By Amreen Pathan
It’s easy to fill disconnected when menstruating, particularly during the month of Ramadan.
In fulfilling the ‘quota’ of ‘Ibadah (worship), it is almost easy to know that Salah is to be offered and the noble Qur’an is to be recited. The ability to offer this gives a clear pathway to worship in the fasting month.
When this opportunity is taken away, the path to worship suddenly comes narrow and seemingly restrictive. And there is the glaring matter of not fasting of course. A menstruating woman is not obligated to fast and instead must keep them after Ramadan in her days of purity. Naturally, this impacts our level of spirituality too as it can feel isolated within our little communities of fasting families and friends.
We should remember however that menstruation (and postnatal bleeding etc.) are all part of Allah’s perfect design of a woman. These occasions are not constructed as a punishment, but rather as a package of unique blessings and opportunity. To abstain from Sawm (fasting) and Salaah (ritual prayers) is an act of reward with a positive mind-frame and acknowledgement of Allah’s mercies on women. And though fasting may seem synonymous with Ramadan, fasting is one act of worship. Ramadan is more than this.
So consider the following a little guide to navigating ‘Ibadah and Ramadan whilst on your monthly menses.
Make a set timetable for your Adhkaar (remembrance of Allah). Distribute this evenly throughout the day like you would of your Qur’an recitation so that you remain consistent and your goal is achievable.
What might you pray?
a. First Ten Days
i. As the first ten days of Ramadan are those of mercy, then a Du’a centred around the concept of mercy is beneficial.
a. My Lord, Forgive [me] and have mercy [on me], for You are the best of those who show mercy.
b. Oh Allah have mercy on me, The Most Merciful.
c. Oh Ever-Living! Oh Eternal Sustainer! By Your mercy, I seek help.
I have recorded only the translations for the sake of space. All of the Arabic can be found online though all supplications can be made in any language of choice.
b. Middle Ten Days
ii. The second set of Ramadan (the middle ten days) are of forgiveness. Therefore recite Dua’s pertaining to forgiveness and repentance. For example:
a. Oh Allah, You are most forgiving and You love forgiveness; so forgive me.
b. I ask for forgiveness from Allah, my Lord, from every sin I committed.
c. Last Ten Days
In these last blessed days, we are asked to seek emancipation from Jahannam (Hell-Fire) and entry into Jannah (Paradise).
‘Oh, Allah! Save me from the Hell-Fire.’
Do not feel confined to the aforementioned. Use them wholly if you wish or read and meditate with what you know and are comfortable with.
- One should aim to make one hundred Istighfaar (seeking forgiveness) a part of their daily timetable, menstruating or not. This could be just a simple ‘Astagfirullah’ (I seek forgiveness in Allah).
- Read Durood Sharif (salutations on the Prophet (PBUH)) on Fridays.
- Recite the Kalimahs often.
- I really like the spirit of the following comprehensive Du’a taught to me in my time studying the ‘Alimiyah course.
There is no God but Allah. We seek forgiveness from Allah. We ask for Paradise and seek emancipation from Hell.
This prayer was recommended to my Ustadh (teacher) by his beloved father – may Allah shower his grave with mercy.
- Try and make ablution as you would for Salaah and sit on the Musalla (prayer mat) for at least some of the designated Salaah times. This will capture some of the performance of prayer thereby increasing the connectedness one feels with Allah.
i. We may be unable to read but listening to the recitation of the Qur’an holds it own merit. Shaykh-ul-Hind (RA) would spend the whole night listening to the Qur’an. It was common that he would stand in one place and the reciters would change over in order to take rest.
ii. This would also be a perfect opportunity to reflect on some of the verses of the Qur’an. Follow the recital with an English translation or go in-depth with a suitable and recommended Tafsir (commentary) of a particular verse.
It was narrated that Zayd ibn Khalid al-Juhani said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “Whoever gives Iftaar to one who is fasting will have a reward like his, without that detracting from the reward of the fasting person in the slightest.” [At-Tirmidhi]
Preparing Iftaar may already be part of your routine so continue doing so with the above virtue in mind. Recite Durood as you prepare the food, as this will infuse the meal with spirituality.
Similarly, make your other responsibilities a form of worship. Ask Allah to accept your daily tasks as worship and then approach all subsequent tasks in this way.
Making Du’a is not limited to a fasting person or to a certain place or time. In a tradition of the Prophet (PBUH), Du’a is proclaimed to be the essence of ‘Ibadah. Take every opportunity to beseech Allah with your needs and wants and sorrows and griefs.
If you struggle with making Du’a, then read the supplications from the Qur’an (e.g. 2:201) or copy the beautiful supplications of our Prophets (e.g. 21:87). There is nothing that Islam has not covered to ensure all our worldly and religious needs are met.
Gain Islamic Knowledge
I will finish off with this one though I imagine there are many more that you ladies can offer (please leave your suggestions below). Partake in lectures being offered in local Masajid (places of worship) and community centres or read a book. Join women in your local areas to discuss matters of faith and learning together.
May your Ramadan be one that brings you closer to Allah Almighty and inspires love in your heart for your faith.
#Ramadan #Menstruation #Woman