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Not sure whether my menses is over and if i should pray

Q:

Salam Alaykum. I thought my period is over so I took ghusl and prayed,after I saw brownish spot on my underwear, I took a cotton swab to check and it showed up yellowish/brownish but few minutes later it was cleaner. This happens to me every period and I’m always confused whether to pray or not and I’m scared of being punished

A:

Salaamun alaykum.

For performing Ghusl haidh (menses), you have to wait until you are completely clean, if u even see a tiny bit of brownish or yellowish brownish discharge, you have to take that as haidh and whenever you check with a cotton swab and find yourself completely clean, then you can perform ghusl and start praying.
Regards
Zahra Davdani.