Ramadhan is a blessed month; this month is a time of reflection and personal development. Many of us make sure we take plenty of time out from our schedule to focus on the studying of the Qur’an. Many aim to finish the Qur’an once in the month of Ramadan, reaping the rewards of recitation. We ensure we have energy to stand in prayer throughout the night as we want our hearts to become closer to Allah.
As Muslim women, we do not pray or fast during our menses. This often leaves sisters feeling at a loss, especially in Ramadhan, because our main means of contentment, through salah (prayer), is not available to us. For those who are using Ramadahn as a time for change may feel their vehicle has come to a halt by this monthly roadblock. Hormones take over and the lack of structure in ibaadah (worship) can lead to a dangerous dip in emaan (faith); this is horrible in any month but to experience this in Ramadhan is saddening.
However, as sisters we must remember than our monthly cycle is a detail within Allah’s intricate design of the female. It was not a punishment given to us by man or an illness that some of us experience. Our menstruation comes hand in hand with the ability to reproduce; we should never look to this experience with a “Why did Allah give us menses?” mentality. Women are strong enough to handle the issues that come with the monthly cycle.
“Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity” [ Surah Al Baqarah 2: 286]
When we are on our menses during Ramadan, you could sit and moan about being unable to pray salah or observe sawm (fasting) or we can be active in searching for other forms of ibaadah. The reward that comes with this month is there, regardless of whether you are fasting or not. Do not let the precious minutes and seconds of this month pass without doing acts that will be on your scale of good deeds.
Here are some ideas of what you can do during your menses. These are also, of course, applicable to those who unable to fast because of health reasons:
Make lots of dua’a (supplication)
Being in the state of impurity does not prevent you from making dua’a. At the time of salah, take time to sit and make dua’a for yourself, your family and the rest of the ummah.
“Dua (supplication) is worship” [At Tirmidhi]
Dua’a is an essential tool to draw closer to Allah; to be reliant upon Him only will lead you to turn to Him whenever you have troubles. We often hold back during making dua’a because we think what we want may be too big or insignificant for dua’a. Don’t hold back – Allah is As-Sami, the All Hearer, and no dua’a you make will go unheard.
Connect with Qur’an
Your connection to the Qur’an can continue to grow during you break. Use this time to read a translation in your language and tafsir to help your understanding.
“…a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion.” [ Surah Baqarah, 2:184]
Connecting our hearts with the words of Allah is fundamentally important as the Qur’an was given to us as a means of guidance and understanding. If we are unable to comprehend the language of Arabic, failing to even read translations, we are putting a wall up between us and the Qur’an.
Feed the fasting
The Messenger of Allah said:
“Whoever provides the food for a fasting person to break his fast with, then for him is the same reward as his (the fasting person’s), without anything being diminished from the reward of the fasting person.” [ Sahih, At Tirmidhi]
Take the responsibility of making iftar for everyone in your house during this time, if you do not already do so. Make extra food and give it out to your neighbors. As you will have more energy than normal, as you are able to eat during the day, utilize it wisely by cooking more and distributing it to others. The reward in the hadith is immense and demonstrates an important way in maintaining healthy family and neighborly relationships.
Give in charity
“The Prophet was the most generous person, and he used to become more so (generous) particularly in the month of Ramadan” [ Sahih, Al Bukhari]
The month of Ramadan is a time to increase in all good deeds; increase in how much Sadaqah (charity) you give. Even if you are unable to give much money, find ways to use your time to benefit others and volunteer where you can.
“Every act of kindness is a Sadaqa (charity)” [ Sahih, Al-Albani]
The list is endless: smile at others, pour water in for someone else, forgive those who have wronged you, plant a tree, help do the shopping for an elderly neighbor, teach some Qur’an.
Read beneficial books
“Seeking knowledge is obligatory upon every Muslim” [ Ibn Majah]
Increase your knowledge on an area that you have not spent time on before. Without seeking to understand the religion, we are walking in the dark. Have a specific topic that you want to read about and find good literature that will help you learn more. Be it the stories of the Qur’an, seerah or lives of the sahabiyat (companions of the Prophet) – absorb as much knowledge as you can in this month to help start a new habit.
Read also: A list of Islamic Books
Work on your character
“Righteousness is in good character, and wrongdoing is that which wavers in your soul, and which you dislike people finding out about.” [ Nawawi]
We all have areas in our personality and character that are in need of work. Ramadan is the best time to start changing as the normal distractions of life occur less. Whilst you are unable to pray, concentrate wholeheartedly in removing a disease from your heart or a bad habit. To break habits, effort and a strong resolve to do so is needed. Make this Ramadan your time for change.
What ideas and suggestions do you have to utilize the most of this blessed month? Please let us know in the comments section below so other sisters can benefit. 🙂