right of a person in a debility which means a traveller. Thus, for those who are in this category of debility (such as a woman who was menstruating but has become pure, an insane who is cured and others), the second time is the time for the first prayer for them.”
Imam al-Nawawi then explained this, saying: “If the prayer (second) can be performed such as Subuh, Zuhur or Maghrib, then it isn’t obligatory to pray except only the prayer itself. If it is for the Asar or Isyak prayers, then it is obligatory to pray Zuhur together with Asar and Isyak with Maghrib without khilaf (in madhhab al-Syafie).” The azhar (accurate) opinion states enough time for a person is when a person has sufficient time to pray even if it is just for takbiratul ihram, while another opinion states enough time for one rakaat. 
In the above case, if a woman’s menstruation starts during Asar time when she has performed the Zuhur prayer, then it is only obligatory for her to perform or qadha’ the prayer after she becomes pure again if she didn’t get to pray before her menstruation starts. Likewise, if she has already performed the Asar prayer before her menstruation starts during the Asar time, then she doesn’t have to qadha’ both the Zuhur and Asar prayer, for she has fulfilled both her responsibility. It is not one of the valid conditions of prayer for the next prayer going to be performed has to be valid too, or when a barrier occurs (menstruation or loss of sanity) at its time when the obligatory prayers have been performed.
Although, some scholars are of the opinion that it is necessary t qadha’ the Zuhur prayer for the time for ZUhur is connected to Asar. It is also an ihtiyat (precautionary step).